Papa Roach
F.E.A.R.


2.0
poor

Review

by Green Baron USER (159 Reviews)
February 1st, 2015 | 84 replies


Release Date: 2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Quit while you're ahead, Jacoby.

On lead single and quasi-title track “Face Everything and Rise”, frontman Jacoby Shaddix boldly proclaims, “I will face everything and rise. Never gonna quit until I die!” Unfortunately, that seems to be Papa Roach’s mantra nowadays. Ever since “Last Resort” became a rock radio staple of the early 2000s, their material has consisted of rehashed nu-metal, uninspiring ballads and lazily written rockers. While there is the occasional good single, listening to new Papa Roach has become pretty predictable – their sound hasn’t changed all that much aside from a louder feel to the choruses and the addition of a bit more polish. The journey from nu-metal stalwart to irredeemable garbage isn’t exactly the sharpest decline, but there were plenty of terrible songs in the early stage of their career - "She Loves Me Not" or "Getting Away With Murder", anyone?

The main problem with F.E.A.R. is that, although it does manage to improve on the band’s last few misfires, there’s still not enough in it to warrant repeated listens. The absence of cringeworthy tracks in the nature of “I Almost Told You That I Loved You” or “Hollywood Whore” is applauded, and the shorter length (ten songs clocking in at only 37 minutes) does make it easier to listen through the whole thing without getting tedious towards the end. Even with all that, F.E.A.R. is still a by-the-numbers Papa Roach record, with no musical progression or evolution from records prior. There’s the obligatory “sensitive guy” ballad (“Never Have to Say Goodbye”), without a shred of emotion as usual, the angsty half-assed rocker (“Broken As Me”) and everything in between.

Sure, there are some points when the standard Papa Roach sound works – “War Over Me” and “Devil” are two late-album highlights that power through in spite of some questionable lyrics. The incorporation of strings into the former is executed surprisingly well, and the hushed “I have a purpose” manages to come off as emotionally moving. The bonus tracks “Hope for the Hopeless” and “Fear Hate Love” are some of the most energetic, power-driven songs on the record, and their relegation to B-side status is disappointing given some of the material that was put ahead of it. However, it’s the unexpected that deserves the most attention, which is exactly why “Gravity”, as laughable as it is, deserves notability. Although Shaddix rapping about the perils of money, fame, the booze and girls over a hip-hop-esque drumbeat is pretty hilarious on the surface, it’s perhaps the boldest move made on F.E.A.R.. Add in a chorus sung with Maria Brink of In This Moment infamy, and there’s a recipe for disaster that turns out to be ironically enjoyable. There’s also the guest verse dropped by Royce da 5’9” to close out “Warriors”, but that’s an entirely separate issue.

F.E.A.R. is one of those albums that is neither offensively terrible nor engaging enough for a second listen. While not as awful as The Connection or Metamorphosis, it still feels as if Papa Roach are making the exact same songs they were a decade ago. Sure, the lyrics may be a bit more uplifting and self-reflective due to Shaddix’s personal struggles, but it’s the same safe mainstream rock with a slightly more electronically polished sheen. There’s just not much life to go around, and the bits of energetically-driven material that do exist really don’t have much else going for them. Turning anger into anthems shouldn't be this tedious, and yet every line about "walk[ing] the self-destructive lonely road" feels forced and ingenuine. If they're truly insistent on never quitting until they die, then we're in for a long ride.



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user ratings (227)
2.6
average

Comments:Add a Comment 
Green Baron
February 1st 2015


24765 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

man I could have made so many F.E.A.R. acronym puns

BMDrummer
February 1st 2015


14646 Comments


i miss scarred

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Emeritus
February 1st 2015


6744 Comments


(edit: fixed)

Green Baron
February 1st 2015


24765 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

all fixed, period I had there went missing.





VheissuCrisis
Emeritus
February 1st 2015


1386 Comments


Paramour sessions was their last good album and that still had some filler, wont be checking this out.

Tunaboy45
February 1st 2015


16792 Comments


This is my plastic fork. (pos)

TheStig23
February 1st 2015


19 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I don't think that somebody should expect something new from this band.

dfevil085
February 1st 2015


1484 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I actually thought The Connection was their best album.

Good review though.

Snake.
February 1st 2015


21814 Comments


even nostalgically these guys suck [2]

n60storm
February 1st 2015


50 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

For someone who loathed The Connection and Metamorphosis, this was a bit better. Gravity is ironically enjoyable, sure.

Green Baron
February 1st 2015


24765 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

nostalgically I hold Scars and Forever somewhat in high regard





MattTD
February 1st 2015


678 Comments


Saw a bit of them at Reading Festival over the summer. Their whole shtick seems very lacklustre nowadays.

Good review. Pos'd.

thacoconut94
February 1st 2015


1497 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Nice review. Really enjoyed this though. Although I can completely agree that there has been no musical evolution from papa roach

Tunaboy45
February 1st 2015


16792 Comments


They've followed in the steps of Avenged Sevenfold and Black Veil Brides and become a mediocre hard rock band.

Tunaboy45
February 1st 2015


16792 Comments


Fuck
Evolution
Always
Repetitive

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
February 1st 2015


15815 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

It wasn't terrible, but pretty forgettable.

Digging: Desert Sessions - Volumes 11 and 12

Son of Mr. Pain
February 1st 2015


24951 Comments


I can't even imagine this being a 2

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
February 1st 2015


15815 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

"does nobody remember how fuckin awesome last resort and between angels and insects are? like dont give this a blind 2 because u dont like nu metal man, im sure this rules"



What?

Tunaboy45
February 1st 2015


16792 Comments


Is this band even nu metal anymore?

MattTD
February 1st 2015


678 Comments


Nowadays they're your average stadium rock/metal band with ever so slightly more edge.



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