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Linkin Park has never been afraid to experiment with new sounds and music styles, that much is evident from albums like ‘Reanimation’ and side projects such as Fort Minor. Still, many fans wondered what 2005 and beyond would hold for Linkin Park. The answer to that ironically lay in a large blockbuster movie featuring robots fighting for intergalactic dominance.
Following the success of the Fort Minor side project, it took a while before the next Linkin Park album, ‘Minutes to Midnight’, was released in 2007. It was from this album the feature song on the first ‘Transformers’ movie came from. However, die-hard fans complained that Linkin Park’s sound had become too main stream during the years of side projects. Reviews were a mixed bag with several critics calling the album a successful bridge between rap and rock music while others said that Linkin Park had lost their way.
Still, many of the singles from ‘Minutes to Midnight’ were a smash success. While some fans loved the new sound others lamented the loss of Linkin Park’s edgy angst-ridden quality. Complaints were abundant that while the album was good it wasn’t great, not connecting as well with listeners as anticipated. The singles released included the aforementioned ‘Transformers’ theme song “What I’ve Done” in addition to singles like “Bleed It Out”, “Given Up” and “Leave Out all the Rest.” The last single is oddly enough the one that connected the most with fans, bringing the most emotionally evoking experience of this album.
2010′s ‘A Thousand Suns’ only served to highlight Linkin Park’s changing sound. The dichotomy between what was great and what was subpar stretching just like the theme of miss-communication and growing apart from the “New Divide” single, prompted many fans to finally accept that Linkin Park had changed for good. Fans accepted that while they would always love Linkin Park, the days of ‘Hybrid Theory’ with its dark emotionally connecting truths were a thing of the past.
It isn’t a question today of whether an Linkin Park albums is good, but rather, how good it is upon release. ‘A Thousand Suns’ did have songs that connected with people, but they were softer and mellower than ever before. The word ‘delicate’ has been used to describe certain songs, not because the lyrics were safe and boring but because most of the vocal arrangements inspires casual camp singing with s’mores instead of head banging air guitar playing. This is necessarily a bad thing since the album was a huge success, gaining Linkin Park new fans all over the world. Depending on whom you ask this album was either fantastic or a total dud.
Fast forward to 2012 and the debut of the “Burn It Down” single officially released in April much to the trepidation of fans. Would it be more of the same style seen from the ‘A Thousand Suns’ album? At first glance this single sounded a lot like the others that had come before it. ‘Burn it Down’ marks the continuation of a sweet melody and hook style cultivated through Linkin Park’s last two albums however, it is the lyrics and transitions that set this single and indeed the entire album apart from its predecessors.
“Burn it Down” is the tip of the iceberg, showing that yes, Linkin Park is keeping its softer musical style. However, the lyrics have returned to a true hard-edged white-knuckle experience. Once more, Linkin Park songs will connect with listeners on an emotional level. Truths will once again be expounded upon in true Linkin Park style featuring that edge of angst and anger combination vocal that once made ‘Hybrid Threory’ so great.
‘Living Things’ is an album that celebrates the collaboration between Linkin Parks new school sound and the bands return to old school lyrical truth. For an in depth review and analysis of the ‘Living Things’ Album, check back with Toonari Post. Congratulations Linkin Park, this album is one step closer to greatness.
Image Courtesy of NRK P3