Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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  • Korn [Epic/Immortal, 1995] C-
  • Life Is Peachy [Epic/Immortal, 1996] Dud
  • Follow the Leader [Epic, 1998] C
  • Issues [Epic/Immortal, 1999] Dud

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Korn [Epic/Immortal, 1995]
The cover depicts a frightened little girl peering up from a swing at a hook-handed rapist whose huge shadow slants across her space; the girl's shadow seems to hang from the gallows-shaped K of the band logo. They love this image, exploit it in every trade ad as Sony flogs their death-industrial into its second year. They sing about child abuse, too--guess what, they're agin it. But if their name isn't short for kiddie porn, they should insist on a video where they get eaten by giant chickens. C-

Life Is Peachy [Epic/Immortal, 1996] Dud

Follow the Leader [Epic, 1998]
Korn deny they're metal; that's Judas Priest, all four-four pomp and guitar solos. But they nevertheless demonstrate that the essence of metal--an expressive mode it sometimes seems will be with us for as long as ordinary whiteboys fear girls, pity themselves, and are permitted to rage against a world they'll never beat--is self-obliterating volume and self-aggrandizing display. Now calling up death-metal's signature groan to prove only to prove he's authentic, poor not-actually-abused Jonathan Davis raps, recites, scats, and sings dull tunes landscaped with eerie licks, odd bridges, and a hyperactive rhythm section. How much his fans identify with "My Gift to You" ("I kiss your lifeless skin"), "Cameltosis" ("You trick-ass slut"), or the tragic "Seed" ("Do I need this fame?") remains unclear. But I'm parent enough to hope they can find a more fully formed designated someone than a guy whose idea of transgressive art is netcasting soft-core s&m to any teenager with a logon. C

Issues [Epic/Immortal, 1999] Dud

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