Korn
Issues


4.5
superb

Review

by Josh Gimblett USER (5 Reviews)
June 25th, 2005 | 105 replies


Release Date: 1999 | Tracklist


Korn: Issues

Korn have been one of the most influential bands upon the Nu-metal genre. Originating back in the early 90’s, they eventually kicked into the mainstream in 1994 with the release of ‘Korn’, and created them to be one of the most iconic bands in hard-rock history, combing a refreshing detuned sound ontop with some aggressive lyrics and killer tunes - amongst the Grunge scene emerged a new era of music that reeked with potential, and Korn were urging to get out there to make everyone witness the revolution.

Three albums later, and Korn have hit it big time - sell out tours, highly rated albums and reoccurring successions in sales, Korn have embarked themselves as one of the most popular bands of the 90’s. So with their fourth album, Issues, they had a lot of hype to live up to, and expectations were increasingly high. Eventually, Issues was released in 1999, surprising fans and non-fans alike with its death-orientated theme and darker atmosphere. Lyrically, it was far sinister, and the effects that the guitars tend to use creating an unsettling mood. Although I personally didn’t like the album at first due to its generic structure pattern and riffs, it eventually grew on me - this is an experimental album, and Korn have achieved success in every aspect.

1. Dead - The opening track instantly sets the theme of the album. Although not being a proper song, its murky and unsettling vibe combined with unsettling lyrics and a synthetic happy mood shows that Korn have changed. Gone are the days of their element of rap, this is the real deal, and the self explanatory ‘Dead’ suggests that - embrace it. It can’t achieve a rating due to it not being a proper song.

2. Falling Away From Me - The album kicks off with an excellent, recognisable riff - it is certainly high on the mosh-o-meter, and shows what Korn are all about; kicking some serious ass. Jonathan’s voice is now far more desperate than ever, wailing out every word in extreme pain. You can also relate yourself to the lyrics, and it just derives in power emotionally. Excellent guitar playing, too. Superb. 9/10

3. Trash - A highly disturbing song. It instantly kicks in, and then quietens down, only to give you access to hear Jonathan’s whispering voice with the other instruments playing subtly. Again, the ’playdoll’ guitar effect is used relevantly here to create an eerie mood, and is executed exceptionally. The bridge then lets you encounter Johnny screaming in sheer agony - its so powerful and so well perceived - it just wants to make any listener explode out their seat. I contained myself, however. Another excellent track. 9/10

4. 4 U - An interlude that seems to soothe the soul of dead - all this chaos has completely vanished, and all is left are the synthesizers used to create a soft and disturbingly negative atmosphere - it seems that Jonathan is building up his anger; this song is where he is lost, and all is left that he’ll do anything ‘4 U’ as feels enslaved. Clever, and an interesting interlude.

5. Beg For Me - A highlight of the album. Munky’s effects in the song obtain a technical, computerised aura, and the baseline is uses a lot of challenging chord alternations that indicates the band are pushing themselves to their full potential. A sinister and lyrically accomplished song again, with a catchy anthem-like chorus and funky verse, this is a breath of fresh air. 9.5/10

6. Make Me Bad - One of the singles released for the album, its obvious why they chose this. Its amazing. The lyrics are really well crafted, and the content is a transverse of feelings - so he’s wants to be bad in spite of this. So brilliantly composed, so brilliantly written, so brilliantly sung. 9.5/10

7. It’s Gonna Go Away - A bit of an annoying interlude, but an aggressive one nothenless, you hear Jonathan squealing for mercy for about forty seconds. Its okay, but is a track that will not consume a great deal of attention. And then….

8. Wake Up - The absolute best on the album. It explodes with such enigmatic charisma, and you get the image of everyone going totally crazy. Its chaos. Its wild. Its so damn good. The chaos then dies down in an entrance to the verse, and a dreamy-like aura surrounds the room, and you know that it won’t sustain its quietness for much longer. Then, in a outburst of sheer tension, the heaviness strikes back, and the continuous tagline ’Wake the f**k up!’ is witnessed again. Although it contains a generic structure pattern, the complementation of excellent lyrics and sublime use of instruments dwarfs this minor niggle. In a word (however a little contradictory) flawless. 10/10

9. Am I Going Crazy? - Again, another interlude, this is a twisted version of the upcoming song ’Hey Daddy.’ Pointless it may be, but it seems to psych up the listener to embrace the next song. And after continuous listens, it will start to make you feel a little crazy, directly linking to the track‘s content. Woo.

10. Hey Daddy - Sadly, this track is mildly average. The vocals included within the chorus sounds washed out, and the distortion is terrible. However the riff is catchy, and the verses are still shining with that usual Korn quality. Skip the chorus though. 6/10

11. Somebody Someone - Finally, something different. Rougher, darker and heavier, this certainly separates itself from the rest of the songs involved within the project. And due to its length and unique structure, Somebody Someone most definitely cements itself to epic status. You can feel the pain, and the heavier mood reflects that in the utmost. Another album highlight. 9.5/10

12. No Way - I never really connected with this song, and its a little bland, however the baseline is pretty interesting. But it’s the style and theme of the song is just so ’everyday’ it just bored me. Predictable and lifeless, despite its accessibility. 6/10.

13. Let’s Get This Party Started - This one is a real grower. It changes pretty drastically, starting off as being pretty light (yet mildly funky), and then the chorus is provided with a insane Fieldy slapping his bass frantically and the rest playing just as heavily with Jonathan screaming his total ass off. The distortion effect used on the vocals were a little off-putting initially, but it eventually thrives itself into a exhilarating experience. Another great track. 8/10

14. Wish You Could Be Me - The final interlude of the album, with an upbeat, comical feel to it, however the lyrics are just so overused in the way of what the whole album’s concept is about. The rhyming is also poorly thought out and it just seems desperate, but certainly not the way I liked it.

15. Counting - Another really, really good track. The riff is simple yet very effective, and the way all the instruments kick in creates a huge impact in terms of emotions - it really hits you. Everything is again beautifully composed and crafted, and the highlight of the song is where the bridge contains a jazzy element to it. Its amazing how this album is just not getting stale, despite the repetitive themes. 9/10

16. Dirty - A fitting end to an incredible piece of work. Although the bridge is a little overly distorted, the whole feeling the song conceives is mesmerising. The heaviness represents the dirtiness, and the clean sound is where he is trying to reveal his cleanliness. The way the song ends builds up to an incredible climax aswell, just leaving you to hear Jonathan’s voice on his own, leading into static. Breathtaking. 9/10

And there you have it, one of the finest Korn albums ever made, one of the finest albums found in the Nu-Metal era and one of the finest albums in this generation. Sadly, Korn have now gone too old-school for their own good, lacking any innovation whatsoever, so to listen to this album will give you a sense of nostalgia and you make you remember what Korn once were all about. An absolutely essential purchase. Get it now if a fan of any style of metal.


user ratings (1494)
Chart.
3.5
great
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • Will C. (4)
    Korn has now begun the downfall of their career with the final implementation of their suc...

    mudvaynegodsmackacdc (3.5)
    Issues may succeed in places, but it also fails as well. Nonetheless, Issues is one of the...

    Josh Bowers (1.5)
    Issues starts KoRn's doomed downward spiral into the dark abyss of failure and shame, host...

    Dead Kent (2.5)
    Constantly referred to as the best nu-metal band to date, Korn have yet to surprise me. Th...

  • (2)
    ...

    (0)
    ...


Comments:Add a Comment 
masada
June 25th 2005


2733 Comments


Korn had lost almost anything that redeemed themselves as a half-decent band a long time ago.This Message Edited On 06.25.05

gimo80
June 25th 2005


225 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

This is my first review, so please go easy on the comments. Any constructive criticisms will be appreciated and will be taken into account.

Cheers. This Message Edited On 06.25.05

masada
June 25th 2005


2733 Comments


I thought the review was pretty good. It's a lot better than the other review on this album.

gimo80
June 25th 2005


225 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Cheers mate, I'm actually not a huge Korn fan, I just felt like writing a review on one of the first albums I got. You know, for a sense of nostalgia.

This Message Edited On 02.19.06

gimo80
June 25th 2005


225 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Anything I should improve upon then?

metalmaniac54
June 27th 2005


47 Comments


this was when i stopped liking korn

metalmaniac54
June 27th 2005


47 Comments


good review

Thor
June 27th 2005


10202 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I think that 4 stars is a more suitable rating, but this is a good album. It's one of the few albums that got me into metal.

Digging: Black Crown Initiate - The Wreckage of Stars

barosjn
June 27th 2005


501 Comments


Issues is KoRn's Load, Untouchables is KoRn's ReLoad, and Take A Look In the Mirror is KoRn's Saint Anger, even though I kinda like TALIM.

normajean_fan
July 9th 2005


15 Comments


i love Make Me Bad good song

vitriolboy
November 26th 2005


82 Comments


^^ Ditto,
Oh, and Somebody Someone.

Cravinov13
November 26th 2005


3854 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Falling Away From Me was good.

NuMetalMania
December 4th 2005


325 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Korn's best album by miles, and a very accurate and detailed review. All songs on this album are fantastic, true KoRn, but i think Make Me Bad, Falling Away From Me and Somebody Someone are the best on this album and are KoRn's greatest tunes. This album did alot for music!

Cravinov13
December 4th 2005


3854 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Although Issues is a great album, I have come to disagree with many people on how bad Untouchables was, and I think Follow The Leader was their best.

mechanical soul
January 21st 2006


1 Comments


Untouchables was a good album but I can understand why people don't like it. I can't tell what the best korn album is but I don't think follow the leader is their best (even though it is n excellent album.)

Thor
January 28th 2006


10202 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Corman, pretty much all of the albums that you say are classics are pretty average.

i am the robots
February 5th 2006


1027 Comments


probably Korn's best.

Campbell
February 9th 2006


5 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Quite possibly KoRns best album.

Royd Rage
February 13th 2006


419 Comments


this album it's best when heard live... i heard it on the live radio cast from the apollo theater the day before issues was out. the choir as back up vocals was awesome for me. also the tempo of the songs was a little faster giving it a less slush type feel the studio album gave. i think korn should put that performance out on cd.

you can't compare issues and untouchables to load and reload...i would compare them more to a dark side of moon-or anemia-type feel compared to thier earlier work. they we're more spacey. and if you go back to listen untouchables is trying to do the same theme as the wall,with the burnt out rock star going mad type thing...

gimo80
March 23rd 2006


225 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Well after a re-evaluation of the album, it now feels horribly dated, considering the different music I've gotten into lately - meh, there are moments of adreneline occasionally, but the whole Nu-metal thing is just something I seemed to grow out of.

Not saying that it is childish, but there is much better music out there personally. That actually doesn't involve crying. Yes, Jonathan, I'm looking at you. Get a grip :p

By the way, Limp Bizkit splitting up was a huge bummer...lol...



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