CD Review of Live! by Trapt
Recommended if you like
Linkin Park, Staind, Korn
Label
Eleven Seven
Trapt: Live!

Reviewed by Jason Thompson

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I
t was a day just like any other. Same apartment, same shoes, same TV, same car. The mailbox looked the same as well, but when it was opened, out popped the new live album by Trapt. It was conveniently titled Live! so no one would mistake it for just another studio album. A hickory wind blew suddenly from the south. A thought crossed over: “Do bands with purposely poorly spelt names still mean anything to anyone?” Trapt. Just looking at that name sent up the red flags. This is going to be some of that heavy emo junk punk. The CD was then placed on the same coffee table and allowed to simmer for the same amount of time as other suspicious discs until it was time for review.

Finally, the CD’s day arrived. It was pulled delicately from its digipak confines and placed into the player. Oh, shit. This is an “enhanced” CD. It has its own player and a video to watch. Annoying. So that was bypassed and the listening began in earnest. The first two songs are new studio tracks, entitled “Stay Alive” and “Everything to Lose.” And as expected, the music stars somewhat quietly, even delicately, until it breaks open to reveal the pain inside. “No one’s here to light the candle / No one’s here to light the way / It’s something I will have to handle my way,” the singer insists. It only brings up the question: Remember when rock music was fun and mostly about having fun? Yeesh, when and why did modern rock become this clunky beast that torments the kids? When did rock and roll turn into scream therapy?

Are kids these days really that depressed? Do they honestly connect with a band like Trapt? The popular trendmeisters say yes. Why, just look at the youth hanging out at the mall these days. Trapt listeners, huddled in the corners, sucking on an Orange Julius with their hair freshly dyed super black wearing the ungodly long and baggy pants sporting a shirt with some other purposely poorly spelt band name like “Korn” or “Staind” on the front. Yes, this is indeed the music that speaks to the new generation. Life’s a real bitch at 14, living under mom and dad’s roof and not having to worry about real problems. Trapt is the band-aid.

The crowd cheers as the band lumbers through the sadness, countering with “Stillframe” and making sure the emo ambulance has enough care to spare. Some in the crowd are injured from connecting too closely to the words and music, but luckily Trapt brings it down just enough on “Made of Glass.” “You will never feel this good agaiiiiiin,” Chris Brown wails at the audience. Were they actually feeling good? Oh wait, it’s easy to forget that feeling good must be compounded with feeling like shit, that way everyone quickly forgets what feeling good actually feels like and so depression becomes the norm and is therefore more enjoyable than being happy, because if one was actually happy then one couldn’t moan about wanting to be happy…a long, lost, bittersweet feeling. Oh, that 14-year-old heart is so fragile.

But thankfully Trapt can make those desperate feelings stick around with angst-fueled songs such as “Hollowman” and “Disconnected,” the latter of which finds Brown yelling “Too out of touch, out of touch to touch you!” over and over. Oh yeah, feel the pain. Let it overtake the senses. Why be happy with a girl when you can just pretend it’s all gone to shit and write a real fist-pumper of a song? Yes, because we all know in emo land, girls are always the most unattainable thing in the world and it is they who bring on this darkness. Oh, if only she would look at you and sit down for a deep, adolescent conversation about feelings and art and loneliness and the dark. Yeah, then you could really connect and be miserable together. Chicks are right for not wanting anything to do with the male emo person.

Yet Brown goes on, demanding the fans to “fill the empty space with another pretty face” on “Skin Deep.” It’s a cautionary tale, telling the listener that “no one will ever be perfect in your eyes.” No, not if you have Trapt around to be your personal soundtrack, they won’t. Then he screams “I crossed the line if you wanted it!” on “Waiting,” a song about, well, waiting for that special gal to really take notice of an upstanding emo dude like Chris or any of his male followers. Damn those evil women and all the torture they bring!

It was a day just like any other. Another lame CD was reviewed and was promptly tossed out for the garbage men’s arrival. Life was good, the sun was shining, and there was good music still to be enjoyed. Yet there were all those kids out there, not enjoying the world and instead moping about listening to a band like Trapt and soaking in it. Their sadness and frustration just too damned enjoyable to let go. One wonders what happens to these types when they do get out into the real world. Woe is them. Long live precious, faked-up angst.

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