Petals for Armor

Hayley Williams - Petals for Armor
Critic Score
Based on 29 reviews
2020 Ratings: #190 / 818
Year End Rank: #40
User Score
2020 Ratings: #265
Liked by 97 people
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The Line of Best Fit

With Petals For Armor Williams reclaims her story and starts anew: she is her own saviour.


A record that perfectly proves how much strength is in vulnerability, it’s undeniably Hayley’s most powerful move yet.

A.V. Club

Though it contains mere hints of the scrappy rocker we’ve watched for 15 years, Petals Of Armor is the bold signature of someone who is more than ready to show off different sides of herself—yet has nothing left to prove to anyone.


While there's certainly an audible sense of collaboration on Petals for Armor, it's Williams' ability to turn her dark, personal moments into anthems of survival that stick with you.


Petals for Armor could never have been a Paramore album. It's not just the sonic depth and breadth of it, the way the production skims along styles and sheds them as effortlessly as Hayley Williams' hooks translate to every genre she tries. It's the uncompromising, scalding, open rawness of it.

Consequence of Sound
The assorted focuses of these songs sound like they’re being relayed less as rallying cries and more as personal thoughts and confessions to a close friend or a lover. The result is a fitting solo debut, a solid album full of friction and honesty.
Slant Magazine
The album is a confident solo debut that suggests the singer has valences she’s just beginning to explore.

With her first solo effort, Williams has delivered a rich and warm album filled with experimentation but never grandeur. It's brutally honest, yet comforting and displays the freedom and catharsis she felt via making it.

The Arts Desk
The listener's feelings towards Paramore are irrelevant here, there’s simply a huge amount to enjoy, contagious songs lathered in an unexpected inventiveness.
The Independent

Petals for Armor doesn’t offer up an easy redemptive arc towards happiness; it is a Herculean effort to pull yourself out of depression. But in letting us in on that effort, Williams has created something special.


While Williams has no plans to leave her Paramore family just yet, Petals for Armor is a musically strong, emotionally vulnerable album that finds her standing confidently as an artist in her own right.

From a less skilled artist, such a disparate-sounding album might morph into a collage of loose touchstones. Hayley Williams, on the other hand, draws clearly from other artists but retains her voice at the centre. Her frankness cuts through across ‘Petals For Armor.
It’s wilder and unvarnished, adding up to a self-portrait that’s intensely candid and intimate.
Rolling Stone

It’s the sound of an artist blooming into some of the best music of her career.

The pop-punk icon takes on new sounds for old trauma on this soul-bearing debut.
FLOOD Magazine

On Petals for Armor Williams is in full blossom, telling her story without requiring our permission.

No Ripcord
It’s a great album that is built upon Williams’ pop sensibilities while trying out sharp and airy production that suits her voice perfectly.
The Sydney Morning Herald
It's an album she never thought she'd make, but then it turns out that Williams is achieving many things she once considered impossible.
Q Magazine
Viewed either as an introduction or reinvention, Williams emerges as a formidable solo artist here.
Spectrum Culture

Petals for Armor feels, at once, like it could be stadium-ready pop, but rarely does she contain her sonic wanderlust long enough to make something that sounds like pure bubblegum.

The Paramore singer’s debut solo album is emotionally vulnerable and musically ambitious, one that finds catharsis and enlightenment in the brambles of experimental pop production.
Beats Per Minute
This is a record which feels familiar and safely experimental, while Williams reveals more of herself than ever before. Just exactly who that is isn’t yet certain, and where she’ll go from here is anyone’s guess, but it’s sure to be interesting.
Under The Radar

Overall Petals For Armor proves that Hayley Williams, with her singing as sharp as ever, is no one trick pony and is willing to push the envelope outside of her comfort zone for a sophisticated and sensual debut album that should play well to the masses.

The Observer
The refusal to sit with any genre longer than a few bars confuses just as often as it impresses.
The Telegraph

The elaborate intricacy of writing and production ay be a lot to take in for all but devoted fans. Freed of the strictures of her band set up, Williams seems to almost want to overcomplicate things. Thankfully, her gorgeous and expressive voice is an absolute delight throughout, shifting from breathy intimacy to acrobatic exuberance.

The Needle Drop

Even as it gets more of a pulse going in a new wave direction, Petals for Armor is a disappointingly derivative debut.

The Young Folks

What Petals for Armor thinks is stripped-down and intimate actually sounds unfinished and undercooked musically. Williams’s great songwriting remains intact, even if sometimes she’s still awkward confronting her past, but the music here is mostly boring and basic.

Brick by brick, Hayley Williams has built and solidified her first solo album as if it would be the only one, forever.

While I had stopped at the first part in anticipation of the final release, I was a bit sceptical about discovering the whole work, because although it was musically pleasing and lyrically interesting, the EP itself only satisfied the need to listen to it rather than increasing my hype on the subject (rating 75). Actually to be more precise, personally I'm not a big fan of ... read more
Undoubtedly, Hayley Williams should described as bold on her debut solo effort Petals for Armor. At the unbelievable age of only 31, yet involved in the music business for a decade and a half, Williams is about as experienced as they come at her age. Her group Paramore have certainly seen some moments of change over their years together, from the subdued nature that came out of Brand New Eyes or the glitzy sounds experimented with on After Laughter. Without question though, this is the most ... read more
☆☆☆ 1/2

This undeniably fulfilling and gratifying debut has varied tales that depict many of the American singer's insecurities and reflections that make her image and character as 3-Dimensional as possible. The results we've been left with on, "Petals for Armor" have turned out to be great songwriting and vocal exercise in preparation for future ventures into more music to come.

And while the mixing and engineering of many of the tracks still leave a little more to be ... read more
After a few months of a terrible album rollout, that I thankfully avoided, "Petals for Armor" is finally in its full form! The results are surprisingly fun and extremely varied throughout its 55-minute runtime! Hayley's influences can stick out a little and the tracklisting could've used some tweaking (even if it's forgivable due to the rollout), but the majority of this album is fantastic! The instrumentation is gorgeously-produced, lending a great sense of scale to each track with ... read more
I didn’t think this was gonna gel. I was wrong. The three parts work really well as three parts and that makes the whole thing work surprisingly well.
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Added on: January 22, 2020