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

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

  1. iPodwithnomusic

    iPodwithnomusic Lift me up, Let me go

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    I quite like Until It's Gone, it's definitely not one of my favourites, but it is nice to listen to. I really like the vocal layers during the "until it's goooooone" part, and that combined with the strings make for a really cool sound. Other than that part the rest of the song is pretty average to me, the guitar solo is simple but effective, and fits in well with the song.
     
  2. Atticus

    Atticus Bullets lance the bravest lungs

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    WASTELANDS
    [​IMG]
    “This is war with no weapons, marching with no steppin’, murder with no killin’, illin’ every direction”

    In the burning ember left by War is nothing but Wastelands (bad pun), the sixth track featured on The Hunting Party and the third single of the album. Relying on nu-metal nostalgia, Wastelands takes Linkin Park back to the past for a throwback, intentional or not, celebrating and cherishing the sound of Hybrid Theory fourteen years later.

    According to Shinoda’s tweets during The Hunting Party listening session, the first verse to Wastelands was written long before the rest of the song was even conceived. Whether this means the lyrics were written years or months in advance remains to be answered. From his choice of words, it appears a second verse was written at an earlier stage, but was ultimately rewritten in the final month of recording The Hunting Party.

    On May 24th, 2014, a minute long Wastelands snippet was revealed in a promotional UFC commercial. The hype had reached a boiling point as fans craved the full song. Surprisingly, Wastelands was premiered that same night, however through means not seen since Linkin Park revealed No More Sorrow, Given Up, and Bleed It Out in 2007.

    Following the first chorus of Runaway in the middle of Linkin Park’s live set in Tucson, the song completely transitioned and Shinoda began to rap the same lyrics found in the studio preview released earlier that day. The entirety of Wastelands was then played to great fanfare. Although they did not have the studio recording to compare at the time, the track sounded right at home in a live environment.

    The studio recording of Wastelands was to debut on June 1st on a UK radio station. However, Shinoda had other plans as he tossed several Wastelands CDs into the crowd of their Rock in Rio performance the night before. Needless to say, within hours the track was leaked online to the pleasure of fans worldwide.

    Wastelands begins with Bourdon releasing an intricate drum barrage over a fading electronic sample. The raw sound is instantly reminiscent of Guilty All The Same’s garage style intro before a riveting, chainsaw guitar riff tears open the track with a groovy, distorted rhythm. The apocalyptic track welcomes Shinoda for a cutthroat rapping demonstration that massacres the verses. His flow is pinpoint focused over the rhythmic thumping of the crushing guitars as he bellows with pristine swagger about a rising conflict.

    Bennington takes the track from an aggressive punch in the face to a soaring anthem as he barks out a triumphant chorus that flows with adrenaline. The savage guitar riff and pulsing drums amplify the dystopian chorus, creating an aggressive jam that rivals their nu-metal past and sits comfortably in the realm of The Hunting Party. Although he never screams, Bennington’s asphalt growls are ripe with intimidation, and only grow stronger as the song progresses.

    The bridge/breakdown strives to be different from everything in Linkin Park’s nu-metal discography, and remains unique to The Hunting Party. Devoid of any screaming, rapping, singing, or guitar solos of any kind, Wastelands instead chooses to deliver a gungy, dirty instrumental breakdown that churns together and presents a tensely satisfying moment. The storm breaks for an instant as Bennington returns to softly and cleanly sing the first half of the chorus before belting into the familiar previous rasp. Interestingly, the final chorus of Wastelands completely changes the chord structure, something very unconventional for Linkin Park.

    While neither revolutionary nor overly breathtaking, Wastelands represents the standard that if something isn’t broken, don’t fix it. The track revises Linkin Park’s nu-metal formula, adding new-age lyrics and maturity, and concludes as a wonderful tribute.


    As hinted to above, Wastelands was heavily integrated into UFC promotional material. It became the official UFC song for the remainder of 2014 and the collaboration peaked for the band’s official music video. Splicing UFC footage with a recording of Linkin Park’s Rock in Rio performance of Wastelands, the video was released on June 25th, 2014, nearly a month after the initial preview. The music video was poorly received, with just under 300,000 YouTube views in two years.

    Following the trend of the rest of The Hunting Party, Wastelands never had an official remix. However, that didn’t stop Cypher from releasing an atmospheric remix of the track for LPA’s Viscera. The track heavily reimagined Wastelands, slowing the song to a standstill and distorting Shinoda’s vocals in an effect similar to Reanimation’s Frgt/10. The song explodes halfway through with an adrenaline-pumping riff alongside Bennington’s chorus and then travels back to hip-hop. Throw in a sample from Hybrid Theory’s Cure For The Itch and you have a remix worth listening to.

    Looking at the lyrical content, Wastelands is a wildfire barreling in all sorts of different directions. First off, there’s the obvious statement towards the degradation of the current rock scene, as Shinoda claims “I’m not afraid of that, print it in your paperback” as a possible reference to not being afraid of media backlash for the heavy tone of the album. The “wastelands of today” being today’s musical landscape where popular artists have created a world void of substance in the industry. Linkin Park feels there’s “nothing left to lose” in releasing a heavy album now.

    There’s also the literal political statement that war and conflict is meaningless when it leads to nothing but wastelands worth absolutely nothing. And of course, there’s also the general direction that Linkin Park just wanted to write and release a genuinely kickass track with plenty of loaded imagery and bolstered by Shinoda’s hip-hop swagger.

    As stated above, Wastelands became a staple to the setlist in The Hunting Party touring cycle. It consistently remained on the set as a transitional piece of Runaway, and as such became a classic onstage. The band exuded energy playing the track, and never really encountered any technical difficulties in the track. The decision to use rawer studio vocals also proved invaluable as Bennington was capable of mimicking the track every single night.
     
  3. Captain-EO

    Captain-EO Gibs Sux LPA Super Member

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    I actually like Wastelands and I think even though it's very much an early era-style song, it's much better. It's not nearly as angsty as the early days. I also really like the groove of the track in general. Nothing spectacular but nothing horrible either.
     
  4. Tocaraca

    Tocaraca A part of me screams away silently

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    I don't care what other people say, but I LOVE the rap verses in this song. The rhythm is great. Mike's consistency in this rap is good IMO.
    You guys may be able to delve deep into the meaning of the lyrics, and then find that there isn't one and that it's completely random, but I don't dislike the lyrics at all. They seem fine to me. At least he was able to make them rhyme!
    I like the rest of the song but I don't have anything else to say about it.
     
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  5. Michele

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

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    I think Wastelands is a cool track. Not the best LP song ever, but a good one. I like the vibe of the track (especially the drums) and the performance by Mike and Chester are cool too.
    What i really love about the track is after the bridge when Chester starts to sing again in a more mellow voice. My favorite part of the song.
    Live is the song pretty cool, especially with the runaway intro.
     
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  6. Nicholas

    Nicholas Well-Known Member

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    Don't love it, don't hate it. It just doesn't give me much incentive to want to come back and relisten to it. Definitely the kind of song that seems more geared towards being heard live with a large crowd, rather than just listening to it through headphones. Which would be great if I was fine with large crowds, but I'm not :insecure:

    Mike's flow is on point here, which I think has consistently improved over time. Too bad the lyrics are rather uninteresting, so good thing they're focusing on writing first with LP7. I get what they were going for with this album, and outside of a few songs it's just not for me. Which is fair, I'm bound to not like every single thing they put out.
     
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  7. Captain-EO

    Captain-EO Gibs Sux LPA Super Member

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    I agree with this 100%. Right on the money.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2016
  8. Modern Guitar God

    Modern Guitar God LPA Super VIP LPA Super VIP

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    Guitar tone is really great in this song. Either Brad or his engineer is really smart when it comes to shaping the sound of the guitar.

    I don't think it's a great song but I don't find myself skipping it if I'm playing the whole album. Not a fan of Mike's rapping much but it serves the song. Really wish they'd have gotten rid of the delay effect on Chester's voice. It is annoying, but just to my ears.

    The most interesting thing is that they use a weird synth, that sounds like a computerized motor engine, to build up the bridge. It stands out a lot against everything else in the song.
     
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  9. Atticus

    Atticus Bullets lance the bravest lungs

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    I share the sentiments of pretty much everyone so far. Wastelands is neither great nor bad, and when it pops up in a playlist I generally won't skip it. It is however fantastic at capturing that early-2000's nu-metal adrenaline. I also have no problems with the lyrics or rhythm. I'd definitely consider it superior to All For Nothing.

    Interesting. To be honest I've never zeroed-in on this particular sound before on the song. Listening closely to the chorus there does seem to be an ethereal computerized synth. Good god this band just continues to be the master at creating endless layers of sound to discover even two years after release.
     
  10. Captain-EO

    Captain-EO Gibs Sux LPA Super Member

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    Excuse me, sir...I think you mixed up which is better here.
     
  11. minuteforce

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

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    I like the way "Wastelands" sounds, the vintage distortion on the rap vocals, the crushed chord samples in the bridge, the drums in the verses and so on. I like Shinoda's delivery and quite a few of the lyrics in his verses, but I'm definitely not into the chorus. For me, "Wastelands" is a fairly weak song - even the rhythm doesn't really grab me - but, also, I think it contains Shinoda's best verses on the album. For better or worse.

    I actually only noticed that sound after watching a live video, because Shinoda plays it by hand during the bridge and, then, he triggers the crushed chord samples thing right after
     
  12. Deliveranze

    Deliveranze Well-Known Member

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    Love Wastelands like crazy. Not my fav track but Top 5 song on the album. Also the Viscera Remix was dope as hell too.

    I love Mike's verses here. His rhyme pattern on the track is nice af. By far, his best rap performance on the album. (2nd verse of AFN was aight too) I actually really like the chorus tbh. It gives me a apocalyptic feeling and I really enjoy the basic structure. It is a nice throwback to a simpler time in LP's career where they got away with 3 minute rap rock tracks and (like Lost In The Echo before it) really manages to capture the feeling of 2001 era LP better than any track on the album. It's not going down as LP's best song ever but it's a fun song.
     
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  13. Susy

    Susy god break down the door LPA Contributor

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    I must confess, I'm like... eh.
     
  14. Nicholas

    Nicholas Well-Known Member

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    Listening to some of their instrumentals were like discovering new songs, especially "Living Things". They're so layered that a lot of it gets buried in the mix that I never knew was there, you really start to appreciate all the little details and effort they put into these songs afterwards.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2016
  15. Atticus

    Atticus Bullets lance the bravest lungs

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    I'd take it a step further and say All For Nothing is the worst full track on the record. Which surprisingly still doesn't make it "bad" or even "mediocre" in my eyes (or should I say ears).

    True say. Part of the reason why this band has been so endearing to me for so long is the immense replay value their discography has for this very reason. Love an album or hate it, you're nearly guaranteed to find new sounds on every listen. I replayed Hybrid Theory a month ago and discovered new layers I never have before.
     
  16. minuteforce

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

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    Yeah. Ten years after first discovering "Hybrid Theory", I finally heard the faint pad layer underneath the verses in "Papercut"
     
  17. Qwerty19

    Qwerty19 Well-Known Member

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    As others, I dig the way the song sounds, I mean, all the sonic elements. The guitar tone, the drums, the vocal distortion, the subtle synths, etc.

    But I don't think the song flows so well altogether, and the chorus melody is kinda...not their best.
     
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  18. GraveDigger388

    GraveDigger388 Nothing's gonna top my Jacky

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  19. Tocaraca

    Tocaraca A part of me screams away silently

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    This is something that I fully understand. Worst doesn't always mean 'terrible'. It means 'most bad', or 'least good'. If you think that the worst song on the album is AFN then it just means all of the other songs on the album are better, and this doesn't take into account how good the song actually is, just how good in comparison to the rest of the songs.
    This is also what I say in Super Smash Bros. People say that Jigglypuff is the worst character. People who think that she isn't all bad disagree with this. But really, she is the worst, not necessarily making her terrible. She has some good tools.
    I noticed only recently that Papercut actually has a noticeable bass guitar track, and some other songs on Hybrid Theory. Especially With You
     
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  20. Captain-EO

    Captain-EO Gibs Sux LPA Super Member

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    It's got that bass fill in the outro that I love. Just the half-second bass fill, not the rest of the bass track. :lol:
     

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