Maintaining “The Connection”: Kelley Nymph on Papa Roach’s Latest Album

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          Papa Roach has certainly gone through some sound and image changes since they released their first album Infest in 2000. Though I will freely admit that I have not been following the band as closely since the release of Metamorphosis back in 2009, I still consider myself a fan. I recently stumbled upon the revelation that Papa Roach actually released an album in October 2012 titled The Connection. (No doubt I missed out on the little blip because I was too busy with my job at the Board of Elections preparing for the Presidential Election.) I heard a few tracks on Unlocal Clothing’s website (awesome clothes, btw. Check them out here) and they got me interested enough to grab the full album from Amazon.com.

            I’ve noticed that just about every band based California has been trying to combine a little bit of dubstep into their sound since Korn did it with their last album The Path of Totality. I have noticed on some songs on The Connection that there is an inkling of dubstep inspired sound present, usually in the intro of songs or the bridge, but never throughout the whole piece. The majority of songs have that sort of grab your attention beat that I heard in previous Papa Roach songs like “Getting Away with Murder” and “…To Be Loved”. The lyrics overall seemed to have the same general attitude that many Papa Roach songs have had over the years: love is painful, life is cruel, don’t let the man silence your voice, be who you are, etc.

            The overwhelming theme of this album seems to be relationships—namely, relationships that are flawed and falling apart. Songs like “Not That Beautiful”, “Give Me Back My Life”, “Wish You Never Met Me”, and the bonus track on the Special Edition release titled “What’s Left of Me” are obvious to see by their titles that they reek of bad romance. Having come out of a bad relationship last year and been through a few others in the past, I honestly felt the lyrics of several songs on this album really resonated with me. Since I felt I could make the connection to the emotions in these songs, I believe this is probably why I like this album as much as I do.  It has been said that Jacoby Shaddix, front man of Papa Roach, has had a rocky relationship with his wife. Knowing that, I must admit that I wonder if this album was based on a lot of personal feelings.

            There were also the almost obligatory anthem-like songs that I attribute to Papa Roach present as well. The tracks “Still Swinging” and “Silence is the Enemy” fall in this category, containing underlying messages of stand up and revolt, don’t be silenced and censored. I imagine that these songs would be great to see live, and listening to them makes me really want Papa Roach to tour again in the Baltimore area.   

            One song really slipped out of the mold of the rest of the album: “Won’t Let Up”.

“Won’t Let Up” is an encouraging tune; its message saying that sometimes you need to lose everything in order to find what is important, and that you need to keep going even though you feel like you can’t go on. My favorite part of the whole song was in these lines: “Hey, even though it hurts like hell/You have to bleed/Hey, even when we fight for air/We keep on breathing/Hey, even if you lost yourself/You still have me/Hey, even if you hate yourself/You have no reason”

            The whole message was very uplifting, not angsty. As much as I like angst, it’s good to hear something positive once in a while. Good job, P-roach.

            I definitely recommend the album, it has a lot of good songs on it and if you feel like celebrating single’s awareness day in music, there will certainly be some tunes here you NEED to add to your playlist. 😛

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