Artist – Trapt
Album – Only Through the Pain
Year – 2008
Genre – Hard Rock/Post-Grunge
What better way to tie up a piece on Bro-Rock than writing a review of one of my favorite tracks of the same genre! Everything aside, this song is fantastic, and is without a doubt the best song that Trapt ever produced. The sheer emotion in this song is just flooring, and it absolutely does not feel forced, fake, or showy in any way. “Who’s Going Home With You Tonight?” is how a great hard rock ballad should be: emotional, packed with hooks, and jarring.
Major props have to be given right off the bat to frontman and songwriter Chris Brown (not THAT Chris Brown). His voice is one of the few anomalies in 2000’s post grunge, in the sense that when there’s a more tender part of a song that needs the aggression taken away, his voice completely changes and takes on a melodic and smooth quality not generally found in this genre (see also Chris Volz from the band Flaw). Right from the first verse, Brown absolutely nails it. There’s that aggression that jives with what the other instruments are doing, but his voice tapers off and almost takes on this very boy band tone and starts to waver. In this case, I find it extraordinary that Brown is capable of singing this way, because it perfectly illustrates one of my points from my last essay: this genre is a blending of pop and metal. It’s the best of both, and it’s emotion and hooks of pop that Brown nails. When he hits the “tonight” at the end of each line of the chorus, it’s chill inducing. And when he hits the bridge,
It’s getting harder to sit here alone
I’ve been waiting I’ve been waiting and you still ain’t home
I have never ever felt so low
I’ve been thinking I’ve been thinking Oh where did you go
It’s vocal magic.
Since we’re on lyrics, I have to praise them as well. They’re certainly not the best out there, but they’re honest and don’t feel overly sappy and contrived. I honestly can feel and believe every word Brown is singing, and they capture a lot of classic elements, like loneliness and the failure of a past relationship and the worry and jealousy that come when you lose someone you love to someone else. These are very salient themes in the lives of young men and women and when you touch on those and add some aggression, which some of us undoubtedly feel as well during tough times, all while still keeping the melody extremely solid and catchy, you end up with a raw and real rock song that conveys real pain.
The music flows perfectly with the song. First of all, to Trapt’s drummer, keep doing what you’re doing. The drums, not the vocals, on this song kick this song right in and give it that body that just makes you want to headbang and scream your lungs out. They’re crisp and snare rolls build up the tension until each explosive chorus. The guitars and bass accentuate and complement Brown’s vocals perfectly. They’re never overbearing, but don’t lose the edge that they need. It’s simple, but it works perfectly for what it is.
Though the video has over two million views on YouTube, I would consider this song one of the hidden gems of the hard rock golden age of the mid to late 2000’s. Do your high school self a favor and dive back into this excellent example of rock done right.
Don’t forget to leave a comment with your thoughts! Follow my blog for more song reviews on the way to 1001!