Lost and Found

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It's been three years for Mudvayne, three years when metal started to reject its "rap" and "nu" prefixes. At first, Lost and Found reflects that realignment. Vocalist Chad Gray and his mates have nixed the nicknames and makeup for their third Epic full-length, and they try to focus on songs instead of heavy music shtick. However, they equate getting real with the melodramatic plead that interrupts the razor-sharp main part of "Choices," and Gray can't overcome lines like "IMN"'s "No one/No one could ever understand/This life." The song is about suicide, which is very serious. But yelling "F*ck this sh*t!" over thudding rhythms just isn't very powerful anymore. They nail it on opener "Determined" -- one of Mudvayne's all-time strongest tracks, it's a fist-swinging blast of modernized thrash. But Lost and Found soon falls into the familiar, busting no-one-understands-me lyrics and matching moments of refreshing rawness to stretches of stereotypical "corporate metal," a non-genre that's risen up to accept loud rock refugees and the harder side of post-grunge. The energy in "Determined" and "Just" is sapped by the meandering "TV Radio" and "Fall into Sleep," and ultimately Mudvayne gets lost between thrash and diluted Slipknot devotion.

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