Album Reviews: Korn, Avicii and San Fermin


Korn The Paradigm Shift (Prospect Park)

The good news is Korn still sounds like Korn, so if you already like the band then this album’s for you and you’ll be quite pleased. From Jonathan Davis’ vocals to the slapping basslines, the album could have come out in the ’90s. But it doesn’t sound irrelevant or dated—or my judgment is clouded by clinging on to high school nostalgia. Either way, the songs are solid, if not particularly original, but definitely mosh-worthy. Favorites include “Prey for Me,” “Spike in My Veins,” “Never Never” and “Lullaby for a Sadist.” ★★★☆☆


Avicii True (PRMD Music/Universal Island)

Let me start off by saying that I don’t like Avicii’s music. But since everyone drank the Kool-Aid, I figured it was only timely to give the album a listen, promptly skipping past the country-EDM hybrid “Wake Me Up” that’s already overplayed in Vegas for likely no reason other than it’s an Avicii track. As far as the album on a whole: I get it. Avicii’s trying something different, i.e., quite a few country-EDM hybrid tracks such as “Hey Brother” and “Lay Me Down.” Overall the tracks on Avicii’s first LP are formulaic and forgettable, though “Canyons” is worth a listen. ★★☆☆☆

Post-Rock Chamber Pop

San Fermin San Fermin (Downtown Records)

San Fermin isn’t so much a band, but a project of Brooklyn-based composer Ellis Ludwig-Leone and a collaboration with singers for sadly beautiful results. Creating a journey with vocalists Allen Tate, Holly Laessig, Jess Wolfe and Rae Cassidy, the 17 tracks enwrap the listener in layers. With almost operatic storytelling from the first song to the last, heartbreak and emotional conflicts dominate most of the album as modern classical compositions weave through the lyrics, plus shorter musical interludes. Check out “Sonsick,” “Methuselah” and “Bar” for a taste. ★★★★☆

Disc Scan

Upcoming on Deanna’s radar …

OCT. 15: Want to impress your music-nerd friends or those in indie-rock bands? Learn about math rock and pick up a copy of the newest offering from the Dismemberment Plan, Uncanney Valley. OCT. 29: Like the band Live? Former singer Ed Kowalczyk drops his album, The Flood & the Mercy. But if the new stuff it isn’t for you, he’ll be touring and playing Throwing Copper in its entirety. NOV. 5: You might not guess it by reading my reviews, but I listen to hip-hop and rap sometimes, which is why I’ll be going “Berzerk” for MMLP2 by Eminem when it comes out.

Originally published in Vegas Seven.

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