Review of KoЯn's "Path of Totality" (Deluxe Edition)
Released December 6, 2011, The Path of Totality is KoRn's tenth studio album. Recorded with various Dubstep artists, it was primarily located for recording in Jonathan Davis' home studio. Track Listing:
1. Chaos Live in Everything 3:47
2. Kill Mercy Within 3:35
3. My Wall 2:55
4. Narcissistic Cannibal 3:10
5. Illuminati 3:16
6. Burn the Obiedient 2:38
7. Sanctuary 3:24
8. Let's Go 2:40
9. Get Up! 3:42
10. Way to Far 3:49
11. Bleeding Out 4:51
12. Fuels the Comedy 2:49
13. Tension 3:56
As someone-who-isn't-me downloaded this album about a week before its release, I've had the privilege of listening to it and getting familiar with it as to post a review ASAP. Also, note that I'm reviewing the Deluxe Edition, which features two more songs than the Standard. I've been a KoRn fan for about 5 years, as I bought their See You On the Other Side album as soon as it came out. After that, I purchased the Issues masterpiece and have been, since then, a huge fan. I know every I know every lyric of every song of every album, b-sides, live performances and have three KoRn T shirts. I was slightly disappointed in their last album, Remember Who You Are, as I thought it was a digression in quality of their music. So much for returning to their roots, in less than a year they've forsaken that notion and have now stepped into the Dubstep realm. (And people said "Untitled" was overproduced?)
So to start, we have "Chaos Live in Everything," which immediately reminded me of a vocal section of their song "No One's There" on Untouchables. While not exactly a mind-blowing start off to the album, it does properly set the tone that will carry for the rest of the album. If you don't like Dubstep and love KoRn, it might take a while to get used to the style in order to enjoy these tunes. If you hate both the genre and artist, you'd be advised to avoid this CD.
By the time we get past "Kill Mercy Within" and "My Wall," it becomes clear that none of the songs thus far have jumped out at the listener, a problem that causes the album as a whole to suffer. Same whiny, slightly nasally voice song after song. The times Davis sings in a deeper, more growling style work well, I wish their more. One of the singles of the album, "Narcissistic Cannibal," has less Dubstep and is only appealing for the rather generic chorus. Which brings me to a main criticism of the this album, the lyrics have been released before. Jon Davis has a hard life, nothing works out well, it all sucks, he's sick and tired of it all so f*** you. More of the same for those for us who've listened to more than three KoRn albums, it seems.
"Illuminati" is another song which lacks identity, why does it seem that we've heard the same song three times on the album. But wait! Here's what we hope will be a heavy mofo; "Burn the Obedient." Hope in vain, music lovers, hope in vain. The only redeeming part of this lackluster is when Jon has some pretty amusing "La la la la la la la la" which bears resemblance to the insane laughter on "Never Around" on their last release. The song "Sanctuary" sounds how you'd think it would. Boring. Maybe it's the incorporated electric feel to the music, but it just buzzes and buzzes and then, after the obligatory 2 or 3 minutes, the next song starts. It's very frustrating.
Characteristically, "Let's Go" trucks right along with repeated lyrics. What's that? Oh, Jon has to get away from someone who's caused him pain. What's new? The other single is up next, "Get Up!" is shamefully one of the best songs on the album. It is the only one that seems to evoke emotion when you listen to it. As strange as it is, with the chorus consisting of 6 words. "SHUT THE F*** UP, GET UP!" The creativity of this album is laughable. I could easily enjoy this, however, if I were drunk in some car, banging my head to the random "woops" and "beeps" of the odd mechanical sounds being made. But that doesn't take much skill.
The next two songs are also snoozefests that end the list of the Standard Edition of Path of Totality. A nicer, groovier tune is heard with "Way Too Far." The chorus is very smooth compared to the rest of the album, but is far from remarkable. "Bleeding Out" is the heartbreaking conclusion to it all. I say "heartbreaking" not because it is a profound and intense sorrowing moment, but only that its flaws make any intellectual fan cry. The two bonus songs are a slightly different story. "Fuels the Comedy" sound very old school KoRn, yet lacks, as the rest, in the lyric department. But it does feature some amusing rapping delivered by Jon, but is ironic because he laments others hostility right after telling them to "Suck my mother f****** d***!" Yes, he did.
"Tension" has a sort of spacey atmosphere similar to "Hollow Life" and isn't the worse song on the album, to any extent. I believe that placing decent songs only on the Deluxe Version is a marketing ploy; maybe the sales are improved by this tactic? The highlight of the song is where Jon gives us the much-missed scatting seen on other albums, and made me laugh. On the whole, I think I'm going to delete this album from my MP3 and rather listen to Untouchables or Follow the Leader. Sorry, KoRn, you swung but missed.
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