Released: Oct 12, 2010
Genre: Hard rock, alternative metal
Label: Eleven Seven Music
Number Of Tracks: 12
Although Trapt have recruited a new guitarist for the latest stage in its career, the band's fourth studio record still stays fairly consistent with past material.
UG Team, on october 25, 2010 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: One never can be too sure how the addition of a new band member will affect musical vision. In the case of Trapt, the amicable departure of guitarist Simon Ormandy didn't result in the band hurrying to take a 180-degree spin on its sound. If anything, new lead guitarist Robb Torres adds a slightly more aggressive sound at times, but it's not enough to cause a stir. And more importantly for the band, it shouldn't alienate them from the radio stations that helped make the quartet a household name in the first place.
Trapt excels in writing catchy, easily accessible choruses, and the fourth studio record No Apologies is no exception. It will likely still be too benign for the metal crowd, but Trapt's core fans should connect with the material. The first single Sound Off does represent some of the band's best traits, whether it is the driving opening riff, the infectious chorus, or the anthemic quality to it all. Trapt isn't reinventing the wheel with Sound Off or any of the other 11 tracks on No Apologies, but that initial single still has the capability of being deemed a theme song for, well, any number of TV/sports shows.
There is a certain cookie cutter format to No Apologies, and it would be a refreshing change to hear Trapt venture into new territory. On the other hand, if you enjoy tracks that thrive on gain-drenched power chords and choruses that scream for sing-alongs, you'll enjoy what Trapt has created this time around. More than a few songs begin with a mellower, reflective vibe, which eventually builds into the big payoff a monster chorus. This is the case with tracks like The Wind, which represents Trapt at its best and features darker, highly intriguing bridge on top of it all.
While Torres does provide some interesting lead work underneath the verses, Trapt could utilize his skills a bit more. So much of the band revolves around Chris Brown's vocal lines that the backing music gets overshadowed at times. But again, Trapt became popular and commercially successful for a specific sound and to shake the boat too much might cause a big chunk of that general public to get scared away. // 7
Lyrics: The band actually chose a fitting title for the record with No Apologies. Time and time again you'll hear the theme of being true to oneself. The rock world is a fickle one particularly where street cred is concerned, so it's easy to appreciate Trapt's message. In the title track the band declares that you should follow your own path (You don't owe anybody anything; Life is yours to live anyway you please; No apologies), while Get Up could be considered a song of inspiration (Get up off the ground; I want to see your heads in the clouds; Get up off the ground; The sky's the only limit we've got now). Trapt could easily take the tired route of spouting anger or alienation, so it's refreshing to hear songs that instill a sense of purpose within the listener. // 8
Overall Impression: No Apologies is your standard Trapt album, although there is riffage that leans toward a more aggressive sound. Torres does a capable job at taking over lead duties, but it's still more about the buildup to the chorus time and again. That's not a bad thing when you have a radio niche, but it's not necessarily going to wow those who haven't jumped on the Trapt bandwagon previously. It's not that one expects Trapt to be the most dangerous rock band out there, but the multiple mellow moments on the album does tend to bring the momentum down a bit too much. // 6
Vash_15, on october 25, 2010 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: After the much more radio-friendly "Only Through the Pain", Trapt is back with new guitarist Robb Torres (formerly of the band Maxeen) in their new album "No Apologies". The band fails to disappoint this time around, every track is filled with amazing guitar riffs that work well with vocalist Chris Taylor Brown's style. Going to the extreme, it features some of their heaviest material yet.
"Drama Queen" is a song that may sound a bit dull at first, but it ages well, becoming a strong track on the album that stands out the more you listen to it. "End of my Rope manages to outdo a lot of the other songs, with Brown playing heavy chords over Torres' higher pitched riffs, each playing perfectly into the slightly depressing tone of the song; it's definitely one of my favorites. "Get Up" is another honorable mention, as it is arguably the best song of the album. There's no doubt in my mind that this is radio single material, with it's anthem-like message and guitar work reminiscent of Drowning Pool's "Sinner"; the song fails to find a down moment as even the bridge is booming with energy.
"Overloaded" is worth mentioning as it can really get listeners pumped with its fast guitar work, which is brought up to a higher level with vocalist Brown really getting into the feeling of the vocals. "Are You With Me", while sounding like a sappy slow song, is actually a sleeper hit in the album, with an energetic chorus and soft verses that have the perfect amount of contrast. The next song I'm going out of my way to praise is "Head up High", the pre-order bonus song, which sounds like it could fit as an example of their transition of sound, resembling something in between their self-titled album and Someone in Control.
However, just like every other album, No Apologies has its slower side, and that's where it starts to lose a bit of its luster. The title track No Apologies is a nice mid tempo song on its own, however, as a title track, one would expect it to stick out a bit more, while at the same time being upbeat and heavy; the kind of music Trapt does best. Being placed between energetic tracks Stranger in the Mirror and Get Up doesn't help much either, as it seems to be more of a speed bump to the album's energy. The Wind is a song that starts out weak, though it does get better as it goes on, and while it may fail to catch on at first, it becomes one of the best songs on the album. Beautiful Scar has energetic verses, though in the end the chorus kills whatever momentum the verse brings, so while it's a solid song, it's not as energetic as it could be. Finally, the album finishes with Storyteller a smooth track that seems to function sort of as a soft goodbye, it serves its purpose with soft guitar and choruses that most hard rockers could use as a lullaby. It's the perfect song to end the album with. // 9
Lyrics: The lyrics are what we've come to expect from Trapt, emotional, energetic, saddening, but most of all; relate-able. The album's overall lyrical thing is about the things that keep you down and rising up against them. However, one could argue that songs like Sound Off or Get Up, which relate to the overall theme a bit better, would have been better suited to the role of title track than the slower No Apologies.
However, in a situation that could only be called strange when applied to talented lyricists such as Trapt, some of the rhymes seem well, forced. Your lonely cage now unlocked/once shackled ankles now free to walk seems to be a good example. It's a great song, but that one line seems like it could've been done just a tiny bit better. In one other instance, in Are You With Me he feels the need to break out the clich I'm with you every step you take and the moving to I'm with you every breath you take. It just seems a bit tired. Normally this wouldn't surprise me, but Brown is normally one to bring an A-game for songwriting. Though maybe this is just me...
Minor nitpicking aside, vocalist Brown does an amazing job with the performance, and the lyrics are perfectly in tune with the music, I can't think of one time when I thought to myself Why are they saying that in a song like this? because there was really no need to. On a final note, not only do they fit the music well, but the lyrics easily convey the theme of the album, letting everyone know what the music's all about. // 8
Overall Impression: Small complaints aside, this album has a fresh, much more progressive sound for the band, as they put out what could easily be called their best material yet. Whether a Trapt fan or an avid fan of pure, hard rock, this album will have listeners everywhere Sound Off with praise. With its wonderful guitar work, energetic, emotional vocals, and songs that will get your head banging and feet stomping, No Apologies has nothing to apologize for, as it brings out the best the band has to offer. // 9