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Korn Korn III: Remember Who You Are CD Album Review

17 July 2010 7 Comments

By: A. Estes

You can download free Korn music (yes, free – legally) at this link –> .

Korn III: Remember Who You Are CD Album Cover Art

It hasn’t been a good decade for Korn. Slumping record sales combined with line-up changes and creative frustration have threatened to force the group into irrelevance. In 2005, the band saw the exit of guitarist Brian “Head” Welch and released See You on the Other Side, a blatantly over-produced and experimental album that attempted to reinvent the band’s signature sound by blanketing it in dense electronics and slick pop production. A mere two years later, and with the arrival of Untitled the band had bid farewell to drummer David Silveria, thus slimming down to a three-piece. With three different drummers in tow, Untitled, lacked consistency which compromised its creativity. In turn, it flopped harder than any Korn album before and for a while, it looked the band would never recover.

With album number nine, the Bakersfield heroes attempt to set things right once and for all. By recruiting drummer Ray Luzier (Army of Anyone) full-time and reuniting with producer Ross Robinson — the man at the helm of their ground-breaking debut and its follow-up, Life Is PeachyKorn III: Remember Who You Are is an honest to goodness attempt at a return to form for a band facing a mid-career crisis. Gone are the pop-songwriters and the studio trickery which masked the group’s short-comings and in their place is a down and dirty, back to basics sound that attempts to re-capture the intensity and immediacy that accompanied their best work.

Unfortunately, this technique also serves to show the holes in Korn’s creative process, revealing a band that sounds incomplete. Part of what made the first two Korn albums so great was the call-and-response riffing of James “Munky” Shaffer and Welch, and since the band refuses to hire a full-time second guitarist (and instead, choose to cram their touring guitarist Shane Gibson behind the equipment during live shows), Munky’s riffs are forced to pick up much of the slack in the band’s sound, but without accompaniment, fall flat. The biggest crime on Remember Who You Are is the lack of a single memorable riff in the vein of “Clown” or “Good God.” Nowhere is this more evident than on the album’s first single, “Oildale (Leave Me Alone)”. Instead, it’s left up to the rhythm section to compensate, and to that end, the album succeeds. Ray Luzier is a big part of the album’s sound, and his chemistry with Fieldy on bass is evident throughout. Between the two, some of the band’s grooviest and catchiest material in years comes to fruition on songs such as “Pop a Pill” and “Fear is a Place to Live”.

The biggest enemy of the album, however, is frontman Jonathan Davis. While Davis turns in a decent enough vocal performance, the subject matter of his lyrics is cringe-inducing at best. While he made valiant enough efforts at expanding his scope on the band’s latter-day albums, he regresses to the whiny, mopey dude in a track-suit that he grew out of many, many years ago. When you’re pushing forty and you’ve got a successful marriage, career and children, it’s hard to take it seriously when you cry at the end of a song. This sort of thing worked in 1994, but even its most hardcore fanbase has grown out of Korn’s self-pitying and for a while, it seemed like Davis had too. The lyrics and their delivery sound forced and artificial, verging on self-parody at times and threaten to tear down whatever integrity the album may have.

On the whole, Korn III: Remember Who You Are isn’t exactly the return to form that you may be hoping for, but for a band that has slimmed down considerably, they make do with what they have, with the addition of Luzier being perhaps the best thing to happen to the band in years. Old-school fans might find comfort in hearing a band attempt to re-align itself with its roots, but those who have grown above and beyond will find it to be merely child’s play. It makes for decent enough background music, but when examined too closely, there are too many surface cracks and flaws to ignore. Is this Korn’s St. Anger and is there a much better album to follow? Or have they stalled creatively and changed so much that they will no longer be able to function as a cohesive band? Only time will tell.

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7 Comments »

  • Carla said:

    No one has commented yet because no one cares. This band has fallen – far.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  • Andrew (author) said:

    Their best days are definitely behind them. As of right now, I don’t have any Korn on my iPod. I used to be a big fan. Now, I could care less. Sad. Very sad.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  • ArchedIsisByleveling said:

    How the mighty have fallen.

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  • darius said:

    i listened to this record last week in its entirety. BOOORRRIINNNNNGGGG! it’s crazy, i remember LOVING this band 10 years ago. jonathan davis’ voice has become increasingly grating on the ears with every passing year.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  • Kreator said:

    You’re not alone Darius. I feel the same f’n way. I threw it right in the garbage after I listened to it. Waste of $. It was so bad I won’t even try to sell it on ebay because I don’t want to put an innocent person through the torment of listening to it.

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  • KoRn kid said:

    LMAo you guys are just a bunch of haters they sold about four million copies of koRn 3 fuck heads

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  • darius said:

    not sure where KoRn kid gets his soundscan figures from…

    this record has scanned 106,281 copies as of today. i guess that’s close to 4 million…

      (Quote)  (Reply)

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