I completely disagree with those that don’t like this CD. I didn’t like it at first and thought it was way too mellow for my taste, but after listening to it a few more times, I really love it. These are extremely good musicians, and that most definitely includes the singer. It doesn’t hurt that the lyrics are well worth listening to as well. I’m glad I paid no attention to the negative reviews posted here.
Produced by Toby Wright (Alice In Chains, Korn, Metallica) and mixed by Andy Wallace (Nirvana, Limp Bizkit, Foo Fighters), the 12-track collection finds the Ann Arbor-based quartet in a more reflective, but no less aggressive. Tracks such as the volatile ’Fault’ and the provocative first single ’Poem’ make it plain why Alternative Press decreed Welcome to be one of the most anticipated records of 2002. Atlantic.
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After being skeptical when hearing “Poem” on the radio 10,000 times, i bought this for the hell of it. Just thinking there may be something i am missing. I was right! This album is absolutely beautiful. Just listen to Fault, Breathe and Sumtimes. Perfect levels of heaviness, depth and emotion. I adore this cd. Too bad the follow up was so blah, because they were onto something here…
Taproot have been called an Alice in Chains imitation. They are not. Welcome is one of the most creative disks in the Hard Rock genre. Unfortunately, they took a different direction after Welcome (October 2002) with Blue Sky Research (August 2005).
2002’s Welcome separated Taproot from the generic Nu Metal infestation of this decade with off-time beats most clearly heard in songs like Everything, Fault and Sumtimes. Poem was Welcome’s claim to radio play and it was a great, foot stompin’ rocker. There were different styles and sounds to the tunes on Welcome, and the songs didn’t have the Nu Metal Nickelback epidemic of not being able to tell when the track has changed.
Sure, Taproot clearly was influenced by Alice in Chains. In fact, Toby Wright, Welcome’s producer, even co-produced some AiC disks. And singer Stephen Richards has an unmistakably clear singing voice that is a bit similar to the late, great Layne Staley.
But Taproot were definitely their own band on Welcome and put out one of the most unique sounding hard rock disks of 2002.
Unfortunately, Taproot lost some of their unique sound with Blue Sky Research, and went to the Nickelback monochromatic formula for some odd reason. My guess it was pressure from their label (Atlantic) to take the fun and creativity out of the music and make more radio friendly music (indeed they hired Billy Corgan [Smashing Pumpkins] to help with some of the Blue Sky tracks).
This past summer drummer Jarrod Montague revealed on Taproot’s MySpace blog that the band had parted ways with Atlantic Records. So hopefully Taproot’s 4th release will get back to the music that made them unique and hard.
Hard rockers looking for something mostly unique with a bit of an Alice in Chians Dirt influence should absolutely pick up Welcome.
I LOVED Gift, in fact i still love it. After hearing Again and Again, I was sold. Gift is one of my favorite cds. Very Heavy, however Gift had alot of “mindless heavyness”. Dont get me wrong, I love heavyness, but the songs on Gift were so similar, even though most songs rule, the cd is quite repetitive. Now I was expecting more of the same heavyness from Welcome, but I still didnt know what to expect. This cd is similar to Korn’s Untouchables because the music was different than the previous cds, but it takes time to get used to. Thats how Welcome is. I found that Welcome became better and better with each listen. Indeed its more melodic than Gift, but its good melodic, not Pop melodic. Thank god Stephen Richards still screams…that rules. Basically, I think most Taproot fans will eventually enjoy this cd, you just need to give it some time to get used to it and listen with an open mind.
This CD is filled with deep, melodic, emotional, and hard rock music that will leave you in the dust. “Welcome” is one of those CD’s you can just put in and let run from top to bottom. From the metal sounds of “Dreams” to the soft personal touch of songs such as “Like”, this album will take you on a ride you won’t soon forget. The CD’s single, “Poem” is an in-your-face metal song with emotionally charged lyrics backed by a massive chorus that seems to leave you in awe. It’s so rare to see a band acknowledging that they are actually singing a song, “This song is a poem to myself” exemplifies what make a song a song, without music it’s just a poem. Taproot seemed to surpass the expectations put forth by “Gift.” You can look forward to great things from this band if they keep turning out albums like “Welcome” in the years to come. Without a doubt, worth the price of the CD.