http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/0858b1a0e78ea45035699a00ae9181ae34a6470a.jpg Untouchables



Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 3 0
July 2, 2002

Korn have a problem. they devoted the first part of their life to making the most extreme music they could create. Then their sick little cult sound started connecting with more kindred souls than they ever knew existed, and the mainstream they rebelled against dedicated itself to taking their sound and watering it down. And now people blame Korn for every bad rap-metal band.No wonder the topic of nearly every Untouchables song remains abuse and retaliation. On the single "Thoughtless," Jonathan Davis sings a line that even today leaps out as an extraordinarily forbidden sentiment: "I wanna kill and rape you the way you raped me." Does he literally mean this? (Davis has gone on record as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse.) Or is it a metaphor for his feelings about the music biz? Either way, the song has a tremendous topical power that's bound to be contemplated or misunderstood. Korn rarely identify the "you" they're constantly battling.The band also revels in musical ambiguities. Since 1999's Issues, the quintet has refined its brutality, making Untouchables simultaneously lighter and heavier. With his background in both trailblazing funk and hard art-rock, producer Michael Beinhorn helps Korn's vicious rhythm section pound harder while expanding the band's higher frequencies with electronics and symphonics, even as its famously down-tuned guitars buzz away. Nowhere are the contrasts more pronounced than on "Hollow Life," which flip-flops between twinkly verses and slow-burning choruses of enthrallingly peculiar chords and stranger harmonies. Staying sober has enabled Davis to achieve subtleties far beyond his old death-metal belch. A cornerstone of every recovery program is the act of forgiveness. Metal's most believably tormented soul since Axl Rose clearly isn't ready for that yet, and Davis' reluctance holds Korn back from evolving even further. He hints at a change of heart when singing, "I'm thinking of thanking all the fucked people." Unfortunately, the song is called "Make Believe."

Album Review Main Next


Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...


Sort by:
    Read More
    Around the Web
    Powered By ZergNet
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.


    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Long Walk Home”

    Bruce Springsteen | 2007

    When the subject of this mournful song returns home, he hardly recognizes his town. Springsteen told Rolling Stone the alienation the man feels is a metaphor for life in a politically altered post-9/11 America. “Who would have ever thought we’d live in a country without habeas corpus?” he said. “That’s Orwellian. That’s what political hysteria is about and how effective it is. I felt it in myself. You get frightened for your family, for your home. And you realize how countries can move way off course, very far from democratic ideals.”

    More Song Stories entries »