California-based Papa Roach takes a major step forward on its scorching second album, which avoids all the pitfalls typically associated with sophomore sets.
For the most part, singer Jacoby Shaddix—who used to call himself Coby Dick—skips the rapping that he used on the band's multi-platinum 2000 debut. Instead, he emerges here as a first-rate vocalist, roaring his way through standouts like “Time and Time Again” and the crushing “Walking Thru Barbed Wire,” the latter which was inspired by the loneliness he felt after the death of his dog.
Papa Roach rocks, ripping the set open with the Zep-like overtones of “M-80 (Explosive Energy Movement)” and mastering its musical dynamics on cuts like the drum-pummeling “Born With Nothing, Die With Everything” and the riff-riding bonus track “Never Said It.” And for those who still long for P-Roach's mix of hip-hop/metal, Shaddix raps briefly but very effectively on the gutsy lead single “She Loves Me Not.”
Lovehatetragedy offers that oh-so-rare blend of blistering hard rock that's got both musical muscle and plenty of smarts behind it.