Getting Away With Murder
On Getting Away With Murder, the rap-rock approach of previous albums has been ditched for a more straight-ahead, hard-hitting sound in the vein of Hoobastank. Indeed, “Not Listening” sounds like it could easily have been lifted from Hoobastank’s The Reason — but that’s hardly surprising, given that Hoobastank’s uber-producer Howard Benson was enlisted to twiddle the knobs here.
Benson can always be relied upon to inject a more commercial and contemporary edge to a band’s sound, and Getting Away With Murder is no exception. The title track itself is catchy, with a real sense of urgency, while “Be Free” again demonstrates a real melodic punch. Lead singer Jacoby Shaddix’s battle with alcoholism means he should have something interesting to say, but his lyrics too often become lost among an expensively layered and sonically sheen production gloss. Tracks like “Scars” sound forced, as though the marketing men have won the battle with the A&R guys in order to create a soulless, sound-alike modern rock album with little depth and even less character.
The rap-rock of Papa Roach’s past albums may not have been to everyone’s taste, but it was a hell of a lot less contrived than Getting Away With Murder. Perhaps the last word should go to Shaddix, who screams, “I tore my heart open/I sold myself short.” Quite.
Papa Roach: www.paparoach.com