Criticism and Korn have always gone hand in hand, and the group has been subjected to some of the most venomous barbs ever fired at a successful rock band. Some of them center on an endorsement deal with Puma. Other wags malign occasional A&R man Jonathan Davis for inflicting Orgy and Limp Bizkit on the world. But the harshest words are reserved for the band's music, which has been skewered for everything from whininess to faux angst to pandering commercialism.
The new album Take a Look in the Mirror, easily Korn's most aggressive effort, stands in stark contrast to its predecessor, the dense, expansive (and New York Times-approved) Untouchables. "I'm feeling mean today," Davis snarls at the outset of the new disc, setting the tone for an album on which he screams himself hoarse over stripped-down production. Fieldy's rumbling bass is loud enough to set off car alarms. There's a nod to Korn's rap-rock roots on "Play Me," featuring barbed rhymes by Nas, and Davis returns to the bagpipes on "Let's Do This Now." Throughout Mirror, Korn flaunts the album's lack of accessibility. "Ya'll want a single?" Davis bellows at one point. "Fuck you!"
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"I really don't care what they have to say," drummer David Silveria says of critics. "If they like us, fine; if they don't, fine. We've never been looking for credit from critics or awards -- just the support of our fans is proof. It's the most rewarding award, so to speak, that we could get."