The last I heard of this group was in 2014 when their song ‘Best Day of my Life’ was all over the radio. I didn’t really like that song so even though that is the only song I have heard of them my expectations for this album are low.
- Stay Around- This song is about someone wanting their partner to stay even though they themselves are toxic to the relationship. I think that the groove is nice. The production is a bit funky at times sounding a bit tinny. It’s not revolutionary, but it’s fun. The lyrics are basic but catchy so yeah it’s fine.
- Say Amen- Billy Raffoul is on this song and he sounds incredible aside from that terrible vocal filter. Zac sounds great as well but has the same problem. The instrumentals are great. It’s the vocal effects that ruin it.
- Calm Me Down- This song is really repetitive. The same instrumentals repeat throughout so it gets old pretty quickly. The chorus is easy to latch on to so there’s that. The vocal effects throughout get annoying. It’s not a bad song though there are some things that would improve it.
- I Wanna Go Out- As soon as this started I thought that it sounded familiar. Turns out I have already heard this as it came out in 2017 and has been on the radio. It’s a fun song the chorus is really catchy. It’s more of a dance song than it is rock. It isn’t a song that I would put on my personal playlist just due to my tastes, but it is a good song.
- Neighborhood- This song features Bear Rinehart from NEEDTOBREATHE. It’s a chill song about leaving and coming back home. The vocals are great. The lyrics are repetitive at parts, but it gets the point across. The instrumentals are fine. There isn’t much to say about them. It’s a decent song overall.
- Can’t Stop Me Now- This song is full of samples from Queen songs. The chorus is shouted which is something that I have never liked. There’s a difference between yelling, shouting, and screaming. Shouting is the worst. The song is about the ego of the subject. It’s an annoying song overall and I don’t want to ever hear it again.
- Deep Water- This is probably one of the better songs so far. It is a bit cliche using the metaphor of drowning and getting rescued by someone. The vocals are good and the backup vocals add to the atmosphere of the song. The instrumentals are powerful when needed and relaxed to show a swell in emotion. Yeah, it’s good.
- Bring It On Home- The instrumentals are eerily similar to ‘Best Day of My Life.’ The chorus, while catchy, is grating on the ear. There is a background sound of glass breaking that is random and pierces the ear. Not great.
- Before I Go- The vocals on the chorus are strained. His voice isn’t as good as it has been. It’s a quieter song with a choir to add to the sentiment. The instrumentals have in the verses the same guitar chord over and over in a consistent beat which gets really bad. It’s an okay song it isn’t special.
- A Real Place- This song incorporates more electronics with a spacey theme going on. It does sound a bit strange with the guitar and drums, but it isn’t terrible. This is a weird final song because it doesn’t give a big message and it isn’t really powerful instrumentally or vocally.
Overall, this isn’t a bad album. I think that there are some really good songs on here with mostly mediocre. My biggest thing with them is that they haven’t done anything to make them stand out and that is what I am looking for with my music. I am going to give this a B-.
Another rock group I haven’t heard of before. Because rock is my favorite genre, whenever I get to discover someone new I am always excited. Hopefully this is a group that I really enjoy and want to hear more from.
- Do Your Worst- I really like the lead’s voice. He sounds great on the verses but on the chorus I don’t like it as much. The background vocals don’t add anything and sounds a bit cheap. The instrumentals are groovy, but I also feel like they could be more powerful. This makes me hopeful for the rest of the album because this song isn’t bad but there is some improvements that could be made.
- Sugar on the Bone- I like the instrumentals on this but the production isn’t great. It feels staticy which is annoying. I don’t know I guess this is just underwhelming. The vocals are good, but the lyrics feel meaningless rock jabber.
- Back in the Woods- This song is about a criminal escaping and living in the woods. Once again the verses are great vocally and lyrically it is just the chorus that lets down the song. It isn’t catchy and the instrumentals die down. This could be great if the chorus was different. I hope that isn’t a constant problem with this album.
- Look Away- The beginning instrumentals are very Middle Eastern. It’s very different from their other songs. The lyrics as I understand it are about people watching terrible things happening in other places on the news and not being able to look away but also doing nothing to stop it. The chorus is better because the instrumentals are amped up. His vocals are great. I like this.
- Feral Roots- This is very toned down. The guitar is subdued and allows his voice to shine. The song is about going home even though it is bad for you. When the chorus kicks in the instrumentals pick up slightly. It is a good song but something about it is off for me.
- Too Bad- I don’t know what to say about this. His voice is great once again. It is a nice song, but I want more. The instrumentals aren’t anything I haven’t heard before and the lyrics are the same.
- Stood By Me- Here it is again the curse of the forgettable chorus. The beat is cool but not special. I think this would be much better if the chorus was either more powerful or catchier. For me with rock music I want something that I could either headbang to, sing along with, and/or have a part stuck in my head and I get neither of those things.
- Imperial Joy- I really like the guitar on this. I don’t understand the lyrics so there’s that. “The blood running in my veins come from the kisses of 200 thousand years.” What does that even mean? I’m confused. His voice is great, still.
- All Directions- This song doesn’t go anywhere lyrically. It leaves 2 minutes of instrumentals where you are supposed to reflect on the lyrics, but there are so many mixed messages in the song that is gets too deep to the point that it might not be deep at all.
- End of Forever- This song is about the end of a relationship where the promised they would be together forever. The rhyme heartbreak and earthquake is shoddy. The sentiment is overplayed. I don’t like this very much.
- Shooting Stars- The chorus adding backup vocals makes sense due to the themes of peace and love. The last two songs are about love but the other songs did not have these themes. It feels random. It’s good for the last song on the album but it doesn’t make sense in the context of the rest of the songs.
Overall, I was mainly underwhelmed. When I saw the group I was excited because the lead, Jay, in some photos looks like Jim Morrison. I know that shouldn’t have made me think that their music would instantly be good but that’s what my heart told me. The songs aren’t bad, but they aren’t memorable and some often had strange production choices. I’m going to give this album a C.
While I love rock and all of its subcategories, I have to admit I haven’t heard music from this group. If I have then I didn’t know it was them. I know they are a staple in 2000s rock, but I guess I just missed out. I’m hoping that this album is good enough to make me want to listen to their older stuff.
- i apologize if you feel something- This is the intro to the album, it is short and sweet. The mixing is spacey and beautiful. It is modern and new, but not overdone. I’ve learned in the past not to give my hopes up so we’ll see if the rest is as good as this.
- MANTRA- This is different from the first song in terms of tone. It is fast paced and fun. I love the lyrics because it tells a complete story. The instrumentals are a perfect fit for the vibe and the vocals are great.
- nihilist blues- This song was inspired by 90s dance music which is very evident through the instrumentals. While this song is experimental for the group, I think that it is done well. Grimes sounds…like Grimes which is cool. Yeah I like this, not my thing but it is good.
- in the dark- This song is very personal for Oliver because it is about his ex-wife cheating on him. This is a pop-rock song more on the pop side. The instrumentals are good as are the vocals. The lyrics don’t seem personal which I would have wanted because it is something he experienced. I normally don’t like artists to switch genres throughout an album but this works because it seems sporadic and confused which makes sense considering his life experiences.
- wonderful life- This song is word vomit. Luckily, the band realizes that and have described it as such. This is a heavier sounding song with great vocals from Oliver and Dani Filth. It isn’t my favorite, but it’s fun.
- ouch- This is another interlude type song about his split. There are some clever lyrics that I read reference a love song he wrote about her when they were together. I like that idea of how songs capture moments in time and how he is able to use that moment and bring it back is pretty clever.
- medicine- This is probably my least favorite song so far. While it is a good song, the rest of them have been so great that good doesn’t make the cute. It is a very poppy song which isn’t bad it just makes the song not feel as genuine as I know it is.
- sugar honey ice & tea- This song emphasizes my own feeling that people in general are terrible. The lyrics are good, they are a bit childish with the title, but I understand wanting to make this song radio friendly. At first I thought the chorus was annoying, but it ended up growing on me so yeah this is good.
- why you gotta kick me when i’m down?- This song is a bop. The lyrics are so catchy and the vocals are amazing. The children’s choir is an adorable addition to the song. The instrumentals are funky and fun. I love it,
- fresh bruises- This interlude is trippy. The instrumentals are hypnotic. The same lyric is repeated over and over, but it isn’t as loud as boisterous so that it gets annoying.
- mother tongue- This song is about Oliver’s new wife and how he loves her when she speaks her native Portuguese. It’s a cute song, but it feels weird because most of the album was about his ex-wife and now there are songs about a new wife. It feels rushed, as does his marriages, but that’s just me being judgy.
- heavy metal- This song is about fans wanting them to stick to their heavy sound and not going pop which is something that I have commented on. Rahzel beatboxing sounds incredible. Lyrically, it’s a good song and it’s fun. I love how in the outro they go full on metal. I love the passive-aggressiveness. Not my favorite, but it’s still good.
- i don’t know what to say- This song is about Oliver’s friend who died from cancer. It’s a beautiful orchestral/rock tribute to him. The lyrics show the emotion that comes from being a witness to the deterioration of someone. I like this a lot.
Overall, this is a great album. They played with themes of love and also relationships between themselves and their fans. Each song had something different to offer and was a surprise every time. While some songs were a bit lackluster, the overall quality of the album didn’t take too much of a hit from them. I’m going to give this an A-.
Papa Roach always makes me feel really nostalgic. I can’t help but sing along to ‘Last Resort’ and ‘Help’ among others. Hopefully this album makes me as happy as I know it can.
- The Ending- I love how the first song is called the ending. I can tell they are evolving to sound more modern, but it also makes them sound like other rock bands. For me they have such a distinct sound that if that is what I am looking for I am not getting it here. If I ignore my expectations I would say that this is a good song if a bit generic.
- Renegade Music- This song is about people fighting for what is right even though it might make them outsiders. The chorus is catchy and the vocals are good. I can picture myself rocking out to this. While it isn’t as good as what I know they can be I still really like this.
- Not The Only One- This is a more melodic tune about not being alone in your struggles. I really like this sound it suits them well. I’m getting used to them exploring with their sound and I think that this is a good path to go down. The instrumentals are beautiful and I just like this a lot.
- Who Do You Trust?- After such a great last song I was hoping that the title song was going to be great. Sadly, it isn’t. It is extremely repetitive and the instrumentals don’t offer anything new. The lyrics are about not being able to trust people around you, which is kinda my thing so I don’t have a problem with that, but the vocals on the pre chorus are bland. Nah.
- Elevate- The vocals on this are good. It is rare that Jacoby sounds bad so that is expected from him. The instrumentals are reminiscent of a few other bands that I can’t think of right now. I think it is a decent song, but it isn’t anything spectacular.
- Come Around- This song has a good message about how everyone has problems, but they say they are happy. He wants people to know that he is there for them. It’s a cute song, isn’t what I particularly want or need from Papa Roach, but it isn’t bad by any means.
- Feel Like Home- The intro sounds very early 2000s rock, which I love. The vocal effects remind me of the Foo Fighters ‘Learn to Fly.’ The chorus is sort of catchy, but it doesn’t really contain anything of substance. It’s about not feeling comfortable with the person he is with, which would be strange if true because he’s been married over 20 years. Anyway, yeah it’s an okay song.
- Problems- This is very poppy. It is a good pop song, but it isn’t a good Papa Roach song if that makes any sense. It even feels like a departure from what has been going on in this album. The song is about accepting that you have a problem, which is good considering they put this song in the album so they have recognized their problems.
- Top of the World- This song is a commentary on our current political climate. The rap verses are done very well, but they do feel a bit forced. The change in pitch in the pre-chorus is annoying. While I like the message a lot I think that this song doesn’t particularly do it justice.
- I Suffer Well- This is a short burst of energy. It’s about someone who is depressed and no one seems to care. I really like the double meaning of the word ‘well.’ I actually like this quite a bit.
- Maniac- This is another song about mental illness. I like how he is questioning whether he is crazy or not because mental illness still has a stigma about it and the word, while it is bad, crazy is thrown around a lot. I can feel the emotion through the vocals and the instrumentals. I like this quite a bit.
- Better Than Life- The beat on this is sick. I’m not entirely sure who the subject of this song is about. It is either a partner or a religious figure that knows the singer to such a personal extent that he can be convinced that whatever they have to offer is better than life. Because mental illness is a theme in this album it makes me feel like it could be a religious figure and Jacoby is talking about death being better than life. If that is true then I think this is an interesting way to end the album. Throughout the album there were some lyrics taken from Linkin Park albums so it very well could be the end that the first song is talking about.
Overall, I can’t be too mad about this album. There are some good songs and the ones I wasn’t too keen on was due to how little it sounded the way I like them to sound. I am extremely biased and I am admitting that now. I’m going to give this album a B- I feel like that’s fair.
- …- This is the intro to the album. It is a reporter talking about a gathering for change. This is making me excited to hear the music.
- BURN IT- This song’s lyrics are about the gun problem in America, more specifically police killing black men. The beat is powerful enough to show the anger that people should be feeling about the issue. The pre-chorus production isn’t great. It feels staticy and it is kind of grating. Other than that this is the kind of music that I listen to in my free time even though I haven’t heard of this group before. I really enjoyed this.
- ANIMAL- This song plays on the theme of social justice again. Hopefully that is throughout the album. It touches on different forms of protest and freely fighting for what is right. The rap portion of the song is well done and it is catchy. The vocal style isn’t for everyone. It is scream based, but it isn’t just that. The instrumentals are done well and the song is well-paced. I added this to my personal playlist. The cynical part is me is waiting for a song to be bad.
- PREY FOR ME/3- Once again the instrumentals are punchy and powerful. The lyrics are about creating a world that is better for our children and how we are reverting back as moral beings. The first chorus is catchy and the double meaning of the word pray/prey is interesting. Once the second chorus kicks in the rhythm changes, but the power remains consistent. The last chorus reminds me of Weird Al doing Hamilton Polka. Strange reference I know, but that’s how I feel. Again, another good song.
- ONE OF US- The intro resembles the munchkins from the Wizard of Oz’s song. It injects that into a meaningful rock song about why kneeling keeps happening. (police shootings) If the violence doesn’t stop then the protests won’t stop. They infuse a female vocalist to shake up their sound. I love the message behind this. Based on my political views, they nailed it. That is extremely biased, but I own it. The beat is great as are the vocals. This is probably my favorite album I have review thus far.
- INGLEWOOD/3- This song is extremely personal to Jason because it is the story of his life. Through this song I can see life through his eyes. The chorus provides some peace, but then it slowly goes back to this hard sound which is reflective of Jason’s life. The lyrics are clear and show why he is as passionate about social issues as he is. The rap vocals are a bit weak. I feel like his flows could be better and on a song this important to him they should be higher quality. The production at points isn’t good. Especially during the bridge it feels as though there were some technical issues that weren’t intentional.
- THE INNOCENT- This song is about how kids can’t even go to the police anymore in fear of getting killed. The instrumentals are a bit different than the previous songs. While it is still hard hitting, the production has made them not as prominent as before. While this is a good song it isn’t as good as their first few songs on the album.
- OUT OF CONTROL/3- I have noticed a pattern in the last few songs. The instrumentals die down suddenly and focus on the vocals in the pre-bridge’s. Then they come back with the vocals louder than before. I like it, but it get predictable. I do like this song as a whole. It is a bit general and I wish it got more specific, but because the other songs got deeper I think it is okay that there is a song without it. His flow is better than I previously noted.
- AM I HERE?- This song feels random in relation to the album as a whole. The instrumentals are cello and violin based. The signature vocals only arrive in the last forty seconds of the song, and the message is vastly different from everything else. It’s about loving someone and wanting to live life for them. It’s not a bad song it’s just strange to be put in this album.
- COUP D/ETALK- Okay now we are back to normal. The message is about it is like living like as a person of color. The rock/rap sound is what I have come to expect from the group. His flows are okay, it feels weirdly paced. I think this is a middle of the road song in comparison to the others in this album.
Overall, I really enjoyed this. The sound is great. Even though I have heard bands with the same sound, it is what I like listening to. There were a few duds and AM I HERE? Felt totally unnecessary. It seemed like the needed to get to ten songs and had this already recorded so they just put it in. Their message was powerful, and Jason has the emotion behind his vocals to back up writing political songs. I would give this album an A-.