The first phrase exclaimed by a musically intelligent individual when Limp Bizkit is mentioned is usually “They suck”. If not they are often asked if they have been sniffing anything recently, probably due to the fact that everything Limp Bizkit have released after Significant Other has been down right piss poor.
However aside from that, this is actually a good album, not anything classic but still a worthwhile listen.
Sure, there’s no shredding guitar solos, no epic lyrics, no sound clips of an orgasm in the making but The Unquestionable Truth still manages to sound original and decent in it’s own right (even though it does fall quite short of most other mind ***s).
The main reason that The Unquestionable Truth is so much better than that steaming pile released in 2003 is that Wes Borland has returned and the songs actually include proper guitar riffs, which was something the previous album was rather devoid of. Along with the more intricate guitar riffs, Sam Rivers also shows off his bass skills more than he has done on most previous albums with some really impressive bass lines (with the intro to The Truth as a perfect example of this). The drums are just as they always have been, simple, with few fills but still adding to the songs. The sampling has also seemed to decrease drastically compared to previous releases, which is a good thing since Limp Bizkit do work effectively with the raw energy created between just the basic guitars, bass and drums. Basically what you’re left with is some decent nu-metal musicianship perfect for bobbing your head to.
On the previous Limp Bizkit albums, the main incentive that urged listeners to just switch it off was vocalist/attention whore Fred Durst. However on this album his ego isn’t as prominent and the typical generic ‘I own this world’ rap lyrics are kept to a minimum. This is mainly due to the fact that Fred Durst has now actually grown up! He’s now in his mid-thirties and has a child so obviously his lyrics have matured and now have more prominent meanings behind the raw angst and ‘fame is a bitch’ emotion.
The lyrical meanings on The Unquestionable Truth mainly cover one aspect of life. All of the songs are centered round the importance of truth with issues such as corruption in church and religion (as in The Priest), propaganda and information being held back from the public by the government (as in The Truth and The Propaganda) and the evils of media, particularly E! Entertainment (as in The Story).
The album kicks off with one of the stronger tracks, The Propaganda. After about fifteen seconds of feedback the instruments kick in with a moderately fast beat mainly driven by a simple yet catchy guitar riff. Soon after Durst starts rapping, even though he isn’t an amazing rapper or lyricist, it fits the song well and adds a much rawer feel to that of previous releases. This track unquestionably sets the tone of the album with its raw guitar riffs, pounding drums, catchy bass lines and angst filled, cliché hating rap. The only major flaw is the end which is fairly repetitive with the phrase “Who is phoney, it faded slowly, you don’t know me but I made you” but apart from that, this is a strong track and a definite Bizkit highlight.
The next track, The Truth, is easily the strongest song here (and notably more impressive than most songs released during the nu-metal era). After twenty seconds of peculiar sounds and white noise the bass comes in with a very fast paced and impressive bass line (which stands out in a genre that is usually filled with inaudible bassists). As the bass line progresses the drums and guitar build in intensity around it until the 0:50 mark where the guitar joins in playing the same melody as the bass except a couple of octaves higher. At 1:10 the song gets even heavier with typical down tuned power chords making a sound perfect for bobbing your head to. Fred’s rapping in this track sounds quite like that of Zack de la Rocha of Rage Against The Machine which is a step in the right direction even though it isn’t that original. Overall this is an amazing Limp Bizkit song and a great example of how enjoyable nu-metal can be when executed correctly.
The next song The Priest is where the album starts going slightly downhill. Although it does have some nice heavy guitar riffs and some catchy lyrics it doesn’t really have any set-up. It’s just the Chorus and Pre-chorus being repeated over and over again. At 2:17 the song calms down into a bridge with Fred muttering “I see a priest molesting children, I see terrorists blowing up buildings, I see someone in rage killing Dimebag on stage, what the *** is this?” After over a minute of talk like these the song explodes back into the chorus and then finishes with the sound of marching boots. Overall this is basically a mediocre attempt at making a song about corruption in the church (which ironically was released around the time of Pope Benedict’s election).
Next is The Key. This is both the shortest and weakest track on the album and is more like 1:26 of filler rather than an actual song. This is also the only track on the album that isn’t guitar and bass driven, instead DJ Lethal takes over and manages to spit out some mediocre beats over which Durst raps rather badly.
The next two tracks (The Channel and The Story) are good listens, as with most of the album, nothing outstanding but still decent and solidly written tracks. The Channel starts with a strange and almost spooky sounding guitar riff which is quickly joined by the drums and bass. Lyrically, this is probably the most angst filled track on the album with Durst declaring, “I don’t like the whores, you try to *** you for your game!” (Ironically this was said just before Durst’s sex tapes were leaked on the internet).
The Story is basically an attack on E! Entertainment: True Hollywood Story with Durst singing in the chorus, “It’s the E! True Hollywood story, take a man down with his own glory, guess who’s next!” Overall this is just a decent nu-metal composition.
The final track on The Unquestionable Truth, The Surrender, is an attempt at the mainstream success that they received from their cover of The Who’s Behind Blue Eyes. As with Behind Blue Eyes it is a slow and mainstream ballad mainly driven by a simple acoustic guitar riff, unlike Behind Blue Eyes it isn’t particularly good (probably because Limp Bizkit actually wrote it). Overall, The Surrender fails as being a success and sounds rushed and unfinished as if it was slapped onto the record as soon as possible without any real attempt at trying to make it a strong track. Never the less, it is a fitting finish to the album.
The Unquestionable Truth Pt. 1 is an immense improvement on Limp Bizkit’s previous efforts. Wes Borland’s guitar riffs are notably more prominent, Sam River’s produces some intricate and incredibly catchy bass lines (which stand out compared to his nu-metalloid peers who are usually completely inaudible), DJ Lethal has taken a step back and is no longer plaguing the music with mindless and repetitive scratching but is now only adding in effects and scratches when completely necessary, John Otto is as always keeping the beats nice and simple but effective while front man Fred Durst has lowered his ego and has notably tried to mature his lyrical references.
Overall, The Unquestionable Truth is definitely worth a listen. It is nowhere near being a classic but it is a definite step in the right direction for Limp Bizkit and an effective way of separating themselves from the pack of generic nu-metalloids plaguing the world today. 3/5