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Korn - Greatest Hits, Vol. 1

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  • The time is right for Korn’s first greatest hits album. It is the right time because 2004 is Korn’s 10 year anniversary. 1994 saw the first release of Korn’s six great albums, an album which essentially created a genre (nu-metal). Now that’s something to celebrate!
    However the time is also wrong. Korn HAVE evolved over the course of their ten year career, with albums like “Follow the Leader” (which melded rap and rock) and “Untouchables” (a heavier, robust sound). However, Korn’s latest studio album (“Take a Look in the Mirror”) saw the band going back to their roots (and sounding like their first two albums, “Korn” and “Life is Peachy”). So, this retrospective (which goes in reverse chronological order) proves that Korn haven’t really gone anywhere in their career.
    With that said, this is a great compilation. As previously mentioned, it goes in reverse chronological order; starting with two new covers that the band recorded in early 2004 and ending with their 1994 self-titled debut (an album that many believe to be the best hard rock album of all time.)
    The first song, a cover of Cameo’s rap hit “Word Up”, is an instant hit. The cover, which is actually not all that far removed from the original, is very catchy. It has Manson-esque vocals and has a good beat. The next song, “Another Hole in the Wall”, is a heck of a lot better than I thought it was going to be. With the dark theme and shout-along-chorus, Korn make it seem like they were almost meant to play this song. Guitarist Head does a great job of reciting the guitar solo, and the song ends with a bone-chilling whisper of “Goodbye world, goodbye.”
    The next set of songs comes from 2003’s “Take a Look in the Mirror.” “Ya’ll Want a Single” is a bit of a weird transition from “Another Brick in the Wall”, but it is nonetheless a very enjoyable song that needs to be on here. It has a bobbing beat that at times is almost rap influenced. “Right Now” and “Did My Time” are not only personal favorites, they are great representations of the band (dark, angry and agressive).
    The next cuts come from 2002’s “Untouchables.” Only two songs are represented from that album. “Alone I Break” is the closest thing to a ballad Korn have ever made (it includes Blue Man Group-esque drums), while “Here to Stay” (one of Korn’s most popular singles) is almost the exact opposite. It’s ultra-heavy guitars, “boom-boom” beat, relateable lyrics and mosh-worthy bridge make this another personal favorite.
    The next four tracks come from 1999’s “Issues.” It’s pecilular why “Issues” should get the most space on the CD, especially seeing how Korn omitted “Thoughtless” (their third single from “Untouchables”) in favor of “Trash” (a song that was not a single.) But, oh well. “Issues” was a very underrated album; it deserves four songs on here. “Trash” is a creepy song with sick and twisted lyrics, “Falling Away From Me” is a moshpit ready hit single with big guitars, and “Somebody Someone” and “Make Me Bad” are both very catchy, as well.
    It’s also a bit strange why Korn’s most popular album, “Follow the Leader”, which went quintuple platinum, only has space for two songs on here. While a third song (“Children of the Korn”, maybe) would have been welcome, the two songs, “Got the Life” and “Freak on a Leash” are both excellent songs and fan favorites. “Got the Life” includes a “gluey” bassline and a disco beat influenced chorus. “Freak on a Leash” is a good example of how Johnathan Davis can go from calm to absolutely crazy.
    The next two songs (again, only two!) are from “Life is Peachy.” My favorite song from this album (“Good God”) is missing, but the two songs that are represented are, again, great songs. “Twist” is a 49-second scat-laden riot and “A.D.I.D.A.S.” is a perverted sing-along song.
    The next three tracks are from Korn’s self-titled debut. Nothing can be said about them that hasn’t been said before. They are classics to the metal scene. Note, however, that these last five songs sound quite similar to the songs from “Take a Look in the Mirror.”
    The CD ends with the Dante Ross remix of Freak on a Leash. There are numerous songs (rarities and demos) that could and should have been substituted for this song. However, don’t quibble over it too much. It is a good remix (one that you could almost dance to) and the end is a good place for it.
    So, in conclusion, this album is a great compilation of tried and true classics. It’s a must for all of the children of Korn (especially hardcore fans and completionists.) If nothing else, atleast buy this for the two cover songs and the mini-concert DVD (“Live at CBGB’s in New York”).
    Love ‘em or hate ‘em, Korn are here to stay (as the title, “Greatest Hits, Vol. 1″ suggests). I just hope they will evolve a little more in the second half of their career.

    Posted on November 26, 2009