K o R n -- i S s u E S

Written by Korn
Produced by Brenden O' Brian
Released on November 16, 1999
Running length of 53 minutes, 10 seconds


Introduction

After the surprise hit of Korn's last album Follow The Leader, Korn were thrown headfirst into the mainstream. Their new sound on that album was much more radio-friendly than previous outings, and this caused a lot of tension within old fans of their older material. This newer album was in part Korn's way of showing how they hadn't lost the sheer intensity of their older songs, as well as evolve their sound into something completely new.

Issues, Korn's fourth studio album, is a concept album documenting singer Jonathan Davis's alcohol abuse throughout his career, and the depression that follows. Many Korn fans were surprised and disgusted at their new sound, as well as may angry parents shocked by the lyrics (of course). It also happens to be one of their best albums.

The sound depicted on this album is much darker than anything previously done. While not much as angry as Life Is Peachy or their Self-titled debut, or as radio-friendly as Follow The Leader, it is still a very strong album. Munky and Head's guitars are much more downtuned, using combinations of much lower notes than before. The result is dark, disturbing, and very much their own.

Track Listing:

  1. Dead
  2. Falling Away From Me
  3. Trash
  4. 4 U
  5. Beg For Me
  6. Make Me Bad
  7. It's Gonna Go Away
  8. Wake Up
  9. Am I Going Crazy
  10. Hey Daddy
  11. Somebody Someone
  12. No Way
  13. Let's Get This Party Started
  14. Wish You Could Be Me
  15. Counting
  16. Dirty

For reference, Korn are:

  1. Jonathan Davis - Vocals
  2. Munky - Guitar
  3. Head - Guitar
  4. Fieldy - Bass
  5. David Silveria - Drums

Sleeve Art

I know this is a bit wierd talking about the sleeve, but it must be mentioned to give full credit top the album. Now, it's well known that Korn ran a competition for fans to create the cover art on the sleeve. The one chosen as the winner is actually very well selected. It pictures a child's doll with it's stomach ripped open, an eye pulled out and thrown in the corner of the room. While not gory, it is disturbing beyond the least and suits the album perfectly. It also kicks ass.

The rest of the sleeve shows other contributors to the contest, with Korn members standing in front of them. Some of them are pretty interesting to look at. The other four finalists are depicted on the back of the cover, and all are equally as good as the other. The other finalists are also available as covers, but are much rarer than the winning picture.

Song Meanings

Note: If you would like to contribute your feelings toward any of these songs, or you think I may be wrong, /msg me and I'll add it.

  1. Dead
    This song seems to be about Jonathan's battle with depression during his fame, "Every time I get ahead/I feel more dead". Coupled with the repeating line "All I want in life is to be happy" sums up this song. With only bagpipes and drums, the song has an eerie aura about it. The song is very short, and acts only as an opening track. Still, a great opening track nonetheless.
  2. Falling Away From Me
    Starting the album proper, this song documents Jonathan's abuse of alcohol and the depression that leads from it. Jon sings about "Flirting with suicide", and how "It's gonna be better tomorrow". Very dark song, and one of their more famous ones, with a debut on South Park.
  3. Trash
    At first, it seems to be about child abuse, but Trash is about how Jon "threw my world and everything out"..."I went crazy" - Jonathan Davis. "Where did it start / Well I don't know / I just feel the craving/ I see the flesh / and it smels fresh / and is just there for the taking".
  4. 4 U
    This is a message to KoRn's fans, and how much they have helped KoRn get through their lives, as well as what KoRn have done in return. "What you know / got me through / I do for you / I could (have) never (lived) if it wasn't for you". It's a very short and quiet song.
  5. Beg For Me
    This seems to show how Jonathan could only escape his anxiety and depression by going on stage with the fans cheering for him. I don't think it is Jon demanding respect, more of how he enjoys it. "I feel the shame, I'm not insane / the things I feel now, aren't the same / Who gives a fuck, if my life sucks / I just know one thing, I won't give up" This shows how he will never give this up, as it's the only thing that keeps him going.
  6. Make Me Bad
    This song is about how Jon continually had sex on the road with other women, and how he couldn't bare it anymore. This is one of the reasons he broke up with his wife. "What does it mean to you? / For me it is something I just do / I want something / Need to feel the sickness in you". This is one of the best songs on the album.
  7. It's Gonna Go Away
    This is quite hard to analyse, but it seems to be Jon's hatred of his mother "momma momma, God damn such a Whore". It's possibly Jon's battle with some sort of anxiety attack, taking his frustration out on his mother. "We all crumble, we crumble under pressure". Very strange.
  8. Wake Up
    This song seems to say that there was some serious internal tension within the band during the tour, and threats of leaving and fighting each other. "I can't take no more / What are we fighting for? / You are my Brothers each one I would die for". "Why we all fighting / I swear I'm gonna leave / Talking shit despite me".
  9. Am I Going Crazy
    The title pretty much sums up this song's meaning. The music itself is quite disturbing and strange, with Jon quietly singing the lyrics. "Am I, too lost, to face this? / And watch it will cost to escape / Nothing is right, I'm so scared".
  10. Hey Daddy
    This is literally about the voices in Jon's head, telling him to kill himself etc. The voices could be the depression he suffered due to drinking, explaining how he couldn't live without it, as if he couldn't live without alcohol. Daddy is Jon's nickname, so that explains the title. "They're hurting (help me) / Please help me".
  11. Somebody Someone
    Undoubtedly the best song on the album, Somebody Someone is about how Jon feels helpless at some times, how he needs somebody to help him through it. He seems to sing about fighting with his friends, "I thought you were my friend", and possibly people not giving him the respect he deserves, "Giving you this and that / Giving, getting nothing back."
  12. No Way
    Again, this seems to be the depression Jon experienced on the road. He says that what he sings about feels empty and undeserving. He also sings about how the depression is "ripping" at him from inside. "I can't wait to get them / these feelings of hating / keeping inside me for all to take."
  13. Let's Get This Party Started
    This is probably about the alcohol abuse Jon had to live through, and how everyday he'd wake up and feel absolutely awful about himself - the depression hitting him again and again. "Sometimes I wish I could be strong like you / It doesn't matter / Each time I wake I'm somehow feeling the truth / I can't handle". This is one of the best songs on the album.
  14. Wish You Could Be Me
    This must be the lack of respect Jon seems to get from critics and fans alike, and how he wishes they would be him, just so they could see what it was like to be him. This could also be a sign of going back to the theme of being bullied just because he was different, like the first KoRn album. "I can not maintain / As the shit gnaws at my brain / I wish you could be me / And then the shit would see / How tired I am / And how you get the best of me".
  15. Counting
    This song seems to be about how Jon always feels used by record companies, and how they always seem to take advantage of him. He feels what he says on the records is nothing, and how record companies always make it seem unfulfilling. "So I'm saying, nothing / Each day taken, and much more / As I'm screaming all my pain / You will be there counting".
  16. Dirty
    This seems to be a conclusion to all the things Jon has written about throughout the album, and how he feels dirty. This song does it's job very well (even though it isn't that good), the lyrics sum up the album very well. "I hurts so bad inside / I wish you could see the world through my eyes / It stays the same / I just want to laugh again". It ends with about 3-4 minutes of static for some reason.

This is definitely one of the darkest albums I have listed to, and I recommend it to anyone who is into that type of music (even if you don't like nu-metal, I'm sure there will be something on the album for you). While I cannot personally relate to this album, a lot of people claim to have really connected with the lyrics.

Recommendations

  1. Falling Away From Me
  2. Make Me Bad
  3. Somebody Someone
  4. Let's Get This Party Started

Give it a listen. You may like it.


Produced and mixed by Bredan O' Brian
Recorded by Nick Didia
Additional Enginerring and Editing by Tobias Miller
Cover Art by Alfredo Carlos

Sources:
http://www.songmeanings.net
http://www.gotkorn.com

http://www.korn.com

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