It has been more than 2 decades since Papa Roach burst onto the mainstream Rock and Alternative scene – but their best songs are still as good as ever. Papa Roach is from Vacaville, California, and was formed in 1993. Before being signed by Dream Works Records in 1999, they released two EP’s. Since signing their record deal, they have released 10 albums and have sold more than 30 million copies worldwide. 10 albums in 21 years shows that they are a hard-working band that loves music and what they do.
# 10 – Burn
“Burn” is a song most people can relate to on many different levels. The lyrics point to fake people screwing you over. It is about broken trust or trusting people you wish you never had. You want them to burn. It is undoubtedly a song filled with anger and hopes for revenge or, at the very least, a massive dose of karma. This could be a broken friendship, toxic family members, or relationships where people screwed you over or cheated on you.
It certainly helps that it is a tremendous overall song, with a catchy but straightforward chorus that is easy to sing. It is the kind of track you can easily lose yourself in, especially when you are sad, depressed, or very angry.
# 9 – Forever
“Forever” is one of those really open, wearing your heart on your sleeve. There are parts of the song that are so soft and smooth, you may even feel a little bit emotional yourself. It is the type of song that reminds you of ended relationships, the pain they caused, and wondering why you were together in the first place.
Regardless, it still hurts that you are no longer together. It is over now, not by your choice. You wish you could just make it alright, figure out where everything went so wrong. But you know it is time to move on and let them go.
This is another song that people relate to. Everyone has had a breakup that caused pain, and they had to let it all go and get over the pain and misery. This is certainly a song people may listen to when wallowing in the pain of a breakup or remembering a past love.
# 8 – No Matter What
This is a love song, a rock ballad. The lead singer, Jacoby Shaddix, wrote it about his love for his wife, Kelly. She basically asked him to write the song, just not a love song. She told him that he is always writing and singing about hard times but never about anything good. She suggested that he write a song about them, how they had made it through hard times but were still standing.
He took that suggestion and ran with it. Yes, the song does talk about how they were still standing, but it was also a love song to his wife about how much he loved her, how thankful for her he was and that he would always have her back.
# 7 – Lifeline
“Lifeline” was initially supposed to be called “Hanging on” but was later changed to “Lifeline.” This is a song that most working adults, especially those living paycheck to paycheck, can identify with. Tobin Esperance, a member of Papa Roach, said the song was inspired by the poor economy. Jacoby Shaddix, the frontman, also backed up this statement. At the time, Sacramento, California, where they are from, led the country in foreclosures.
This is about people trying to survive as well as the struggles that everyone goes through in life. Although the song is over a decade old, it is still very relatable.
# 6 – Broken Home
“Broken Home” was a pretty popular song when it came out; It enjoyed 20 weeks on the mainstream rock chart. It also peaked at number 9 on the modern rock charts. It is a song where the lead singer bares his soul to all, talking about something that many people, including every one of his bandmates, can relate to – parental divorce.
It is a potent song talking about being a kid stuck in the middle of a broken home. It also discusses his poor relationship with his father. You can hear the pain, anguish, and anger in Jacoby Shaddix’s voice throughout the song.
Even though this song is powerful and emotional, it does not compare to the video at all. The video is so real and raw it is almost difficult to watch. Through a bunch of snapshots, it shows many aspects of an unhappy home and life, such as parental fighting, violence, drinking, sexual assault, DWI arrest, and more.
# 5 – …To Be Loved
This song comes out in August of 2006, 2 months before the full CD being released. It made it to number 8 on the mainstream rock tracks and number 14 on the modern rock tracks. It was played during the theatrical trailer of the 2008 film Never Back Down, and it was the official theme song for WWE Raw on the USA Network from October 9, 2006, through November 9, 2009.
The song starts with a quick rap verse and moves into a more hardcore alternative rock feeling. It is fast-paced and catchy. The actual song is basically about following your gut instincts and living life to the fullest.
This is an excellent motivational song if you need something to help you keep going or keep trying for something and not giving up.
# 4 – Between Angels and Insects
This is one of Papa Roach’s most popular songs. Unlike most songs by this band or any other band, the song title appears nowhere in the song lyrics. The title implies that human beings fall somewhere between insects (primitive) and angels (the divine). For a rock song, that is pretty deep and blunt thinking.
The song is about greed and how we do not need to work these jobs to get a lot of crap we do not need. It has a direct message that is anti-greed. We should put our energy into more important things like the state of our souls, hearts, compassion, love, and empathy.
This song was inspired by the movie Fight Club.
# 3 – Scars
“Scars” was a viral song reaching #2 on the alternative airplay chart, #4 on the Mainstream Rock charts, and #7 on the mainstream top 40 charts. Lead singer Jacoby Shaddix says this is his most revealing song. This is another song written for his wife, Kelly. Still, instead of a love song, this is a song where he is apologizing for all the demons he has fought which has negatively impacted their relationship.
He has said that he has considered moving on for her sake as much as his own. However, they are still together and have been married since 1997.
Many people relate to this song for problematic relationships they have had. People relate to other people being needy and having problems and expecting their partners to fix them.
# 2 – Getting Away With Murder
“Getting Away With Murder” is heavily about corporate America and the government itself taking advantage of society as a whole. If you did not know when this came out (2004), and you saw the video, you would be utterly convinced that it is about the financial crash of 2008-2009. The video depicts many crazed, greedy, immoral Wall Street types in the pursuit of money and power.
Besides greed, the video and the song also refer to sex and war. This song made it to #2 on the US Mainstream Rock Tracks and #4 on the US Modern Rock Tracks.
# 1 – Last Resort
Finally, we have made it to #1 and Papa Roach’s best song, as well as their most successful song. Although they did not win, this song is responsible for getting nominated for Best New Artist of 2000 and 2001 by the MTV Music Awards and the Grammy Awards, respectively.
This song is powerful, raw, and essential. It is about suicide, which is a super important topic in society. This band does so well in talking about crucial issues and everyday life that people can relate to. Having a song like this in the top 10 of the charts and getting as much radio play as it did can really open up channels of communication for people to talk about how they feel. This song could have certainly been used by people to deal with their emotions and to understand that they are not alone in these feelings.
Top 10 Papa Roach Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2021
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