Discussion in 'Linkin Park Chat' started by Jeff, Sep 7, 2010.
Oh, yeah the artwork... Can we all bow down?
We Are Not Worthy.
Yes We Can lol
I whipped this up at work today...
With their fourth studio album, A Thousand Suns, Linkin Park push further toward establishing a unique sonic identity, free of their now-odious nu-metal tag. The irony is that their songwriting still bristles with obvious influences. The U2 backing guitars of “Iridescent.” The Depeche Mode electro-beat of album highlight “Blackout.” Even the loudspeaker on the 18-second track "Empty Spaces" recalls Pink Floyd's "Waiting for the Worms." But what brings the album together is the underlying thematic duel between war and love. The former crashes through the hip-hop-heavy pulses of “When They Come For Me” and “Wretches and Kings.” The latter peeks into the lovelorn pop of soon-to-be-uber-hit “Waiting for the End” and acoustic ballad “The Messenger,” where Chester Bennington screams that “When life leaves us blind / Love keeps us kind.” This concept element isn't as fleshed out as the narratives of comparable albums like "Year Zero" or "American Idiot;" it's closer in spirit to Dark Side of the Moon, drenching a generational angst in mood and ambience. If Minutes to Midnight was a tentative step into the waters beyond their adolescent origins, A Thousand Suns is Linkin Park diving into the ocean. Expect a lot of former fans to shout at them from the shore. Me? I'm going for a swim.
Must Download: "Blackout," "When They Come For Me," "Wisdom, Justice & Love"
Well I finally got my copy today. After several listens... WOW! This such an awesome album. I can't put into words about all the emotions I went thourgh while listening to the album.
I think what I love the most is with each listen I get something different from it. I don't see this CD leaving my car radio anytime soon
I'm not good with in depth reviews so... 9.5/10.
Thank you Linkin Park for all the time you put into this album and for always changing things up so that I have something new to hear each time.
First full-depth review!
Note: Let me just say that this was very limited because I did this to put in iTunes and the character count wasn't as high as I had hoped. But yeah, this is my first one so give me a break! Ha.
Let me start by saying that this album will not please everyone. But then again, what album ever does please everyone? From listening to the previews, this obviously isn't the same Linkin Park that we've heard when 'Hybrid Theory' came out. All the negative reviews for this album are from people who are stuck in the past and want the same sound the band has had for the first two albums. But really think about this...do you think everyone and especially the band are interested in having the same sound? No. If you want to hear that sound, go ahead and have 'Hybrid Theory' and 'Meteora' on repeat.
1. The Requiem 5/5 - Definitely an amazing opener. It's one of the six interludes from this album. It's eerie, dramatic, and emotional. The singing from the "girl" is done by Mike who is using a pitch changer.
2. The Radiance 4/5 - The transition from the past interlude to this is very fluid and cohesive - I almost didn't notice that it changed track numbers. Amazing speech and still very dramatic in this one but isn't as good as its preceder.
3. Burning in the Skies 5/5 - The first full song from the album and it definitely signifies the change from Linkin Park's old sound. "I'm swimming in the smoke from bridges I have burned. So don't apologize, I'm losing what I don't deserve" are the lyrics that can be heard in the chorus - very powerful. It's a nice song that I predict could be a future single.
4. Empty Spaces N/A - not really ratable seeing that it's a short 18-second interlude that only features gunshots and crickets. However, it fits nicely with the the preceding and proceeding tracks.
5. When They Come For Me 5/5 - Really amazing track - not like any other song that I've heard. It features tribal sounding drums and calling in the chorus. Mike raps in the verses and basically tells everyone to forget about their old sound and get used to them with their new sound - "I am not a robot, I am not a monkey. I will not dance even if the beat is funky...try to catch up motherf*cker!" The bridge is Chester singing softer compared to the viciousness in the rest of the song, then it picks up again soon after.
6. Robot Boy 2.5/5 - When I heard the previews a week ago, this was the one I was least excited for. As much as I love this album, I still haven't gotten used to this one. It's just...eh. I might get used to it the more I listen to it.
7. Journada Del Muerto 4.5/5 - Definitely one of my top three favorite interludes from the album. It features Mike singing in Japanese that can be translated to "lift me up, let me go" which are lyrics from 'The Catalyst.' The guitar right after the vocals is just amazing.
8. Waiting for the End 5/5 - The official second single from the album. I've already listened to this song 137 times according to my iTunes. Mike raps in the beginning with a reggae-tone. Chester then sings the verses and choruses beautifully - the background vocals are also very nice. "All I wanna do/Is trade this life for something new/Holding on to what I haven't got," Chester sings in the Chorus. The last 30 seconds of this song are just amazing - it sounds like a celebration of life - definitely one of the highlights from the album.
9. Blackout 4/5 - At first, I wasn't crazy at all about this and it was just in front of 'Robot Boy' from my list of 'not-interested previews.' However, when I listened to the whole song, I definitely got more into it. Fans of their old sound will definitely like it because of its dark guitar tones in the first half. Chester also kind of raps in this song which is something definitely different. After Mike sings the bridge, Chester sings the same lyrics from the first half but with a more electronic/techno synth.
10. Wretches and Kings 4.5/5 - Another song that fans of Linkin Park's old sound should like. Mike raps in the verses and Chester has fantastic vocals in the chorus. It also features a speech from Mario Savio, a political activist from the '60s - very emotional and is very relative to today's context. If this was the first time I listened to the song, I would rate it a 5. However, the sound does become a little redundant. Still a very good track though.
11. Wisdom, Justice, and Love 5/5 - If I had to pick one interlude to buy from the album, it would be this one. It features the famous speech from MLK alongside chords played by Mike on the piano. Everything in this is just too powerful and emotional. After the first half, MLK's voice segues into a robotic voice that later repeats "cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice, and love."
12. Iridescent 5/5 - Along with 'Waiting for the End,' this is one of the most listened tracks I have heard from this album in my iTunes. It showcases Mike's vocals that have significantly strengthened since we last saw him sing in 'Minutes to Midnight.' The chorus has a melody that should not be forgotten with lyrics such as "do you feel cold and lost in desperation? You build up hope, but failures all you've known. Remember all the sadness and frustration and let it go...let it go." It also features a short guitar solo and vocals from the whole band which makes the track even more brilliantly intense. I'm predicting that this will be the third single from the album.
13. Fallout 3.5/5 - Has Mike singing lyrics from "Burning in the Skies" and has a very eerie and dark undertone to it. It segues into 'The Catalyst.'
14. The Catalyst 5/5 - The first single from the album. When upon listening to this track for the first time when it was released back in August, I first thought it was just alright. I've gotten used to it over time and have finally realized the brilliance of the song. It's like two songs meshed together with an uptempo beat in the first half and piano chords with a climax in the second half.
15. The Messenger 4.5/5 - Contrasted to the rest of the album, this track features very raw vocals from Chester and instrumentation from Brad and Mike. Very nice closing track to an amazing album.
The Requiem/The Radiance: Should be combined into one song, but a solid intro nonetheless. I still can’t really give it a proper rating though. NA
Burning In The Skies: This sounds like a re-make of Shadow of the Day to me. Has the same commercial appeal and soaring chorus. It will surely dominate charts at a later date. Decent lyrics, too. 6.5/10
Empty Spaces: Should be combined with BITS. NA
When They Come For Me: A solid rap song. The tribal percussion with the deep, thumping riff is extremely well crafted. The soft breakdown building back up again is also well done. Lyrics aren’t quite up to scratch, but this can be overlooked. 7.5/10
Robot Boy: The worst of the actual songs for mine. It’s quite dull, with little variation throughout the song. 5/10
Waiting For The End: The chorus in this song is amazing. Mike’s reggae style sections are also a welcome change to the typical Linkin Park structures. 7/10
Blackout: Very interesting song. Soft electronics and piano accompanied by a happy sounding synth riff overlaid with Chester’s heaviest vocal performance for the album, including his rapping for the first time since Papercut. The scratch solo is also well placed and takes me back to Hybrid Theory days. Mike’s singing in the outro is very strong. 8.5/10
Wretches and Kings: Pretty standard LP song here, heavy guitars with rapping verses and heavy, sung, chorus. The electronic element is also heavily present on this song, which makes it a little different. 7/10
Wisdom Justice and Love: The best interlude on the album, very moody. NA
Iridescent: Absolutely beautiful song. The best ballad that LP have ever performed in my opinion. Not sure exactly what is so great about it, just love the whole thing. 9/10
Fallout: Interlude. NA
The Catalyst: Best synth-pop song I’ve ever heard. The last 2 minutes are probably the best part of the whole album. 8/10
The Messenger: A completely acoustic song is a very nice way to end the album, and a stark contrast to the other songs. Chester’s vocals are pretty powerful here; you can really feel the passion. Too short though. 7.5/10
Overall: Really cannot be experienced properly unless you listen from start to finish. If you do, its an amazing experience. 7/10
I normally don't rate or review intros, outros, or interludes individually but they're integral to the flow and pacing of ATS, so I'll give them a collective score of [3.5/5] with a comment along the lines of "fulfills its purpose well and without fuss". With that in mind, the full-length songs:
1) Burning In The Skies: Dreamy, mellow, and a suitable introduction to the album. A bit weak and unremarkable but it makes me feel like I'm warm and floating high up in the sky. [3/5]
2) When They Come For Me: Rappers are seriously the most defensive type of musicians I can think of. The obvious "eff you" lyrics directed at the Meteotheory fans might cause the band to earn their eternal disdain, but the bleak melody and pounding rhythm are attention-grabbing and Chester's throaty Islamic wailing contrasts Mike's fluid and defiant rapping without trying to compete against it. [4/5]
3) Robot Boy: The most introspective song on the album, so you’ve got to have some kind of echoing synthesizer and minor scale piano to emphasize the fact. The instrument technicality is nothing to write home about but this song is more about atmosphere and contemplation than balls-out aggressiveness like the previous track, especially where the lyrics are concerned. It’s another mellow track like “Burning In The Skies” and there’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, the mature lyrics and optimistic tone might make this the better song. [3.5/5]
4) Waiting For The End: From the opening riff and lyrics, it morphs into another toss off to the contingent of fans still yearning for the Hybrid Theory/Meteora days, just like “When They Come For Me”, although decidedly less defensive which is good but that means it lacks the self-empowering defiant punch that WTCFM has. So it trades strength for tenderness; that’s good enough. [4/5]
5) Blackout: Definitely the oddest track on the album. The only prominent instrument on display is Chester’s voice so it’s good that his wolf-like howls are exercised the best of their inflection and range. This is good since it means that the eerie trance-like melody and subdued rhythm sections are essentially tools for him to get whatever angst is in there out of his system, adding some much needed cohesiveness to a mostly scattershot album. [4/5]
6) Wretches And Kings: One word: WHOA! This is definitely the most chaotic and aggressive song on the album, even more than “When They Come For Me”. Mike and Chester sound appropriately angry on this song, as they should be since social and political unrest are serious business, as punctuated by the sample of Mario Savio’s speech from the Free Rights Movement. [4.5/5]
7) Iridescent: Another piano-based ballad. Despite the themes of catharsis and redemption, it opts for an upbeat tone and succeeds while coming out as self-confessional without being overbearing. [4/5]
8) The Catalyst: The most epic song on the album by far. Instead of blasting out of the gates like “When They Come For Me” and “Blackout”, it decides to build up strength by gradually increasing in intensity marked by multi-sectioned surging rhythms before blowing up into a full-sized chant-along anthem big enough to fill the Rose Bowl Stadium, making this one of the album’s finest highlights. [4.5/5]
9) The Messenger: There’s no way the band could hope to top “The Catalyst”, so it’s a good thing they decided to save it for the end and finish the album with a relatively soft acoustic number. I use “relatively” liberally in this case since Chester’s screams hardly qualify as soothing to the ear and the lyrics, regardless of how true they are, sound trite and ham-fisted; an iffy combination that Chester is proficient at delivering. That doesn’t excuse the cheesiness, though. [2/5]
So there you go. Overall, I say this album deserves a solid [4/5] and I would be glad to respond to any thoughts or criticisms you have to say regarding my review.
The Requiem/The Radiance: 9/10
Burning In The Skies: 10/10
Empty Spaces/WTCFM: 9/10
Robot Boy: 7/10
WJ&L: 6/10 (the most pointless and boring interlude imo)
Fallout/The Catalyst: 9/10
The Messenger: 8/10
Overall, 9.5/10 I;d say. I feel like such a fanboi but the album is fucking awesome.
WAYYYYYYY better than MTM.
Dude, you're a tough critic . You say everything positive and give the songs a 7.
My scheme works like this:
1 = Woeful
2 = Very bad
3 = Bad
4 = Below average
5 = Average
6 = Above average
7 = Good
8 = Very good
9 = Excellent
10 = Classic
Nice rating system you've got there, but for me personaly, I'd change "woeful" to "abysmal" and "classic" to "oustanding" haha
Linkin Park has finally released their newest album A Thousand Suns. In short: This is the best Linkin Park album.
From start to end album flow is really great. ATS is clearly meant to listen from start to end and you get the best experience for doing so, but it also works separately. There are 15 tracks on the album and every track is on the right spot. There are a lot of layers on the album and I bet you don't hear everything with one listen. Also I can't put this album in one genre, like for example rock. I also hate to put any music to certain genre.
While Hybrid Theory remains as a classic, A Thousand Suns is a masterpiece. In my opinion ATS is not a pop album or so called commercial album, like I have heard some people saying. I think everyone who listen Linkin Park, should watch the documentary Meeting of A Thousand Suns. Sure it had lot of effects, but chester speech at the end is worth watching for.
In The End I have to say that I don't usually write review of any album I listen. My score: 9/10.
I have been Linkin Park fan since 2003. I was then 19 years old, now 26. First album that I heard was Meteora. I was instantly blown away (in a good way) and wanted to know more about Linkin Park. Linkin Park remains to be my favorite band, one reason because they have once again courage to make music that they want to make.
Thank you Linkin Park and thank you Linkin Park Association. It's been long and great journey.
Over and Out.
Does anyone else think that Chester sounds a little bit like Michael Jackson when he sings 'Blackout'? I mean the first 45 seconds or so, when its the first fast verse.
I purposely entered this thread and ignored all other posts, so as to avoid my opinions being colored by those of other fans. Well, here goes.
All you LP vets out there, shunning this album just because it does not perfectly conform to the old formula, what are you thinking? For the record, I too was a loyalist to the old sound, until I heard this album. True, A Thousand Suns sports only one song that even remotely resembles the classic Linkin Park sound (Wretches & Kings), but the general "color" of this album, I feel, is much closer to Meteora than the widely reviled Minutes to Midnight. Like it or not, these songs are all well-constructed, and there are some lovely numbers on this release (Burning in the Skies and Waiting for the End among them). This is my take on the album as a whole, a sort of free-form explication of all the thoughts and reactions it has provoked for me in the half-dozen listens I've completed so far.
With the band's claim that this album is a very experimental effort, I can only agree so far. For the most part, song structures remain safely within popular music form (V-C-V-C-B/V-C-C or V-C-V-C-[key change]-C-C), and the sounds used throughout are mostly tried and true products of rock music and pop, and those that are not are borrowed from fusion. So then let's look at the album as an experiment in terms of the band's personal musical growth. There is a key difference between ATS as an experiment and MTM: while neither is particularly innovative on the grand scale of American music, ATS is what I would call a step in the right direction. To many, myself included, Minutes to Midnight sounded not so much like an experimental album as a hodgepodge of sounds that were prevalent in the radio scene of the day, haphazardly mixed and matched in an effort to create something that sounded like progress. Again, ruling out the possibility that the album had any impact on American popular music at large, in terms of Linkin Park's evolution, I would not say it sounded like the band was going in the wrong direction; rather it sounded like a band not exactly sure which direction they are[/] going in.
A Thousand Suns, on the contrary, sounds like a true successor, such that it should have been the next logical step of evolution following Meteora. While I would still say no definite direction to the band's progression can be surmised here, the overall sound of the album is much more coherent. It doesn't sound like everything on the radio either, and that's a breath of fresh air for Linkin Park oldies such as myself. In terms of the wider music scene, on that note, I highly doubt any noticeable after-effects from the release of this album can be expected; it's new, it's good, but it's hardly what I'd call revolutionary. In addition to being a long-time Linkin Park fan, I greatly enjoy such modern prog rock acts as Dream Theater, Porcupine Tree, Rush, Frost*, Glass Hammer, and a slew of others. When I first heard the album on my iPod, I was sure I noticed melodies and sounds borrowed from some of these greats. I don't mean to say that Linkin Park is going to be a prog band, nor do I compare a popular rock band that's relatively new to the world of music to these great, established acts. I simply see the good in Linkin Park's daring to push the envelope.
On that note, I find that Linkin Park is caught between a rock and a hard place, both with this release and the last one. My iTunes review of MTM (it has a name involving something like a 'reverse Goldilocks complex') expresses my concern that the album was too experimental to appeal to the aspects of Linkin Park I had originally fallen in love with, yet it did not push the envelope quite far enough to be considered a true experimentation in sound, let alone appeal to my thirst for innovation (interestingly, in the days leading up to the 2007 release, I was thrilled by reviews likening the new sound to Rush, Queen, and Pink Floyd, a comparison I then found to be grossly off the mark). So it almost is with ATS; it is different enough from the classic sound that I can understand some of the hate (although again, I aim to strongly endorse this album even to the most ardent of Linkin Park purists). That being said, it is still accessible enough in wider terms that I'd say the experiments, while pushing the envelope, still could do to push it a little more. With this album, I'd say Linkin Park is just on the cusp of something truly magnificent, and yet they seem to stop just short of it.
All in all, the album is brilliant. It's accessible, technical, emotive, and generally pleasing. I would continue this explication and further express my thoughts on the album and perhaps give an actual review, but I'll stop here for fear of boring you to death and exceeding any sort of text limit that might be in place. I rate this album at 8.75 out of 10.
Now post that shit on Amazon.
Okay this is my review.
After downloading Linkin Park's newest album A Thousand Suns, I wasn't too sure what it'll turn out to be given the last album, Minutes to Midnight to be quite a, how do I describe it without upsetting Linkin Park fans? A disappointment. Maybe because I was lingering on the previous albums and the high expectation I had required for it. But fear not! This album is a great album. And I hope it appeals to the old and new generation of people.
First thing is first, what is this album about and why do I like it? Let's compare it to Lennon's Imagine. Dating back a few years ago to the time where John Lennon was alive. He was a peace hugging hippie that conquered minds with a simple song, reaching out for people to grasp onto and empathise. This is what Linkin Park is doing with their new album, reminding us that there is a war out there, beyond our reach, and once upon a time, there was a war that came to our relative's doorstep. What I found ironic, as more and more I dig deeper into critically analysing this album and its tracklist is that, believe it or not, the emcee, Mike Shinoda's grandfather was a Japanese prisoner of war, is that any relevance? Maybe I'm thinking too much into this. I know there is reference to the first atomic bomb in this album, as explained on Mike Shinoda's blog. Even the name of the album says it all, A Thousand Suns. To the naked eye, it seems nothing but a meesley name, but to the person who dwells deeper into the name, it is a name that represents the blast of the atomic bomb.
Now lets get to the songs. Linkin Park has a gift with interludes, making them well done and make them run along the album smoothly. One song I would like to mention in particular, interlude, is Wisdom, Justice, and Love. The concept of having a preacher talk in your interlude, to me, is quite original. The songs represent them not as a band, but as human beings. The way we saw John Lennon, he was a man with a voice. I also would like to go to the extra step to compare this to eMOTIVE by A Perfect Circle, quite like the album it is, two albums full of war, love, understanding, and peace. I'm no musical genius when it comes to deanalysing music and the key note changes, but I can tell you, it's heavily synthesized like any Linkin Park album, but there is still musical talent within (it takes talent to put patches in, haven't you heard?) but there is raw music heard, like the swift piano strikes in the background of Wisdom Justice and Love.
And concerning my previous comments, about the preacher in Wisdom Justice & Love, I don't think it's there to intentionally reflect the purpose of preaching to people, but more so the effect of it. A preacher picks his words carefully, and Linkin Park has picked their words carefully when it comes to this interlude.
I must admit this one thing, Chester Bennington's voice becomes irritating as he stretches it out, in Iridescent and Blackout, Blackout in particular. And one thing also, Iridescent has similiar guitar riffs to Shadow of the Day, and if you loved Shadow of the Day, you would love Iridescent. And my favourite song, you ask? Wretches and Kings. It really makes me stop and think about what kind of world we live in today, the machines dominating us (Does Huxley's predictions come true??), we live in a world of commercial and mechanical power.
Okay so I'm done doing the dirty on Lennon's legend, and comparing it to eMOTIVE by A Perfect Circle, and sorry if I have offended anyone for doing so, but it's one of those albums I would highly recommend if you want an album that appeals you, in the humane way, that makes you appreciate every breath you take for the type of world you live in, buy this and then give it a good review.
Sarah I may not agree with you on some of those points but, that is the best ATS review I have ever read.
Okay, here's an in-depth review/breakdown of ATS that I wrote for my blog.
I hope you guys can read it and tell me what you think. Thanks!
Separate names with a comma.