“The Connection” from Papa Roach was released earlier this month and is the band’s seventh full-length album and first full album since 2009.
Vocalist Jacoby Shaddix described the album, which came out Oct. 2, as a “rediscovery of the basic elements of Papa Roach.” He explains that the band looked at its history and all the evolutions it has gone through to “connect the dots” of its sound over the years.
“There’s some hip-hop, more keyboards than before, sound loops, textures — it’s dynamic, diverse and vulnerable. That is Papa Roach. We have never sounded better,” Shaddix has said in interviews.
Shaddix said the album’s title is one of many that the band went through during its writing and recording processes.
“We always just kept coming back to ‘The Connection,’ ” he said. “What ‘The Connection’ means to us, it’s our connection to the music, it’s the connection of this music to the fans, it’s the connection that we make onstage with our music, it’s the connection from fan-to-fan on the social Internet marketing media world.”
“The Connection” contains 13 tracks and 12 full songs (although there are also a total of four bonus songs featured on the iTunes, Amazon and Japanese versions of the album). Here’s a track-by-track look at the CD, with each song rated on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being best.
The only track on the album that isn’t a full song, this track serves as an intro and plays right into the first song.
2. “Still Swingin’ ”
The album’s first single, released July 24. The verses are fairly fast paced but this song doesn’t have the best chorus.
3. “Where Did the Angels Go?”
This is Papa Roach’s heaviest song to date, starting with a powerful explosion of sound with an eerie tone to it. Overall this is a very solid song.
4. “Silence is the Enemy”
This track is all about standing up and voicing your opinion in the face of those who want you to remain quiet. “Silence” is the fastest song on the album, putting it on par with “… To Be Loved” or “Getting Away With Murder,” from the band’s previous albums. But for me, this song by far exceeds any of its predecessors.
5. “Before I Die”
One of the better soft songs on this album; musically, it reminds me of “Scars” from the band’s fourth album, “Getting Away With Murder.”
6. “Wish You Never Met Me”
This song isn’t quite heavy and isn’t quite soft, but somewhere in between. Musically, this number shows off how Papa Roach has matured over the years.
7. “Give Me Back My Life”
The intro starts off by pulling you into this song, as Shaddix sings, “All the world’s coming down around me,” before the main riff kicks in. In the verses, Shaddix is rapping, showing a side of this band we haven’t heard in years.
8. “Breathe You In”
One of the faster, harder tracks on the album, this is one number that never gets skipped by me. The verses are so inviting, while the choruses are very catchy.
9. “Leader of the Broken Hearts”
Although this is the slowest song on the album, it still has a tremendous amount of energy behind it.
10. “Not That Beautiful”
This song is about getting over a bad or abusive relationship. It’s one of the fastest numbers on the album, and I love the sound of the entire song.
11. “Walking Dead”
Not to be confused with the television series or zombies, I believe this song has a different more metaphorical meaning, possibly referring to human society becoming more and more disenfranchised with the primitive side of our lives the more our technology advances.
12. “Won’t Let Up”
The first time I heard this song I immediately thought “Last Resort,” although that hit song by the band has a faster pace than this one. But I can definitely draw musical similarities between the two — excellent song.
13. “As Far as I Remember”
As the best of the soft songs, this track has a good hook and keeps you listening for the next chorus.
All in all, I would absolutely agree with Shaddix — this is the band’s best album to date.
Alex Esplin is a senior at Dorius Academy. He enjoys writing short stories and is working on a novel. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.