Taproot. A name that brings many, many people to anger and hatred. Why do people hate this band so much? Maybe because they're pretty popular? Maybe because they're a bit of an MTV-whore band? Well, as true as that might be, I have been a Taproot fan since I made my first baby steps into real music. I eventually moved on to bigger and better things such as Opeth
, and In Flames
, but I will never forget the few amazing Nu-metal bands that started me out on my journey into metal. So why should you?
, although undoubtably not Taproot's best work, is an unbelievably catchy album. Not on par with songs like Smile
from previous albums, but damn catchy regardless. The melodies and choruses really, really blend together amazingly in this album. More so than I think in any previous Taproot work.
Even if you hate Taproot with a passion, you cannot deny the talent in some of these songs. Sure, they do what just about every other Nu-metal band has done since the genre was in it's infancy---heavily distorted guitar, layered vocals, a mixture of clean and screaming vocals, etc. etc. etc. The list could go on. But what makes Taproot so innovative is how amazingly well they pull it off.
Steve Richards - vocals
Mike DeWolf - guitar
Phil Lipscomb - bass
Jarrod Montague - drums
The album opens with the song I Will Not Fall For You
, which in truth, doesn't really stick out from the rest of the album very well. A pretty boring song, with heavily distorted vocals consisting of a chorus where Steven rambles about... something. I honestly don't know. They could have done a bit better for first impressions, but all in all, it's not an awful song.
Next up is the song Violent Seas
, which captures more of what I think makes this album great. You can tell, from this song, how much Taproot's sound has matured from previous albums. A very neatly organized blend of mixed clean/screamed vocals, with a pretty catchy chorus. Good song.
Then we have Birthday
. Hmm. Mixed feelings on this song, truthfully. It's a good song---but like I Will Not Fall For You
, it just doesn't really stick out from the better songs on that album. The chorus is maybe a slight bit better than the aforementioned song, but nothing that really impresses me. Decent song.
Why, hello there, Facepeeler
! How are you today? Oh, thanks for the musical blowjob!
Yeah. Put simply, this song is plain ass-kickery. The first 45 seconds of the song is nothing special---just this weird noise buildup thing you have to sit through. Boring. But, once the actual song comes into play, holy ***. Amazing intro, amazing vocals, amazing blend of the soft, clean parts--and then the heavy, screamed parts. Really, really catchy chorus. Hell, really good song. In fact, I think it's probably the third best on the album.
. Taproot's rise to fame, their most popular song from this album, and probably their most popular song period. Is it any good? Well... yes, but not as good as some of the other songs on the album. It sticks out quite a bit more than the first three tracks, but it doesn't shine as much as other songs on the album. It's got a great intro, great vocals, and a really, really catchy chorus (Am I the only one who has been walking around randomly blaring out "I'M C-C-C-CALLINGGGG" to people?) but doesn't stick out much other than that. Good song. Exceptional? No. That's saved for another song on this album.
When you first hear Forever Endeavor
, you might be thinking "Hey, this song is decent, but once again, it doesn't really stick out!". Then you listen again... and you realize it still sounds the same! Boring. Not a bad song, not a good song. Like every other song, it has a pretty catchy chorus, but other than that... meh.
is a great song, mostly because it does a good job telling you that the worst part of the album is over, and you've finally made it past the average, uninspired, mediocre Nu-metal and onto the above-average, somewhat innovative, not-as-mediocre Nu-metal! Beginning with a somewhat different introduction where Steven says "Ohhh" over and over, it builds up to a pretty neat passage which leads to a really catchy, really cool chorus, which eventually blends back into a similiar passage. Put simply: great song.
Lost In The Woods
. The lyrics to this song... oh my god. BOO HOO MY HEART IS CRYING AS I CUT MYSELF WITH THE BLEEDING SHARDS OF MY BROKEN DREAMS! Yuck. But otherwise? Woah. Some real musicmanship comes through in this song. Very solid track, definately one of my favorites from Blue-Sky Research. Second best on the album, which ironically comes right before the Coup de Grāce...
And here we are! So Eager
. Seriously. What a song. I don't know why it isn't the one on the charts. Amazing, amazing song. The best on the album, in fact. This is what Taproot is all about, if you ask me. Amazing intro, amazing chorus, amazing melody.
Unfortunately, this is where the good ends.
The rest of the songs on the album, such as She
, and Nightmare
just don't stand out amongst the beginning songs. If they had just kept doing what they were doing the album would have been comparable to the work of genius that Gift
are. All in all, Blue-sky Research is a fairly boring, average album, but the songs that ARE good on the album are pretty amazing. Pretty solid album, I suppose, when you consider it's nu-metal.
And hey, it's always fun to go back to your roots.
-- Unbelievably catchy songs that stay in your head for days at a time
-- Good vocal and guitar work
-- Well-organized mixtures of soft and heavy
-- A good chunk of the album is boring and uninspired
-- All in all, average at best
-- Some songs are just plain awful (She
-- Isn't very true to Taproot's older albums