Linkin Park "A Thousand Suns" Review — 5 out of 5 Stars
Mon, 13 Sep 2010 11:07:27
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Linkin Park create their own genre with A Thousand Suns.
The album is unlike anything you've heard from Linkin Park or anyone else for that matter. The best way to describe it—and it's still light years away from the experience of actually listening to it—is The Fragile meets Achtung Baby. However, it's more like a soundtrack to salvation than anything else.
A Thousand Suns deeply examines loss, life and love in the space age with a very Blade Runner approach. "The Requiem" and "The Radiance" give birth to the journey to follow with an eerily elegant keyboard sound. A humming croon kicks in and a robot voice declares, "God save us." Another voiceover follows on "The Radiance" cryptically and beautifully announcing the aural apocalypse to come.
"Burning in the Skies" volleys from a propulsive keyboard build-up into a glitched-out affair between Chester Bennington's unmistakable vocals and the production behind him. He drops in his most poetic lyrics—"I'm swimming in the smoke of bridges I have burned. I'm losing what I don't deserve." The imagery is both destructive and strangely divine. That line also becomes significant, popping up again later on the record.
The salvo to follow, "When they Come for Me," slides from a slick synth into Mike Shinoda unleashing like never before. He declares, "I'm a tough act to follow." Shinoda's not kidding; he raucously rocks around a swagge-d out verse that culminates in a refrain actually worth screaming, "Try to catch up, motherfucker." Tribal beats resound in the backdrop with a bloody and brilliant crescendo.
This is the battering that pop music so desperately needs. There's a dreamy haze that colors "Robot Boy." It's tripped-out tryptych of textural bliss sees the band reaching Tomorrowland. A looped riff from Brad Delson blazes in unison with a formidable wall of rhythms from Rob Bourdon and Dave "Phoenix" Farrell. "Blackout" gives Chester space to freakout over debonaire keyboards and a jagged riff. If M.I.A. Listened to too much Misfits she might sound something like this.
Shinoda's animalistic rhymes square off against Joe Hahn's chaotic carnivorous scratching for "Wretches and Kings." Whether it's a robotic creepshow speech from Martin Luther King Jr. to the slow piano on "Iridescent," Linkin Park are changing the game.
The first single, "The Catalyst" [view video, is a unique introduction and a fitting preview. The "God save us everyone line" is another crucial bit of information that's cyclical within the sonic solar system that is A Thousand Suns. After A Thousand Suns, all rock 'n' roll will revolve around Linkin Park.
Have you heard A Thousand Suns yet?
Check out our interview with Linkin Park here!
Pick up the album on September 14th!