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.