Linkin Park’s latest maturity

By Kate-Lyn Moore

Linkin Park’s highly anticipated album, A Thousand Suns, produced
by Rick Rubin, is an unforeseen piece of art full of staggering
accomplishments.   

It is highly conceptual, with recurring motifs such as nuclear war,
annihilation, pain, pride and regret.

It combines chilling vocals and stilling musical accompaniments,
journeying through crescendo’s of mechanical devastation, ethereal,
empty spaces and tormented vocals, which ring on after the album’s
end.

The album should be listened to as a whole. Nine of the fifteen songs
are full-length tracks. The rest of the album is made up of echoing
interludes that instantly chill the air. However, the tracks run
seamlessly into each other and there is no real beginning or end.

  The opening track, The Requiem, establishes a tone of destruction,
torment and disillusionment. The song crescendos, the keyboard and
sounds of the machine morph together and the female’s tormented,
robotic vocals fade into the next track, The Radiance – a creeping
segment of Oppenheimer’s speech “Destroyer of Worlds”,[1] with a
mechanical accompaniment.

The album later features disquieting speeches by Mario Savio, in
Wretches and Kings, and Martin Luther King Jnr., in Wisdom,
Justice, And Love, whose voice, accompanied by piano, chillingly
becomes distorted and dehumanised.

The impassioned power ballads Burning In The Skies and
Iridescent, bleeding pain and frustration, successfully balance out
the heavier songs. There is an element of the epic to their
accompaniments and lyrics.  

The album is versatility itself, as can be seen in songs such as
Waiting For The End, which has a distinct Reggae element, When They
Come For Me and Wretches and Kings, which both have aspects of an
Indian-style. These tracks all break with brutal, hard-hitting beats,
meshing the violent rap vocals of Mike Shinoda with Chester
Bennington’s agonised and sorrowful lyrics. The result is
astonishing.

Although I am not overly fond of Wretches and Kings, it works well
within the context of the album and alongside Blackout, which has a
satisfying dose of Bennington iconic screaming, cannot be described as
anything less than hard-core.

The final track, The Messenger, accompanied by acoustic guitar and
piano, is completely unique. Initially seeming out of place, within
the context of the album the track encapsulates the motifs explored.
It evokes a feeling of resolution, not unlike that felt when one has
come to the end of a heart-rending story.

It may be a world apart from their highly acclaimed debut, Hybrid
Theory[2], but A Thousand Suns is on a level completely of its own
construction and shows considerable maturity and innovation[3]. The
album is an epic journey.

 

Linkin Park, Waiting For The World To End  

Links:
——
[1] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f94j9WIWPQQ
[2] http://www.google.com/products/catalog?client=safari&rls=en&q=Hybrid+…
[3] http://www.linkinpark.com/profiles/blogs/interview-with-mtvcom

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