Papa Roach - LoveHateTragedy
The devolution and the resulting evolution of rap-metal has certainly separated the wheat from the chaff and its to Papa Roach's credit that they decided to leap before the whole genre collapsed under the weight of its own self-imposed clichés. Its easy to forget though that Papa Roach actually existed long before the terms rap-metal and Nu-Metal became popular and everyone in the know is fully aware of the pact between the Roach and Alien Ant Farm which existed way back in the day when both bands were struggling to find an audience. Then of course they released the "Infest" album and a synchronicity seemed to be propelling these bands instantly into the limelight which resulted in an overload which still dilutes the rock scene to this day.
Now, wiser older, with a name change to boot (Ed: Coby Dick has reverted back to his birth-right and now goes under the name Jacoby Shaddix) and new found direction which takes in the classic rock bands rather than trying to appear post-modern and add walls of scratching over processed guitars. Its a move which makes sense, especially on a track like "Time And Time Again" which seems to have a timeless quality about it musically only to be marred slightly by the infantile angst of Shaddix with lyrics like "emotional swords slash my soul" taken out of the ABC of rock clichés. On the other hand "Decompression Period" is the sort of song which Puddle Of Mudd wish they could write and really shows how limiting the rap-rock genre was when you hear Jacoby sing "Can't you read the story of our lives. Death to me and life for you. Something isn't right".
Throughout it really is Jacoby Shaddix's lyrics that either make or break the tracks and while he speaks for a generation of males who find it hard to express their emotions eloquently there doesn't seem to be light at the end of the tunnel. Whereas the likes of the Smiths and Manics, and more recently Marilyn Manson, begged us to stay true to ourselves and bath in our own individuality and intelligence there seems to be a mindless angst ridden melodrama which doesn't take us any deeper than the emotional stunted "I'm a jerk, life's not fair". "LoveHateTragedy" is a great album if you simply view it as an alternative to the pop trash, but taking it any deeper than entertainment would surely be a mistake.
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