Review Summary: Another forgettable album from that band that wrote "Headstrong".5 of 7 thought this review was well written
"BACK OFF! I'LL TAKE YOU ON!
HEADSTRONG - I'LL TAKE ON ANYONE!
Yeah, you've heard it. If you were alive 6 years ago (if you weren't, you shouldn't be on the computer reading this) and didn't live in an underground shelter, then you heard "Headstrong", Trapt's insanely successful hit single which might as well have been written for a pro wrestler (or something similar). "Headstrong"'s giant, in-your-face chorus made it a perfect song for ESPN and action movie trailers, becoming overplayed in what seemed like a week. It was so big that follow-up singles "Echo" and "Still Frame" were pretty much unknown (to the average American) by comparison.
Three years later, follow-up Someone in Control
would go gold - a color which meant more money for the members of Trapt. A platinum debut followed by a gold second effort - who in their right mind would stop making albums after that
? Certainly not this band, and so after another three years we have Only Through the Pain
The album is quite similar to the previous two; a collection of simple, catchy and heavy-while-still-accessible songs that sit somewhere between mainstream hard rock and alternative. Each song follows the soft verse and loud chorus structure, changing only when the verse is kind of loud and the chorus is louder.
As expected, none of the band members are truly talented, simply doing their job to keep the song going and back Chris Brown's vocal hooks. The drums are just there, helping to drive the songs and do their job but never standing out. Peter Charell's bass parts are similar, and he suffers the common bassist fate of being drowned out by his band members on all but one song (we'll get to that later).
Vocalist/guitarist Chris Brown and lead guitarist Robb Torres take a much more central role in the songs. Brown delivers plenty of hook-laden choruses and simple lyrics that will usually get stuck in your head for a while. However, he seems confined to a higher register, delivering every vocal part in a slightly whiny voice that gets annoying after a while. Torres makes up this a little bit with the odd riff or nice lead part, but doesn't really entertain very well.
As for the songs themselves? "Wasteland" is an anthemic opener with an "Ok" riff and a catchy chorus, followed by lead single "Who's Going Home With You Tonight?" which is essentially an improved version of the opener. "Black Rose" is easily the best song of the album; a nice bass groove drives the verse before a nicely melodic pre-chorus, all of which leads into the quite catchy chorus. During the bridge there's a (gasp!) short guitar solo which shows that Torres has some ability to shred. The only other song that stands out is "Forget About the Rain", which maintains a slight reggae feel via drum beats and guitar tones.
Every other song on Only Through the Pain
is either an up-tempo hard rock number similar to the first two tracks, or a weak ballad which falls flat because Chris Brown's voice can't hold it up alone. It's in this regard that Trapt still doesn't satisfy: there isn't that much to enjoy here, and mainstream hard rock has (slightly) better choices on hand. Disturbed has a fairly talented guitarist who can shred and solo, Breaking Benjamin has a guitar duo who harmonize often, 10 Years resembled (or used to?) prog giants Tool....the list goes on. One should
judge an album by itself, but when there's not much to take in listeners usually look elsewhere. Ultimately, that's what you should do with this album: avoid it and look for something else.
Download if you must
Who's Going Home With You Tonight?