Significant Other

Limp Bizkit

Interscope, 1999

REVIEW BY: Benjamin Ray


There's a reason I consider myself part of Generation X, although I was born in 1983. Well, there are several, actually, but the main one is that I'm embarrassed about my generation's music.

Limp Bizkit was huge when I was in high school, and although the rock critics and anyone over the age of 19 dismissed them, my fellow students and I had to deal with Limp, Korn, Kid Rock and P.O.D. on the radio every day. The more I got into the beginning alternative boom -- Pearl Jam, R.E.M., Nirvana, and even early Metallica -- the sadder I became that this is what my generation had to offer.

One listen to Significant Other reveals its age. This is definitely late 90s rock here -- loud power chords, lack of solos, misguided lyrical anger, hip-hop influences and plenty of rapping. But where P.O.D. has some spiritual backing and Kid Rock only wants to have a good time, "singer" Fred Durst wants to just rail against women, society and those who dismiss him with a frat-boy's sense of entitlement. I hate him for it.

In fact, Durst is one of the most despised frontmen in all rock, as well he should be. His stupid smug grin, his payola incident, his inciting of riots at Woodstock '99 and the classy way he talked about Britney Spears' pubic grooming habits on Howard Stern reveal what a classy guy he is not. But more than that, he has no trace of irony about him. He thinks everything he sings/raps is gold, that he connects to millions, and that his style of music and aggression makes him cooler than anyone.

To its credit, Significant Other is redeemed by the other four band members, but not enough to warrant an hour-long listen. The sophomore release is the only time the band made any sort of artistic statement, varying slightly from their power-chord rap-metal attack that has been done to death.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

What Durst fails to realize -- besides how much of a tool he is -- is that Rage, Korn and Kid Rock do the anger-rap-metal better than anyone. When Rage rails against society, it means something. When Durst says "We've all been treated like shit" on the insipid "Break Stuff," it sounds like a white frat boy bitching about his equally shallow girlfriend dumping him for a guy with a bigger truck. So, of course, Durst liberally swears throughout the album, just to prove he's upset. What a loser.

Now, there's a reason Limp was popular in their day, and that's Wes Borland, a guitarist who deserves much more than he got with this band. He and the rhythm section rein in the power long enough to make "Rearranged" a good song, not quite a moving ballad but far more potent than anything else here. "Nookie" is still a guilty pleasure, driven by a hyper bass and a menacing undercurrent that is (surprise!) ruined by the lyrics, which any kid knows are "I did it all for the nookie / The nookie / So you can take that cookie / And stick it up your yeah."

While the rest of the record is lost in a rap-metal sludge set to whiny "I-hate-life" vocals, a couple highlights save it from total banality (which the band would wallow in for the rest of their career). "Nobody Like You" is nearly a Korn song -- not coincidentally, Jonathan Davis and Scott Weiland stop by for background vocals, and it's a forgotten minor classic. And "A Lesson Learned" is stark in its simplicity, but Durst's electronically-altered a cappella gets old after a while.

What saves this from a lower grade is its timeless theme of the pain felt after a breakup. Nearly all the songs feature Durst expressing anger, guilt or pain at the girl who left him during the making of this album, and that anger occasionally comes out in fiery bursts of creativity. This is where the artistic merit comment from earlier comes in -- future LB discs deal with anger at the "media dykes," Britney and the world in general, but this one is the only time where the band came close to being relevant.

But three or four good songs don't cut it. As the band says in the the intro and outro, "You wanted the worst, you got the worst. The one, the only, Limp Bizkit." The outro hidden track also goes into depth about how great the band is and then the money wasted on the CD -- and in this case, that's fairly accurate.

Another note to artists: Don't name a song after a year ("9 Teen 90 Nine"). It horribly dates your music. Although in this case, anyone who listens to this disc could predict that Limp was a passing fad, and when the band's 15-year-old fans grew up they could move on to real music. I grieve for those who wasted time with this band -- and I'm glad to point out that Durst has finally become a laughingstock.

To close, I'll say this to Fred Durst. Give it up, dude. Nobody likes you anymore. We can see through you and you have nothing to offer. Your anger is fake, your smug grin is annoying, and your payola incident to get your shit played on the radio is the only way you would have ever reached an audience. You had three good moments on Significant Other -- now go home, put the quadruple-platinum award for this disc on your wall and retire.

Rating: D

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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