“ARE YOU READY?!” These are the first words spoken on the album, and vocalist, Jonathan Davis, MEANS it when he says it! What follows next is a twisted, bumpy, roller coaster ride through the tortured mind of Jonathan Davis. The songs on this album tell dark stories of child abuse, peer pressure, and drug addiction. Jonathan’s demonic voice, guitarists, “Head” & “Munky’s” eerie riffs, bassist, “Fieldy’s” heavy bass-lines, and drummer, David Silvera’s “hip-hop” beats make this album’s sound very creepy. So, if you’re ready, here’s a brief review and rating of each song…1.”Blind”:The first minute has no words, only David’s cymbals, Head & Munky’s guitars, and Fieldy’s bass building up to the explosive challenge:”ARE YOU READY?!” In my opinion, this is the best and most explosive start to a heavy metal album. Also there is no chorus, just differen’t head-banger rythyms that keep the song moving. 10/102.”Ball Tongue”:Has something to do with a broken fiendship. Probably the first KoRn song where Jonathan “raps” gibberish. 9/103.”Need To”:Pretty good. Can’t quite tell what it’s about, though. Has some screaming in it. 9/104.”Clown”:At first you’ll think that this is just a stupid skit, but the beginning is just an argument on how the song should be played. Once it gets into the song it’s really good. The heavy guitaring is impressive. It has nothing to do with clowns though.10/105.”Divine”:Good song. Nothing else to say. 9/106.”Faget”:First of all, this song is NOT bashing gays. (That’s probaby why it’s spelled wrong.) This song is really about Jonathan being picked on in school. It’s pretty emotional and I think it sends a message of how painful it is to be put down by another person. 10/107.”Shoots and Ladders”:A KoRn classic. This one is my favorite on the album. It’s eerie hearing Jonathan singing childrens’ nursery rhymes and the bagpipes in the beginning change it from a really good song to a really great song. 11/108.”Predictable”:This song is also good. 9/109.”Fake”: okay song. 8/1010.”Lies”: This is the only one that fails to amuse me as much as the others 7/1011.”Helmet in the Bush”:This song is my favorite one next to “Shoots and Ladders”. Is a darker song about Jonathan’s Speed addiction. He’s pleading to God not to let him die. It sets the mood for the finale, “Daddy”12.”Daddy”:By far KoRn’s most emotional song. This is a 10 minute journey through the terrors of child abuse which leaves Jonathan in tears by the end. I don’t think any band has or will ever come close to this song. If you are an emotional person this will probably make you cry along with Jonathan as the band continues to play creepy beats. This is an intense song and not meant for the faint at heart. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. 10/10This album is KoRn at their best. None of their 4 follow-ups have lived up to it. But before listening to it, ask yourself, are you ready?
Grammy winning rock band Korn has sold more than 30 million albums and received widespread critical acclaim for its music. Korn has redefined the parameters of heavy music, revolutionizing the genre be matching unsettling guitar textures and volcanic rhythms with jagged, introspective lyrics and intense vocals. Korn is known for its extensive live touring schedule and riveting live performances.Combining the stop-start rhythms of Helmet, the hip-hop assault of Rage Against the Machine and the brooding vocals of Faith No More, Bakersfield, California band Korn concocted a golden formula that would reanimate the dormant corpse of heavy metal. The band’s self-titled debut is a teenage-fantasy-endorphin-rush–a subversive noisefest as angry and hostile as Slayer but with a propulsive groove perfect for skateboarding, vandalism, or jumping up and down until you’re nauseous. Songs like ”Blind,” ”Clown,” and ”Shoots and Ladders” blend dark, bleak riffs with head-spinning guitar effects and scream-and-response choruses. But even at their most vitriolic, Korn imbue their blustery music with a cathartic element of fun. –Jon Wiederhorn
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What Can I Say. This Is Just A Masterpiece. I Mean Pure Gold. The Songs Wont Make Alot Of Sense Until You Understand What Jonathan Davis Is Talking About But It’s A Journey All In it’s Own To Become One Of The Children Of The KoRn. This Showcases Bass At It’s Very Best With The Most Emotional Vocals Since, Well Since Never. Heres My Track by Track Review.1.Blind- Great Opening For An Albumn2.Ball Tongue- Very Creative Song. Too Bad KoRn Isnt More Like This3.Need To- My favorite Song Ever4.Clown-Increadible Bass And Guitars5.Divine- Very Good Song All Around6.Faget- Very Good Ver Emotional Song7.Shoots And Ladders- Bagpipe Spiked Metal Masterpiece8.Predictable- …. Its Sounds Just Like Creed.9.Fake- It’s Okay But Not Great10.Lies- Fast-Paced Adreniline Rush11.Helment In The Bush- Kinda Creepy But Very Good12.Daddy-If you Dont Cry Or Feel Like Crying During This Song You Proabably Have No Soul. Dont Be Scared Away By That Though. I’d Rate It As Second Best Song On The Cd, And Best Song To Define KoRn By.
When you listen to this C.D., make sure you remember the year it came out: 1994, when nu-metal WAS still new. Jonathan Davis and Company popularized and essentially created this genre and gave birth to so many other bands. Korn are to nu-metal as Nirvana are to grunge: they weren’t the first ones on the scene, but their respective genres wouldn’t be the same without them.
Speaking of Nirvana…no, Korn didn’t “kill metal.” In a way, they actually helped save it. You see, grunge was the genre of choice in the early 1990’s. There were a few metal bands (i.e. Prong & Megadeth) who remained, but heavy metal was more-or-less dead during that period. Then, around 1994, it was time for grunge to disappear. This may be because bands like Nirvana & Soundgarden broke up, or it may be because bands like Helmet and Korn formed. It may not be the heaviest music around, but nu-metal is a lot more metal than grunge was.
Korn do combine elements of Helmet and Rage Against the Machine, but (for the most part) this album had a very original sound. Head and Munky get by without soloing (as does every nu-metal band), because they are two of the most talented axemen in nu-metal. Their bottom-heavy, downtuned guitars (another Korn innovation) rumble and crunch.
Now, with two guitarists, one bass player (which, granted, is usually inaudible), and a catchy drummer, one might think this is a fairly typical nu-metal band. That’s where Jonathan Davis comes in. He helps separate Korn from everyone else. Calling him “weird” and “crazy” are understatements. Jonathan, who is supposedly a survivor of sexual abuse, is a true head case who puts his heart and soul into every song (as if he’s reliving that childhood drama). All of these things and more make this album an all-time great. Almost every song is great.
1. “Blind” is Korn’s first-ever single, thus it is their first hit song. And to this day, it may still be their most famous song. It begins with David (the drummer) playing distantly, with light tapping on the high-hats, but as soon as the opening riff begins, it’s an instant classic. It is a simple, but world-renowned guitar riff, which whines a little and pierces the air like a dagger. The other guitarist comes on and initially makes a low beeping noise, but both guitars eventually conjoin, and Mr. Davis lets out a cry of “Are you ready?!” This is followed by a funky groove and restrained vocals. The song builds, and the last verse is highlighted by an ascending yell of “I can see, I can see, I’m goin’ blind.” The songs continues to build, gaining volume and speed. Then, when you’d think there would be a climax… the song pauses (for about a second) and the remainder of the song is light strumming. This whole song is very catchy, and it has good lyrics.
2. I’ve always thought it’s cool how Jonathan can go from calm to insane in the same song, and “Ball Tongue” is a perfect example of that. This is one of the heaviest songs on here, with punching guitars and a famous soft to heavy, calm to crazy song structure. The choruses have yelling and some scat, and Jonathan gets so out of control that he needs to gasp for air. The ending drums sound very raw (they’re always raw on this C.D., but here they sound like pots and pans.)
3. “Need To” has a Helmet-esque stop, start beat and a hip-hop-ish drum beat.
4. “Clown” opens with a dumb little skit, with the band members arguing in the recording studio. When the actual song begins, there’s a good give-and-take trade off between the guitars (which are almost “booming”) and drums. They eventually come together and play, though. Vocally, most of this is sung with an occasional whisper. The choruses are louder, but the real yelling begins during this song’s bridge. Lyrically, this song is about a Korn hater, dressed as a clown, who yelled at the band…before getting pummeled by a security guard.
5. “Divine” has funky staccato riffs, and, near the end, Jonathan goes from a growl to a yell.
6. “F*get” has more stop-start, almost bobbing riffs. Many people perceive this song as a homophobic message, but it is not. It’s about a rumor that Jonathan (who builds to a yell several times in this song) was gay in high school. Evidently, this was not a rumor he was happy with.
7. “Shoots and Ladders” is very creepy. The first minute and twenty seconds is a bagpipe solo, then the guitars begin and Jonathan sings, very ominously, many different childhood nursery rhymes. His singing turns to panting around the 3:35 mark, then he lays down another ascending yell of “Nick-nack, patty-whack, give the dog a bone” (with a background of crunchy guitar riffs and simultaneously playing drums.)
8. “Predictable” opens with a rusty sounding riff, which is only audible in one headphone. This is followed by a bark of “Go!,” distorted and lurching riffs, and thumping drums.
9. “Fake” begins with a fast riff and drum work. Things come down for the verses, which have tame, brooding vocals. But you know it won’t last…the song ends with Jonathan spouting more gibberish and even experimenting with his death metal voice.
10. The guitars on “Lies” aren’t as dominating as usual. There is some swirling guitar noise, but I enjoy the catchy, jazzy drumming and weird growl/belch that Jon lets out.
11. “Helmet in the Bush” has a chugging riff, and more supple crooning (with some whispering) throughout. It ends with a towering, demonic voice, but, for the most part, “Helmet in the Bush” is rather anti-climatic and forgettable. It’s the only track on this album that falls flat, but it is immediately overshadowed by…
track 12, “Daddy.” This song is infamous and has obscene lyrics about the singer’s mother molesting him as a child. The beginning, which is properly and clearly sung, is kind of confusing, because it is an apology to his mother (!) The next part of the song (after the first ten seconds) has almost spoken word vocals, with lyrics like: “Child, you look so pretty…” From that moment on, Jonathan becomes progressively more crazy. “Daddy,” the only song Korn have vowed to never play live, is a personal favorite because by its end, Jonathan has officially lost it. He is now crying the verses. The feelings and emotion on display here are almost indescribable. You just can’t fake this kind of emotion! He is yelling and crying; hurt and livid. The words “sad,” “depressing,” “touching,” and “intense” don’t begin to describe this song. Plus, it is sung with so much conviction, the listener can really feel what he is feeling. The listener is emotionally drained by the time this song hits 15 minutes. At about that time (when there is no more yelling, only sobbing), some female vocals make an appearance, sing for a little bit, and the song draws to a close.
So, this might be the best hard rock/metal album of our time, and the best nu-metal C.D. ever. Most Korn fans think this is their best album, and there are even many people, who aren’t Korn fans, that love this album.
I think there are a few greater metal albums that came out in the 1990’s (i.e. “Vulgar Display of Power”), and there is even another Korn album that I prefer over this one (“Follow the Leader.”) But Korn’s self-titled debut is definitely in my top five for favorite C.D.’s. Part of it’s charm is that it is Korn at their most raw, emotional, stripped down, and pure. If you listen to “Untouchables,” then come back and listen to this, it sounds like two completely different bands.
This album is a must for all nu-metal fans, and it’s probably even essential for casual metalheads. But, if you’re new to the band, even though this might be their finest hour, it isn’t necessarily a good representation of them (since it is so raw). One thing is for certain, however: if you only buy two Korn albums, make sure this is one of them.
Now, if you’re looking for family friendly, light-hearted music, you’ve purchased the wrong C.D. But if you want an incredible C.D. that is a wild roller coaster of emotion, look no further.
Korn: a word that will be remembered decades later for revolutionizing the age of nu-metal as Metallica is remembered for ushering in the age of hard rock. Perhaps not so much for the band itself, but definitely for this self-titled album. Korn took a formula of lyrics dealing with teen angst and other everyday issues mixed with harder-edged music started by such bands as Rage Against the Machine and Nirvana, added their own twist, raised the level of aggression, poured their heart and soul into the mix, and created an album that is an influence and guideline for bands of the past, present, and future.Korn’s music is a dark and angry aggro, groove-laden, downtuned, in-your-face brutal assault of all five of your senses. It’s been called crossover, pimp rock, even rapcore. Whatever you call it, I call it incredibly intense and personal on the deepest darkest levels. Featuring the dynamic duo of Head and Munky whose freaky, yet intelligent down-tuned guitar work is a trademark of the Korn sound, Fieldy known for his wicked bass lines, and David whose work on the s/t is nothing short of brilliant (by far his best work of all of the Korn albums), together creates a sound that at the time was unlike any other.Enter: Jonathan Davis. It is Jon’s presence on this album that adds the true essence of brilliance by showcasing not only his talent as a songwriter and vocalist, but by capturing the heartfelt emotion of anguish and pain, hate and anger, of his innermost demons that were released through the making of this album. This album is a part of Jon Davis. Whether dealing with the issues of child abuse, drugs, sex, high school, or peers Jon Davis tells you how it is, straight-forward and in-your-face, brutally honest and real. From melodic crooning to hardcore screams, psychedelic barrages and screams of anguish, it’s all there for the listener to absorb and be amazed.From start to finish this cd will have you on the edge of your seat. Whether from fright or anger, stunned or mesmerized, this cd will not fail to move the listener. Personal favorites on the cd are “Clown”, “Ball Tongue”, “Blind”, “Faget”, “Divine” and “Predictable” although every single song is a masterpiece in itself. Even if music becomes obsolete in the future somewhere this album will still be around blowing someone away. And it’s not just because of the music. No other album has captured the darkness and beauty of human emotions so magnificently as Korn’s s/t album. Like I said, Korn took their heart and soul and put it into this album creating something that will probably never again be seen or heard. That is why Korn will never again make an album that is half as good as the s/t. They used up all of their emotions that truly makes an album special, to create the first one.Korn, I sincerely thank you for this gift that you have so unselfishly and assiduously created and given to the world. Peace.
I’ll be honest, I started with Korn with Issues. That was my first Korn album. I sorta worked my way backwards. After I purchased Issues which in my opinion is one of the best metal albums, I went to the local Waves Music store and bought all the other Korn CDs at once. No other music had as much impact on me as Korn’s first album. The self/titled debut is a truly amazing piece of music. It’s pain, tragedy, depression, and all of our darker moments wrapped into a tight package sealed with a black ribbon. In my opinion what Korn represents is really hard to find in today’s music. I’m sick and tired of people calling Korn and untalented band. Or saying that Jon Davis’ anger is fake. Most of these criticizers have lived their life no longer than 13 years. Live the next 5 or 6 years and you will realize where Korn is coming from. Jon Davis comes from a life that has been filled with pain, suffering, and so much anger that there is enough in him to write 90 albums. I suggest taking a look … and reading up on the band’s history. You will surely be stunned and I would suggest reading the Korn Fiction on KornWeb which reveals some hidiously painful stories about Jon’s life. Songs like Clown, Faget, and Need To are songs about everyday things that can affect our entire life forever. But the most true to the heart song has to be Daddy. This is in my opinion the most painful true story ever heard through music. It’s a song about how Jon was molested as a child and it clearly shows his true aggression. The crying at the end of the song is real. Jon Davis was alone in the studio as he sang to pre recorded music. This is a slap in the face of all people that say that Korn is just stupid distorted noise. I don’t think half the people that say Korn is … have not even heard this song. I think that they are afraid to relate to something as hard to talk about as Jon’s life. And he is a true inspiration to most teens everywhere (including myself). Korn’s music made my life much better and helped me through tough times that I just didn’t have a chance in. I think of Korn as a form of medication and it works oh-so well. If Jon, Fieldy, Munky, Head, or David ever venture upon this review, this is what I have to say to them:Your music has changed my life. If it wasn’t for you I wouldn’t be here right now and I honestly mean that. Keep putting out meaningful music and don’t let all the critics out there deter your gift. I’m sure every single one of your fans feels the same way. Thank you…