Originally written for HINTF
» Almost twenty years after their foundation, six studio albums and a live one, Californian PAPA ROACH decided that the seventh should gather all elements that shaped their sound. And here’s “The Connection” – because it connects all the dots between those elements, between them and the band, and between the band and the fans.
A single was released in July, as a heads-up for what’s to come, and it’s also the first track of the album (after a less-than-a-minute-long intro), called “Still Swingin'”. A rock song with a hint of rap in its vocal rhythm and a catchy chorus with the clear message “we’re still here and we mean to stay”.
The electronic parts are more present and more elaborate, from which I highlight “Leader Of The Broken Hearts” and “Give Back My Life”. “Silence Is The Enemy” has also a strong electronic line but its rock nature is the most dominant, so the synths just enhance it, they don’t stand out from it.
“Where Did The Angels Go” and “Breathe You In” remind us why one of the labels associated with PAPA ROACH is post-grunge, having an aggressive but polished attitude.
“Before I Die” and “As Far As I Remember” are both ballads, but the former has a somewhat hip-hop beat, while the latter impersonates the modern rock of nowadays. And “Not That Beautiful” is a full-speed track which, however, slows down in the choruses to the level of the aforementioned ballads, such melody contradicting its title. Those choruses feature Shahnaz Kabir, the American singer of Afghan descendance, of whom Jacoby Shaddix himself was a guest in the song “Not The End Of The World”, released early this year.
Shaddix says the band has never sounded better and I agree. I don’t know if “The Connection” will sell as much as “Infest” or “Getting Away With Murder”, or keep a single in the charts for so long as “Last Resort” or “Hollywood Whore”, but it has all the potential for doing so. Their sound is more consistent and more emotional, with a special attention for details – something I dare saying that having James Michael (SIXX A:M:) as one of the producers certainly helped with. But the general merit it’s the band’s, of course, who did here a great and diverse work. «
Label: Eleven Seven Music
Producers: James Michael, John Feldmann, Tylias
- Still Swingin’
- Where Did the Angels Go?
- Silence is the Enemy
- Before I Die
- Wish You Never Met Me
- Give Me Back My Life
- Breathe You In
- Leader of the Broken Hearts
- Not That Beautiful (feat. Shahnaz)
- Walking Dead
- Won’t Let Up
- As Far as I Remember