You can never be sure what you’re going to get with a Papa Roach album. Having completely shed their early nu-metal skin and transforming into a more mainstream hard rock band they then took a sharp turn into a more electronic/effects driven sound before returning to their core rap/rock/metal roots on 2017’s Crooked Teeth. An album that left us feeling cold and confused. You can read our review here.
Which brings us to 2019 and the four-piece’s new album, Who Do You Trust? Just what Papa Roach do we get here? Well, depending on which version of the band you enjoy will shape how you feel about this offering. If you’re more interested in their heavier rock output (Getting Away With Murder) then you’re not going to have a good time here. You see Who Do You Trust? is an album that has way more in common with F.E.A.R as it is heavy on the effects and electronica. So much so that certain tracks veer into hip-hop territory.
If this is Papa Roach making a play for the mainstream then it could prove to be a wise decision. However, it could come at the cost of alienating their fan base.
Take the opener, The Ending…a heavy synth-based track that has a catchy chorus but is over-shadowed by this irritating ‘eeeeeeeeeeeeee’ effect that plays over and over again. Here we hear the best and worst of Shaddix as a vocalist. A strong singing voice, the rapping comes across tired and lazy even though he can do it well enough.
It’s not the only track that has full on hip-hop vibes. Elevate is rooted firmly in the electronica/dub-step arena and Top of the World is the most radio-friendly track the band have ever done. The hip-hop rap verses in complete contrast to the rockier chorus that is pretty catchy.
As you can probably tell, this is an album that is on the line of what we will cover on this site. We review rock and metal and both those include a wide spectrum of styles, if it wasn’t for the likes of the intense punk speed of I Suffer Well, the groove of Renegade Music and the catchy riffs of Come Around, this would be a complete miss. Even with those tracks it’s pushing it and you have to wonder just what Papa Roach are trying to achieve here. They’re doing loads of different things and none of them particularly well.
It’s not the worst Papa Roach album but it’s not a good album at all.
Papa Roach – Who Do You Trust? Full Track Listing:
1. The Ending
2. Renegade Music
3. Not the Only One
4. Who Do You Trust?
6. Come Around
7. Feel Like Home
9. Top of the World
10. I Suffer Well
12. Better Than Life
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Papa Roach - Who Do You Trust? (Eleven Seven Label Group)
The Final Score - 4/10