It has been a long time since I have been excited about a new album from a long-term standout such as Papa Roach. I was completely taken over by the last album and in hearing how some of the components of the Paramour Sessions were being seasoned together, I couldn't wait to get my hands on this one. Bottom line….. Own this album. Papa Roach has gone way above and beyond on this one.
First off before we even discuss the music, let's discuss the lyrical depth Jacoby Shaddix is now presenting. His writing has surely evolved into something great. He has truly mastered the art of attaching his words to the guitar work of Jerry Horton & Tobin Esparance. & the pounding beat of Dave Buckner on drums. This band has come of age. And for those of you who want to put Papa Roach in the "punk" genre, you need not read on as this album is Rock N Roll…..Purely Rock!
Playing some of the simplest of stuff sometimes sounds the best. And through out the album Papa Roach masters the simple things. I don't mean to say these guys aren't good musicians, because they have mastered their individual crafts…. No question of that. But when you have group of guys like these four, you can play medium level stuff and just make it terrorize a listeners ear. On this album they make it look easy.
"To be loved" - the first single off the album and opening tune hooks you immediately. The guitar work is awesome, blazing stuff and Shaddix just rips through these vocals perfectly. The second song "Alive" is a hard rock song of pain through addiction and it leaves you to wonder if you know how this song just might be about. The next two songs "Crash" & "The world around you" have a moody-ness to them that Jerry Horton emanates through several different tempos. You get crashing thunder and falling feathers on these two songs.
The next song "Forever" a slow starting hollow bass beat beginning with Shaddix ringing in with "The brightest hour of my darkest day" -softly sung with melody eventually winding into anthem mode. The song illustrates Shaddix's growth as a singer.
Track 6 "I devise my own demise" seemingly takes the band back into their roots, really edgy fast distortion and then leads into track #7 "Time is running out" This one is too cliché and probably the low point on the record. Sounds too arena rock. "What do you do" is one of those really hooky songs. Really catchy one, I'm pretty sure this could be single #2. Great lyrics really melodic and definitely ready for radio. This song too me pretty much indicates the progression of Papa Roach
"My heart is a fist" seems like a song of desperation, loss and understanding of resolve. Probably written in direct correlation with the drummer (David Buckner's) divorce with Liv Tyler. Great guitar work again and outstanding lyrics. Track #10 "No more secrets" is anti-war anthem for sure and gets straight to the point - sounds very old school Papa Roach too. Song #11 "Reckless" - A slow starter that picks up speed pretty quickly. Shaddix & Horton really work on this one. The guitars just explode on this one. This would be a great live song. Track# 12 " The Fire" Papa Roach digs into a very different sound - almost somewhat a jazzy touch and then into a driving guitar and then back to that jazzy touch. Avery different sound and unexpected to say the least. But it works and it is different. On Track#13 "Roses on my grave" PR uses the resources of a full orchestral string arrangement throughout the song. This one has to be the closer. The song is REALLY BIG. And would be a trip to see performed live. If you have ever seen Papa Roach live you would know what I mean. Their shows are high intensity and fast. This song a complete departure from that. Almost has a GnR "November Rain" feel to it. And in hindsight, they should have added the piano to this one, it would definitely have fit the arrangement.
But all in all a fantastic album and if I may say a lot harder to review than I originally expected. Papa Roach haven't done a complete departure from their roots but they have evolved, as a rock band should. When you write songs from the gut like Shaddix does and with his forte to make it work. You have the main ingredients to be simple and sound really good. The other thing about this record is it moves along really fast. It's 48.5 minutes of music but it seems like it goes faster. And immediately begs another listen. I give this one 4 stars out of 5 on the HARDCORE scale. See www.paparoach.com for more info and tour dates.. And get this one put into your library.