Papa Roach

The Paramour Sessions

Written by: PP on 26/10/2006 16:10:24

Whether you love em or hate em, you gotta give it for Jacoby Shaddix for trying. He's fronting one of the most hated bands on the planet and yet his band has been in constant evolution since their debut, writing probably the best nu-metal that's still around. OK, I admit, I've always had a guilty pleasure with Papa Roach, and that isn't gonna change especially after the new album "The Paramour Sessions". Even though I joined the 'haters' when the horrid "Lovehatetragedy" was released, I hopped straight back on the bandwagon after hearing "Getting Away With Murder". The band sacrificed much of their commercial radio friendliness on this album by ignoring the rapping and adding screaming instead. "Blood" was one of my favorite songs of 2004 and I still listen to it regularly alongside "Be Free" and others from the album. "The Paramour Sessions", the bands fifth album, has striking similarities with the predecessor "Getting Away With Murder" in that its melodies are again irresistable and Jacoby uses a large variety different vocal styles and doesn't facilitate the radios all too much, even if many of the songs are much more radio-friendly than on "Getting Away With Murder".

Granted there isn't much technical proficiency visible or audible on the album. But on the other hand is that always necessary? "Time Is Running Out"'s verses use just two different chords throughout and the chorus only adds two more, but yet the song is solid. What almost always plagues mainstream albums like this one is the lack of variety between the songs but even this isn't visible on "The Paramour Sessions". The songs range from the poppy "What Do You Do?" through the silently raging "My Heart Is A Fist"'s leads on the background to the fast-paced, aggression-filled "No More Secrets" in just three songs, even if all of them do own a catchy conventional chorus. "...To Be Loved" is an experimentation with some "Infest"-style material fused to the "Getting Away With Murder"-era darker sound, with a rap metal introduction and trademark scratchy but catchy choruses. "Alive (N' Out Of Control)" is about as menacing as Papa Roach gets on the album with plenty of speed, aggressive riffing and a touch of screaming, the latter of which is my only real criticism on the album. Whereas songs like "Not Listening" and "Blood" have that from the top of Jacoby's lungs throat-based screaming', no songs on "The Paramour Sessions" have vocal parts that can be compared to the sheer power of these screams, which ultimately decrease the grade otherwise fantastic songs like "Crash" could perhaps deserve.

Some of the readers who've read Rockfreaks the longest may remember the days we had an "essential albums" section where I had written a page-long review of "Getting Away With Murder". I called it "an essential modern nu metal album" and I still stand by my claim. That was the album Papa Roach turned the genre inside out, removing the rapping and at the same time creating a much darker sound to themselves - that dark sound which today is dominant on "The Paramour Sessions". While most songs on "The Paramour Sessions" are still radio anthems and while it most certainly isn't anywhere as good as "Getting Away With Murder", the versatility and variety presented on the record is still far better than anything you will see on any mainstream album aside from System Of A Down's "Mezmerize". For that, and for the irresistably catchy yet still 'rocky' enough songs, "The Paramour Sessions" is worth a listen, even if you don't end up purchasing the album in the end.

Download: Crash, ...To Be Loved
For the fans of: Lostprophets, Mudvayne, Cold, Smile Empty Soul
Listen: Myspace

Release date 12.09.2006

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