Monday, 29 September 2014

Limp Bizkit "Significant Other" (1999)


Limp Bizkit could well be described as the champions of the controversial Nu Metal / Rap Metal era of the late 90s/00s. At a time when MTV was still pushing alternative music Bizkit exploded into the mainstream with this, their sophomore album, topping the billboard charts on the back of hit single "Nookie". Bizkit's monumental success was fraught with controversy (Woodstock 99) and not long lived with line up changes hurting their forth effort in 03. Despite selling 40 million records worldwide they have been a love / hate band with front man Fred Durst a controversial figure often at the center of attention. I picked up this album around Christmas of 99. I was torn between Fatboy Slim's "Living Through Chemistry" and SO, which could of been a bitter disappointment, but luckily I made the right choice. Teenage angst is often cited in a negative light as a big part of Nu Metal's success, but 15 years later I still enjoy this record and appreciate what it did for me back then. At an emotionally torrid time while first discovering the world of music, deep bonds are made, I'm thankful that I've held onto them.

On SO Bizkit find their purpose and identity, evolving from the aggressive, bouncy Nu Metal outfit into a group with an immediately identifiable sound. Borland's guitar work is on a new level, pumping out phat, grooving riff after riff that gels with Otto's slamming drumming, which has a rhythmic Hip Hop quality. Rivers is always there as the glue holding the songs together and occasionally taking the lead (Re-Arranged). DJ  Lethal (once of House Of Pain) adds an extra dynamic to their sound with not just scratching, but choice samples that play well into the songs. Borland's riffage on tracks like Break Stuff is unforgettable and a huge part of what makes them so, but Durst is probably the most important part of their success.

Durst's style and attitude made him a figure of attention, his pursuit of celebrity status may have contributed to their success but it also made him a love/hate character in the eyes of many. His lyrical style is easy to attack, Durst is not the greatest of rappers and far from it, however what he brings to the table is the hook. Durst has an uncanny ability to write catchy, memorable lyrics that despite at times being cheesy and goofy, are universally relate-able. Everyones had one of those days, and "Everything is fucked, Everybody sucks" may not be deep, or poetic, but its relate-able, and thats his charm. He can also sing, has a fantastic scream too, and is the special ingredient along with Borland's riffs that gave Bizkit an explosive, original Nu Metal sound that captivated a generation for what now seems like a brief moment. Significant Other is the album that made it happen and I will forever treasure it as an important record that helped opened the door to a world of music for me.

Favorite Tracks: 9 Teen 90 Nine, Trust?, Nookie, Break Stuff, Re-Aranged, Nobody Like You
Rating: 8/10