Review Summary: See You On The Other Side provides some much needed tweaks to the rusty KoRn formula.
Changing your sound every once in a while is a must for most bands if they want to keep attracting new fans, and if they want to keep their fans with a brain and a taste for variety satisfied. For KoRn, changing their sound hasn't really worked out that well in the past, as they received a lot of mixed reactions to their most experimental effort Issues
. However, it was apparent that they had to do something unexpected, something to keep both fans and critics satisfied after the critical panned Take A Look In The Mirror
and the lackluster Untouchables
proved them incapable of recreating their past glory. Determined to make something worthwhile, they recruited producer The Matrix, who would help them make their most experimental effort to date, See You On The Other Side
Sadness and pain have always been a part of KoRn's musical catalog, and See You On The Other Side
is no different. Jonathan Davis' voice perfectly fits the lyrics that are filled with anger, sadness and grief over his lost childhood. Luckily for the people that already heard this on any of their previous albums, Jonathan also has other things to sing about, like on 'Twisted Transistor', which is apparently about transistence (you need to see the video for that). Not that his lyrics are so great, but they go along well with the generally more accessible vibe of the album. Another great example is 'Coming Undone', which is simple in its execution but very effective in its own right. This track dispays a certain kind of catchiness that previous KoRn releases definitely lack. That can actually be said about most of the songs here because KoRn aren't very good musicians, so they have to resort to doing something else than making technically proficient music, and because of that they resort to making more accessible, but not any less enjoyable tracks.
The Matrix added a nice electronical touch to this album, which is very apparent on tracks such as 'Tearjerker' and 'Love Song' and offers a much needed empowerment of Jon's not so amazing vocal performance. But still, Jon sounds pretty weak, and that is because his band is lacking most of the time. It seems that KoRn took the minimalist road here, and just let Jon do all the hard work, only actually doing something worthwhile on the singles. Thankfully, The Matrix manages to cover most of this up with some nice patchwork here and there, so it never gets too apparent that the band is lacking in the musical department. In the end it doesn't hurt the quality of the songs that much, so I can't say the band did a bad job at constructing this album.
So, thanks to the wonderful patchwork done by The Matrix, See You On The Other Side
is KoRn's first decent album since Issues
. It offers a welcome, more accessible change from their previous efforts, and is actually enjoyable from the beginning until the end. If you enjoyed any of KoRn's past releases, you will most probably enjoy this too.