Sound — 9
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.
Lyrics — 8
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.
Overall Impression — 9
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.