Korn
Take a Look in the Mirror


2.5
average

Review

by Simon CONTRIBUTOR (232 Reviews)
December 30th, 2015 | 85 replies


Release Date: 2003 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Cracks widen with LP number six.

When you've been at it as long as Korn, unless you're extremely lucky, every successful band will inevitably reach that dreaded stage in their career where things start to turn stale; be it the creative hump -- finding a balance between keeping the fan's happy, while simultaneously keeping things new and fresh, or having to contend with any tension beginning to stir inside the bandcamp. During the time Korn's sixth album was being made, the band saw the kitchen sink being thrown at them: the band were running dry on a creative level, due in part to some of the members sinking deeper into excessive drug use (Head in particular wasn't coping well at the time); to add to it all ego's in the band were beginning to be a problem. The rock n' roll lifestyle was starting to put strain on friendships inside the band.

I've never been the biggest Korn fan, first and foremost, I've always found them to be a band able of creating great singles, but have always struggled at making albums consistent enough to warrant holding any enjoyment for more than a couple of spins. However, where previous records kept consistently "good", Take A Look In The Mirror lowers the bar for a Korn album. There are a couple of solid songs on here though: "Right Now" and "Counting on Me" hold that heavy, metallic groove commonly found on a Korn LP, while Davis brings enough interesting melodies to bring it up to the same standard of previous works. While "Did My Time" is another standard affair, it does throw in a few spacey guitar build ups which make the song a little more interesting. "Lets Do This Now" is another one that drifts a little out of the comfort zone and is a little softer than the usual Korn formula, coming out rather refreshing.

Unfortunately though, there really isn't anything on here that goes past the general standard, and there certainly isn't anything on here you haven't heard from them before. There's also a few misfires this time around that really show a band struggling with themselves. "Play Me" is a truly horrible song: taking the god awful guest-rap contributions of Nas out of the equation, the instruments are dull and tucked up in the background, while the rhythms found on the song just sound like the opening track to this album -- it's also the first song that stands out like a red raw thumb. "Let's Do This Now" opening bagpipes come across corny than interesting, but it's the only redeemable thing found on the song, and "Y'all Want a Single" is up there with "Play Me", simply because Davis' lyrics are so mundane, childish and stupid, it actually makes a song like "Thoughtless" look like poetry. One of the albums biggest flaws lands on its song writing though. Korn's inability to avoid recycling riff's and melodies is something that has plagued the band since the early days, but this time around you can hear melodies, riff's, rhythms being recycled and used all too often.

This will be Head's last album with Korn until 2013's Paradigm Shift, and I wish I could say this was the lowest point in the bands discography, but the truth is, there are far worse albums and experimentation to be found with the bands future releases. Take A Look In The Mirror isn't a bad album, at best it's Korn doing what they normally do, it's when it tries to break the mould it ends up hurting the LP. It will appeal to Korn fan's for sure, but beyond that there is little to recommend here.



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user ratings (1456)
Chart.
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good
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
DrGonzo1937
Contributing Reviewer
December 30th 2015


15087 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

As always, constructive criticism welcome.

Digging: HEALTH - VOL. 4 :: SLAVES OF FEAR

Tunaboy45
December 30th 2015


16702 Comments


Good review gonzo.
It gets much, much worse than this unfortunately.

DrGonzo1937
Contributing Reviewer
December 30th 2015


15087 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Agreed hard mate. So very much worse...

EvoHavok
December 30th 2015


7677 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Nice review. This is indeed where a noticeable drop in quality emerged.

Digging: Swallow the Sun - When A Shadow Is Forced Into The Light

romulanrancor
December 30th 2015


7418 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

every thing after untouchables is just really average unfortunately, earlier stuff is actually pretty good



especially the s/t

ConcubinaryCode
December 30th 2015


4477 Comments


I remember when I heard this I didn't think it was so plain but I also wasn't as aware of their other work. I know I really liked Everything I've Known.

romulanrancor
December 30th 2015


7418 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

yeah that's a good one

Sciroccu
December 30th 2015


908 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Nice review, average album indeed.



KILL
December 30th 2015


81233 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

blows queef

ScuroFantasma
Staff Reviewer
December 30th 2015


11662 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great review man, pos'd

Digging: Windswept - The Onlooker

Bloma
December 30th 2015


19 Comments


I agree with your overall viewpoint but my favourite songs are different. Break Some Off is probably my favourite Korn song. Did my Time just has some of the best riffs. Every album is wildly inconsistent. They are a band that have some of the best and worst music I've ever heard.

CaptainAaarrrggghhh
December 31st 2015


425 Comments


Agreed on almost every point. Of all the Korn albums I feel like this is the least interesting one. The following two records had some novelty and emotion behind them, this is just a very shaky autopilot. Pos'd.

CaptainAaarrrggghhh
December 31st 2015


425 Comments


Can't believe this holds a higher average score then the follow-ups though

Rastapunk
December 31st 2015


1326 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

My rating probably reflects the fact that this is one of the albums of my teenager times

pos

RikRoach7
December 31st 2015


3595 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

"The following two records had some novelty and emotion behind them, this is just a very shaky autopilot."

This.

Tunaboy45
December 31st 2015


16702 Comments


I really don't like Untouchable either save for two or three songs, Paradigm Shift is the best thing they've released since Issues.

DrGonzo1937
Contributing Reviewer
December 31st 2015


15087 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Cheers guys.



I think it's pretty clear just how important Head is to the group tbh. He was totally wasted on this --which explains a lot of the quality on this-- but I think he elevates the band to a good level creatively; hense why Paradigm Shift was a return to form. It's a shame he couldn't clear his act up without God and just stayed with the band...

BeeRyan
December 31st 2015


1312 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

cool review, i love it when people give korn a levelheaded perspective like you've done here. i think you lowballed issues a bit on your other review but hey can't win 'em all. i am a little confused about how people find korn albums to be inconsistent. if anything, they're too consistent. like this one sucks because it has like 2 good songs and then the rest is just a mess of the same stuff over and over

CaptainAaarrrggghhh
December 31st 2015


425 Comments


BeeRyan, that's exactly the type of inconsistency they mean. A couple of cool singles and the rest is just canned corn (pun intended)

William21
December 31st 2015


370 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Contains one of my favorite Korn songs ever ("Did My Time") and one of my least favorites ("Y'all Want a Single").

Yeah, a pretty up and down experience.



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