"Session" - Song by Song, Let's Talk Linkin Park

Discussion in 'Linkin Park Chat' started by hawk, Jul 2, 2014.

  1. Nicholas

    Nicholas Well-Known Member

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    Waiting for the End is not only my favorite song from A Thousand Suns, but my favorite Linkin Park song. It wasn't one of those songs that I had to listen to multiple times before it grew on me, it captured me since the beginning. Easily to relate and soothing on the ears. Chester's vocal performance is amazing here.

    I'm not sure what I'd call the tone of the song, there's different ways to think of it.

    "Holding on to what I haven't got"

    "This was never meant to last, I wish it wasn't so"

    Chester's vocal performance is exactly as you would expect it to be considering the lyrics. However, I get a completely different vibe with Mike's performance, in his case it's uplifting and....happy. It provides a perfect contrast. One part is about holding on while the other is about starting over.

    There's so many layers to unravel, the mixing is absolutely perfect. Everyone really did outdo themselves. I especially love the outro, Chester and Mike's vocals intertwine to form an intense and explosive ending, especially with Rob hammering away on the drums. Man, what a great ending, easily my favorite on a Linkin Park song :D

    I've said it in the past as well, this is one of those things that I think make A Thousand Suns so unique. The subject matter in this song isn't direct, it's however the listener wants to interpret it. To some it make be considered bleak and somber while others may take it as uplifting. I for one think of it as earnest and sincere, "moving on". A Thousand Suns is such a genuine album. You can tell the album turned out exactly as they wanted, everything is so well thought out.

    What can I say, to me it's the ultimate Linkin Park song. It has everything that I love about this band. It will take a lot for the band to come up with a song that will outdo this one for me.
     
  2. Atticus

    Atticus Bullets lance the bravest lungs

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    Waiting For The End is such a beautifully mellow alternative-rock track. Linkin Park nailed the dreamy aesthetics the song has on display at every turn. In quite possibly Chester's all-time greatest performance, his range reaches staggering highs and serene lows. Mike's "Rastafarian" rap verses are the most unique and intimate he's ever done. The breakdown calls for a burst of electro-rock that pulls the listener out of the cloudy dreams for a climatic crescendo deserving of nothing but praise. Chester reaches for the stratosphere with his final refrain while Mike emcees alongside in a purely pleasurable way that harkens directly back to their chemistry found in Hybrid Theory.
     
  3. Filip

    Filip god break down the door LPA Contributor

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    (personal favorite lyric video of all time, by Keaton Hashimoto, the same guy who designed the current version of the LPA)

    "Blackout" is the ninth song from A Thousand Suns. It was released as a promotional single from the album on September 8, 2010. It was also featured in the EA Sports game FIFA 11, for which it won Best Song in a Video Game award in the MTV Video Game Awards. A live performance of the song was released on the "Burning In The Skies" single. At almost five minutes in lenght, it's one of the most innovative songs on the album, combining pop synths with almost rap-like screaming from Chester Bennington. At the time of the album's release, this made it a fan favorite. The working title of the song was "Pacmanny", but the demo has not been released yet. The song was born from an experiment producer Rick Rubin brought in, called "automatic writing", which means Bennington had to go into the vocal booth and just scream whatever he felt like screaming. This was captured on camera and later released in an LPTV episode. The result of the experiment was one of the most abstract songs on A Thousand Suns. Mike later spoke on the writing process, saying:

    While in another interview he added:

    The LPTV episode, titled "Blackout Freestyle" was released on August 18. It documented Chester recording the very first vocals for the song with the final melody, using gibberish, and later on another version of the lyrics, whose first verse goes: "a little bit acid rain/a little bit celebration/a little bit anarchy/a lack of motivation/it's painted upon your face/beautiful hallucination/you can't get enough/you shake and shake and shake and never say". You can check out the episode below.


    "Blackout" is probably the fiercest, heaviest, most agressive song on A Thousand Suns. Through it's five minutes, it's very dynamic, with the first part of the song being fast and agressive, while the second part puts things back in order. It begins with - you guessed it - synths, soon backed up by sampled drums before another, bass-like synth is added. At the same time a very smooth, liquid synths appear, and a harsh, glitchy synth that would later on be used for Meeting of A Thousand Suns and LPTV episodes from that era. When the minute-long minute intro is done, Bennington starts the first verse, accompanied by heavier drums. The chorus has smoother instrumentation and even more agressive vocals, and it truly shows the genius of A Thousand Suns. The second verse is very similar to the first, yet it feels very natural and progressive. The second chorus is repeated twice before the song goes into it's key moment - the breakdown. It's really, really hard to explain so I'll just let this eMusician article speak instead of me.

    When the vocal solo is over, the song goes back to the calm and synthy feel of the entire album. All the anger is gone as Mike starts his first verse. He's backed up by synths, a very interesting guitar part, piano and a series of kick drums. Before the song gets back up again, both Shinoda and Bennington are singing. The ending is magical, with the fast drumline from Rob Bourdon, two singers and a ton of synths going off at the same time. The song, however ends on a sorrowful note, marking the end of the journey.

    Lyrically, "Blackout" is even more abstract than the rest of the album. It's hard to find one meaning that connects all of the song. This is probably due to the fact the band wrote the lyrics to fit the melody of Chester screaming gibberish. The opening lines, "I'm stuck in this bed you made/alone with a sinking feeling" could refer both to a person with low self esteem, and the ordinary citizen unable to do any good for his country which is falling apart. Bennington declares "I saw through the words you said/to the secrets you've been keeping" which means he understands the lies the significant other/government tells him. The final lines of each verse refer to a person or body who constantly takes something from you and never gets enough. The second verse refers to how that other person or people try to apologize for everything they've done, but still continue to do it. In the end they "suffocate in the mess you're making". Shinoda's calm, atmospheric part is tightly connected to the rest of the album. He is most likely speaking about atomic bombs dropping again - "floating down, as colors fill the light, we look up from the ground, in fields of paperwhite", which is exactly what someone would do if they somehow survived the dropping of an atomic bomb. He continues these metaphors through the short verse. What do you think of the lyrics?


    (seems like YouTube changed something in the URL's, so I can't get the video to start at the time I want it to - skip to the 10:20 mark for "Blackout", or alternatively 13:00 for the Joe Hahn remix only)

    With "Blackout", I believe there are two official remixes to talk about. If there are more, feel free to post it below. The first one is by no one other than Joe Hahn himself. On September 9, 2011 a very special event took place. Linkin Park presented A Thousand Horizons, an art film made to enrich the A Thousand Suns experience. Of course, this wasn't just a cash in for the band. A big portion of the proceeds went to the bands charity, Music For Relief, who was participating in relief for the victims of the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan. As part of this show, a brand new remix of "Blackout" by Joe Hahn was premiered. He remixed Mike's portion of the song, beginning with some bass and kick drums before dropping the bass like it's a fish falling out of his hands (by far the worst pun in this thread so far?). Nevertheless, the remix is very cool, providing a new take on Chester's vocal breakdown in the song. Once again if you guys can't read small letters: skip to 10:20 for "Blackout" or 13:00 for Joe's remix of the song.


    The second one, and in my opinion the far better one is the Renholdër remix recorded for the Underworld: Awakening soundtrack. Renholdër is the stage name of Danny Lohner, mostly associated with Nine Inch Nails, or if that's what you want to call them - the best band to ever exist. Come at me. Through over 5 minutes, the remix offers a new take on both Chester's and Mike's parts of the song, offering some scary good synths by the way. It starts off very atmospheric, before turning into the pulsating electro anthem it is. It's embedded above for your listening pleasures, and if you enjoy Kate Beckinsale, viewing pleasures aswell.


    Although I say this for almost every song, "Blackout" was an exceptional experience live. It had it's live debut on December 13, 2010 in Melbourne, along with "Burning In The Skies". It was played through the A Thousand Suns touring cycle and the beginning of the Living Things cycle. The song had no additional elements, and it was performed in it's original album form. Due to the song not having a lot of guitar or bass, both Delson and Phoenix played certain synth parts. The version embedded above comes from the band's performance from June 5, 2012 during the bands European tour. The show was live streamed as a part of the Telekom Street Gigs series. Of course, my computer crashed 3 times during that live stream, leaving me frustrated. The live performance was captivating, however I chose to embed it above purely because in 2011 Mike looked like an awkward combination of John Lennon and Justin Bieber, and I just didn't feel like putting people through that again. The song was retired on June 29, 2012, leaving many fans sad. It was quite a nice surprise when the band brought the song back, at least partially, during their 2014 European tour. Through the rest of the year, and my guess is that they'll keep on doing this next year too, the band performed a partial version of the song as an intro to "Papercut". This meant the intro of the song was performed, leading directly into the instrumental of the bridge and playing the rest of the song in it's instrumental form. At the end, the sampled drum line from the beginning of "Papercut" began before the song itself started.

    What do you think of "Blackout", it's remixes and the live performances?
     
  4. minuteforce

    minuteforce Danny's not here, Mrs. Torrance. LPA Team

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    "Blackout" is easily among the most interesting song on the album, sonically and lyrically. I remember all of us first watched that video of Chester recording vocals and we simply couldn't imagine how the song would sound. I'm still personally on the fence about the aggressive screaming against the uplifting chords and relaxed rhythm, but the bridge/scratch solo and outro sections, I like. :)
     
  5. Michele

    Michele Praise Brad Delson, our Lord and Savior. LPA Addict

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    If i should use one word to describe this song i would prefer the word: chaotic.

    Not in a negative way , in a really positive way. I have always a smile on my face when i hear the "happy" intro and than Chester kicks in and screams like hell in a weird "raping" way :lol:
    Its a aggresive dance track with really intersting stuff. i mean "FUCK IT ARE YOU LISTENING?" crazy cool stuff. Chesters part is just to rock the fuck out and while the bridge starts , the aggresion went awy and the "silence" starts . In the way of the whole album its the first track that completly change from start to the end. Its like , the chaos before the atomic bomb drops, after this there is just silence (like on Mikes part). The silence went a bit way to the end of the song and comes back with the nect interlude , Wisdom, Justice and Love.

    All in all the song is brillian, as a single song and as the part of the whole album (the first "heavy" storm with first explosions).
     
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  6. minuteforce

    minuteforce Danny's not here, Mrs. Torrance. LPA Team

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    Totally.
     
  7. Michele

    Michele Praise Brad Delson, our Lord and Savior. LPA Addict

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    Dont know if sarcasm or not. :leo:
     
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  8. lovablepanda

    lovablepanda Well-Known Member

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    I love the way Chester comes opens up this song with his intense screamo rap. The way Chester sings this makes me really want to join and scream too. The Ending is fantastic on top of the ending because it really brings it together in a really calm and atmospheric way.
     
  9. Atticus

    Atticus Bullets lance the bravest lungs

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    Blackout initially reels A Thousand Suns into the eye of a violent tempest. Bennington explores new vocal scenarios as he spits out verses in a rapping rhythm similar to an emcee on steroids. There's a building ferocity in his voice, as if the song is bound to erupt at any second. The chorus does not disappoint as Bennington's infamous screaming returns for a chaotic celebration. The lyrics share equal amounts of disturbing, unsettling imagery and primal rage which is something unheard of in A Thousand Suns. With a soundscape straight out of a 1980's pop anthem, Blackout is accented by a mid-tempo piano riff and a barrage of brooding synths. The bridge envelops Bennington's violent chorus into a glitchy electronic concoction of distortion, feeling like an early climax.

    Finally, the hurricane subsides revealing a calming, dreamy atmosphere. Shinoda enters the fray and beautifully hums some of the most poetic work Linkin Park has ever delivered. Bennington's vocals harmonize, until the two conjoin for a vibrant, breathtaking climax that ascends above the clouds.

    Blackout is an absolute standout track from A Thousand Suns and quite frankly my favourite Linkin Park song of all time. Blackout is capable of being completely abstract while maintaining a pinpoint focus. The fact that the band was able to transform a dark, violent outburst into a radiant electro ballad, all while retaining Blackout's natural identity and atmosphere is undeniably impressive.
     
  10. Filip

    Filip god break down the door LPA Contributor

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    I wish Chester would rape more often.

    Bring back "Chester The Molester".
     
  11. Michele

    Michele Praise Brad Delson, our Lord and Savior. LPA Addict

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    :kappa:
     
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  12. BTorio

    BTorio Well-Known Member

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    I love how happy the song sounds before Chester's vocals come in. Definitely an interesting song, I love the extra drum hits Chester does before the bridge in live versions.
     
  13. Tyler

    Tyler Well-Known Member

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    WFTE:

    Very good lyrics, and Chester gives a gread performance. Not much else to say about the lyrics that haven't already been said. The instrumentation is good on it, but mostly synths. Brad's guitar solo would be better if it were a real solo, but this is still an explosion that soynds great. I remember playing it on Tap Tap Revolution at the chorus right before the solo, and the mixing is a lot higher and the vocals sound MASSIVE. Great song, great live additions as well. The UIB rap intro is a good extender, Mike should use other verses though. And the Wall of Noise outro is just one of the moments of theirs that you can honestly say is epic. Video is nice and simplistic too. It might be the best summary for all of ATS.


    Blackout:

    Definitely one of the most different songs that they have ever done. It grows on me more every time I listen to it, and that makes it even better. Chester has just the right amount of effects on his vocals and it makes him sound good, especially with the vibrato on parts like "written upon your FAAAACE". The lyrics here are solid too, but they get even better after the trippy breakdown. Mike's part here is one of the best parts of the album. Live, not too much to say, but Phoenix used to play a Misa Kitara for it live, which is cool. The intro that it has become for Papercut is okay but it isn't necessary for the live shows. And thanks for showing me the Lohner remix, I just listened to his The Way I Am remix the other day and I love NIN.
     
  14. Filip

    Filip god break down the door LPA Contributor

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    Agreed. Makes the intro to the bridge so much better.
     
  15. LPBuq

    LPBuq Member

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    Blackout is one of those "unique" Linkin Park songs. I don't think you can find something similar to it. :)
    It is one of the more interesting songs, as Chester's epic screams (lyrics are awesome, by the way) that sound like they've come out of Hybrid Theory are placed over soothing, head-banging synths. If you've ever listened to the instrumental, you'll understand the degree of separation between the vocal part and the instrumental one. It's so calm that way XD.
    Nevertheless, these two completely different parts overlap to form an awesome track that is one of my favourites. But then again, all songs from A Thousand Suns are awesome :p
    As for the love performance, I prefer the shortened, instrumental version. It leads perfectly into Papercut. My only remark is that the vocal part at the end should be played over it.
    10/10.
     
  16. Louis

    Louis Message me if you need to talk. We love you all. LPA Team

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    There really just isn't a song quite like "Blackout" in Linkin Park's discography. Admittedly, this song took a while to grow on me. I initially thought this song was two songs, as I got misled by the break between Joe's breakdown and when Mike comes in. I also wasn't a fan of the lyrics, because the LPTV episode's lyrics were kinda cooler and a bit more exciting in a way (although I'm very okay with the lyrics now). I thought the breakdown section in the middle was particularly useless and kind of annoying, as it disrupted the song uncomfortably for me.

    But as time went on, it's really hard to ignore that this song is so unique. Chester's rapping in the verses is really only one aspect of an entire song in which the band does nothing but things they haven't done before. The chorus being entirely comprised of screaming alone is so unusual, but at the same time that is such an awesome aspect of the song. I appreciate how even within the song there are rises and falls as well, as you can see an ongoing rise through to the second part of the song. The breakdown in the middle is actually pretty neat instrumentally, and I really just love all of the different manipulations of Chester's voice. I know a lot of people listening to the song for the first time probably would hate it for that reason, but it does grow on you over time.

    The song really gets made by its ending though. Mike's portion of the song at the end re-introduces the first part's music but has an entirely new lyrical structure and sound, and that is quite unlike anything Linkin Park has done before. I love how the percussion and the music behind Mike builds ever so gradually and then escalates into this pseudo-dance outro. It's just really fucking neat.

    I love so much how the music contrasts itself, sometime sounding relatively upbeat (there's one synth riff that sounds kinda upbeat), but then you get this bassline in the second chorus and in the third part of the song that is darker, and that to me is just so cool. They overlay with one another perfectly and yet contrast so starkly in sound.

    I don't know. This is just such a cool fucking song and is probably my second or third favorite on the album if I had to really order everything. Ugh I love it. I sincerely listen to this song once a day, perhaps more.
     
  17. Jesse

    Jesse Out of the abyss. LPA Über VIP

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    I'm pretty sure Blackout is tied with Until it Breaks as my all time favourite Linkin Park song... haha
     
  18. lime treacle

    lime treacle You are not alone Über Member

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    Listening to this song for the first time was mindblowing. Prior to that, I remember watching the "Blackout Freestyles" LPTV on a computer in the library. It made me super excited.
     
  19. Captain-EO

    Captain-EO Gibs Sux LPA Super Member

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    Blackout is the song that got me into A Thousand Suns and solidified me as a full-fledged obsessive Linkin Park fan. It is my #1 Linkin Park song of all time. I could go on for hours about this song. That timpani in the intro gets me hooked every time. The reverse scatting right before the intro ends is one of my favorite parts. The layering on this song is just awesome. You've got like 3 different synth lines going, a piano, that timpani, and the drums, and Chester screaming over all of it. It's a beautiful cacophony. Then Joe picksouy it up a notch and starts remixing Chester's vocals for a climactic finish...but wait! There's more! The song then fades to a very calm outro, featuring Mike's singing over a simple melody. And he progresses, more of the songs initial elements join in, and once everything is in place, Chester and Mike sing "Come down" together until the end of the song.

    The transition from the remix bridge to outro has always been one of my favorite points. The band switches styles on a dime, quick-witted y'all. :awesome:

    But in all serious, I never get sick of this song. Ever.
     
  20. Filip

    Filip god break down the door LPA Contributor

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    Please try to fill up a page, guys. Also, there's almost no conversation here anymore. Just everyone dropping their opinions. I find it ridiculous to put any effort into this, let alone how much effort I usually put in these posts.


    "Wretches and Kings" is the tenth track on A Thousand Suns. It was released as a promotional single for fans who had pre-ordered the album on September 2, 2010. The song achieved popularity as it was used as the backdrop for EA's MMA opening sequence. It is probably the most hip-hop oriented song on the album, holding two rapped verses from Mike Shinoda. While certainly ringing back to the structure of Hybrid Theory and Meteora, the track sonically fits A Thousand Suns perfectly. It is the second song on the album to feature a speech, following "The Radiance". It samples Mario Savio's "Bodies Upon The Gears" speech, recorded on December 2, 1964 on the steps of Sproul Hall. The track was also avaliable on A Thousand Suns+. It was remixed by several popular artist, which gave the song a significant boost in popularity. In the track, Mike pays homage to Public Enemy. He spoke on this later, saying:

    "Wretches and Kings" begins with a speech from Mario Savio, who was a workers' rights activist that spoke out for people who were oppressed by their employers in the '60s. The full speech goes as follows:

    After this, the sampled guitar which is played through the entire song appears, soon backed by a fierce sampled drumline as Shinoda begins his first verse. There's quite a bit of electronic bass through the song aswell. "Wretches" slows down a bit with the "hey"'s from "When They Come For Me" before Bennington lays down his trademark chorus. The second verse begins backed up by a crazy, spacey synth unlike any other on the album. The second chorus is repeated twice, however with changed lyrics the second time. Bourdon lays down a short but sweet tom drum before the song goes into Shinoda's rapping breakdown which feels anthemic to say the least. The song ends with the same speech it began with, however this time there's an instrumental behind it. It works much better here than in, say, "The Radiance". Before the song is done, Joe lays down a scratching solo, really harking back to Linkin Park's first releases.

    Mike also spoke on the instrumental of the song, and how it was created, stating:

    As I've said before, Mario Savio was a workers' rights activist that spoke out for people who were oppressed by their employers in the '60s. It was a logical decision by the band to include his speech in the song, as the rest of the song speaks on politics aswell. The song is an anthem against deception and manipulation of people it this day and age. It's no secret that we are in a way controlled by our politicians and governments, and "Wretches and Kings" is, from it's title, a dedication to that. Again, as most Linkin Park songs, you could interpret certain quotes and lines as about being in an abusive relationship, or purely unhappy with the relationship you are in, so I'm going to leave the lyrics to you.


    Two important remixes to mention. The first one was done by Get Busy Commitee featuring Divine Styler. Mike and GBC on the same track automatically created a Fort Minor-like feel to the song. Mike contributed a new verse for the remix, which still holds some lines from the original. It features heavily edited vocals from Chester Bennington aswell. Through four minutes, the remix is an electronic rap banger for the masses. Unfortunately this type of music never reaches wide exposure. Check out the remix embedded above.



    The second remix was done by HavocNdeeD and features no one else but the legendary Chuck D of Public Enemy, who Mike references in the track itself. The remix is a glitch-hop and dubstep inspired remake of the original track, and was a fan favorite for a while. Some very interesting synth work in this remix aswell. Chuck D lays down a classic verse despite being over 20 years into his career. It's quite remarkable that respected, experienced musicians are inspired by Linkin Park as much as Linkin Park is inspired by them. The remix was embedded from the official HavocNdeeD SoundCloud above.


    "Wretches and Kings" was played through, more or less, the entire A Thousand Suns touring cycle. It had it's live debut on the release day of the album during a promotional show. Later on in the tour, it began to open shows, following "The Requiem" and "The Radiance". This meant the Mario Savio speech would be cut off in exchange for the Robert J. Oppenheimer speech from "The Radiance". This version was retired on February 28, 2011. Since then, in 2014 Mike started performing an updated version of his "Hip-Hop Medley" and in some shows he would rap one, or both verses from "Wretches and Kings".

    Opinons?
     

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