A slap in the face to the musical complacency of corporate influenced, copy-cat bands and challenging themselves to write a dynamically expressive release Korn return with Issues – a dark, introspective look at life with a curious, popular culture twist. Although not as raw and aggressive in nature as the groundbreaking, angst-charged rush of their self-titled debut, Issues harkens back to the oft-times moody nature of their early days. More refined now, Korn take with them years of commercial experience as they convey the emotional distress that still bleeds forth in Jonathan Davis’ words. Coming on the heals of the hugely successful, commercially friendly Follow The Leader, Issues appears as if Korn were struggling with some sort of identity crisis. Building on the emo-meets-urban stance they pioneered three albums ago, the quintet offer up a range of musical deliveries, from straight-up, rock radio hits to the often overlooked whining emotional squalor. This often schizophrenic nature of Korn is part of what keeps a great many bands from accomplishing the range of delivery with the kind of mass appeal as they have. Borrowing subtle graces from urban and hip-hop and having them gel with both emo and metal is a balance. Add in the folk and pop influences of the quintet and you’ll better understand why Korn have become what they have, a machine of sorts, for churning out catchy songs that transcend even the nu-skool genre. Just as title implies, Issues deals with the raw emotional experience of a long, dark look at one’s soul, with lyrics countered by equally as haunting and dynamic musical passages. Though somewhat contrived at times, the undertake is epic in stature and undulates with the inspiration and strain of an emotional, musical crisis. A soundtrack for the variants of hate, exclusion, seperation, desperation and angst, Issues lives up to it’s namesake. Let Korn help you explore your issues with the commercial metal world and follow the leaders back to the origins of their genre before you get left behind with the never-quite-there followers of SoCal the nu-skool pioneers.