Review Summary: One of their best, simplicity done right!
Like many, the first song I ever heard off White Pony was their single Change. In typical Deftones fashion it incorporated Chino's trademark whispered lyrics, which eventually transform into more melodic singing. Change represents what Deftones are all about. Both the riffs and the drum beats are relatively simple, but it's this simplicity that makes Deftones so good and enjoyable to listen to.
This album picks up right where 1997's Around the Fur left off. Though all in all not as heavy as Around the Fur, Deftones continue to stick with their overall style, which has always been a nice balance between heaviness, as well as softness. This is the first album to officially feature Frank Delgado in the bands lineup. Delgado is the man behind the keyboards, and the sampling. His presence adds a nice touch to the music giving many of the songs a more psychedelic feel to them. Delgado was also featured in many songs on around the fur before his inauguration into the band.
Guitarist Stephen Carpenter and bassist Chi Cheng continue to work well together by creating catchy riffs, that the listener cannot help but bang his or her head to. I had mentioned before the simplicity of this band. None of the riffs are extremely technical. Carpenter and Cheng are able to create riffs that seem almost atmospheric. The simplicity helps bring life to each song, and adds even more character to the music. I find when I am listening to extremely technical music, that I sometimes get lost. The flow and structure that Carpenter and Cheng add to each song is what really sets them apart. Drummer Abe Cunningham won't blow you away with polyrhythms or double bass, but he lays down some funky beats in each and every song to help keep Deftones distinct. Chino stands out on this record as he does in many of their other records. Chino can do it all. He can sing, scream, and rap. As a listener you will hear each element of his abilities as a vocalist on this album. Chino can be violent and angry one second, and immediately soft and timid another second. Chino's voice is unique and he really shines on White Pony.
This album, though released in 2000 continues to draw attention from many listeners 13 years later. Some of the best tracks include Change, Passenger, Digital Bath, and Elite which won a Grammy for best metal performance.