Welcome (Taproot album)

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Welcome
Studio album by Taproot
Released October 15, 2002
Recorded November 2001 - May 2002 in Los Angeles, California
Genre Alternative metal, Post-grunge
Length 46:44
Label Atlantic / Velvet Hammer
Producer Toby Wright
Taproot chronology
Gift
(2000)
Welcome
(2002)
Blue-Sky Research
(2005)
Singles from Welcome
  1. "Poem"
    Released: October 14, 2002
  2. "Mine"
    Released: 2003

Welcome is the second major label album by the rock music group Taproot. It was released on October 15, 2002. "Poem" served as the album's lead single and became a smash hit, propelling the group to stardom. A follow-up single, "Mine," was produced and its video was directed by System of a Down bassist Shavo Odadjian. The third single and video was announced for "Art," but curiously Atlantic pulled the plug soon after the announcement, further irking fans who claimed the label was holding Taproot back. Welcome remains Taproot's most successful record, selling around 450,000 copies.[1]

The band performed on Disturbed's Music as a Weapon II in promotion of the album.

Production[edit]

During a break in their intense touring schedule in support of their debut album, gift, Taproot went to Los Angeles to record several demos with Toby Wright. Those tracks were "Poem to Self", "Remain", "Get Me", "When", and "Transparent". Bolstered by their new recordings, the band featured "Poem to Self", "Transparent", and "Get Me" on tour during 2001, with "Poem to Self" soon becoming one of their most popular songs.

During the early development of Welcome, Taproot had given producer Toby Wright roughly 40 complete songs. Wright said that while they were good, the songs were not up to the band's potential, and he forced them to start from scratch. Several earlier tracks were reworked for the album, while the bulk of the material was discarded. Some of the demos include "Can't Believe", "Poem to Self", "Sumtimes", "Remain", "Strive", "Free", "Fort", "Like", "Promise", "When", "Transparent", "Contradiction", "Keep Your Head Up", "Not a Quitter", "Fault", "Get Me", "Can You", "Indecisive", "Myself", and "Dreams". This was initially met with resentment from the band, but they ultimately wrote entirely new songs that they felt show greater maturity.[2] One of the most prominent songs to survive the fresh batch was "Poem," which had seen prior success after being debuted by the band during concerts, such as Ozzfest 2001, and went on to be arguably Taproot's most well known single. Other songs that were refined with Toby Wright from earlier demos include "When", "Fault", "Sumtimes", and "Like". As with many Toby Wright productions, songs throughout Welcome are heavy on multi-tracked vocals and layered guitars.

While many of their early demos were not recorded for this effort, Taproot did re-record "Remain", "Transparent", and "Free" with Toby Wright. Some of these tracks were included on foreign releases of the album as a bonus track as well as the Poem single, and were later posted to the band's official MySpace page. "Remain", however, has yet to be officially released.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 2/5 stars[3]
Blender 2/5 stars[4]
Orlando Sentinel (favorable)[5]
Q 3/5 stars[6]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[7]
Sputnikmusic 2/5 stars[8]

Critical response to Welcome was largely mixed. Various prominent media critics considered the album too mediocre to stand out among current alternative and nu metal acts. However, melodic improvements from Taproot's prior effort were also cited. AllMusic's Brian O'Neill also compared the band's stylistic "idolatry" as a shift from Korn to Alice in Chains. Robert Cherry of Rolling Stone cited the "me, me, me" lyrics as evidence of needed maturity but added that Welcome "marks a self-preserving transition from new metal to art metal." The publication also cited Taproot as one of the "Bands to Watch in 2002."[1]

Track listing[edit]

According to the lyric booklet, there are also alternative titles to some of these tracks

No. Title Length
1. "Mine"   3:49
2. "Poem"   3:09
3. "Everything"   3:27
4. "Art"   4:42
5. "Myself"   3:47
6. "When"   4:04
7. "Fault"   3:19
8. "Sumtimes"   4:29
9. "Breathe"   4:17
10. "Like" (feat. string arrangements by David Campbell) 4:38
11. "Dreams"   3:43
12. "Time"   3:20
Total length:
46:44

The band also recorded three additional songs during the Welcome sessions. Two of them, "Transparent" (4:23) and "Free" (3:23), can both be found on the "Poem" CD single as B-sides and on the Japanese pressing of Welcome as bonus tracks. The lyrics to "Free" can still be found in the lyric booklet of Welcome. The third track, "Remain," has yet to be released.

Credits[edit]

Taproot

Production

Art direction

Charts[edit]

Album - Billboard (North America)

Year Chart Position
2002 The Billboard 200[10] #17

Singles - Billboard (North America)

Year Single Chart Position
2002 "Poem" Mainstream Rock Tracks[11] #5
2002 "Poem" Modern Rock Tracks[11] #10
2003 "Mine" Mainstream Rock Tracks[11] #23
2003 "Mine" Modern Rock Tracks[11] #26

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Taproot Gets Back To The Studio. Investors.WMG.com (2005). Retrieved on 9-21-08.
  2. ^ Wiederhorn, Jon. "Taproot's Second Album is Really Their Third ... Kind of". MTV.com (October 21, 2002). Retrieved on June 3, 2008.
  3. ^ AllMusic review
  4. ^ Blender review[dead link]
  5. ^ Orlando Sentinel review
  6. ^ Album reviews at CD Universe
  7. ^ Rolling Stone review at the Wayback Machine (archived November 12, 2007)
  8. ^ Sputnikmusic review
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Welcome - Taproot > Credits. Allmusic. Retrieved March 19, 2011
  10. ^ Welcome - Taproot > Charts & Awards. Allmusic. Retrieved March 19, 2011.
  11. ^ a b c d Welcome - Taproot > Billboard Singles. Allmusic. Retrieved March 19, 2011.