What do I remember from albums like Hybrid Theory and Meteora? Songs like In the End, Breaking the Habit, Numb, Faint and From the Inside. To be more exact, those are the only songs I remember because the rest of the stuff was crap. It was. Yes it was. Those albums were formulaic and inconsistent, the hallmarks of a one hit (or in this case a 5 hit?) wonder band. Those albums were the perfect material for sniveling teens whining about how they don’t get enough pocket money. Juvenile stuff. However, the soft loud dynamic did work on a couple of occasions, Chester’s wail did give you kicks, the rap guy did rap well, and the guitars did their simplistic cock rock riffing well.
Enter “A Thousand Suns”. Exit Linkin Park, a Hit Top 40 Machine, Enter Linkin-Trying to be Artsy-Park. They have completely abandoned their hit formula in favour of a more piano and electronica beat based sound complete with the mandatory effects and sound samples. The tracks segue into each other and clearly this is supposed to be a concept album. There is the “I am Become Death, the Destroyer of Worlds” speech of Oppenheimer in one of the tracks, the Mario Savio speech on machines etc. You can see that Linkin Park is trying to target a different audience altogether, and trying to make a more lasting impact, though god knows they have already done that with the rap metal approach they created in the beginning of the last decade. Or rather, popularized, I guess.
So how does it work for me? Well, I actually sat down and listened to the whole darned thing from the first to the last. Big up to Linkin Park, I can actually try to take them seriously now. On the flip side, there is nothing very memorable here. We have concepts and lyrics and beats, but the whole thing is not very interesting or unusual. The melodies are generic and predictable, and there is nothing that rouses me out and makes me want to listen up more clearly. I could put this in the background and I wouldn’t know when it started and when it finished. Chester sounds restrained and apologetic except on a couple of places and that pisses me off further. The rap is as monotonous as ever. However, there are a couple of tracks that make the cut for me which leads me to…..
Recommended Tracks :- Blackout, Robot Boy, The Catalyst