I've been listening to ATS for two weeks now. LP had announced a big change, experiments, kind of a concept album, more deepness and to enter new grounds. ATS has an epic Topic: Nuclear war, the dangers of the atomic bomb. It fits to LP though who often had some technological and electronic element in their music. I had listened to LP for a long time. But after maybe 4 years of excessively listening to them I stopped starting to discover different music. Later MTM was a step out of the box. Not brilliant but revealing some potential. So I looked forward to ATS. Would LP really do something really different? I liked the Idea of the concept, the journey and the epic but serious topic. It was suggesting they started watching the big picture, putting more focus to what stands behind the music, the big idea. I didn't care if the sound would be different to anything So I started listening ATS from beginning to end, just as intended. After countless listens my experience began to settle: It starts silently. The sound is mysterious and dark. A dynamic driving beat builds up to a distant background choir and leading to a robotic female angel like verse which sounds pretty chilling. This starts pretty good but unfortunately is over too fast. The Radiance with Oppenheimers quote also is really different to everything I have heard from LP yet but unique and interesting Now the first 'real' song begins but very differently to what the first two made me expect. The atmosphere gets warmer and softer and the first piano chords approach. Well that sounds good. But then a monotonous beat opens the song that won't stop that soon. I'm sorry to say, this is a really primitive beat, the simplest to come up with. Also Chesters voice is obviously electronically smoothened. I don't like where this is heading to. Burning in the Skies sounds like these cheap radio songs that rise and fall on the charts without leaving trace where the vocals are smoothened because the singer is not really first class. But Chesters voice is great! Did they need to take all the edge off it? Because it also sacrifices a part of the soul of his voice. And what about that static beat? What about the promising beginning in Raquiem an Radiance? What's going on here? Alright, Empty Spaces and then it's When they come for Me. This sounds a little like the old LP, but darker and faster. Mike raps differently here, not bad actually and soon there is the orientalic voice introduced. But one thing bothers me. Why does Mike say 'motherfucker' that often in that song?? I just doesn't seem a fit considering the nuclear bomb topic and sounds just a little phony. This song has some of the old stuff, some good new ideas but what more? Robot Boy is different again. It sounds like a hymn but it actually repeats itself the whole time. Also the smoothened voice 'feature' comes into play like in the song before. Journada del muerto begins a little more interesting with a heartpumping like sound but moves on to a techno-like ending. Now this was disappointing. Is Waiting for the end considered a positive song? Mike trys Raggae Rap. But he sounds like the wannabe pop-raggae guy. ' I thought it felt right but that right was wrong' - It sounds cheesy. Again the beat is simple and the background choir not really inspiring. So is Chesters voice, again smoothened. Blackout - when did they forget how to make an interesting beat?? This beat forces the song into its mononous rhythm just like with Burning in The Skys. Wretches And Kings calls the old LP into memory again. This time rougher and harder. I didn't get ATS for more of the old stuff but thats at least something they know how to do. It's not necessarily an A-Song compared to the past. It's simply too repeating. This time Mike does well serving something I would call metal raggae though. Then it comes, the epic speech, turning into a dystopian robotic voice. Pretty well done, carrying strong atmosphere and a subtle transformation of mood. This actually sounds like the sequel to The Radiance. But then again, Iridescent gets ruined by the beat. Unfortunately the melody is too predictable to save the song. Also again the voice-smoothener is in action. Fallout is a little Sequel to W,J, and L. Again the robotic voice but not much more to offer this time. The Catalyst is fast, a little techno, less predicable, but never the less repeating very similar features over the song, at least the strings insert an unusual flow. The Messenger is is much oversung. If Chester wants to sing to an acoustic guitar he can't just remain almost screaming. It sounds stressed is not compatible with the mellow guitar. What should I say? This album is not a masterpiece. It has raggae, rock, rap acoustic, electronic music on it, but it fails to do any of it properly. When I think about the Atom Bomb subject, the Album does not really fit to it, except the interludes. Instead LP chooses to use primitive beats and radioaverage smoothing of their vocals although it would not had been necessary because they had already proven better. In fact almost all of the songs are smoothened as a whole. Where are the unexpected sounds and edges? Its gone. LP has made an album that sratches on clichés pop-music. But what really bothers me is that LP steps downwards, even in a new direction. The musical quality of this album is not what LP is capable of. I have to say the Interludes are the best part of this album. Considering the noise LP has made about how new and innovative their new album was gonna be, ATS can't fulfill the promises. It is different, its a move from Hybrid Theory to some kind of rock-electronic pop. So I'm disappointed. What I hoped was, that LP would be able to jump out of the musical boundaries Warner Brother put up around of them in Gilmore Times to keep them not too excentric. Now with massive international success it was not unreasonable to think they could afford doing their own thing but nothing has actually changed. LP is pop now, thats the only thing. Its only risky because you can;t be sure people want to here popmusic from LP, not because the album itself contains risky music. But why? Did Warner put them under tighter control in exchange for a new direction? Well it was not worth it.