Korn - Follow The Leader

Well, we reach that time again. It’s time for the latest in the “most eagerly anticipated albums of the year”. Don’t you just love them? Well maybe, as long as they don’t come with a “bonus” fucking remix CD. Excuse me a moment.


Thanks. Right, forget that, the album. Feels familiar, when you look at the layout. Hope this isn’t a sign of things to come. Let’s face it, Life Is Peachy was shite. It had a major flaw. Lack of songs. The other thing was that Jon gave up on singing, a major mistake in my opinion. FtL at least rectifies this, which is a good thing. But for me, it’s still not there. Maybe I shouldn’t compare with the debut. I don’t think they’re going to top that, and I don’t think they’re trying to, which is fair enough. As for this, well, it’s difficult to approach with an open mind, because due to the “eager anticipation” we’ve been told what it’s like haven’t we? A departure. More hip hop. Even phater. Sorry, that should be PHATER. Has to be phat these days. Well, it’s not really. There’s more evidence of riffs, more fluid guitar, rather than the squeaks, squeals and scratches of LiP. This is a good thing. But take a track like In The Family. The “it’s Fred and Jon facing off at each other. Man hilarious. We barbecued our ribs after they fell out from laughing, and had a good old munch on them. It’s so good. Like old school rappers facing off and hurling abuse”. Right, so I’m expecting this like up in your face mess with me and I’ll kill you fucker of a song, and you get a laid back, let’s include as many Korn songs as possible thing, where, well, if Jon is rapping then he sounds crap. Without the hype it may well have felt like a good song. But instead .... Look, you may say “judge as it is”, yeah, ok, but we all do this sort of thing. If something is hyped, we are influenced, we are swayed in some way. We’re set up. That’s what hype is about. And the people that hype then have to accept that people may well make some unfair judgements. It’s a part of the tradeoff. Hype brings publicity, but that can be good as well as bad. I’m just being honest here in my view on things. If it isn’t your favourite band, I’ll bet that you do it as well.

But there’s enough of those old Jon “I think it’s the point in the song where I muahwah ahaa aha twist, loose it” to keep everyone happy. Yep, Korn have firmly established their own identity, to the extent where if you don’t like them, you can point to things that are reassuringly the same. And every band has that.

You can probably tell I’m struggling. You should be able to. Put it like this, the first time I played it, I took it off half way through and put on something else. Too long an album. Many have fallen prey to this.

And what of Got The Life. Mannnnn, it’s disco. Yeah right, and I can fucking dance. Justin is the tale of a terminally ill kid. Touching. “You’re going to die”. I know Korn always have to throw their own slant on things, but, well, hmmm. And the song of dead bodies in the morgue and whatever. Ah well. Amazing how so many people “identify with the lyrics”. Not for me to judge, but do you? Do you really?

Me going for the jugular now. Yet another band determined to get a novelty aspect on CD. This time starting on track 13. Mmmmm. And that god damn, fucking, yeargh, stupid ass, grrrr, hidden track bonus thing. STOP IT. STOP IT. STOP IT. PLEASE. JUST INCLUDE THE FUCKING THING ON THE LISTING. YOU’RE NOT FOOLING ANYONE. STUPID FUCKING RECORD LABELS. Do that and you have 14 tracks, therefore no need for the little novelty act. Have to wait to see what Mr Manson can come up with now won’t we.

I’ve listened a few times now, and it’s still not doing it for me. Maybe there’s a part of me didn’t want to like it, and that’s winning through at the moment. Didn’t want to like it, because as great as the debut was, and it was/still is, LiP was crap, and Korn have really become victims of their own success, appearing as arrogant rock stars. The invention and mystery is gone. Makes me a trendy wannabie I know. Jump on the bandwagon as it suits, and then turn my back on them when they become popular. Yeah I’ve heard all those arguments before. Maybe it’s actually me just making my own decision, not the one the press tells me to, and making the decision that the songs simply don’t do it for me. Pure and simple as that. For all the new twists (sorry!) in there, it still feels like I’ve heard them before, and the new twists appear to be used in just about every song. It’s a great sound, but one that simply for my attention span has begun to wear thinner than a very thin thing. But next time they tour I’ll still go and see them. Knowing what a hypocrite I can be, I’ll probably see them a few times. That will be the test. LiP sounded better live, but even there they were stagnating. Relying on a reputation built on the debut. In a word, they were boring. Now is the time for them to remedy that. The album hasn’t managed it for me, so now it’s down to the gig.

The artwork show minions following a leader. Which many have picked up on. But the leader is running out of ground. A big fall is approaching. Any significance there?

At the end of the day it doesn’t matter what I or anyone else says. You’ll have already made up your mind on this one based on whether you like the band or not. For those who love them and want to say “you suck” or “fuck you” to me, remember, it’s my opinion. Don’t Follow The Leader all the time, make your own decision. At the end of the day, it’s a shame it’s not as good as Earthtone 9. Or Medulla Nocte. Or Pulkas. Or Milque. Or .... get the picture. There is more out there.

Luke warm rather than scolding the fingers.