Korn - Untouchables review
|Release date:||June 2002|
01. Here To Stay
02. Make Believe
04. Hollow Life
05. Bottled Up Inside
08. One More Time
09. Alone I Break
11. Beat It Upright
12. Wake Up Hate
13. I'm Hiding
14. No One's There
Disc II [DVD] [digipak bonus]
01. Here To Stay [Live at Hammerstein Ballroom, NYC]
02. Here To Stay [video]
03. Thoughtless [video]
04. Got The Life [Live at Hammerstein Ballroom, NYC]
I wanted to make a review for this album for quite some time, but was reluctant do to so. Why? Because it's my all-time favorite, and I wanted to make sure I'd get it just right. However, after some time spent brainstorming about it, I decided simply to go with the flow and take the spontaneous approach.
It's the year 2002 and Korn fans have already waited for almost three years since the release of Issues, which was the first album that distanced them from the classical nu-metal sound they pioneered and brought into the mainstream and themselves with it. True, with every previous album they were slowly forming a new, thicker and more mature sound (not to mention far far cleaner production, which probably didn't appeal to some), but with this album, they finally hit the creative pinnacle.
While nu-metal elements are never completely gone, they're deeply buried within the alternative, melancholic sound of Untouchables. Insane gibberish scatting like on "Freak On a Leash" are practically no longer here. Guest rappers also. The uncompromising don't-give-a-fuck attitude best showcased on songs such as "Ass Itch," "K@#Ø%!" and "Faget" got a little cleaner and more refined, which is still a reason some people only prefer albums until Follow The Leader. But make no mistake, this is still Korn that you know and love (yeah, I took a great liberty assuming you love them). I would even dare calling it their most mature, haunting and darkest release to date.
So what IS there you'll ask? From the opening single "Here to Stay" (especially if you watch the uncut version of the video), you'll see that they mean business. Lyrical content mostly features struggle with personal demons as always, but they weren't afraid to tackle some political themes, as well as question the existence of God and meaning of life; as evident in the disturbingly beautiful and melancholic "Hollow Life." Very depressive and sorrowful closer "No One's There" with its great melodic passages and chorus that brings you on the brink of despair always awakens special feelings in me, and holds a place very close to my heart. If you want some dosage of rage, you'll be wanting to hear "Wake Up Hate" which showcases some good old Follow The Leader groove, and a very fast pace. I'm very pleased with singles, too, whom I regard as probably the best songs on the album (which is usually NOT the case). "Alone I Break" is a classic depression story which overall dark and melodic atmosphere is something you'll get used to in this album by the time you get to hear it. I would be very angry at myself if I didn't mention that "Thoughtless" is still my favorite song, which I can relate to so much. Finally, as I said before, if you're feeling nostalgic of earlier albums, turn up "Make Believe" and "Beat It Upright," extremely groovy stuff, the latter of which is especially appropriate for being intimate with your significant other.
So there I said it. This album marks a crucial point in Korn's career, only one album later, and their original lineup is all but gone. From lyrical maturity, to the highly melodic and depressive sound which does not forget the old nu-metal roots that fathered it, it is truly their finest piece of work to date. A piece of work which unfortunately will not be matched anytime soon. But I guess if Korn would copy their every album, then they would cease to be the band we all know, and the band which constantly experiments and tests their musical limits with every release, for better of worse.
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