Friday, 1 October 2010

CD Review: Take A Look In The Mirror, by Korn (2003)

An album that starts strong, fizzles fast, and goes on for too long. After the dangerous, menacing and energetic opening trio of Right Now, Break Some Off and Counting On Me, Korn's Take A Look In The Mirror lands with a thud, bumps along the corn field at ground level, and can't poke it's head high enough to find a way through the maze.

Y'all Want A Single is excellent, but comes too late in the game to save the overall quality of the CD, which by track 12 has certainly taken a beating. There is a hidden track, a live version of Metallica's One, somewhere on the CD, but after 13 tracks of Korn, it would take a certain amount of desperation to go looking for it.

Considered nu-metal by some and not-even-close-to-metal by others, Korn's hybrid rap/metal sound combines down-tuned guitars, vocals that are evolved from rap but not quite metal, and certainly a loudness ethic that can only be described as metal. But the songs are short, typically lack any complex structures, and there is nothing that resembles guitar solos. And the emphasis on basic, generally simplistic bass beats to power the songs is certainly more rap than metal.

Which all means that when done really well, fans of both genres should be able to enjoy the best of Korn. Unfortunately, on Take A Look In The Mirror, far too few of the songs are done well. Never mind the mirror: wherever you choose to look, there is a stench of routine filler.


Jonathan Davis - Vocals
Wally Balljacker - Drums
James The Gorilla - Guitars
Sir Headly - Guitars
Dog - Bass

Songlist (ratings out of 10):

1. Right Now - 10
2. Break Some Off - 9
3. Counting On Me - 9
4. Here It Comes Again - 7
5. Deep Inside - 6
6. Did My Time - 7
7. Everything I've Known - 7
8. Play Me - 7
9. Alive - 6
10. Let's Do This Now - 7
11. I'm Done - 6
12. Y'All Want A Single - 10
13. When Will This End - 6

Average: 7.46

Produced by Korn and Jonathan Davis.
Recorded and Mixed by Frank Filipetti. Mastered by Stephen Marcussen.

All Ace Black Blog Heavy Metal CD Reviews are here.

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