Listen Up: Wednesday, July 18, 2002
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Papa Roach

lovehatetragedy (Dreamworks Records)

By Ken Shimamoto

Preparing to hit the road with Eminem, Ludacris, Xzibit, and the X-ecutioners on the Anger Management Tour, Papa Roach played a show atop a Best Buy store in West L.A., for which a 20-foot-tall inflatable baby (a replica of the tyke on the cover of lovehatetragedy, wearing headphones and throwing the devil sign) was constructed. How do you spell megalomania? But what the heck, it’s all in good fun, brought to you by David Geffen, the same impresario who gave us Nirvana.

So it’s summer 2002, and all 60,000 rap-metal bands in America are downplaying their hip-hop influences and going “melodic.” (Is Pimpadelic starting something, or going along with the trend? You decide.) The new Papa Roach album includes a bonus-track cover of the Pixies’ “Gouge Away,” but onstage this summer they’ll be covering A Tribe Called Quest and the Pharcyde. The new album’s “radio hit” is “She Loves Me Not,” which boasts a whiplash riff and the inspirational couplet “Life’s not fair / I’m a jerk.” On it, you’ll still hear the sound of the lead Roach, Jacoby Shaddix, formerly known as Coby Dick, rapping. Why mess with success?

The big news here is the involvement of Big Rock producer Brendan O’Brien (Korn, Rage Against the Machine, Stone Temple Pilots, Pearl Jam), who convinced the band to transpose some songs into keys in which Shaddix can actually hit the notes without straining. With O’Brien’s big sound, Papa Roach’s angst-ridden anthems flow freely. Other inspirational verses: “Time and time again, you think about yourself before you think about me.” Or, “I need some space to clear my head to think about my life with or without you.” No hidden messages here. Don’t forget the sunscreen.


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