Album Reviews

Papa Roach – The Paramour Sessions

(Geffen) UK release date: 11 September 2006

Don’t be confused by the title – this isn’t aselection of Papa Roach favourites with a hundredpiece orchestra, more a reference to the place thealbum was recorded. It sees the band continuing withtheir stance of straight ahead rock, the ghost of rapwell and truly exorcised.

Describing their style as straight ahead rock doesthe band a disservice though, as for the large part ofthis record they have the same impressive vitality andenergy as always. That they’re not quite as successfulin the UK now may be down to an obsession with thesofter end of rock, but the California band’s fiercelyloyal fanbase will be lapping this one up withoutcomplaint.

It’s off to a flyer. “I want domination, I wantyour submission” hollers Jacoby Shaddix on …ToBe Loved, his call to arms given a stadium sizedchorus to boot. Sure enough, the resilient stancecontinues but the lyrics take a turn for the darker.”I’m going to fast, I’m going to crash” is the beltingvocal for Crash, but this time the ensuing chorus hasless to recommend it.

Heading for a sticky end seems to be something of atheme, a part borne out by the song titles alone. TimeIs Running Out, Reckless, Roses On My Grave – none ofthem predicting a happy ending. Tightly mixed byChris Lord-Alge, delivery is crisp andmuscular.

There’s no doubting the band have softened theirapproach on a couple of tracks here. The affectingForever keeps just above power ballad status, theverses inviting the lighter wavers but the chorusslipping into the next gear and pushing on. The Firedoesn’t start with much smoke – a light intro thatseems to hint at bossa nova, believe it or not, untilthe slab of a chorus kicks it aside.

By far the strangest track here is Roses On MyGrave. No drums here, other than the odd timpani roll,with full bodied strings reminiscent of ThomasNewman upping the tension. The Shaddix vocalsounds odd in this context though, crying out forDave Buckner‘s drums, which cut through so wellelsewhere. Finally they arrive, but it’s in full blownend credits style, overproduced within an inch of itslife. Finally two bonus tracks offer an energeticScars, live in Chicago, and the thrusting SOS, as inSame Old Story.

It’s the same old story in a sense for Papa Roach,but they deserve credit for pushing the boat out a bitalongside the more conventional chorus based rock.It’s not always successful, but several tracks on TheParamour Sessions will find the inner resolve and thefans, of which there are many, will be fullysatisfied.

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Papa Roach – The Connection
Papa Roach – The Paramour Sessions