Review Summary: "Trying Too Hard" to remain relevant
There has been a severe shortage of rock and roll around these here parts. But never fear, because all-American patriot band Trapt
have returned to bring back the sex, drugs, and the rock 'n' roll, and Make Music Great Again in the process, and if you need any proof for yourself that Shadow Work
has single-handedly saved the entire genre, look no further than the whopping 600 copies
it sold in what was either its first week or seventh week; god knows when the hell it came out since the band claims July 3rd and Apple Music and company claim June 19th.
Ok, I honestly wanted to approach this as a complete meme, but I just can't. This isn't even banal, generic post-grunge—this is actually close to Blood on the Dance Floor levels of s**t. Chris Taylor Brown can't even sing in more than one note without straining his voice to save his life, and his backing band have given up completely because if Chris cares more about stirring up drama on Twitter than he does about the music, why should they care about the music? Guitarist Brendan Hengle plays the most generic riffs ever known to that of mankind, bassist Pete Charrell wanders off onto his own planet knowing full well that his band doesn't give a damn about him, and drummer Mike Smith aimlessly drums on merely to complete this contractual obligation of failure. "Make It Out Alive" tries to be Trapt's version of Three Days Grace's "Never Too Late", but it falls flat on its face due to the unrepentant lack of any emotion or care, while "Tell Me How You Really Feel" sounds like One Direction decided to take up rock and roll, but without any of the half-assed fake soul and feeling that made teenage girls everywhere fall head over heels for them. That's right, in a last ditch effort to stay as relevant as possible Trapt have reduced themselves to trying to be the One Direction of washed up 2000's butt rock. The remainder of the music is more or less following the path of "Make It Out Alive" and "Tell Me How You Really Feel" with varying degrees of suck in an attempt to feign variety.
The production has taken note of Chris' insufferability as both a singer and a human; whoever is behind these boards has decided to make his vocals as low as they can get away with on the singles, but unfortunately have put him front and center on deeper cuts such as "Too Little Too Late". Bass has obviously been forsaken (ironic given the band's throbbing hateboner for scenecore), while the guitar is either being used to mask out Chris or be a background player to whatever insincere garbage he's spewing out at any given moment. The drum mixing is comparatively nothing special, as they opted for the standard "pseudo-punchy drum" approach to be as radio-appealing as possible. Unsurprisingly, Shadow Work
is a complete and utter failure, as the band lose their way in the sea of Twitter rants and bad politics they voluntarily dumped themselves within; they try to cater to two groups at once and fail at both due to the lack of basically everything, effectively making the album nothing more than contract filler a la Prince's Chaos and Disorder
. Perhaps its time to call it quits and follow what would probably be your true passion, Chris: conservative talk radio.