“MTV Unplugged” by Korn

Artist: Korn
Title: “Unplugged”
Label: Virgin Records
Release Date: 3/6/2007
Genre: Hard Rock
Rating: 3.5/5

If you have listened to Korn in the past then you know full well the level of angst-ridden Nu Metal that they are capable of. Now captured in the ever-popular unplugged format that MTV launched we find the band changing things up a little bit as they present an entirely different sound to their established tunes. I admit that I was unsure how this would actually work because Korn music is on the aggressive and angry side for the most part. However with the unplugged versions we find singer Jonathan Davis keeping himself a little more sedate and calmer than many of his fans ever would expect him. His pitch does raise up as needed for the choruses of songs like “Falling Away From Me” and “Freak On A Leash” of course but primarily he keeps his vocals very understated. As far as concerts like this go there are some surprises to be found for the listener and the first such instance comes in the presence of Amy Lee, lead singer of Evanescence, who helps out with “FOAL”. I don’t know how she became involved in this performance and wondered if it was primarily because of her popularity with her main band as opposed to any other reason. She does add some nice high notes to the track just the same. Can an Evanescence Unplugged be far behind I am left wondering. The next surprise is their cover of the Radiohead classic “Creep” which Davis dedicates to all the kids and adults who had ever been picked on in life. They do a good job of it but I always prefer the original to any other presentation when it comes to this song as no one seems to capture it as good as Radiohead did.

Hearing it acoustically does have some merit and should impress those who choose to not be as steadfast on it as I have been. The most recent studio album by Korn was “See You On The Other Side” and they touch upon a couple of tracks from this one with the best being a very powerful rendition of “Twisted Transistor”. The tune is very close to the original and among the heavier of the albums contents even in this acoustic fashion. I also found “Coming Undone” to be a winner and it has an almost Middle Eastern feel based on the orchestrations that are incorporated into it. The final surprise comes in the presence of Robert Smith and The Cure who joins Korn onstage after Davis introduces them as the legends who wrote the soundtrack of his life. Together they all perform the track “Make Me Bad/In Between Days” which is a mashup of both a Cure and a Korn song. This worked quite well and proves that more such experiments should be attempted when the end result shows that it can sound good.

When Nirvana released their Unplugged it brought a whole new demographic of listeners into their clutches based on the different view they were able to present their music. While very different in content the aspect is intrinsically the same with this release and it should find more people realizing that Korn is a lot deeper than they might have earlier assumed. My only gripe on this CD is that they should have tried to squeeze a few more songs onto it. The covers and guests are nice but it would have been cool to actually have a couple of extra Korn tracks present.

Track Listing:
1. Blind
2. Hollow Life
3. Freak On A Leash
4. Falling Away From Me
5. Creep
6. Love Song
7. Got The Life
8. Twisted Transistor
9. Coming Undone
10. Make Me Bad/In Between Days
11. Throw Me Away

Official Website: www.korn.com

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