Released: Jan 22, 2013
Genre: Alternative Rock, Post-Grunge
Number Of Tracks: 11
Compared to other Trapt albums, "Reborn" is richer in memorable riffs but lacking in the infectious choruses that usually define Trapt.
RebornFeatured review by: UG Team, on january 24, 2013 1 of 3 people found this review helpful
Sound: "Reborn" is Trapt's fifth album. It is also the first to use drummer Dylan Howard and the last to use lead guitarist Rob Torres, who has been replaced by Travis Miguel. The album is slightly over forty minutes long and contains eleven tracks.
Referring to the new album, singer Chris Taylor Brown said that, "This record is really a new sound for Trapt. With 'Reborn' we really wanted to use new sounds and textures as well as experiment with delays, reverbs, synths and many other techniques we have learned over the years or have heard in our influences."
In truth, all of these techniques are used, but usually in the intros that are fairly short and break into the main riff of the song, usually without warning. These effects are also slightly used to add texture to the verses, which usually contain the soft, clean, arpeggios that feel standard nowadays.
Compared to other Trapt albums, I think that "Reborn" is richer in memorable riffs but lacking in the infectious choruses that usually define Trapt. Of course, the songs are all still geared around the choruses and Trapt attempts for the choruses to be catchy, but they seldom are in comparison to their other albums and I don't predict that any of the songs will match the success of "Headstrong".
That being said, the album relies on post-grunge/hard rock riffs to define the songs. I would not define any of their riffs as alternative metal or any type of metal for that matter, though others sometimes describe them that way. Most of the time, they are standard three power chord riffs, but at other times they get more interesting, like on "Strength In Numbers" and "When It Rains" and "Livewire". While the riffs on this album are not groundbreaking, I can easily head-bang to them and they, along with the odd intros, are mixed well. In fact, the riffs alone would make great fodder for a live show. The main riffs would also provide great rhythms with which to phrase solos around. However, to my dismay, there are basically no guitar solos on this album.
There are stray synths and pianos on the album, but the riffs are really center stage, backed up by drums that are simple, yet effective in making the point. // 8
Lyrics and Singing: Now as to "making the point", I cannot really take them seriously. Most of the time, the riffs infer a party vibe which make me not want to car e about the seriousness of the lyrics. I don't really believe that Trapt is revered because of the complexity or meaning behind their lyrics, but they do try to make points here and there.
For me, the lyrics just serve as melodies that lead up to the choruses, the focal points of each song. The few lyrics in the chorus are the only important ones because they are the ones that you're supposed to sing along with.
Honestly, it is not that the lyrics are a fallacy or anything of the like; it's just that the way the sound of the music is layered, I don't feel a need to pay attention to the lyrics and believe that they are meaningful. This characteristic is more or less of a compliment because I am paying attention to the melodies and beats and rhythms that keep enough variety between songs to keep them interesting. Again, nothing revolutionary, but certainly fun.
In terms of vocal performance, Chris Taylor Brown does an average job on this album. This is the part of the album that is definitely alternative and nu in genre, though sometimes pushing the boundary into hard rock, like on "Going Under" and "Livewire". // 5
Impression: In total, this album may stray slightly from Trapt's status quo but it is plain, average in reality. The riffs define the majority of the songs as opposed to the choruses, which is a change that I favor. On a first listen, the songs seem the same due to the constant tone throughout the album in every aspect; instruments, vocals, and feel. On later listens, the songs define themselves, but the variety is most evident in the differing parts of each song, rather than how each song differs from each other.
KrisBcream, on march 04, 2013 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: Since Trapt has been around, you pretty much know what you're gonna get when you buy and album or listen to a song for the first time. They've pretty much have used similar textures in their songs. Things like a blasting loud main riff in the intro and the same riff featured in the pre chorus or chorus, the verse to be smooth clean arpeggios, and the bridge usually being a different formation of clean sounding arpeggios. Granted, not all of their songs are like this, a very large amount are. But for this album, they experimented with some new sounds and pedals. They haven't quite left their roots from their debut album, but only expanded them. Have they shot themselves up with a 5 star album? Let's find out.
01. "Bring It": A pretty heavy head banging tune that you find yourself yelling along with that was actually released quite a while ago. Overall, the song has everything it needs to keep you interested in what they're about. Not only that, but it has some new sounds in it and you get that feel the second the song starts.
02. "Love Hate Relationship": The second single before the album was released since the album was being delayed for so long. The song starts, some bongo sounding instruments play (I'm not a percussionist so go easy on me if I use some stupid word choices), and then distorted guitars flair out the main riff that the rest of the song goes around.
03. "Experience": I actually don't really have much to say about this song cause I don't care much for it. It's nothing more than a standard sounding Trapt song.
04. "Living In The Eye Of The Storm": The third single off the album. It's not quite a ballad but slightly slower feel than the first three tracks and since Trapt isn't really known for making ballads, this but about as close as we get to a ballad from this album. All thoughts aside, this is probably my favorite track off the album.
05. "Livewire (Light Me Up)": An electrical sounding effect starts the song followed by some sort of growing solar sound before the main riff kicks off. Another good song from the album and I can see this being a single as well.
06. "Strength In Numbers": The song I think has almost the same BRM as "Livewire". Also, a lot like the other tracks on the album, new sounds are build in the song that make it sound interesting but will make you forget about it after you listen to it.
07. "Get Out Of Your Own Way": The problem I have with this song is not really the song itself, but the album starts to get repetitive at this point.
08. "Going Under": Just another heavy song on the album. Not really much more I can say about it.
09. "Too Close": This song seems to be the most different song from the album. With the violin section, and the pop like sound of Chris singing, it's like they were tying to experiment a different approach with this song.
10. "When It Rains": Another song that I really like on this album. Though the lyrics aren't too great, the sound and the feel of the song is what attracts me the most to it.
11. "You'Re No Angel": The best way to end an album in my opinion is to end it with a song that really means something. That's obviously what they were not going for here. They just decided to end it with a plain so-so song that seemed to be placed at the end cause it didn't have another place to be.
Overall, the sound of the album wasn't too bad. The new experimental sounds they used really helped it, even though I'm pretty sure every song starts with some studio made noise. For the acoustic bonus tracks, I don't really see a point in them. I'm not gonna crap on them or anything, I just don't think a blasting heavy song sounds good when it's redone in acoustic. But then there's a song that's only released as an acoustic song called "Avelyn". My thoughts are "Ehh", nothing rememberable and the thing that I hate the most about it, is that the intro is a bold rip off from Nickelback's song "Far Away". // 7
Lyrics and Singing: Now for the lyrics. I won't list every song on the album, I'll just give my overall opinion of them. No song out of the eleven are written tremendously but no song was written horribly. I know people like to crap on Bring It and say that the lyrics are retarded and cheesy, ect. Honestly, I don't think they were trying for something remarkable. All they wanted to do was to make a pump up song to yell along with, and they did it. Living in the Eye of the Storm I feel has the best lyrics. There's nothing great about them but I find that the lyrics to that song paint the most pictures in your head. Pretty much all the other songs' lyrics don't really feel like the band focused 100% of their time putting together. I mean, one of the songs' main line is "When it rains, it pours". I like the sound of the song a lot but you might as well title your song "Easy as pie" or something. Like I said though, there's songs that have better written lyrics than others, but no song on here is written super deep or anything. // 5
Impression: If I sound like I'm crapping on the album, I don't mean to. I actually really enjoy it, I just have some issues with it. Mainly the lyrics and how repetitive some songs are. Out of all their albums, I'll still have to say that Someone in Control is still my favorite. Some songs that I enjoy the most though are Bring It, Living in the Eye of the Storm, Livewire, and When it Rains. If it were stolen or lost, I don't know if I'd buy it again since I use Spotify literally everytime I'm on my computer. If you haven't heard it yet, give it a try and you'll probably like it okay, but that's most likely the most you'll be into it. // 7
Vash_15, on february 06, 2013 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: If you asked lead singer Chris Taylor Brown about the meaning behind Trapt, he would tell you about how he and a few friends from high school felt trapped within the confines of society and the pressure to conform. However, after over 15 years, their latest effort "Reborn" shows the name better represents a band trapped by their own basic premise and unwillingness to break the mold. This is proven from the get-go with "Bring It". Starting with a synthetic intro, any hope for innovation dissipates when the song quickly devolves in to exactly what you'd expect from the band, serving as little more than the latest installment in the band's never-ending line of sequels to "Headstrong". Things don't get much better as the album goes on, with most songs sounding fairly similar to each other; following the same structure, with similar sound and timing.
An odd thing about "Reborn" is that it seems torn in different directions. The guitar tones and riffs scream stadium rock, while Brown's melodies lean on the side of 90's Alternative. The two hardly mix well, and end up giving the album a somewhat awkward mesh of influences, its dissonance taking away from the flow of the songs at times. This is easiest to see in "Eye Of The Storm" and "Too Close", songs that were rebuilt to better fir with Trapt after being released by Brown in 2010 as solo tracks.
Production quality is also a problem, mostly in guitar tones. Honestly, one would expect a bigger sound from a band like Trapt; instead, the songs on "Reborn" sound like demos made on Garage Band. This may be more of a personal nitpick than a legitimate complaint, but compared to the dynamic, crunching tones of "No Apologies", this just seems cheaply produced. // 5
Lyrics and Singing: Lyrically, Brown has never been weaker. Any form of inspiration or originality has been stripped in order to appeal to the lowest common denominator. The ideas behind tracks are old and withered, and the thought process put in to their execution is nothing short of minimal. Full of cliches, songs like "Love Hate Relationship" tend to wear quickly on those who crave something deeper, having grown used to hearing more from the band than simple complaints about sex being dangled in front of them like a dog's favorite chew toy. Meanwhile, other songs such as "Strength In Numbers" rank among some of the band's worst to date, with lyrics like "We've got to open our eyes/And use that mob mentality/Against that public enemy (Number one)" coming off as so bland that you could probably find something more heartfelt in the sophomore scribblings of half this site's userbase.
The most painful part, though, is that we know that Brown is capable of so much more. The deluxe edition of the album features the track "Avelyn", a b-side that has been floating around for years, finally given a proper release due to fan request. The lyrics in this song are heartfelt, packed with more genuine emotion than the rest of the album combined. Songs like these showcase Brown's true ability, and when compared to anything else on "Reborn", one has to wonder where that ability went, and what this band would be capable of if they put effort in to maintaining it. // 4
Impression: In 2005's "Lost Realist", singer Brown begged to know "will the plot ever twist or will I still resist?" It's been 8 years since then, and the only real twist is how threateningly dull the band has become. Their fangs have been dulled, their heads have been bloated, and their talent has been sapped, leaving the band in a place that has them putting out the most generic material of their career. Unfortunately, due to the minor, yet notable success this cookie cutter drivel will bring them, one shouldn't expect anything more than what "Reborn" has to offer in the foreseeable future, a truly saddening fact to those who fell in love with the powerful musicianship and promising ability that the band once displayed. // 4