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Blue-Sky Research

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Album Review

Taproot branch out on Blue-Sky Research, collaborating with some notable outside songwriters and tweaking the nu-metal bludgeon of their first two records for a more melodic sound. There are still gloomy hard hitters here. "Facepeeler" and "Nightmare" feature unwieldy roaring and bleak sheets of distortion that frame atmospheric stretches, making the quartet sound like ambitious but samey Deftones followers. But then there's "Violent Seas," a glimmeringly insistent modern rocker co-written with Billy Corgan. It still broods, and breaks into anxious choruses. But it's also many times more accessible than any of Taproot's previous work. Corgan also co-writes "Promise" and the rousing "Lost in the Woods," while Jonah Matranga of Far, Onelindrawing, and Gratitude helps out on "Calling." The assistance is a plus for Taproot. The songs still deal with bitter stuff like loneliness, obsession, and hearts being ripped from inside chests, and all the bellowing, brooding, and thick chording gets a little formulaic. But even without the hired guns Blue-Sky Research is the most dynamic Taproot album yet (the self-penned "So Eager" proves that), and the album's heightened textures and less predictable turns successfully updates the band's sound. By easing up on the plodding drudgery and letting Stephen Richards sing in a voice that sounds more like his own, Taproot start to suggest moody but readily accessible post-grunge acts like Breaking Benjamin or Three Days Grace instead of the tired nu-metal past.

Customer Reviews

Taproot, an iPod and a Beer

Obviously those who have given this album negative reviews, have not listened to the whole album. Taproot has matured into an exceptional band. When you are younger, all you want is music that is extremely aggressive and angsty. It seems like a multitude of people reviewing this record are not the same age as the band that wrote and recorded it. So let's put that into perspective, if you think most "modern rock" bands are the pinnacle of song writing then your age is just showing. A lot of the bands that Taproot is currently touring with or that they are lumped in with are bland. That is just a simple truth and sure, it is just a matter of opinion but explain to me why CD sales are the way they are then? Yes, the RIAA is to blame as well... but I'm digressing. For starters, this album is a huge departure from the sound of 2000's "Gift" and their 2002 so-so follow-up, "Welcome." Their sound definitely moves farther from the nu-metal label (although, they were always above that) and focuses more on catchy riffs and better songwriting. Don't get me wrong, the band is still here. Songs such as the dark opener "I Will Not Fall For You" and "Facepeeler" are instant classics among the Taproot song-book. But then you have songs that, with a little help from some high-profile people, will shock more than a few ears. The first single, "Calling" alone is worth the purchase of this album, and it was even co-written by Jonah Matranga (Gratitude, Far), which is odd when you consider the music this man has made in his own career. The song is a perfect example of Taproot making an edgy, dark song into something very catchy and very addictive.

They're all grown up (almost!)

I suppose Blue-Sky Research "blowz" to someone still stuck in the post-Korn, nu-metal era. To their credit, Taproot has moved on and up. Yeah, Stephen Richards still feels compelled to lay down the faux teen angst-ridden screams but he and Mike DeWolf work together on BSR to create some amazingly rich power chords here! Taproot has definetly matured here (not sure they deserve the "Alternative" tag). It still took a couple of listens to warm up to BSR (Taproot is always that way for me for some reason?) patient. It's worth it!

Great Album

this album is really good. the first single "calling" is not the best so dont judge the album by it. "Birthday" and "Lost in the Woods" are my two favorite songs on this album, while "Facepeeler" and "Voilent Seas" are also great. I recomend buying this album. By far the best taproot album yet


Formed: 1997 in Ann Arbor, MI

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Ann Arbor, MI's own Taproot sent their demo to Limp Bizkit's frontman/business entrepreneur Fred Durst in 1998, not ever thinking Durst would call them back personally. To the band's surprise, Durst replied, promising the alt-punk metal quartet the world. But Durst apparently took too long to deliver the goods, for Taproot — whose lineup comprised frontman Stephen Richards, guitarist Michael DeWolf, bassist Philip Lipscomb, and drummer Jarrod Montague — landed a deal with Atlantic Records...
Full Bio
Blue-Sky Research, Taproot
View In iTunes
  • $10.99
  • Genres: Rock, Music, Alternative, Hard Rock, Metal
  • Released: Aug 15, 2005

Customer Ratings