My thoughts on Korn and their new single, 'Hater'
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'My thoughts on Korn and their new single, 'Hater'.
Since it pertains to Korn, I thought I'd share it with all of you. Feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thank you:
"While it would be tactful of me to introduce the band to the reader, I’m going to focus more on my personal thoughts regarding Korn and their latest single. For an overview of the band, click here. It details their history and discography more eloquently than I could.
I’ve been a fan of Korn since I was ten. I saw the ‘A.D.I.D.A.S.’ music video on TV, and a year later, Follow the Leader came out and sealed the deal. Untouchables is my favourite album and I don’t know what could possibly top it.
Why I love Korn: To quote an MTV feature article, they ‘created a haven for frustrated, angry listeners who ached for something heavy, but sneered at the conventions of traditional heavy metal.’ I’ve never been crazy about guitar solos and power chords. Do I appreciate them? Sometimes, yes. I’m not the type who listens to the same kind of music all the time. That being said, I gravitate more towards rock and metal bands that are rhythm-based, that function as bands as opposed to a singer and guitarist looking pretty in the spotlight, while the bassists and drummers do all the grunt-work, practically behind the scenes. This isn’t to say that I dislike the latter kind, far from it. I certainly don’t ‘sneer’ at it either. Rather, rhythm-based music hits the spot for me more than anything. As for lyrics, I don’t look for any particular theme or focus. It’s more about the flow than the actual content. Although, every now and then I’ll hear some lyrics that resonate with me on a personal level.
As for the here-and-now: Korn’s most recent effort, The Paradigm Shift, was released in October of 2013. The band are dropping another deluxe edition of the album on 15 July. Titled The Paradigm Shift: World Tour Edition, it will feature several unreleased tracks and live cuts, one of which is the single ‘Hater’.
The instrumentation is nice and tight, with Fieldy’s bass and Ray Luzier’s retentive drumming anchoring the twin-guitar sound of Brian ‘Head’ Welch and James ‘Munky’ Shaffer. However, this track stands out in that it’s upbeat, musically and lyrically. Not your standard Korn fare. It’s the kind of song that may alienate fans at first, possibly drawing them back later. I suppose it is ‘poppy’ in the sense that it’s accessible and radio-friendly, as opposed to the bludgeoning force that characterises tracks such as ‘Love & Meth’. That doesn’t mean it’s bad. Previous singles ‘Got the Life’, ‘Twisted Transistor’ and ‘Never Never’ are radio-friendly tracks that have nevertheless managed to sit comfortably in the playlists of many hardcore fans. Even the ill-conceived cover of Cameo’s ‘Word Up!’ earned some props.
Lyrically, ‘Hater’ is typically direct. As is the case with vocalist Jonathan Davis, he pulls no punches. He’s not the type who bothers with clever little hidden meanings, he goes straight for the jugular. In ‘Hater’, he sings, ‘You can’t bring me down / Already had my life turned upside down / I ride a downward spiral round and round / But I keep flying, I keep fighting / You won’t ever bring me down.’ This kind of sentiment isn’t completely out of left-field, but it is somewhat unique for a band of Korn’s ilk. Davis has gone past the point of despair, of feeling wronged, instead opting for a more stoic outlook regarding his detractors.
As I’ve mentioned, ‘Hater’ is to be featured on the new deluxe edition of The Paradigm Shift. Normally, when I hear of an unreleased track, I tend to prepare myself for a second-rate number that didn’t make the album precisely for that reason: because it’s second-rate. This is not the case with ‘Hater’. Sure, it may be different. But this difference is nothing new; it seems to have been the case with all of Korn’s material since See You on the Other Side. It’s not exclusive to the post-Head+David era either. I remember Untouchables, Issues and even Follow the Leader leaving more than just a few scattered fans scratching their heads. And these are albums that now enjoy the status of ‘Korn classics.’
Korn’s recent direction hasn’t pleased everyone, and there are many who long for the day when original drummer David Silveria returns to the fold, for reasons I understand and agree with. But the band are happy as they are, and for all we know, that David-reunion may never happen. It is perhaps the difference between the new sound and the old that makes the perceived golden-age of Korn (1994-2003) so special. I say ‘perceived,’ as it wasn’t loved by all the fans, all the time. It’s just something to keep in mind.
Thank you for reading."