The Connection review by Papa Roach

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  • Released: Oct 2, 2012
  • Sound: 5
  • Lyrics: 7
  • Overall Impression: 5
  • Reviewer's score: 5.7 Decent
  • Users' score: 6.8 (81 votes)
Papa Roach: The Connection

Sound — 5
When Papa Roach first came into the public eye it was with the release of the album Infest which was released in 2000 and the music video for "Last Resort" was released. At the time they were nu metal or rap metal, and one of the better new bands in the genre at the time. With the release of their next album they were already departing stylistically from nu metal and rap metal, and going more in the direction of hard rock. In subsequent releases they have left more of the nu metal sound behind in their past and delved deeper into the realm of mainstream hard rock. They have released more albums, and had a very successful touring career touring with bands such as Nickelback, Seether, Shinedown, Hinder and Saving Abel. While I don't begrudge them their success, I was much more fond of their first three albums than anything that came after. Bands have the right to change direction and add or remove creative elements of their music, and Papa Roach have definitely made some changes since their early days.

With the release of "The Connection", Papa Roach has added much more in the way of electronic elements in their music including more keyboards and even some loops. There are a few short moments of rap, which is a reminder of their older material, but very little and far between. The "Deluxe Edition" of the album has 15 tracks and clocks in at right at 50 minutes. The Connection is definitely much more pop oriented than their previous releases, and very radio friendly. Personally, I found the album disappointing after reading that they would be trying to join their newer sound with the older I was hoping for something a little different. What you get with "The Connection" is a collection of songs that would be perfectly at home in a playlist with Nickelback or any other mainstream radio rock. The production and mixing is horrendous due to over-compression to the point where the music has almost no dynamics present. The impression I get after listening to the album multiple times is that this album is 50 minutes of radio fodder. There is nothing interesting or intriguing about the album, it is just background noise.

Lyrics — 7
Jacoby Shaddix has been providing vocals as a founding member of Papa Roach since they formed, as high school students, in 1993. His vocals have changed over the course of their career from metal vocals and rap to mainly the mainstream rock vocals you would expect from a radio friendly mainstream rock act. I can't really complain about his vocal delivery except that from a stylistic point of view it isn't my cup of tea. Some of the very few "rapped" lyrics from the album from the song "Not That Beautiful" follows: "Everytime I look at your eyes/ I see a demon in disguise/ you f--king make me sick/ you are the one that I despise/ you take me you break me you feed me lies/ and all that you gave me in return was my demise/ so maybe I'm just crazy for believing this shit/ but god d-mn I can't believe I'm f--king dealing with this/ it's like a nightmare and I can't wake up/ I just can't wake up". There is still very little in the way of rap lyrics on the album.

Some of the more representative sung lyrics from the album are following, from the song "Walking Dead": "Everybody told me/ everybody told me that this would happen/ I didn't want to believe/ I didn't want to believe that you were right/ I was so caught up/ caught up in a world that I cut you out of/ now I'm hating myself/ I'm hating myself/ I never should have shut you out/ we are the walking dead/ swallow the lies we're fed/ I cover your eyes/ I cover your eyes/ I cover the truth then realize/ we're hanging by a thread/ we're the walking dead". Then the lyrics just go on like this. Nothing very impressive a lot of repetition, standard verse, chorus, verse structures.

Overall Impression — 5
My favorite songs on the album are "Still Swingin" and "What's Left Of Me" (which is only on the deluxe version of the album), but even these songs aren't especially memorable to me. My least favorite song on the album is probably "Leader Of The Broken Hearts". I can't help but think that Papa Roach came out strong in their early career and have just become more and more watered down as their career has progressed. At this point, in my opinion, they have become disposable mainstream radio rock and while I'm sure they'll still have a lot of success with their touring and have multitudes of fans, I won't be one of them.

32 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Don't you dare compare Papa Roach to Nickelback. This album has a lot of deep emotion in it. You can really feel it. Especially in Before I Die. Music is about putting yourself into it. Expressing yourself. If you can't ****ing see that then you don't deserve to be reviewing albums. Yes, you're entitled to your own opinion, but if you're going to give a bad review you better have better evidence for the hardcore fans who know them front to back. You sound really uneducated when it comes to P Roach. Yes you know music. The science of it at least. But you sound to me like someone who used to love music and then lost yourself in the industry and forgot what it's really about. Good luck to you.
    hate it when an albums labelled mainstream.....i dont care how mainstream it is, if i like the guitars, vocals, melody, lyrics and i enjoy it, i really couldnt care what others think, i have always like papa roach and like their newer albums alot.
    For me it's a pretty good album, certainly mainstream but with plenty of good riffs in it.
    I'm listening to it and I like it. I don't like the Kick drum sound much on a couple of the tracks though. Papa Roach still good. Always have been a solid band.
    I didn't think it was that bad. Not anything new or great, but certainly listenable in the background.
    I feel like that's exactly what a rating of a 5 should entail. It's just about neutral. It's not good enough to really seek out and listen to, but it's not so bad that you want to turn it off the instant it comes on. A lot of the reviews on this site really inflate the scores of albums. Does a mediocre album deserve a 7 or a 5? I would say a 5, and that that score fits this album.
    I would rate it about between a 6 and 7 for decent production, despite over-compression, but that's the world we live in today. But I think the reason the scores are inflated are because most people who rate the bands are huge fans. Just like most poor ratings are people who despise the band. This one was actually pretty fair to them I thought, just didn't feel as strongly as he did about it.
    Although I respect the reviewer's opinion/review.. He didn't bother mentioning anything about the instruments... The album is easily a 7.5-8 out of ten. it sounds like Infest and Paramour sessions had a kid, His vocals have never been better, jerry's guitar playing has gotten way better over the years this record shows it, drum wise is not complicated but sounds awesome, and lyrically it has some cliche stuff, but some of it is really stellar. Best tracks of the record are "where did the angels go", "Silence is the enemy", "breathe you in" and "whats left of me". The worst tracks on the record are "9th life" and "won't let up" and the intro track "engage" which really isn't a track. The album is worth checking out and is probably their best record to date.
    I don't see how anything from Infest sounds like this album. They said this album is a mix of everything they've done up to this point, but after you listen to the record, it's mostly the new stuff you hear with some added electronics and synth and some subtle rapping from Jacoby on a couple songs. And I don't know if Jerry has gotten 'way' better. He's still a chord-based player with some delving into simple leads, but his tone and playing doesn't nearly have the punch it once had like on Infest or Lovehatetragedy. I can't see Jerry pulling another "Decompression Period" out of his hat or a "Code Of Energy" which IMO are two of Jerry's brightest moments. He and the band are just not those type of players anymore. They've settled into this style, they've already passed their peak of creativity and now they're just riding it out with this dumbed down, pop-rock that they've been making. People really like it, but I think they were much stronger musically in the Lovehatetragedy era. They were going in a great direction, but ever since they kept going the wrong way. PR have always been one of the most frustrating bands for me, so much wasted potential with them that I'm losing faith quickly with each passing album.
    Interesting how both Three Days Grace and Papa Roach both have introduced more electronics and synthesizers on their new albums. I get a very similar impression from both of them, nothing really over the threshold of average radio-rock for both of them, but nothing terrible either, they're both sort of just average. I'd give The Connection a 5/10 and Transit Of Venus a 6/10 for having a few stronger songs on it. Nothing amazing on either of them.
    it's the natural trend of music now. they're trying to sell more records. crossfade is doing the same thing, and they're of a comparable style.
    havnt heard these albums yet, but very interesting indeed, but also very average. i cant expect anything groundbreaking from the 2 tho. also, Muse was the other band who did all 3 bands all release an album for the same day haha what a coincidence.
    So I listened the whole record today, I waited a really long time to hear this album and I really loved it! You can see that people is really liking it, just go to iTunes and check the reviews. I understand that a lot of people won't think the same, but for me, and I'm sure that for most of the fans, this is one of their best albums! They have changed a lot, they always do, it would be boring if they didn't, this album shows that. They will always be one of my favorite bands, they're honest, they never give up, they never disappoint their fans, that's why I'll always defend their work. PRoach is PRoach, that's it
    That is the Shittest review i have ever read! What the **** is wrong with humanity
    No one listen to this guy. I think the album is great! I listen to it all the time. The direction of what Papa Roach has taken for this album is awesome!
    Sgt Killswitch
    I clicked on this cuz the album cover looked kinda cool... other than that I could care less about this sell-out band.
    "in a playlist with Nickelback or any other mainstream radio rock." I'm sorry but after reading that I think I have officially lost hope for these guys...
    Where's Epi?
    Epi is not going to take the time out of his day for this.. that's reserved for obscure Swedish black/death metal bands and hating on the most recent "core" release.
    i went on the "this or the apocolypse"(a "core" band) review and let him know his thoughts are needed here
    In fact it could be a better album if the production was better, maybe a lack of quality
    Just remember guys. The one song you guys actually care about (you know the one, admit it) is almost a note for note rip-off of the Bad Brains "Fearless Vampire Killers". So yeah, a 5 is being generous
    The Last Resort riff can't even be considered a copy of the intro to that song. I know how to play both so I know. It follows a different pattern and though it isn't that complicated, it's more intricate than Fearless Vampire Killers. Not sure what the hell that has to do with this album being a 5 anyway????
    More commercial than their last albums? That's disappointing. I thought they've been pretty radio friendly for awhile. Pretty good performance the singer does live, though. Not a fan of the iron maiden and motley Cre riff lifts on the first album, and I think the band would be better served with a second guitar player, but they had a few decent songs.
    After listening this for a couple of times I can honestly say that this would be one of Papa Roachs' best albums but the electric dubstep sh*t ruins it. This electronic sh*t completely unneeded and gives no extra value whatsoever. After Infest and LoveHateTragedy they've been kinda awful. I'd say they've had one to three good songs in their albums since those two and I keep getting a feeling that this album would've been very good without the completely unnecessary electronic dubstep whatever they are sections. Someone needs to remix this album and remove those.
    Also, these guys were supposed to be at the leg of Uproar Festival in Mansfield, MA that I went to....buuuut, Jacoby's vocal chords I guess got strained from using them so much that past they didnt show up, shame.
    Mr. Baloonhands
    eh, figures, i gave up hope for these guys after their getting away with murder album, to me, they're just another one of those bands that used to be good. i'm probably gonna get a bunch of dislikes for this, but i don't care bring em on lol