American nu-metal crew Korn garnered mixed reactions from fans this year by announcing that the band's jumped on the dubstep bandwagon.
The creepy quartet's upcoming tenth studio album, The Path of Totality, will introduce its new dub-metal sound, forged in collaboration with renowned producers like Skrillex, Excision, 12th Planet, and Noisia.
Now haters will hate. But let's face it -- this new direction is not that big of a leap for Korn.
To be clear, when we say dubstep, we really mean brostep, that sound popularized by the likes of Skrillex and much maligned by the snobs. Its brash, aggressive distorted wobble is not that different from the bass-heavy metal Korn became famous for. It's no coincidence that Korn and Skrillex appeal to the same demographic -- namely angsty white suburban headbangers.
So Korn going dubstep is far from career suicide. In fact, it's the best thing the band could have done at this point in its dwindling career, as it will keep Davis and crew relevant and popular with the kids. And it's certainly not the first time a musical act jumps genres with decidedly positive results.
1. Miles Davis Goes Hip-Hop
Miles Davis wasn't just a jazz pioneer. He was also a relentless innovator who managed to keep up with the changing pace of popular music throughout the latter half of the 20th Century. In the early '70s, when rock was king, Davis kicked up controversy among jazz traditionalists by going electric on the albums In a Silent Way and Bitches Brew. In the '80s, he went New Wave synth-pop with Tutu. And once more, in 1991, he proved his relevance by going hip-hop on final studio album, Doo-Bop, with the help of Def Jam magnate Russell Simmons and legendary producer Easy Mo Bee.
2. Blondie Goes Disco
Debbie Harry and Blondie started out as CBGB punk rockers. But 1979's Parallel Lines album saw them take a new disco-inflected direction in the studio with producer Mike Chapman. The single "Heart of Glass" remains an all-time fan favorite, and its accompanying video, filmed at the infamous Studio 54, secured Blondie's place in NYC disco history.
3. Primal Scream Goes Rave
In the '80s, Primal Scream were just another run-of-the-mill UK indie rock band. Then came the acid house explosion and the birth of rave culture. The band hooked up with seminal electronica producers Andrew Weatherall and The Orb in the studio, coming up with 1991's Screamadelica. Blending Primal Scream's pop-rock sensibilities with the electronic grooves and psychedelic flavors of acid house, the album would top the UK charts and remains a timeless rave classic today.
4. Sting Goes Jazz Standards
When the former frontman of New Wave rockers The Police became a smooth jazz crooner in the '90s, fans' knee-jerk reaction was that he had copped out. But by going soft in his old age, Sting merely showed us that he knew when to bow down gracefully from the rock 'n' roll stage. Because really, Mick Jagger, who wants to see a senior citizen rocking out?
5. Roger Waters Goes Opera
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It was only a matter of time before Pink Floyd mastermind Roger Waters went full-blown opera. The Wall was already a rock opera, complete with epic symphonic arrangements, theatrics, and libretto of sorts. Waters' 2005 classical opera Ça Ira, based on the French Revolution, merely put the former Floyd man's politically charged larger-than-life musical vision in the kind of arena where it belongs.
Korn with Datsik and Downlink. Wednesday, November 9. Fillmore Miami Beach, 1700 Washington Ave., Miami Beach. The show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets cost $39.75 plus fees via livenation.com. Call 305-673-7300 or visit fillmoremb.com.