In the two years since Wes Borland's departure from the band and three years since their platinum album, Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water
, Limp Bizkit recruited Mike Smith, the former guitarist of Snot
, and opted to go without Borland's sonic diversity and mostly ditched the rapping and hip-hop beats in favor of a straight-up rock album. Does it always work? No, of course not, but an interesting failure is always better than a boring success. The album's near lack of rapping works in its favor, and although it lacks the experimentation and complexity of Deftones
, System of a Down
, it's still much better than its reputation suggests, although it's not very good.
*DJ Lethal - turntables, keyboards, samples, programming, sound development
*Fred Durst - vocals, guitar
*John Otto - drums, percussion
*Sam Rivers - bass, guitar
*Mike Smith - guitar
One can understand the complaints of the fans, but one would think Durst's more personal and introspective approach would get the band some credit from people who found Durst's thug posturing on past releases annoying as ***. While the lyrics here aren't deep or insightful, they're not trying to be. They're the simple views of a simple man, but the perspective for the most part, is not the perspective of a complete moron. And while that aspect might be part of the band's charm on other albums, there is no reason for a lack of stupidity to irritate the same listeners that found the band's stupidity to be annoying. Perhaps the annoyance here is at the revelation that Limp Bizkit, of all bands, is self-aware.
The best songs here are the softer tracks, like "Underneath the Gun", "Drown", and "Build a Bridge", with Korn
's Brian Head Welch
on guitar. The harder tracks are where the album mostly falters, as they're pretty uninspired, with the exception of "Eat You Alive", the hardest and best track of the Results
material. Durst plays the disgusting creep well, aiming to make sure listeners find the song's character completely appalling. And it works, though it doesn't take much effort to make a dude who tells women "I'd love to sniff on them panties now" sound like an asshole.
When the album's bad, though, it's really bad; the rap-metal cut "Gimme the Mic" bites Rakim
rhymes and should have been left off the album. Two more tracks of this ilk, "Phenomenon" and "Head For The Barricade", are a bit better, but still bite Public Enemy
and Fat Boys
and have too much bravado for the album's overall lyrical concept. But it's a headbanger and fits right in with their mosh hits musically. "Let Me Down" has the worst lyrics on the album: "heartbreak is a headache", "rumors are tumors". I get what is attempting to be expressed here, the problem is, it isn't expressed well.
Durst's vocals are at his best on the album when he's not screaming or rapping, but straight-up singing. He's got a good voice, better than I'd like to admit. Then there's the oft-slagged cover of The Who
's "Behind Blue Eyes". Musically, it's almost identical to the original, but the major problem is the electronic voice spelling out the word "limp", it's not needed, and it's bizarre and silly, ruining what is otherwise one of Limp Bizkit's best recordings, as if this band was predetermined to be seen as a joke. What was going through their minds when this was added on to the recording?!?
Overall, the album mostly suffers from having too much. The band tries to fit too much in, with ballads, nu-metal, acoustic tracks, etc. The band's next album, The Unquestionable Truth
, is much better for two reasons, one being the music (Borland returns), the other being it's length. Results May Vary
is 70 minutes, and Unquestionable Truth
is 30 minutes, thus proving the idiom of less as more to be correct. If this was edited down, it could stand as a solid album, and one of the band's best efforts, because there are some good rock songs and some honest, heartfelt sentiment here, like on "Creamer" on "Drown", where Durst sings "take me back to yesterday, rollin' dice and gettin laid" and "save me before I drown" - and you feel it. It is in these tracks where Durst almost finds that not acting like a total douchebag and being himself is a better way to provoke emotion.