Sound — 6
Well, it's been a while since I got this album. I put it in when I first got it and listened through. I had to stop about 30 seconds into 10 or a 2way. That song is probably the worst song Korn has ever done In my oh so humble opinion. I've been listening to Korn forever and I own every album. I'd most describe this album as: Untouchables(My least favorite of the previous albums; think Embrace/I'm Hiding) - Fieldy's signature bass skills + Some MTV and whatever the hell 10 or a 2 way is. Weird funk? Strange Gay Porn music with a bassline thrown in? I'm not sure. But I digress, The overall sound of the album isn't like that and thank whatever deity you may or may not worship that it isn't. I understand what they said when people said it sounds like NIN. It sounds like With Teeth NIN. Which is melodic and not very abrasive. That doesn't really sound like Korn, but on some songs, that's what Korn sounds like.(Throw Me Away and Open Up's breakdown for example) This album is very experimental for Korn though. Hopefully with the next album they'll master it and combine it with some elements from their older stuff like say, Issues or S/t. And hopefully Fieldy will rise from the grave and click Korn back to their glory days.
Lyrics — 5
Generally the album holds one major problem with me. And it's always either the lyrics or the sound. On almost all the songs I don't like one of them. Or I do like both and then one of them will just change and I wont like it. A good example of this is Getting Off. Up until the chorus with the repetition of the track name it was fine. Then it just got annoying. I feel like the album is almost incomplete. Like they forgot to mix it or something. Like they just said, "f--k it, It will go platinum anyways" and left it at that. a lot of the chorus' need work. Especially towards the later end of the album. They could've done a lot more. Jon reminds me of Marilyn Manson on this album(who I love) but a much less poetic/metaphoric version(which is bad). The lyrics are what really cause so much difference with Korn's sound. And sometimes it's not even the words he chooses but the way he delivers them. Sometimes I find myself wondering how he came up with such a strange melody but whatever. Some lyrics are brilliant(Souvenir, Coming Undone, Love Song's Chorus, Liar's verse) but others aren't so great(Getting Off's chorus, 10 or a 2way, Liar's chorus),
Overall Impression — 8
Allow me a song by song breakdown: 01. Twisted Transistor - it's really poppy. Definitely for the MTV crowd. Sadly, I have to say that it's actually one of the better songs on here overall. 02. Politics - I didn't really like this song much at first. it's only ok. I wouldn't have picked it as a single, but I wouldn't have picked many of the other songs as a single either. It was ok though. Still not a favorite of mine though. 03. Hypocrites - it's not bad. It has the bass. The lyrics are abit repetitive though. Loses points for that. 04. Souvenir - easily the best song on the album. Possibly one of Korn's best songs ever. it's amazing compared to everything surrounding it. Why it wasn't a single is beyond me. The music is great. The lyrics actually seem to fit. Just awesome. Top Notch Korn. 05. 10 Or A 2way - I hate this blasted song. What the hell is it anyways? It started off well and then it all goes to shit! The guitars couldve at least done SOMETHING. I can't believe the worst song on the album immediately follows the best. As I said, the song started out fine and, as is the case with much of the rest of the album, this is the first of the many songs to come where I feel like something just doesnt't fit right. 06. Throw Me Away - starts well. The Industrial sound was abit surprising at first. The lyrics start in ok, eventhough it's slow and doesn't really sound like the Korn I love. But at least it sounds good. Honestly one of the better songs on the album, which feels strange to say looking back at Take a Look in the Mirror. (9/10) 07. Love Song - First glance I thought "What? A Cure cover?" But I was wrong. And that would've been strange anyway so yeah. It's ok I guess. I feel like the verse could've used some work. At least the chorus is good. Catchy. I let out a huge laugh the first time I heard him scream "Motherf--ker!" The lyrics are cheesy but it isn't bad. Could have been better though. 08. Open Up - the first song to disappoint me genuinely since 10 or a 2way. It comes on ok. Verse doesn't sound bad. The chorus isn't special. Could've been better in my opinion. At least it isn't as bad as Getting Off's chorus. I just felt like the song drags on forever. It's so long! Even longer than the closing track and the random outro was unneccesary. Actually, I think the outro is more like 2 or three hidden tracks combined into about a minute in a half. Xylophone, a random bagpipe and then a bong hit? Loses points for that (8 if outro is excluded. I stop mine at 4.47). 09. Coming Undone - another saving grace. Not bad. Looks like they actually tried to mix it well. Pretty perfect in my eyes. 10. Getting Off - it actually sounded a little like Korn! The bass! It exists! The high clear vs. Growling vocals are interesting and not too bad but the chorus is just annoying. Very Repetitive. Not enough thought put into it. If the chorus was better it would get something like an 8 or 9 but. 11. Liar - also sounds abit like Korn! what's this, 3 songs now? Anyways, it doesn't sound bad. The verse is cool. The prechorus is good. The chorus; pretty lame actually. Sorta like the one before this, but it's not near as bad. Nice Scat halfway in that reminds us of the old Jon. 12. For No One - starts well. Apparently the bottom half of the album stole a lot of the Korn sound on this album. The verse is abit different but not a bad different. Still different though. The Chorus reminds me of Jon trying to be Aaron Lewis from Staind. Funny since Lewis wouldn't be singing if not for Jon. Nice Breakdown. It isn't too bad. The Chorus' is repetitive though (but it's not like we haven't seen that before). 13. Seen It All - pretty different. The verse has a strange delivery. I don't really like it. The chorus isnt bad. And it's even similarly structured to the last few songs except it's better worded so that it doesn't get annoying. The song all but dies halfway through and has a piano acapella breakdown type thing with a traditional breakdown following into the chorus. Everything is good except when the verse is going. I wish there was afew more songs with good verses and a decent chorus. 14. Tearjerker - starts interestingly. Reminded me of Deftones to be honest and that's a huge compliment. Before doing this review I had never made it to this song. I didn't have the patience and would just put on Issues or S/t or TALITM. it's really atmospheric. Almost acapella. Then it sorta fuzzes out and comes back. Really experimental. Perhaps it was Head who was holding back the experimentation in Korn? Either way the newness was interesting. The song is ok and some will like it but I like more upbeat music. It has to catch me. At least have a catchy bassline or chorus or verse or breakdown or something. Come on Jon, you did alright with Hollow Life and Alone I Break, what happened? If I wanted something slow I'd go listen to something crappy. But I want Korn and I know some will like this song. I just don't like slow songs by my heavy bands(generally speaking; Same goes with bands like Chevelle, Deftones, and Incubus). Honestly, when I sat down to review this I thought my score would be a lot lower but as I listened to each song carefully I found that the innovation was perhaps returning. The Industrial was a nice change and I'm surprised it hasn't showed before hand with them touring with bands like Static X for ages. I just feel that a lot of the songs could have been mixed better and a little bit more thought could have been put into the lyrics. I'd like to see how Chopped Screwed Live and Unglued's remixes are but I'm not up to buying it. I'd say it's barely Korn's worst album. And that isn't saying much since their others are all pretty good. Untouchables only beats it by a hair. Anyways, if you're a Korn fan with an open mind than this ones for you. Jon draws on a lot of his other influences so if you're only into hardcore metal you probably wont like it.