Limp Bizkit is back with their fifth album “The Unquestionable Truth, Part I” which is a surprisingly good effort.
Limp Bizkit were never a great band, but they did know how to make good frat-boy rock. Their first three albums “Three Dollar Bill Ya” (1997), Significant Other (1999) and “Chocolate Starfish” (2000) are a lot of fun. They were one of the better bands of the Nu-Metal genre, and cranked out heavy songs, with good hooks, and sing-along-choruses. It was perfect music for High School and College kids. “Nookie” was like the “Cherry Pie” of the late 90s.
After reaching their plateau with “Chocolate Starfish,” the Bizkit Empire started to crumble. First, guitarist Wes Borland left the band. He was not only the most creative member of the band and their biggest talent, but was their guiding force. Then there was Fred Durst’s embarrassing public infatuation with Brittany Spears. The bands search for a new guitar player, in which they had the contenders sign a contract forfeiting any music they played at the tryout, further damaged their reputation. Then after hooking up with guitarist Mike Smith, the band released the horrific “Results May Vary” album. Although it went platinum, it was almost universally panned by both critics and all, but the most hard-core of fans. Add to this the fact that by the mid-`00s, the whole Nu-Metal genre was passé. Limp Bizkit, were, like, sooo 1999. By the release of “Results” Limp Bizkit was going down. They were about as cool as Warrant and their future looked bleak…
But then guitarist Wes Borland returned to the fold, so it seemed that all was not lost. Could his return revitalize the band? The answer is, quite simply, yes.
“The Unquestionable Truth, Part I, is a strong comeback for the band. One thing that “Results May Vary” lacked was good riffs. Well, “The Unquestionable Truth, Part 1″ is not lacking there. In fact, this album contains some of their finest, most catchy collection of songs to date. It’s mostly fast and furious. The ending ballad, “The Surrender” is one of the best, most honest songs they’ve ever written. These songs sound less fun, more urgent, and darker than their previous releases. The band has both returned to their roots, and also matured. It’s more than just about breakin’ stuff and nookie, it’s more serious, but without sounding preachy or pretentious. So they’ve grown up, but without forgetting what made Limp Bizkit, Limp Bizkit.
Wes Borland’s presence is what ultimately makes this CD work. Say what you will about Limp Bizkit, but there is no denying that Borland is a creative guy.
This album is probably Fred Durst’s finest hour. On the first three Bizkit albums, his obnoxious, odious presence was tolerable because of his charisma and because he was backed by a pretty good band, especially Borland. On the fourth album, “Results May Vary,” Durst came across as so obnoxious, and so self-pitying, the album was barley listenable (that and the fact that the songs had no real hooks or riffs). On “The Unquestionable Truth, Part I” Durst steps outside himself and his trivial self-pitying problems, and actually has something to say. He takes on issues like morality, the church, Hollywood, etc. Ok, he may not be Bob Dylan or John Lennon, but at least he’s trying.
Some people have stated their unhappiness with the length of the album (it’s only 29 minutes, seven songs). I have no qualms with the shortness of the album. It’s like an old-school rock album, like Van Halen or KISS. And to be honest, if it were longer, it may overstay its welcome. A half hour of Fred Durst is about right.
The heyday of Limp Bizkit is long over, but this CD is definitely a respectable comeback. This is what the band should have put out in `2001/’02, as the follow-up to “Chocolate Starfish.” This album has received almost no hype, which is a good thing. After being overexposed and reviled, a small scale comeback with a strong collection of songs is just what the band needs.