‘Crooked Teeth’ is Papa Roach’s ninth studio album and with it they show no signs of slowing down. The band sounds incredible and delivers another solid release. Where bands like Linkin Park have completely changed their style, Papa Roach hasn’t changed their sound too dramatically. And why should they as they do it so well.
Papa Roach still brings the rap in their songs, however, the album is more melodic and has a very modern rock sound. With any rock album, it sounds best cranked up as loud as you can take it. Like they did with their last album, ‘F.E.A.R.’, they have also added a couple of collaborations with some spectacular guests including Skylar Grey and Machine Gun Kelly.
The album opens with “Break the Fall” and gives you the rap lyrics you would expect and then cranks up the metal with the classic Papa Roach sound. The album comes out of the gate swinging and doesn’t let up with the title track, “Crooked Teeth”. The first single off the album is a scorcher that attacks you from all sides with the pounding drums and screaming vocals and powerful guitars. You see that even after 24 years, the band has not lost a step.
“Medication” might be the only misstep for me on the 10 main tracks. At times I like it and others, I can do without. It has what you would expect, but doesn’t hold my attention. Unlike “Born for Greatness”. “Born for Greatness” is definitely a radio friendly, melodic rock song. The tempo and the heavy drum beats grab you and the catchy chorus will make it an outstanding live song that will get the crowd jumping. It is one of the standouts on the album for me.
Another standout is “American Dream”. A song about how the American dream has changed so dramatically or does it even exist anymore. When you look at the news today, it does seem that Dream has been lost. So much hatred and anger everywhere.
The first collaboration is “Periscope” featuring Skylar Grey. The song is a ballad and the angelic vocals of Sklyar give it a beautiful feel and gave me a song I never thought I would get from Papa Roach. A very nice touch and a great break in the album from all the rock songs.
The second single is “Help” and very typical choice for a radio song, but nothing extra special for me. There are so many other songs that are better on the album and that are little more original that this would not have been a choice for me as a single. The video is awesome though.
The last three songs on the album are the proper way to end an album. It starts with “Sunrise Trailer Park” featuring Machine Gun Kelly. The hip hop song tells the story of two friends who were messed up and one ends up dying in a crash. Machine Gun Kelly plays the part of the friend who died and states “I should have never let my best friend drive, because he is the reason my child will never see me alive”…powerful! Jacoby Shaddix’s character is having to deal with the demons of having killed his best friend. It is nice to get such a great story in a song.
Then “Traumatic” comes screaming in with searing guitars and blistering drum beats. They completely rock out and makes you want more and more. And the final song on the album is my favorite, “None of the Above”. “None of the Above” has an industrial feel, almost Filter-like. The darker tone and imagery mixed with the industrial guitar sound really hit the marks for me. I could take a whole album of this style for sure.
- “Break the Fall” – Keeper
- “Crooked Teeth” – Keeper
- “My Medication” – Delete
- “Born For Greatness” – Keeper
- “American Dreams” – Keeper
- “Periscope (feat. Skylar Grey)” – Keeper
- “Help” – Delete
- “Sunrise Trailer Park (feat. Machine Gun Kelly)” – Keeper
- “Traumatic” – Keeper
- “None of the Above” – Keeper
8 keepers out 10 songs – 80% (4 out 5 stars) Papa Roach keep delivering with every album. The 10 tracks were relatively short with all songs coming in under 4 minutes each (33:37), but it packs enough punch to keep hitting repeat. For long time fans, they deliver another stellar album and one you must add to your collection.
The Deluxe Edition is something worth noting. You get three additional studio tracks plus you get the entire Yahoo streamed concert Papa Roach: Live at the Fillmore Detroit which gives you 15 additional tracks. I would definitely go for the Deluxe Edition for this reason alone. On the three new studio tracks, the only one that was memorable for me was “Ricochet”. “Ricochet” was in the same vein as “Traumatic” and a great rocker. The other two, “Nothing” and “Bleeding Through” sounded like filler tracks and were not memorable. After numerous listens I could never go back and remember what those songs sounded like. But like I said, it is worth picking up for the live show alone.