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The Unquestionable Truth

Track list:

01. The Propaganda
02. The Truth
03. The Priest
04. The Key
05. The Channel
06. The Story
07. The Surrender

Used to be a time when Limp Bizkit releases were met with a certain amount of fanfare, Fred Durst's mug splattered all over the tube and tabloids. Yet the band's latest effort, The Unquestionable Truth (Part 1) found its way into stores today without so much as a whimper.

LB's fifth album will no doubt be perplexing, not only to the faithful, but also to those weaned on the band's previous radio friendly fodder. For starters prodigal axeman Wes Borland, who exited the band amidst much flurry just a few years ago, returns to the fold for this project.

But perhaps the most perplexing shift comes in the band's darker sound. Rage Against The Machine seems to have been lodged in heavy rotation on the band member's iPods, from the abbreviated skirling guitars all the way down to Durst's hardcore emulation of Zack de la Rocha. Similarities between the new 2005 Bizkit and the now defunct Rage actually begin with the appropriately cryptic artwork that features a crimson cloaked skull raising an arm above a mass of skeleton soldiers. That Rage has departed the scene leaving a gap and LB saw fit to ditch their "show us your tits" frat boy shenanigans in favor of mock politicizing and a more sinister sound is a strange career move indeed, one that will no doubt alienate their original keg wielding fan base while confounding the rest of us who actually didn't mind letting down our guard and whyling to some demented, misguided white boy funk infused razzle.

From menacing artwork the "Rageness" then bleeds into the first track. Entitled "The Propaganda" it features Durst caterwauling "it's propaganda, sell it to the innocent, oh yeah, they're buying it..." Taken on its own, it sounds like a proletariat rallying call. But listen to the lyrics more closely and it begins to sounds like more of Durst's patented "why is everybody picking on me" self-centered complaining. Throughout the track Durst showcases his new spoken word cadence growl that comes off like a cross faded combo of De La Rocha (especially when he chants "tell 'em how to sell it"), a drunken Pete Nice (when he drops pseudo intellectual gibberish like "severely a mental disorder where reality is highly distorted/Psychosis = weaken the mind, incline to small doses as we approach this…") and an un-PC Dr. Seuss on crack (when he rants "life is just a big bowl of cherries/A bunch of fairies screaming to be scary").
The fact that LB have attempted to reinvent themselves is admirable. But reinventing yourselves to sound like one of the most seminal bands of the past decade is damn near unforgivable. Given the components of the band—live Limp Bizkit is one tight, intense sonic unit that delivers bristling renditions of their catalog--one would hope that they had chosen to go off the musical deep end and deliver an album that dares to explore rather than rehash. Sadly, only a few brief moments of The Unquestionable Truth (Part 1) exhibit this kind of much needed direction. Here's to hoping that Part 2 expands on the potential hinted at here.

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