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Ghost Canyon

Title - 'MTV Unplugged [LIVE]' (Virgin)
Artist - Korn

I'm not going to let my status as a huge Korn fan blind me when listening to and reviewing Korn's "MTV Unplugged." In fact, I was expecting something utterly terrible. Sure, Korn have been tinkering with acoustic renditions of their heavy hits since last Winter, and those were good, but is a whole album full of Unplugged Korn really going to sound good? Folks, I had my doubts. I didn't think what would be found on "MTV Unplugged: Korn" would hardly qualify as music. However, in all honesty, what Korn delivers here is in turns, haunting, unique and beautfiul.

Some Korn songs sound like they would translate well into acoustic form, and some sound like they would be nothing without a wall of distored guitar and crashing drums. However, Korn's Unplugged set is full of surprises. Take the opening track, "Blind," which we all know by heart. "Blind" is completely transformed into something new, as it's given a near country-western treatment, thus setting the tone for the unexpected surprises to follow.

Amy Lee of Evanescence accompanies frontman Jonathan Davis on "Freak On A Leash" (the album's single) and turns what could have been utterly unlistenable into something outstanding. "Falling Away From Me" is pretty much the most natural acoustic transformation, as is a completely awe-inspiring cover of Radiohead's "Creep." Unfortunately, in all honesty, some songs just don't work in the acoustic form. Recent hits like "Coming Undone" and "Twisted Transistor" nearly drag down the momentum of this groundbreaking event for the band. However, all is saved by a duet with The Cure on a seamless mash-up of "Make Me Bad" and "In Between Days." Finally, the set caps off with a rare occasion, an acoustic performance that outdoes the original recording, with "Throw Me Away."

You may not have expected them to pull it off, and you might not be able to admit you like it, but Korn did it. They are one of the last bands I would have expected to do this, but they did it and they passed with flying colors. Hopefully the experimentation done here will give way to something new and exciting on the upcoming eighth studio album.





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