I believe that when it comes to reviewing a musical album that it really is hard to give a completely objective opinion on the matter, because Music, much like Art, is always in the eyes, or in this case, ears of the beholder. I know you could apply that logic to anything artisic in nature, but in my opinion, one’s taste in music is all about their own opinion, so if someone is an avid Britney Spears or Justin Bieber fan, who am I to say their music sucks? This is why I decided to do an impression rather than a review. That brings me to Linkin Park’s latest album, A Thousand Suns, which is due out next week on the 14th, the same day as Halo Reach. I pre-ordered the deluxe version of the album on iTunes, but when I found myself face to face with a torrent of the latest album, a week before the release date, I couldn’t help myself but to download it.
Linkin Park from album to album always evolved their sound, although it was never to a significant degree, so when I was downloading the album I was curious to see how the album was different this time. After hearing “The Catalyst” and a few other tracks that were released early via their MySpace page I already had an idea that they would be more synthesized electronic than ever before. I was delightfully surprised to hear an almost 80’s sounding track with a much more toned down Chester Bennington. Not that it lacked a hard element to the album, it does have very heavy and hardcore tracks. If I were to compare this album to one of their previous, I would say it is like Minutes to Midnight meeting Reanimation, a heavy use of electronics, softer vocals than previous albums, and a clear difference from Rap tracks and Rock tracks.
Linkin Park – “Waiting For The End”
As I said, this album relies on a heavy use of electronics for most of their tracks. One might say this is just LP following a trend that has been exploding in the US since early 2009, but if you hear some of LP’s songs from years past, they have always relied on electronics to boost their music. This is thanks to Joe Hahn’s influence and use of synthesizers in LP. The main two people that write and compose most of the songs in LP are Joe Hahn and Mike Shinoda, so it isn’t surprising to find them using more electronics than ever. I will admit, after first hearing “The Catalyst” I was drawn back a bit about their new album. The use of electronics to drive the song, instead of a guitar, made me feel anxious and nervous that it wasn’t the same hardcore rock I was used to. However, when the album dropped and I was able to sit down and process their new sound, it was then when I noticed this was the same Linkin Park I had been listening to over the years.
Linkin Park – “Wretches And Kings”
One thing I noticed when listening to LP’s latest album was that if there was one thing that was significantly different to A Thousand Suns than all of their previous albums it would be the linearity of the album. Normally, when I listen to any album, LP included, I like to use shuffle, that way I can listen to each track without there being a particular order. However, there are a few albums in which the artists take careful detail when ordering their tracks, as if it were to tell a story or in just to flow the music in a certain direction. A Thousand Suns utilizes that linear style having each song build onto the next song and having several short segue tracks in between their main songs. While their album can certainly be listen to in no particular order, but their album is best when listened to from track 1 to track 15. When an artist does this, to me, it feels like they put more thought into creating their album, instead of just making 11 or 12 songs and putting them together.
Linkin Park – “Robot Boy” (for realz this time)
In the end, Linkin Park’s latest album impresses me because it changed their sound without changing who they are. That might sound confusing, but my point is, while some might hear the album and gawk at it saying they aren’t the hardcore nu-metal group that they use to be, I will counter with they are the same LP that we know, they just utilized a sound that, while present, wasn’t as influential as it was in their previous albums. I have only listened to the album a few times, so I don’t know which my favorite song is, but as of right now I am quite partial to both “Iridescent” and “Blackout.” So overall I really like this album and can’t wait to support their official release on the 14th.
If any of the songs get removed off of youtube, you can listen to them on their MySpace page: LINKAGE