"All I want in life is to be happy"
While twenty years later, The Nothing presents itself as perhaps my second favorite Korn album, there's no beating Issues. It's one of those artist-defining albums, emotionally powerful and including everything that I connect with the band.
It's an album drenched in misery and sorrow, both lyrically and atmospherically. The bagpipe intro of Dead perfectly sets the mood, with the unsettling chanting of 'All I want is to be happy' combined with the defeatist lyrics of the rest of the intro. As with most Korn albums, Jonathan Davis' vocal performance really drives the emotions exuded. Somebody Someone and Dirty are a couple of the main highlights on this end.
Along with Godflesh's Songs of Love and Hate, Issues is one of the darkest metal albums I've heard. The two albums are actually pretty similar in some ways. Both are enveloped in this depressive and hopeless atmosphere, yet contrast it with fantastic grooves and hooks that keep it immensely enjoyable in any mood. Falling Away From Me, Beg for Me, Wake Up, and Counting all display this perfectly.
Korn has many fantastic and excellent albums, but Issues stands out as perhaps my favorite. It's one of those albums that just hits the perfect balance of cathartic and catchy.