DNA review by Trapt

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  • Released: Aug 19, 2016
  • Sound: 4
  • Lyrics: 3
  • Overall Impression: 4
  • Reviewer's score: 3.7 Poor
  • Users' score: 5.3 (11 votes)
Trapt: DNA
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Sound — 4
Trapt has spent the last few years keeping themselves busy. They've bullied local bands, sparked arguments through their racist and ultraconservative Facebook posts, and busked around the US on a nostalgia tour hoping to scrape together enough cash to make a new album. With all that going on, it really shouldn't be a surprise that they couldn't find time in their hectic schedule to write some decent music, which is why "DNA," despite its title, sounds ironically lifeless.

The album starts with an intro track, wonderfully named "Intro," which serves as more of a premonition than an introduction, serving of 40 seconds of nothing but static to let the listener know just how engaging the next near-dozen songs will be. After that you're treated to the same verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus you've been bombarded with since day 1. It's a lazy effort if it can even be called an effort at all. There's no variation in the guitar work, no interesting interplay with the instruments. I can't even remember if there's a guitar solo, which means if you ignore the choppy lyricism and repetitive structure because this band used to pull some interesting riffs out of a place of inspiration that's still too high on the shelf for singer Chris Taylor Brown to reach, there's really just nothing there for you anymore.

Songs are haphazardly arranged, there's no real heart coursing through the album. "It's Over" is the third track on the album, but it could easily be the last, since it has just about as much energy and drive as any of the other 10 songs, the only difference being its name would give more of a sense of climax than the actual closer "Fallen Angel." Know that before you finished reading that last sentence I already yawned at the title and song. A hard rock band writing a song called "Fallen Angel," it's about as original as it is catchy.

The worst offense about the overall sound of the album, though is that it's not even horrifically bad. It's not ear-splitting, it's definitely not good, either, it's just... boring. I know hard rock's been stagnant for the past few years but this just hits the middle so hard it doesn't even make an impression. This could honestly get away with being called hard rock elevator music. Bob your head to "Not So Different" while you head up to floor 12 to meet your coworker to discuss this month's pen sales, I promise by the time you leave the elevator car you'll forget what you just heard.

Lyrics — 3
Unfortunately, while the music doesn't really egg you on, Chris Taylor Brown's lyrics most certainly will. Brown talked about how having "debates" on Facebook helped fuel his lyrics, asking questions that could be signed off with "Make America Great Again" like whether saying "treat women equally" has inherent double standards or discussing guns or how great the cops are after they killed another woman over a turn signal dispute. The problem here, though, is that while he might say this inspired him, it really doesn't show on the album.

While the idea of complex moral questions and politics that aren't just "our current leader sucks" would make interesting music (while admittedly being way out of Brown's range of intelligence), we're instead treated to the same break-up, beat-down music Trapt has been shoveling out for the past decade, with much less subtlety. "I used you like a drug, now I know that I am done" has all the originality and grace of the "Ghostbusters" remake, and "You had a secret, couldn't keep it, now we'll never be the same" whiffs, any connection to the listener broken by the fact that you've probably heard this line since you were 15.

It doesn't stop there, though. Half the songs through this album are made up of title choruses, i.e. just saying the song's title over and over again. "It's Over," "Not So Different," and "Getting Even," are all given this treatment in variously annoying iterations. My personal favorite is the middle of these three, where, and I counted, for 20 seconds you only hear the constant repeated phrase of "We're not so different," not only with no breaths in between, but layered at some parts, it's maddening.

Outside of the complaints there's really nothing else to say about the album's lyricism, there's only bad and negligible. There's not one outstanding line, nothing that made me go "wow," not even anything for overdramatic 16 year olds to make twitter posts about because even THEY'VE heard it a hundred times before.

No need to bring back "Fallen Angel," either, is there? Should I really go look up how many other bands have a cookie-cutter sad song with the same name? Wikipedia mentions 58, I'm sure that's just barely scratching the surface.

Overall Impression — 4
I'm sure I don't need to tell you Trapt is a band past their prime. I'm sure the phrase "Trapt is past their prime" is past its prime, that's how long these guys have been lumbering around trying to stay relevant. "DNA," as a crowdfunded album, could be called a success, in the sense that they got their money, they made their album, it's out in stores. Unfortunately, as an "album" and as "objectively graded music" it's a record destined to die in the bargain bin.

I'm sure you weren't gonna buy this album anyway, so telling you not to would be falling on deaf ears, but I hope if nothing else you know that you made the right choice, and if anyone was still on the fence, "DNA" will without a doubt drop them on to your side. Trapt, being the Trump supporters they are, are currently on the "Make America Rock Again" tour to try and bring rock music back to the masses. Here's hoping they learn how to do it themselves before they start trying to teach us.

15 comments sorted by best / new / date

    bunnyh0pz
    It's kind of surreal that people are following every Trapt album up until this point
    vppark2
    Second review is prob the best review I've read on this website. I'm not even kidding. Props to not sounding extremely biased while giving the album a low rating too.
    godsmacking99
    "...not sounding completely biased..." Really man? That first paragraph is nothing but biased viewpoints and it tells the reader loud and clear, "I only listened to this album once, but because of all that shit about Trapt that happened on social media over the past couple of years that I didn't like and the fact I don't agree with their political views, I'm going to use this opportunity to bash them in a review while acting like I'm actually talking about the music". And that's pretty much exactly how the rest of the review reads and went down. One of the more biased reviews I've ever read if we're going to be honest. The snobbish, political undertones riddled all throughout it makes it impossible to take seriously as an actual, unbiased review. I honestly don't know how you possibly took it as being the complete opposite but I can't say I'm not surprised.
    vppark2
    He briefly mentioned about their Facebook posts TWICE. TWICE. Apparently, you have no idea how to take any criticism on the Internet, but I can't say I'm surprised.
    godsmacking99
    I don't know how to take criticism? I wasn't aware I was even being criticized, so what exactly are you even talking about? Briefly mentioned? I see 3 paragraphs centered around making snide remarks about the singers political beliefs plus other remarks sprinkled throughout the rest of the review. It's obvious to anybody that reads this 'review' that the reviewer has a problem with the singers political beliefs therefore making the review incredibly biased by default. Probably written by a teen/young adult that's going out of his/her way to appear as edgy as possible by calling the band racist and unintelligent while really coming off as nothing but a snob who had no intention ever of reviewing this album objectively. Cute how you re-used my remark even though it makes no sense in your context.
    pnkr0cker
    Wait, so what makes his review PC? If what he is saying is fact, then he's simply speaking facts. He even explained how that information was relevant; Brown stated that the social media stuff inspired the music, and clearly it didn't. People use the term PC so liberally now, that it's lost its meaning and any more is just used to describe any "liberal" based views, which the reviewer didn't necessarily express. He simply pointed out what Brown has been up to in a not-so-nice tone. Honestly, I thought this review was fucking hilarious, yet honest. You think he's a "butthurt PC kid", but his point was simply that the band should be spending less time on social media and more time trying to do well at their profession, because clearly the album was uninspired and unoriginal. The only one butthurt here is you.
    vppark2
    It does because you're the same guy who got butthurt for me making a comment on the Saliva review. Have fun living in 2002.
    godsmacking99
    That's funny because I never even mentioned how I feel about either album, you just conveniently assumed I like both and I'm 'butthurt' because that suits whatever argument you're trying to muster here. For the record, I don't care for either album, but that's not the point I'm making here and I'm only mentioning it to prove you wrong because I see you often post similar snide, snobbish remarks on other reviews like the Saliva one so I called you out on it and the best you've got is I'm 'butthurt', about what exactly? Because I still don't know.
    JimBonJovi
    Sounds like some politically correct interweb brat.
    vppark2
    Look man, if someone doesn't like an album you like then what's the big deal? I think he gave some pretty good information while not leaning towards one side too much and saying "oh, this is butt rock so this is automatically shit."
    JimBonJovi
    You must be joking? The whole review is some quasi anti Trapt bullshit. It's actually one of the most whiniest and dumbest reviews I've read on here in my 11 years on the site. I'd prefer rap albums being reviewed on a guitar website than a butthurt, PC kid trying to tell people what not to listen to. Again, that's nothing against you personally, so please don't take it that way.