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Linkin Park are a very popular alternative rock band that were formed in the mid 90's and made it mainstream in 2000 with their first album Hybrid Theory which was a fantastic album and since hearing it I have been a fan, as time passed by Linkin Park released a number of albums including Meteora, Re-animation (remix album), Live in Texas (a live album), Minutes to Midnight and finally A Thousand Suns.
A Thousand Suns was released in 2010 and is their most recent work to date (Jan 2012), this album's style is a little different than previous albums as the band have decided to take their music to a different level.
There is a total of 15 tracks on this album, here is a list of the tracks on this album and a little bit about them:
1. The Requiem
This is kind of an introduction to the album, it is a 2 minute instrumental that starts off slow and quiet and ends with more energy and louder, it includes some melodies from Chester and also an unnamed female with electronical voice effect, it features the chorus from the song The Cataylst, this is a good start to the album as I quite like The Catalyst and it also sets the tone for the 'new sound' or 'new direction' that Linkin Park are trying to create and go in with their music.
2. The Radiance
This is a minute track that involves a little bit of background music, much like from the first track and it includes a man named Julius Robert Oppenheimer, who was the co- creator of the A-bomb, talking in an interview about his creation, this really sets the tone of the album and almost gives it an apocalyptic feel, implying that man is destroying himself through war and greed. Tracks like this one are included in different parts of this album, and are miles away from the earlier work of Linkin Park musically, I don't dislike this track, but once you've heard it once there is really no need to hear it again, as the message has been said, so I just tend to skip this one when it comes on.
3. Burning in the Skies
Finally an actual song, and not a bad one either, this song is slow and Chester's vocals on them are amazing (as usual really), the only real flaw I can find in it is that Mike Shinoda doesn't rap on it (though this seems to be a trend on this album as he only appears rapping on a few tracks). This is a slower song that is quite poetic, I quite like this song, though when I first heard it, it wasn't my favourite, it grew on me over time.
4. Empty Spaces
Another quick interlude break, only this time, no instruments, this is basically 18 seconds of hearing what I think sounds like drill people in the Army taking orders, I think this keeps in the theme and sets the mood in the album of war and being against it,, it's not music and I wouldn't say I like it to be honest.
5. When they Come for Me
This is my favourite song on the whole album, it has a real epic and confident feel to it and starts with an amazing rock feel with drums and a cool beat, Mike Shinoda takes the stage rapping throughout this song (finally) and Chester basically harmonises for the chorus, it's a song about being who you are and not being told how to feel or think and being true to yourself, no matter what anyone says, this may be relevant to the band as they have been criticised for taking a new direction with their newest two albums as a lot of their fans claim to think they 'sold out' and only like their older work.
6. Robot Boy
This is another slower song that builds as it goes through, it is kind of a mosh of melodies and rock music, it's quite a strange song and wouldn't be my favourite. Though keeping with the album theme of war this song to me is sung about a soldier in war who feels alone and not quite sure about why he fights, apart from because he is told to.
7. Jornada del Muerto
Ok so I did a little research after hearing this instrumental break and its name translated from Spanish means journey of the dead man, the Jornda del Muerto dessert was the first test site of the atomic bomb in 1945. In this quick song Chester repeats mochiagete, tokihanashite, which means 'Lift me Up, Let Me Go' in Japanese. These lyrics are present in other parts of the album including in the song The Catalyst.
8. Waiting for the End
Another of the few songs that I actually enjoy, this song describes a feeling of not having control over a situation, like a relationship ending or within the war theme a soldier within a war situation following orders he doesn't understand. This song features amazing vocals from both Chester and Mike.
This is quite an angry song with a lots of attitude in it, it even showcases Chester's ability to scream-sing, this is a song about being betrayed by someone selfish (in the war theme I'm guessing this would be the government). This song is probably as close as you will get in their new work to the Linkin Park songs.
10. Wretches and Kings
This song starts and also with a man who sounds quite like a preacher talking about standing up for your believes and rebelling against being told what to do, this is basically the theme for the whole song, I think this song would be my absolute song on the album, in between the preachy man, Mike raps the verses and Chester sings the chorus, it has a real rock feel to it and definitely has a really confident and angry vibe.
11. Wisdom, Justice and Love
This is another instrumental song, however this one features a man who says the following:
"I come to this magnificent house of worship tonight because my conscience leaves me no other choice... A true revolution of values will lay hand on the world order and say of war, 'This way of settling differences is not just.' This business of burning human beings with napalm, of filling our nation's homes with orphans and widows, of injecting poisonous drugs of hate into the veins of peoples normally humane, of sending men home from dark and bloody battlefields physically handicapped and psychologically deranged, cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice, and love"
By Martin Luther King Jr.
When he starts talking he sounds human, but as he continues his voice becomes more computerised until he just sounds like a robot at the end of the track, this in my opinion is suppose to symbolise how heartless and unhuman the people who are calling the shots in the war sound. It really just follows on the point that Linkin Park are trying to make about the war and fits into the album quite well, though I normally do skip it as it gets quite annoying after a while and isn't really a song afterall.
This is a slower more laid back song that, it is more of an inspirational song about letting go all the sadness and frustration in your life, it's a nice song and like many Linkin Park songs, starts off really slow and cool and then builds to a more epic finish.
Another instrumental, this time the voice talking in it sounds like a robot from the start, sing lyrics from the previous track The Burning Skies, as time goes by on this track the voice then starts to sound more human, which makes me think he has finally started to come to his senses about humanity and how the world has been acting lately, again this is a bit so and so for me and I just skip it when I am listening to this album.
14. The Catalyst
This is another song where the reference of war and control cannot be escaped where the lyrics are concerned. The music on this song is quite electronical and funky, it is really different to anything I have heard by Linkin Park before and I wouldn't say I love it, but it is a good song and well worth a listen to.
15. The Messenger
This is a slower song with very little going on instrumentally, just Chester singing with a guitar in the beginning with more instruments and music being added as the song progresses, this song is about how important it is to be kind and love your fellow man, it's a good song and really laid back and chilled and worth a listen.
If you listen to this album from start to finish all the way through you may get the art and basic message in this album (otherwise the interlude/instrumentals won't really mean much to you), it is rather impressive, however the anti-war, nuclear message in this album for me seems to overpower and out shadow the music, which kind of ruins it if you just want to listen to kick back and listen to some good tunes. I think you have to be in the right mood to listen to this album, for example it's not great for pre-drinks before a night out. However if you are just flicking through the album on shuffle there are few strong songs and most of it is quite skip-able.
I have quite mixed feelings when it comes to this album, the only thing I am certain about is that I preferred their older work, however it may just take time for me to adjust to their new style of music. Some of the songs are definitely better than others on this album, I like the majority of the songs and think that there is maybe a few too many instrumental/interludes on the album, even though I appreciate that they are all part of the message that Linkin Park were trying to communicate when making this album.
Overall I enjoyed some of this album, I wouldn't say that it is as good as the likes of Hybrid Theory or Meteora or even Minutes to Midnight, but there are still some very good tracks on this album, though as a fan I am just hoping that when they are making their next album, they will go back to their musical roots (though it probably is unlikely). I would give this album overall 3 out of 5 stars because there are some tracks that are just not to my music taste and the album itself is miles away from the Linkin Park music I grew up listening to. I feel quite mixed about this album and although there are some good songs on it, there are quite a few tracks I just find myself skipping unfortunately.
*also on ciao under lorrainek90
Linkin Park - A Thousand Suns
Being a fan of Linkin Park I was super happy to hear that they were releasing a new album.
It took a while for me to reel myself back in after getting it, I seemed to listen to it on repeat for days, not switching it off. Though I don't find it as good as their older stuff I still find it pretty amazing.
Linkin Park formed in 1996, they come from California and have released 3 other studio albums. Hybrid Theory, Meteora and Minuets to Midnight. All of these are albums worth listening to.
When They Come For Me
Jornada del Muerto
Waiting For The End
Wretches And Kings
Wisdom, Justice and Love
The one thing that I truly love about this album, is they have put a decent amount of tracks onto it. I kind of hate it when I get good album that's only 9 tracks long.
My personal favourites off this album, that I recommend are:
This track is my obsession at the moment. It's slow paced but has a great beat to it. The vocals are excellent and the lyrics are flawless. It's not like the old Linkin Park, it's not got an amazing metalish rhythm to it, it's nice and soft. I think the new Linkin Park is for everybody, even if you don't like the old material, I think a lot of people would like this.
When They Come For Me:
Got a catchy opening, build the tension kind of with the rhythm and beat. And when the vocals start it gets more interesting. Mike Shinoda has a talent which I envy, really bad. There really isn't much to his vocals in this track, he's just talking to the beat but his talent still manages to shine through.
Don't be fooled by the beautiful start, when the beat thoroughly kicks in the pace picks up. Chester has a voice to die for and the way he sings the lyrics in this, it never fails to put a smile on my face. I think this is one people should check out and give a chance. It sounds like Chester is screaming, but you can understand what he is saying. Such a great piece of material.
I like this track, because it starts with a nice soft piano melody which points to sadness. When Shinoda opens his mouth and starts singing, I guess I could quite happily admit that I start crying. They have done such an tremendous job on this track. I relate to the lyrics in a way and I think that is what makes it more special for me. But above all that this is my top favourite off the album, I 100 percent recommend this track purchase it off iTunes if you like this but not the album. It deserves a lot of credit.
Another track where I can relate to the lyrics. This has a lovely acoustic rhythm to it, I could spend forever listening to this track and not get bored. Chester never disappoints, does he? My second favourite track off the album, yet the top played on my iPod.
A lot of people haven't got this album, because they aren't sure if they like the new Linkin Park, but I have to say; give them a chance, you will not be disappointed. I got my copy for £15.99...yes a lot for an album, huh? But I don't regret it. At the moment it is going for £4.99 on Amazon, so if you want it...go get it.
Favourite track: Iridescent
Favourite lyric: 'Remember you're loved and you always will be, this melody will bring you right back home' - The Messenger.
written by dooshbag08
also posted on ciao under rockchick2k7
Linkin Park released their fourth studio album "A Thousand Suns" in September 2010. The style of the music is a significant change from their previous releases and caused a lot of backlash from their fans. The band who have almost become synonymous with Nu metal have returned ten years after their debut album Hybrid Theory with something that shows just how much they have grown over the decade.
"Everybody wants the next thing to be just like the first"
Firstly it must be stated that this is not your everyday album, it has 15 tracks but only 9 songs, and this gives some sort of idea about the artistic nature of the album. It is not a collection of songs which the previous albums have been; this is a clever, thought-provoking piece of art. The band that have always been known for their teenage angst lyrics have grown up and become somewhat political. The 9 songs are broken up by small filler tracks ranging from 18 seconds to 2 minutes, which blend one song into another almost seamlessly, which turns this into one big 48 minute piece of art. To get this effect they have dropped their heavy guitar riffs and added a techno feel to their armoury, which is what makes their hardcore fans feel that this is not their band, but LP foresaw this reaction and even wrote a song about it.
The album opens with "The Requiem", a 2 minute intro which contains the lyrics of second verse of the later song "The Catalyst", but they are changed using digital effects to make them sound quite eerie and set the scene for the album. The voice is ghostly and high pitched but still clearly from Chester Bennington. This track seamlessly blends into the second track "The Radiance" which begins to show that this is not an ordinary album. The song is purely a quotation set to music from J. Robert Oppenheimer, the scientific director of the Manhattan project, who famously recalled the Bhagavad Gita in reference to the first atomic bomb. Cleverly the title of the song and the title of the album are a separate reference to the same source in which it states "If the radiance of a thousand suns were to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendour of the mighty one." This song reaches its crescendo on the words "Now I have become death, the destroyer of worlds... I guess we all thought that, one way or another".
"Waiting for the End", possibly the best song on the album and truly a classic Linkin Park song opens with some electric guitar and piano until Mike begins another memorable rap, which breaks off as Chester starts some of the most beautiful singing from the album. The song climaxes in true LP style with Mike rapping over Chester's singing, bringing the two voices together, with electric guitar behind them for the first time in this album, showing that they have not changed, they have grown. This song is to be the second single from the album.
Mario Savio's famous "put your bodies upon the gears" speech opens "Wretches and Kings", one of the more political and more thought provoking songs on the album. Another beautiful mix of rap and singing, this time separated completely, where both vocalists play to their strengths, Mike rapping again in memorable style and Chester belting out the chorus. The full quotation is given at the end of the song which ends in another classic Linkin Park style with the scratching of the song using decks.
"Fallout" starts with the lyrics from "Burning in the Skies" mentioned earlier, again in an electronic style, showing the circular nature of this album, and showing that it is all one piece and not just a collection of songs. It finally blends into the first single from the album "The Catalyst", probably the most techno of all the songs on the album, and cause of a lot of initial worry by fans. The verse is sung again by a mix of the two voices is one of the most memorable lines from the whole album and one that will get into your head and you'll find yourself singing over and over to yourself. After having heard some of the lyrics to this song scattered across the album, you feel like you already know the song and it really adds to the feeling, it's like meeting an old friend after such a long time.
It is followed by one track called "The Messenger" which has received a lot of criticism for being corny and badly produced. After 45 minutes of electronic sounds, the album stops and finishes with a soft acoustic guitar and piano song, in which Chester alone sings/shouts the lyrics in his trademark style. This song is for the come down, this is the equivalent of "Hurt" on "The Downward Spiral", it's a way to get your breath back after such an incredible journey, but at the same time uses the state that the rest of the album has produced to send home the simplest and most honest of all messages, after all it is called "The Messenger".
In trying to avoid defining the meaning of each song and the album, you have the ability to let the songs mean what they will to you, but it also means this review is only able to discuss the physical nature of the album. This is a piece of art, and that is rare in this day and age, you hardly ever find complete albums rather than collections of songs. As with other such pieces it comes under heavy criticism, which is a real shame. Albums like this do not come along often and really should be respected and enjoyed as they are. If you are looking for the pinnacle of ten years work by an extremely talented band, buy this album, if you are looking for Hybrid Theory 2, then don't buy this album, but at the same time, don't slander it because it's not what you expected, because it is the expectation that has harmed this album, and that expectation was wrong. Something far better has been produced, enjoy and appreciate what has been released because this has set a new bar for Linkin Park and will be a hard one to beat.
Following the review of Weezer's new album I thought I'd follow suit and give my thoughts on the new Linkin Park album- A Thousand Suns. While many people may look down on Linkin Park as a nu-metal band only, over the last 10+ years I've been a big fan and they are one of a very small group of artists whose music I'd want to buy on the day it is released. This album is different to their previous albums and shows that the band have definately grown even if it isn't to the liking of all fans. As Mike Shinoda raps on 'When They Come For Me',
"And it seems ugly but it can get worse
'cause even a blueprint is a gift and a curse
'cause what you got a theory about how the thing works
Everybody wants the next thing to be just like the first"
Forget the Linkin Park you have known in the past. Well don't fully forget them, but be prepared to experience something new from the band. There is alot less of the anger filled songs of past albums but this one feels like it contains it's emotion in an entirely different way. There is a futuristic sound unlike anything else you'll have heard before.
Unusually there are 2 intro tracks. 'The Requiem' starts off with an eery sounding piano which leads into a voice that wouldnt feel out of place in a sci-fi film. 'The Radiance' contains another voiceover which sounds like something from a news interview about 'a destroyer of worlds'.
A Thousand Suns really starts with the brilliantly crafted 'Burning In The Skies'. As much as Chester Bennington is amazing at the rock-type yelling and screaming I think he is much better with these type of softer songs. His voice is just a perfect fit with the top quality production behind it. The drums in particular are something to be admired. "I'm swimming in the smoke of bridges I have burned. So don't apologise. I'm losing what I don't deserve" are the lyrics which stand out in particular.
'Empty Spaces' is another filler track which I don't think really needed to be included but it is followed up by 'When They Come For Me', possibly the best song on the album. Mike Shinoda is fierce lyrically and is on his best here. He declares "I'm not a robot...You better start trying to catch up motherf***er" and he's not wrong. With alot of rappers now releasing sub-par material, Shinoda shows them how it should be done. The drums sound almost tribal, especially with the voice that is used towards the end of the song which could lead to another of the bands creative videos.
'Robot Boy' begins again with a more typical Linkin Park sound, and Bennington once again provides the vocal talents to put the song over the top. At first listen it's almost minimalistic in its sound, but when you listen closer there's so much going on in the background that you may not initially notice. 'Jornada Del Muerto' is another track used to lead into the 'real' songs. This one is much more effective than others and wouldn't be out of place on the Blade Runner soundtrack.
'Waiting For The End' has an almost reggae sound as Shinoda begins but falls back into more of Benningtons vocals over a simple keyboard and drum sound. The sound builds up until the powerful chorous. Again there is none of the screaming that could be associated with past songs but if anything, this makes the song even more powerful.
'Blackout' has a slow build but gives Chester his chance to use his unique vocal talents and for the first time a song from A Thousand Suns feels like it could have been included on one of the bands past albums. Shinoda also sings on this track and provides a good change up in comparision to Chesters.
'Wretches and Kings' sounds like it could be played in the background of a riot scene or a training scene in a film. It's a pure violent soundng track that you can't help but get pumped up while listening. 'Wisdom, Justice and Love' again contains perfectly crafted piano notes with another speech being transformed into a robot noise. This leads straight into 'Iridescent' which is another of the albums best songs. You get the sense that it again would be a perfect fit into a film. The lyrics and vocals blend into the music to create a brilliant mix of emotion.
'Fallout' provides exactly what it's name suggests. A type of music that wouldn't be out of place in the fallout of a major destuction or disaster. 'The Catalyst' you'll probably have heard on the radio by now since it's the first single to be released. In terms of a first single it gives the listener a preview into what they can expect to hear on A Thousand Suns but works well to close off the album. It continues the theme of the album and could be used to portray the uprising after an apocalypse. 'The Messenger' is the final track on the album and hands over the reigns to Chester to close the album with more of his emotion filled vocals.
While A Thousand Suns isn't the Linkin Park you may be used to, I don't think you'll be disappointed when hearing it. It's an album to be enjoyed and to appreciate and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
1. The Requiem
2. The Radiance
3. Burning In The Skies
4. Empty Spaces
5. When They Come For Me
6. Robot Boy
7. Jornada Del Muerto
8. Waiting For The End
10. Wretches And Kings
11. Wisdom, Justice, And Love
14. The Catalyst
15. The Messenger
Californian sextets, Linkin Park were formed in 1996 originally under the name of their first album Hybrid Theory. Conspiring from nu metal, rap metal and radio friendly rock their sound is diverse enough to fill many a genre. The band's first studio album, Hybrid Theory, released in 2001, was certified Diamond and went multi platinum, making it one of the most influential and most recognised rock albums of recent times. The band comprise of ...
Chester Bennington - Lead vocals
Mike Shinoda - Vocals, Rhythm guitar, Keyboards
Rob Bourdon - Drums, Percussion
Brad Delson - Lead Guitar
Dave "Phoenix" Farrell - Bass
Joe "Mr Hahn" Hahn - Turntables, Samples, Synthesizers
A THOUSAND SUNS
September 2010 saw the release of Linkin Park's fourth Studio album, 'A Thousand Suns' it marked a return to producer Rick Rubin and hopefully a change in fortune after the fairly dismal effort of predeceasing album 'Minutes to Midnight'. Lead single 'The Catalyst' hit the charts running, and proved an instant hit, as yet no other singles have been released. The fourth album, shows another shift in sound, a further indication to the band refraining from becoming stagnant, whereas the sound is not completely different, the way achieved through effects and trickery certainly is. Following the likes of Muse and Green Day, Linkin Park have tried their muscle at a themed concept album, with numerous interludes and Intro's to back such a theory, therefore to fully engage into this album a full run through is in order to fully appreciate what's trying to happen. Previous albums include ....
Hybrid Theory (2000)
Minutes to Midnight (2007)
A Thousand Suns (2010)
1 THE REQUIEM (2.01) - The opening track is more like an intro than an actual song, it's a lingering, harrowing, barrage of sinister noises, incorporated with a monotonically themed piano key, this atmospheric ghostly opener has some female singing the lyrics to the catalyst near the end. It's quite strange, and not something you would listen to alone, which already gives the impression this album needs to be considered as a concept rather than individual songs. 2 THE RADIANCE (0.57) - The Requiem forges straight into the Radiance, which lasts less than a minute, of mostly darker foraging noises accompanied by quotes from Oppenheimer's infamous 'Destroyer of Worlds' over the top, quite sinister, and not really what you would be accustomed to from Linkin Park, and not something I really enjoyed. Personally, I'd skip the opening two tracks every time, last too long and I want some music.
3 BURNING IN THE SKIES (4.13) - Burning In the Skies is depicting the act of war and how the innocent are used as fuel for such things, death of the innocent. We kind of carry on where the intro's left off, it's a synth-driven effort full of processed beats and awful electronics, quite dance orientated as a mournful Bennington fairly timidly sings over an awful electronic drum beat, and fairly limited piano. The song really lacks any kind of respectability, the guitars have no room for manoeuvre and used strangely sparingly, and you cannot really get into track three until over half way in, it's pretty bland, complicated, with no revealing features. I think this one can be burnt and thrown somewhere other than the floor, due to the UK's policy on litter. 4 EMPTY SPACES (0.18) - Track four is supposed to blend the tracks together, the art of war still been the theme, as we venture through swamps running away from the Viet Kong, fuelled by distant bombs, and insect noises overhead.
5 WHEN THEY COME FOR ME (4.53) - This leaps to the defence of the previous 18 seconds, as a wave of percussion, electronic throbbing pulses, and mechanical beats are fizzing over our heads. It kind of feels like we are running from something, whether it's the end of the world, or to escape the burning bridges and destruction of civilisation, who knows, but it does sound like we've escaped the Viet Kong, and thrashing it out in the middle east, as it's very influenced by such middle eastern cultures and sounds. The song is a real journey, laden particularly with electronic samples, and percussion. The journeys of vocals are layered from chanting, to rapping to Bennington's best most noticeable tones. Again, it's reluctance to use the fizzing guitar riffs of the past and replaced by atmospheric sounds is obvious, in particular it works after a number of listens, admittedly after first hearing this, I though what a load of.... But it really grows on you, and actually pulls the concept together a little. Five songs in, and it really is a generated sound of percussion, samples and electronic drum beats, the sound is so much different, and stark contrast to Hybrid Theory.
6 ROBOT BOY (4.28) - Another atmospherically charged anthem, much slower than the previous tracks, but the overall sound is consistent, as the electronic mournful drum roll supports the vigour of the stark piano. It's much more melodic than the previous songs, and slightly more thoughtful as we reflect on the impact war has taken, and ravaged the people in question. It berates the compassionless officials, who think of only themselves and not the innocents left behind. It's quite boring this, it lacks any kind of chorus, and just moans along, solemnly, nothing enterprising or exciting, and quickly forgotten, to robotic and not another edge here. 7 JORNADA DEL MUERTO (Journey of the Dead) (1:34) - Another interlude that comprises the songs together, has very little impact to me, and doesn't exactly fit that well either, a mixture of electronics, and haunted vocals comprise here, that seem to get louder and louder, as though the march of the dead are coming for us.
8 WAITING FOR THE END (3.51) - Hooray! Once Shinoda has finished laying down an awful rap over the top of some awful electronic pulses which comprises as an intro, move over son, and welcome Bennington, this becomes a sympathetic, heart-warming array of ballad-esque choruses and yearning tones, supported by a wonderful radio hook and a classic sounding Linkin Park rock ballad, highlighted by a gorgeous chorus. Sadly this is spoilt again by the over zealous Shinoda and his insistence of rapping once more, which spoils a perfectly constructed tune and a half. Good, but it could have been so much better, thankfully the good far outweighs the bad, love it! 9 BLACKOUT (4.39) - Blackout, funnily enough gives older fans some light, through the atmospheric gurgling as we soar the heights of a nu-metal charged track. Thrashed and furious Blackout opens with some sinister stricken synths and looped drum beats. Charged with a distorted guitar riff, and some feverish screaming from Bennington, it's dark and dangerous, and straight in the face, as a mix of rapping and screaming entertain us. Again the piano, and an electric dance pulse take centre stage, before a barrage of black noise and distortion override, before we calm to a note from the piano, before a variety of interference and loops end us out, a bit mixed and lacking anything special.
10 WRETCHES AND KINGS (4.10) - Another mixture of rapping from Shinoda and shrieking from Bennington as the two interlude with one another, It's a packs a punch straight in the eye, with some explosive sounds, and soaring stabbing guitars, mixed with quotes from some obvious candidates unknown to me. It lacks composure, filled with over the top backbeats and a real heavy bass, that has no appeal to me, sounds like a ball of heavy noise to me, boring and insignificant. 11 WISDOM, JUSTICE, AND LOVE (1.38) - Another interlude over a poignant stark piano beat featuring quotes from Martin Luther King over the top, which morph into some incoherent, surrounding by what seems like a rocket ship set to take off, as the noise becomes ever closer and louder. Before the backing noise disappears to be replaced by a robotic noise, just weird, but kind of cool.
12 IRIDESCENT (4.56) - Another mid-tempo ballad that sees Shinoda and Bennington trade lines, minus the rapping this time. It feels like you're floating on a cloud, or made your way through the pearly gates in the wake of nuclear destruction, as you feel as though you're looking down or reminiscing, all emotionally. Surprisingly for a Linkin Park ballad it's bleak and quite plain, bereft of any talent or inspiration. It's fairly stripped back this time, with a completely different directive to the rest of the album; it largely features a rather boring piano line, and delaying riffs. The repetitive nature could see this becoming a rather catchy number, but it's not for my liking. 13 FALLOUT (1.23) - Another Interlude that features Shinoda's voice all robotic, voicing lyrics from Burning in the Skies, before fading into the Catalyst.
14 THE CATALYST (5.39) - Lead single from the album, and my personal favourite by far, The Catalyst is an epic chorus-less surge from start to finish it classically templates an Indie/rock charged track that just develops and fuels it's anger before reaching a climactic, explosive finale. It feels all heroic, like some kind of breakthrough has been achieved. It's distinctive and so evocative that its already been used on video game Medal of Honour, and used during the 16th Annual X games competitions. The Catalyst is a fight from start to finish, dual singing between Shinoda and Bennington throughout over the top of some trance like synths, eerie electronic samples and poignant beats. Classic tune, and one that I can play over and over, so catchy, class. 15 THE MESSENGER (3:01) - And to the finale, a stripped back acoustic little number, that features Bennington, searching and soaring to a pretty little number, you could be forgiven in thinking he is out of tune, but to be honest it doesn't matter, it's a soulful piece driven with the lonely guitar and sparse strings. A good song to finish on as though the end of the education, all thoughtful, wonderful and littered with tales of redemption. It's an unusual effort from the Californians, and whilst not perfect, I do like this stripped back ballad. Total length: 47:41
A Thousand Suns is a concept album, which should be listened to as a whole to at least try and appreciate what they are trying to achieve. It's full of interludes and Intro's that supposed to link the tracks together, some maybe do, but others in my opinion have no place, and largely strange.
It follows the same theme throughout, largely about nuclear warfare, the end of civilisation, and the destruction of earth by humanity, however by the end civilisation is near saved through man's never say die attitude. Upon listening to the album, to convey the war felt atmosphere they've generated a lot of sounds, from digital noises, electronics, samples and back beats, which is a totally different sound for Linkin Park, and a thousand suns away from debut album Hybrid Theory.
To say its experimental is an understatement, does it work? Well, not really, either as a whole concept or a set of individual songs, sure, chinks of light appear in tracks such as 'When they come for me', 'The Catalyst' and 'Waiting for the End' and they do return to their roots slightly on 'Blackout', but the mix, is too electronically digitized, guitars replaced by generated bleeps and sounds, which are confusing, disorientating and somewhat annoying. Fair enough, you can appreciate the effort, and the how intricately the piece is put together, but maybe they have stretched themselves here, taking themselves to seriously.
Overall, A Thousand Suns demonstrates a climactic shift for Linkin Park, after the failure of previous album Minutes to Midnight (Which I actually liked) perhaps they felt the need to experiment or change directive, but it feels confused and unfinished, the indie/rock based tracks have been replaced by rather limp, synth filled complicated experiments. Older fans will be disappointed, as this album is as about as far from rock filled anthems as you can get.
I'm not sure whom I could recommend this too, obviously die-hard fans will like anything they produce, but aside from the three tracks previously mentioned I find nothing appreciative here, maybe the album will take time to grow, but I'm not even so sure I'd give it the chance, largely disappointing.
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Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Requiem, The
2 Radiance, The
3 Burning In The Skies
4 Empty Spaces
5 When They Come For Me
6 Robot Boy
7 Jornada Del Muerto
8 Waiting For The End
10 Wretches And Kings
11 Wisdom Justice And Love
14 Catalyst, The
15 Messenger, The