By Sheldon FairfootLinking Park’s most criticised musical album, A Thousand Suns, is greatly misunderstood. Mike Shinoda, a lead vocalist in the Band, made it clear in an interview where he explains that A Thousand Suns will not be like their previous albums.
Indeed, the album is definitely not to be compared to great compilation that was Hybrid Theory, or to Minutes to Midnight which filled venues time and time again. The songs are not the kind that can be singled out and listened to individually as if they are a separate entity from the album itself, which is the element of most songs which many people use to define whether or not they are good or bad, hence the heavy criticisms this album has received.
The above however is not an error on the band’s part. This album is what could be said to be the first successful rock opera since The Who’s release of Tommy in 1968. The entire album is basically one song and while some of the songs such as Wretches and Kings and The Catalyst are by all means good on their own, others such as Empty Spaces, which is only eighteen seconds long and involves crickets chirping and bombs exploding in the background, are not my idea of smash-hit singles.
The songs present in the album contrast heavily to one-another. The songs alternate from the very the techno inspired Blackout and the much more rap, and definitely dub influenced style of Wretches and Kings, to the much more classic Linkin Park hip-hop style of When They Come for Me. But even their more hip-hop sounding song on the album are a shot in the dark for Linkin Park as they are much darker then what they have previously produced. The band even borders on sounding like a boy band in the song Iridescent, but thankfully it fits quite nicely into the feel of the album as a whole at that point in its progression.
Songs as a whole have been described as “strangely organic” in an MTV News interview the band’s lead singer, Chester Bennington.
A Thousand Suns is, on the whole, was a necessary move for Linkin Park, who with it have reached out to an entirely new fan base, whilst still keeping much of their old one. I would call this work a great success and a necessary risk in the band’s musical career.