Discussion in 'Linkin Park Chat' started by Jeff, Sep 7, 2010.
Someone is trippin balls.
Not on the Special Edition. I'm sure a tour edition will be released possibly later this year or next which may have some ATS B-Sides.
Copied from the ATS Leaked thread:
Agent O's Review
I won't go into a track by track review but I will stay this...
I agree with Mike when he said it feels like an "album album". All the songs string together very well, unlike MTM, which to me sounded like a bunch of songs they recorded and threw in together.
What blew my mind with this album is the range of sounds/genres they tackled: from reggae to screaming, from stadium rock to industrial, from ballad to techno, from hip-hop to turntable scratching. And the best part is that ALL of these genres, even though they generate different types of emotions, came in together very seamlessly in ATS.
Every track bled into each other effortlessly, but at the same time stood out on their own. It felt experimental, yet it felt like the band went in with a vision, because the record sounds so solid from top to bottom.
A Thousand Suns is probably the most consistent album the band has put out and it's only a glimpse into their pool of talent and ideas.
This post is going to take me about an hour, since I will also be doing a listen-and-review-type thing.
The Requiem - It's creepy, it's dynamic, and it is most definitely the best opening intro to an album LP has done. I love the piano and the little effects going on in the background. The choral parts are pretty mellow, and I feel like I've heard them on another song before. Mike's girl vocal is creepy as hell and I LOVE IT. Gotta love those reoccurring lyrics.
The Radiance - I believe the timpani drums are in this part of the interlude. I can see why this was separated from the previous track. It has a different flow. The speech with the slow entrance of the drum hits is pretty epic. You know it's something big coming.
Burning in the Skies - The beginning of this song is spectacular. The sample in the background and the piano is very understated. Almost as understated as the beautiful guitar-work by Brad before the verse. Mike's singing has improved considerably, along with the lyrics. It's a very chill feeling listening to this part of the song. Chester comes in with the chorus and it takes on an upbeat trance-like feel. The intensity increases as the guitar takes a more prominent volume. I still can't get over Mike's singing. So soft and calm. Chester's chorus comes in again, with some harmonies by Mike in the background. It's a double chorus, that leads into the entrance of some good chord work by Brad. It's not trying too hard but it's catchy and memorable. I especially like the octave work. It's not typical Brad, although the ascending chords repeating at the end of the guitar section is. That's not to say it's bad though. Chester and piano in the chorus leading into the full instrumental by Rob's drumming. Sounds like gang harmonies at this part of the chorus or just layered Mike. Return of 1/2 of Mike's verse to just piano and small effects.
Empty Spaces - It's a good transition track. I hear a piece of Megaphone Brad. It ends abruptly.
When They Come For Me - That synth sound is dirty. Enter the tribal drums, which then leave to show off some of the synth sounds. The drums return along with Mike's rapping. The best verse he's ever written. The-
This is as far as I got before I gave up because I just wanted to sit back and listen to the music. Take from it what you will. Fucking 10/10.
Louis' Official Review of 'A Thousand Suns'
The Requiem - I simply love how eerie this starts, and how the vocals add on to that eerie feeling. I really do like the girl coming in and singing the lyrics, and how there's electronic build behind it and how it flows flawlessly into The Radiance.
The Radiance - The quote is very strong, and I like the background electronic things going on, but I like how the focus is still on the quote. It contributes to the excellent start of the album.
Burning in the Skies - I like how the apocalyptic opening sort of goes into this nice beat, and how Mike opens the song. The vocals in this song are absolutely beautiful. The harmonies are excellent, as are the lyrics. I think this song would make an excellent single. It's soothing and yet there's meaning to it. I'm glad that Brad gets a simple but good guitar solo in there that helps with the build-up of the song. I think the guitar could have been more prominent near the end of the song, but that's okay. Ending the song with Mike again brings it full circle, which I like.
Empty Spaces - It's short, but it's a cool intro for When They Come For Me.
When They Come For Me - I don't believe that the lyrics in this song go with the rest of the album, but I still love the meaning behind them. If you didn't catch it, it's basically Mike telling everyone who doesn't believe in Linkin Park's effort to change their sound "to catch up mothafucka!" I guess now that I listen to it there could be some small connections to the rest of the album but it stands out. I love the beat, though, and I really enjoy the transition into Chester's vocals. The vocals between the verses (Aaaahhhh) remind me of System of a Down for whatever reason, but I like it. I'm glad they made a track like this. The arpeggios transitioning to Chester remind me of Muse, which I love (A LOT). The build into the end is incredible, and I love the "Hey's" because they sorta link this song to "Wretches and Kings." Good song overall.
Robot Boy - I thought the intro was cheesy at first but after I listened to the song I realized how well it opens the song. Robot Boy has to be one of my favorite songs because it's so relaxing and because the lyrics are so powerful. "You say you're not gonna fight, 'cause no one will fight for you. And you think there's not enough love, and no one to give it to." Those are fantastic lyrics. The harmonies are great as well. This song reminds me the most of Radiohead because of the repetitive structure. This is Linkin Park's take on a Kid A track, which is pretty cool. This one is great. I love the electronic bridge part with Chester's vocals. This part reminded me of U2. Radiohead and U2 in one song? There's some victory there.
Jornada del Muerto - I love this transition. It's so eerie. I wish I could understand the vocals that were distorted. I love the synth in this one. It's very pretty. The overal ambiance of this transition makes it one of the two best ones on the album.
Waiting for the End - So at this rate, Linkin Park has sounded like Radiohead, and U2, but here they go for something different...like 311. I think this song is catchy and works well as a single, but it's one of those songs that's so blatantly a single that it's fitting into the album is slightly questionable. It's not a bad song though. I think Chester's vocals in this song are beautiful, and I can personally really relate to the chorus. The lyrics are great, especially the part where he sings, "Holding onto what I haven't got." The harmony of Chester and Mike in this song is beautiful. Overall, this is a good song. Not amazing, but it's good. I like the different sound.
Blackout - Without question, this might be my favorite song tied with The Catalyst. Chester's screaming is absolutely phenomenal. It gives me chills and it's so powerful. And I like the simplicity of the music behind it too. It doesn't have to be aggressive. In fact, the synths in the opening almost make you feel like it's going to be a light song, and then it just surprises you with Chester's part. I like that a lot. What I don't like about this song, though, is the middle part with the Reanimation-like work on Chester's part. I think it's cool but it belongs in a remix. It's not bad, though, so I won't complain too much. I guess it's Joe's chance to shine, either way! And then I love the transition into Mike and Chester singing together. That part is beautiful. What a great song. Well done, guys.
Wretches and Kings - Admittedly when I first listened to this song I was turned off. I thought the speech excerpt was phenomenal (and it gave me chills because that speech happened here at Berkeley and I walk by Sproul Hall everyday). However, it grew on me, and after seeing the official lyrics, you can see how powerful they are despite the delivery. I feel the use of Mario Savio is the saving factor in this song, because otherwise I don't think the song would make any sense. I like how it's a bit more of an evolved version of older Linkin Park, but I guess that's also why it stands out a bit and doesn't fit in as well with the rest of the album. Oh well, it's a great song to bang your head to and so I can't complain too much about it either. It's good.
Wisdom, Justice, and Love - I believe this would have been *the* best interlude of the album if they had not kept repeating "cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice, and love" at the end. It sort of took away the eerie, dark, beautiful feeling of it. Although, I think that taking MLK's speech and slowly adding a robot effect onto it is one of the coolest parts of the album. That really stood out to me and gave me chills. Good interlude overall. I think I'll learn to get over the extra parts at the end. The music is absolutely wonderful in the background, and after the excerpts. Actually, never mind, I am over the extra parts (now I'm listening to it). Best interlude on the album. Hands down.
Iridescent - What I like most about this song is how meaningful the lyrics are. I also like how much better Mike's voice is on this album. The harmonies with Chester and Mike are fantastic as well (they do a generally awesome job of that on the entire album). This song would work well as a single as well, but despite that, it actually fits into the album very well. This is a good song. It's not my favorite, but it's nice. I think the part where the entire band comes in and sings is a bit cheesy and makes the chorus a bit too repetitive, but the saving part is that the lyrics are beautiful and have a lot of meaning.
Fallout - Apart from Wisdom, Justice, and Love, this is the second-best interlude on the album (oh, this makes Jornada del Muerto third best, sorry about that change). But it's such a fantastic interlude and I love how it uses the chorus from Burning in the Skies (which are fantastic lyrics). I like how it has a bit of a reverse effect with going from the apocalyptic robotic voice to Mike's voice. It's so eerie (I've used that word so many times but that's what it is, and I LOVE IT).
The Catalyst - The transition into The Catalyst is my favorite, if only the fact that it was a single didn't hide the beauty of that transition. Although we all know this song and have been listening to it for some time, this is my favorite song from The Catalyst. I owe a shitload to The Requiem because it made me appreciate this song a lot more with the lyrical connection. The chants of the lyrics are so strong and powerful, and again, the repetitiveness gives it a Kid A sort of feel (even though this song is very industrial and progressive in its nature). And honestly, this song has the most incredible build of any rock song I've ever heard (apart from Knights of Cydonia and Take a Bow, both by Muse). I love the effects on the vocals, and the lead-in to the second part of the song is amazing. The "lift me up, let me go" part is perhaps the most incredible part of the album. It is beautiful, the vocal harmonies are amazing, and it just feels like you're outside of the Earth looking in at that point. Rob's drumming is fucking awesome (and it kind of has to be, he doesn't seem to have much of a place on this album because of all the electronic drums). This song is the very epitome of the album's concept, and could very well have served as the ending. However, I believe it also fits perfectly as the second to last song before The Messenger. This one's the best. No doubt.
The Messenger - This is the most beautiful song on the album in terms of how meaningful the lyrics are and how true they are. They relate to all of us, I believe. I love the contrast of Chester's somewhat aggressive voice (which is still amazing) with the acoustic guitar and the piano. Chester's singing near the end of the song reminded me of Bono's voice in some U2 songs again. It's just a very pretty way to end the album, and it leaves you with a smile. I don't think the album could have ended any better than that.
Downsides: Some songs stick out like Wretches and Kings and "Waiting for the End." They don't stick out too much but they're single-makers. Also, I miss Rob. I know they'll figure it out live so that he does everything, but I'm pretty sure a lot of these beats were Mike and Rick Rubin made, and so you only really hear Rob on two or three songs. I mean, when he does come in, he's fucking awesome (because he has to compensate), but it's not a whole lot. The other downside is that as great as this album is there aren't many things you haven't heard before from other bands. Many bands could pull this album off if they wanted to, which is why I think the best is yet to come for Linkin Park. They've done a great job of straying away from who they were and re-inventing the sound but there's a difference between re-inventing your sound and inventing a sound. That's how you get bands like Radiohead who constantly innovate and create things you haven't heard before.
Overall: This is Linkin Park's finest hour thus far, and it is the very "fuck you" that Derek said it was. I understand completely how some people just won't like it, because I truly do believe that this is a "Love it or Hate it" record. However, in my personal opinion, it is different enough, conceptual enough, and stunning enough to disprove most if not all negative things said about Linkin Park. There are a lot of fantastic moments on the album, and I believe that Linkin Park could still get better after this record.
4.25 out of 5 stars. Done.
Rick doesn't musically do anything on anyone's albums
Oh, I know he doesn't actually do anything, but then again, there was that drum machine he gave to Mike. So, yeah, that's what I meant.
My A Thousand Suns review.
The Requiem - A dark, eerie introduction to the album. You can hear dark alien-like noises while a submarine echoes in the background. A male choir is in the background; and then Mike with layers of effects to make him sound like a young female says the "god save us" line from The Catalyst. Excellent opener to the album.
The Radiance - It's a cool second intro, but to me it is rather pointless to have as a seperate track. I like the alien-like drums behind Oppenheimer's voice.
Burning In The Skies - This one fades in from the previous track, it starts out with more of a modern hip-hop/pop kind of keyboard. Mike sings the verses, while Chester sings the choruses. The main message throughout the song is "I'm swimming through the smoke of the bridges i've burned, so don't apologize i'm losing what I don't deserve". Also, there is a nice little guitar piece in there. Excellent track. 8.5/10
Empty Spaces - More of a build-up interlude for the next song. In this one you can hear crickets chirping, and the sounds of guns firing and bombs going off.
When They Come For Me - This song takes a little while to build up, with the heavy use of loud electronic beats. You get to hear Mike rap for the first time on this record, and this time his verses are against the people who said Linkin Park should stick what the music that they made early on, as Mike mentioned "i'm not lazy", referencing to the fact that he could easily manipulate that sound. The chorus is more tribal than the verses, as it is sung by a crowd, "aaah". Chester breaks in and sings a small part before it fades out to a tribal beat again. Amazing track. 9.5/10
Robot Boy - A rather bland track in my opinion. Consists mainly of harmonized vocals of Mike saying things like "hold on to the weight of the world". After the three minute mark you get to his chester softly scream in the background. I didn't like this one, it's a definite grower. 7/10
Jornada Del Muerto - More of a continuation of the previous track, Mike slowly sings in Japanese before an amazing synth piece kicks in. I enjoyed this one, and this proves that interludes aren't just useless fillers.
Waiting For The End - This one starts off with a distorted guitar riff and Mike rapping in a reggae style. The song breaks into a ballad like track when chester says "waiting for the end to come", and he sings for a minute or so before Mike comes back in with another rap verse. Mike and Chester close out the song with a high climax of "holding onto what I haven't got". Amazing track. 8.5/10
Blackout - Probably the most original song Linkin Park has ever made. Starts off with a dark organ and world war-esque drums. A synth piano piece comes in before Chester almost raps the verses with his fast-paced singing and he breaks out with the only screams on the record. The song breaks down to Joe scratching parts of the chorus where Chester is screaming, and out of nowhere the song morphs into a slower song with Mike singing, before Chester helps him harmonize the words "come down". Another superb track. 9/10
Wretches and Kings - Opens up with a political speech, and Mike raps making using a reconstructed line from Public Enemy. The guitar backdrop is almost alien-like and the beat is very dark and dirty. Chester sings with a reggae/island like accent and his voice sounds really unique here. The song ends with a Joe Hahn mini-solo similar to how "points of authority" ended. Another gem. 8/10
Wisdom, Justice, and Love - A MLK speech with a sad, dark atmosphere. His voice morphs into a robotic voice and the transition is very lengthy and smooth. Another short interlude.
Iridescent - This one starts off with a very dark piano and Mike singing very softly. The song exchanges Mike and Chester with the verse and choruses before we get a mini guitar-solo and the whole band starts to sing the chorus. Chester returns to close out the chorus. Another superb track, just missed out on being 5 minutes. This is a ballad, but in a darker fashion. 9/10
Fallout - The worst interlude on the album. The lines from "Burning In The Skies" are used. The robotic voices morphs back into Mike's normal voice and builds up to the next track.
The Catalyst - This one starts off with electronic drums and Mike singing with a variety of vocal effects. A fast-paced synth piece hits in and Mike and Chester sing the next part. Another synth solo kicks in and the song gently transforms into a slower song with Mike singing "lift me up, let me go" with a piano and synth backdrop. After this is repeated around 12 times Chester comes in and shouts the phrase. The song ends with Chester singing the "god bless us part" and the piano and synth playing and fading out. Excellent track. 9/10
The Messenger - A very stripped-down song, nothing like the others on this album. Chester is singing with pure heart and emotion. You can hear a piano faintly in the background. Chester closes out saying "life leaves us blind' love keeps us kind" and starts to vocalize. A very beautiful way to close out the album. 9.5/10
I recommend you listen to : The Requiem, Burning In The Skies, When They Come For Me, Waiting For The End, Blackout, Wretches and Kings, Iridescent, and The Messenger. These songs are without a doubt standouts, and if you don't want to listen to the album as a whole, which I highly recommend, you should check these out.
Overall this album is my favorite album by Linkin Park, and i've made that decision quickly. This IS BETTER than Hybrid Theory (in my honest opinion, yeah opinion), not to say that album wasn't good, it was a classic, but this album flows better. You get to hear Mike sing and rap, Chester show his wide range of vocals, and even the whole band sing. Joe Hahn returns after being a little bit less noticeable on the previous record. This album is an absolute masterpiece and it isn't missing a thing. The interludes don't really take away much of the album itself, and it is just pure perfection. 10/10
Reviewing the album song by song seems kind of pointless to me. I just can't do it. Every single song has been masterfully done.
This is one of the best concept albums I've had the pleasure of listening to. In my book, it's right up there with The Downward Spiral, Kid A, and Frances the Mute. I'm a massive fan of Nine Inch Nails, as well as Linkin Park, and LP has composed something along the lines of a Trent Reznor record. They have somehow created a sound so skillfully pieced together that I can't believe this is the same band that could only pound out power riffs along with average synth in the past (Hybrid Theory and Meteora).
Linkin Park has never had a problem standing out with their vocal ability. The only thing holding them back was their creativity and instrumental curiousity. They have, like I said, made something like a NIN record. There are sounds on here that you wouldn't even think about using for music, yet they work when you blend them with other things. And structurally, Linkin Park has really made a giant leap. They are no longer relying solely on Verse/Chorus/Verse/Chorus/Bridge/Chorus. In fact, most of the songs on A Thousand Suns have structure that you don't even expect. That's what makes a song truly remarkable.
I was really harsh on Linkin Park for a very long time. I loved them to death, but I knew they could achieve much more. Even back when they came out with Meteora, I would wonder why they wouldn't use their apparent electronic rock talent to create much better instrumentals. They always kept them so basic, and I was not always convinced that it was their decision to do so. What they did with this record literally had me tearing up the whole time. The sound is so deep and layered. Robot Boy is a prime example of this. It has that strong ambience to it, then just blows you away all of a sudden. It is such a rich sound, something MTM was lacking.
If their idea for MTM was to strip down themselves and not use as much effects, they should have chosen different instruments to get their point across. Their guitars, bass, drums, and beats just didn't do anything but sound like a more limp version of their old selves. I did like MTM for what it was, though. The guys messed around with new ideas and structures a little. Hands Held High and The Little Things Give You Away were incredible feats for the band back then, imo, and might have been what sparked their curiousity into digging up different ways to make music.
With that said, A Thousand Suns makes their previous records look like a joke. It is so well produced, thought out, and composed that I finally feel like they accomplished what they had set out to do; Create something that will literally change the world's perspective of what this band is capable of.
I honestly could care less if it's a concept album or not. My favorite albums of all time are not concept albums. They're just filled with timeless music. After all, I'm just looking for good music to listen to. Nothing more. The impressive feature of the album is its flow. The music isn't where it could be for this band. I believe Mike is holding the group back.
The music is the thing that made this album lol. Mike is a huge part to that. Without Mike, this band wouldn't be anywhere near the band they are today. If you mean Mike's rapping, then I can't argue with that. It's definitely not outstanding. I think LP could possibly be better off with Mike just sticking to backing vocals, but I'm not the type of person who cares that much about vocal ability. Seriously, I like NIN to death and that guy can't sing better than the average Joe. It's a bands instrumental ability that paves the way into its listeners' minds.
It is his vocals. It goes beyond his delivery and lyrics, it feels like if he wants to be on the track, he's going to be on the track. The only song that felt natural on M2M with Mike was Bleed It Out. That song felt natural period. The energy was real. On ATS, Chester's vocals are incredible for the most part. But Mike seems to get in the way. His production has never been better but he needs to take a back seat and let Chester rip it when it's begging for it.
That's a fair assessment. I never felt like I was longing for Mike to rap, because, honestly, rapping can't be too diverse, and that's what I want from LP. But he definitely added to the album, in my mind. I do think that Chester should have full control of vocal duties. He's clearly one of the best vocalists of our time. Let him work his stuff.
To add, I personally think the band's most powerful/moving/emotional/beautiful moments are when Chester is doing the vocals. Yeah, Mike has been incredible on some tracks, but after all these albums and songs I think they've failed to recognize what works and what doesn't. Maybe that's a strong word but I just expect more out of the music at this point. :/
EDIT: I guess what I'm trying to say is, I'm frustrated with the band's progress for not reaching what could be their prime musically. We've had 4 albums. It's anyone's guess where they go from here.
And when does a band ever hit their prime? You never know when you were in your prime until you've lived your life. For all we know, LP could keep getting better into their 50's. And they should if they stayed committed that long. This band is making huge progress, imo.
To the people who feel that Mike is too prominent vocally and that Chester should take front stage, I respectfully disagree.
Mike is a fucking supernova right where he is right now, baby. And if this record is anything to go by then he's gonna just keep on shining 'til the band implodes with the almost infinite gravity that seems they'll ultimately progress to. Mike on this record is better than Chester. imo. Chester shines but Mike fucking burns down bridges.
Jesse, how do you feel about 'Waiting for the End'? I'd like your review on that song.
Edit: Wow sorry, I read that as When They Come For Me instead of Waiting for the end. So I'll be writing a short review for that in a moment but for now
#5, When They Come For Me.
Where are we? It’s the first question I ask myself when listening to this song. From the very beginning the drumstick like clicking pulls me into a deliberate intrigue, but there’s more, a gloomy snyth comes into play while being quite amazingly distorted and appetizing as the intro of the song progresses into the first verse. The first verse which reflects their nu-metal days while still maintaining a fresh sound of electronica and percussion. Tribal drums bounce hard, like the very heart of the track.
Did I just describe this as akin to their old work? I’m sorry, that I insulted WTCFM so greatly, from the get-go the track grabs you with it’s references to various artists and even a statement for the people who are stuck in the past. The chorus is what really shines and is what will be leaving a lot of sour puss’s scratching their heads in the sublime-ness of the unconventional middle eastern style chants. The climax shows Chester coming in softly and singing “And when they come for me, I’ll be gone" in a ghostly voice and then it ends.
No, not quite yet, instead it pulls off an extremely well done “Fake out” where the instrumental shines heavier than any of the other songs on A Thousand Suns and Linkin Park’s entire career so far. Which leaves you wondering, “Is it possible to top this song?” while your salivating and setting your sights onto a more epically intense masterpiece from a once stale sound that screams “Fuck you” to “the same old same” while quite literally, not screaming, in any portion of the song what so ever. 9.5/10
For the record, the answer to the question of is it possible to top this song, listen to the entire album and you’ll find that it’s a “Without a doubt, they can” Folks, they can.
#8, Waiting For The End
First let me start of by establishing that for this track I am regretting “for the end to come” rather than hoping for it.
The electronic and seemingly genuine guitar riff intro is as haunting and as chill as surfing the waves at midnight and Mikes Raggae sounding raps can’t help but make one want to move and bounce their hips until -
woaaaaaaaaaaah mellow - It's time to sway, arms flailing, we're in for a ride. Here comes Chester singing some of the best vocal tracks he’s ever done, as can be said with every song on the album for both vocalist. It’s reminiscent of a mix between The Beatles, 311, The Shins a’la 'Sealegs’ and a hybrid of High & Mighty Color and Asian Kung Generation.
Mike Shinoda is just so damn addictive on this track and in my honest opinion he is just as note worthy as the amazing vocals that are provided by Chester Bennington, but in his own way. The ending of this song is absolutely A-MA-ZING with the mix of rapping and a constant drone of “I’m holding on to what I haven’t got” and is sure to get the concert crowds either to engage in an endless dizzy dance or to fucking mosh their brains out, either way, Waiting For The End is a track to look out for.
(I'll be updating this post every now and then)
You guys are all such fanboys haha. It's been about a day, and you guys are already calling it a masterpiece and comparing it to some of the most influential albums ever? Riiiiiiiggghhtt, album is way too hit and miss and doesn't really present anything new. It's pretty good though I suppose.
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