Sound — 10
This album sounds basically like Korn have perfected the sound they pioneered on their self-titled debut. It's probably their most under-rated work, generally referred to by the media as a kind of awkward transition from underground to mainstream. But in many ways it is just an acquired taste, and once you've acquired it you can get so emotionally involved in it that you just have to listen to it when you're in a certain mood. For me, it seems to have different sounds for every shade of anger - hopelessness, rage, violence, despair, pleading, depression. Also, it had their darkest humour to date. I think they lost a lot of their edge when they became mega-serious about the technical side of things. So yeah, the sound is great on it. Only thing is, there are perhaps one or two too many songs in the same key, following the same chord sequence. Namely, A to A#.
Lyrics — 10
It's like what mood music would be if it were played by manic-depressive schizophrenic crack addicts, or something like that. A lot of bizarre comic stuff, a lot of totally in your face stuff, a lot of more reclusive, eerie feeling songs. All done in a very convincing and involving way.
Overall Impression — 10
01. Twist - what an opener, all the hype of the debut, and the fact that this sound had never been heard before, built up so much anxiety among fans and the media about what their new record would sound like. Soon as you press play, the first track is 50 seconds of shouting. That's it. 02. Chi - the chorus is the nearest Korn have come to sounding like a scary Norwegian death metal band, really. The 'quiet-loud-quiet-loud' dynamic and the sudden tempo change halfway through mean it's somewhat disjointed, and it's quite slow and dirgey. I like it though, in a weird way. 03. Lost - never liked this song much, just a bit bland really. 04. Swallow - same as above, except for a brilliant bassline in the verse. Actually, I think the chorus is the only bad bit about this song. 05. Porno Creep - it does actually sound like the soundtrack to a porn film. Whispered lyrics, very atmospheric, nice bass again. 06. Good God - comes in on the back of a mini-drum solo at the end of Porno Creep. Fast, thrashy, screamy. A good example of how korn use semi-tonal chord changes to great effect. Angry in a very blatant way. No idea what the title has to do with it. 07. Mr Rogers - I think this is the name of the guy who raped JD when he was a kid? Don't quote me on that though. Has 3 parts to it, it's kinda like a more considered version of Good God, and a different subject matter. 08. K@#0%! - yeah, you read it right. Never mind the tune, the lyrics are all that matters here. So much swearing it's untrue, but in a really funny way. Not actually as repetitive as you might think. 09. No Place To Hide - man, I can't work this out. Why was this the first single off the album? It sucks! An island of suckiness in an ocean of goodness. In general, I dislike the songs where JD sings about the pressures of fame - he'd go on to do Beg For Me on Issues, which is possibly even worse - and thankfully this is the only one on the album. Egotistical, paranoid, annoying. Skip. 10. Wicked - ingenious. Came years after rap metal was pioneered, but sounds like something fresh and vital anyway. Good backing tune, great chorus, inspired. 11. ADIDAS - what can you say about this song? Proceeds to contradict self. It's only 2:30, real short, and fairly basic tune, but coupled with the video and that ending (technically the beginning of the next song, but still) it is a truly brilliant piece of music. Oh, and the lyrics as well. The rhyme scheme is actually fairly complex and the words are so cold, it's like you've almost gone full-circle to real intensity. Indescribable. 12. Lowrider - another mini-track. It's that really famous tune, played on bagpipes, with Cheech and Chong on vocals saying s--t every so often. And the bass intro is in a different key. Weird, a bit of a joke, but still funny. 13. Ass Itch - captures the pointlessness of, erm, everything really. Not exceptional but listenable. 14. Kill You - my personal favourite. Listen out in the chorus for David Silveria absolutely pounding the floor tom. A very scary song, it can't not affect you in some way. It's about his step-mother who sounds like a pretty evil bitch by all accounts. I think he really means it, he probably would kill her if he had the chance. This song closes the album and kind of fades out over a long time, like Daddy did on the first album. The whole thing leaves a deep impression on you, like all good albums. Best listened to when feeling angry or depressed, in a dark room. Lastly, the album cover is black, which fits well with the dark humour and subject matter.