Angsty teen rock bands come a dime a dozen nowadays. They seem to all be faceless and featureless, their music sounding nearly identical. It seemed that Trapt was about to break out of the mould with their single Headstrong. Headstrong was an instant hit, with aggressive lyrics and heavy (for mainstream) instrumentals. Millions of teens flocked to the CD stores to buy Trapt's self-titled opus. This album ended up going platinum based mostly on the strength of Headstrong.
In my younger days, I did not have the most refined music tastes. I pretty much bought whatever my local pop station KDWB played. When I heard this song on constant rotation, I instantly rushed out to Best Buy and purchased it. I popped it in my CD player, listened to it about five times, and then tossed it into the depths of my room. Recently, I heard about Trapt's new album, and I decided to pull this out again. The results were less than satisfying.
Chris Brown-Vocals and Guitar
Simon Ormandy-Lead Guitar
+ Aaron Montgomery
. The drummer is easily the most talented member of this band. While Aaron boasts only mediocre technical skill, his beats are very creative. Trapt relies on him often, especially during the bridges during the songs. He manages to use most of his drum set for his rhythms, instead of the standard bass and snare rhythms that fellow rock bands use so often. By no means an excellent drummer, but he is the most talented member of this band.
. Despite the many flaws of this album, you cannot complain about the production and mix. The instruments are all at the right volume, and the sound is clear and crisp.
. The main reason that the singles Headstrong and Echo appealed to so many people is because they were so catchy. Most of the choruses on this album have the potential to get stuck in your head for a very long time. I don't know why, but Trapt manages to find a perfect mix of Chris's whiny vocals and Simon's simplistic riffs during the choruses on this album.
Expect this section to be a bit longer.
. Oh, god. Of all the bands with generic lyrics out there, Trapt may be the very worst. Most of them are either: railing against some unnamed enemy, or whining about how fast time goes by. Some lyrical examples from this album are: "I don't know anything at all, and I'm somebody else, it could take years to find you, it could take years to find myself," from Made of Glass, and other lines such as "Something missing, left behind, search in circles every time I try, I've been here before, I've seen you before." As you can see, Trapt has some of the most generic lyrics that you are ever likely to come across. Now, I can handle bad lyrics as long as the music is good. Unfortunately, that is not the case here.
- Technical Skill
. The members of Trapt boast very little technical skill. The guitar riffs are simple and recycled. There is not a single solo on this album, nor anything that vaguely resembles one. The bassist Peter Charell has a bit more skill, but you can barely hear him. You can only hear him play simple chords during the intro to songs. He is virtually unheard during the main body of the songs. As I said, Aaron Montgomery is creative, but he is not very skilled. Even if the members have barely any technical skill, you can still end up making a great album in terms of atmosphere, such as the Deftones' White Pony. Unfortunately, that's not going to happen for Trapt.
- Overall Atmosphere
. Some albums have a spooky mood, such as White Pony. Some albums boast an aggressive mood, such as The Art Of Balance. Other albums display an urgent mood, such as Hypnotize. This album does not have anything resembling a coherent mood at any point. The songs do not flow well, and transition awkwardly between each other.
. Chris Brown is not a good vocalist. He has two vocal styles, and neither are particularly good. He uses a midrange shout throughout much of the album, which is okay. He has no range on his shout, however. He uses the same tone and volume throughout. Unfortunately, he sometimes feels the need to use his singing voice. His voice is on-key, nothing wrong with that. However, his voice is incredibly whiny. It is almost painful to hear.
. This is the final nail in the coffin for Trapt. They display nothing even resembling an original thought throughout the album. They play guitar riffs that they know pop music listeners will like. They never go overly heavy, because that might discourage some listeners. Their lyrics are complete crap, some of the most generic on the market. Basically, everything that you hear from this band has also been done by another band before them.
Despite the fact that this is not a very good band or album, they still manage to make some pretty good songs. There are three that really stand out of the crowd.
. This is the best song on the album easily. There is an insanely catchy guitar line during the verses, and some shout/rapping from Chris. It's not very heavy, but the riffs and the chorus are so catchy. This is a song that will get stuck in your head for a good long time. You can actually hear the bass during the verses, which is great. An awesome song.
. This is the heaviest song on the album. The story of the album: the chorus is great, but the verses are painfully average. It opens with some weird atmospheric sound effects, then it launches into a percussion and bass intro. It is nice to hear the two most talented members of Trapt play by themselves. A pretty good song.
When All Is Said And Done
. This has the coolest guitar riff on the album. The opening riff is heavy and very enjoyable. Chris actually sings pretty well during this song, which is a welcome break from his usually whiny timbre. The verses are pretty good also. Another pretty good song.
This is not a very good album. It is generic, and the band members show very little technical skill or ability to make the album flow. However, there are some very good songs on here. I would recommend downloading the three songs I listed above, and leaving this album on the shelf.