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Linkin Park's Albums, From Worst To Best Part 2: A Thousand SunsHey everyone, it's me, Nik Brusk, the guy who enjoyed every second of Metallica's St. Anger.
Today, I will continue my Blog Post series of ranking and reviewing Linkin Park's albums from worst to best. This is the second post. It will cover the Park of Linkin's second worst album.
Album #5) A Thousand Suns
This album has supposedly, according to the iTunes description, shows that Linkin Park has "evolved" since Hybrid Theory. In other words, it's nothing like Hybrid Theory. But I'm not here to judge the album based on that. I'm judging it as its own album. This album is also about things like Nuclear War and Crisis, which sounds pretty interesting! But the subject is only as good as its execution. Is it executed well you may ask?
Well, it depends on the people you talk to.
A lot of Linkin Park "fans" (aka people who worship Hybrid Theory and Meteora and nothing else) say that this is LP's worst album. I personally disagree. In my opinion, LIVING THINGS was the worst album. But does that make this album better? Not really. ATS is still and electronic induced LP, albeit with an interesting concept. The only reason why this isn't the worst album is that it wasn't advertised as being a return to the Hybrid Theory and Meteora days.
I bet none of you care about that, so let's see if the interesting concept leads to interesting music.
Track 1: The Requiem
This is what I call an Intro. It's so suspenseful and atmospheric, and that voice! That high pitched robotic voice speaking the lyrics of the lead single The Catalyst! Haunting.... Ooh. This is just an intro, so nothing else to say. Great way to start an album about nuclear crisis.
Track 2: The Radiance
*listens to song* https://youtu.be/M4gSdRx-24M
Seriously, what is the point of this? Another intro? Was The Requiem and intro to an intro? This track is a speech by J. Robert Oppenheimer, which sounds unique and kinda cool, but why was it its own track? Why couldn't it have been combined with The Requiem?
Track 3: Burning In The Skies
Finally, an actual song! Is it good? Ehh... I guess, I dunno. The song is about regretting what they have done, and that they are "losing what they don't deserve".
Mike and Chester's singing are on point with the music, and the guitar solo from Brad is pretty good, but there's honestly nothing much to say about this song. It's just ok.
Track 4: Empty Spaces
18 seconds of crickets chirping and a battle going on. Next.
Track 5: When They Come For Me
I really like this song! The drums and guitar samples are a great fit to the lyrics. The meaning behind When They Come For Me is I think a target towards so called Linkin Park fans that want them to go back to the Hybrid Theory days. You can tell due in lyrics like "I am not the fortune or the fame or the same person telling you to forfeit to game" and "once you got a theory of how the thing works everybody wants the next thing to be just like the first". I'm sick of all those people saying stuff like "oh this album is not Meteora, so it sucks", so those lyrics are very reliving to hear from Mike. One thing that's particularly interesting about this song is the use of Standing Indian Drums that Chester and Brad play in the live shows. Chester also shouts a Tribal Indian chant in the hook, which is strange, but unique.
Track 6: Robot Boy
Despite being canon fodder, Robot Boy feels inspiring. The magical feel of the music sounds like it could be in a movie trailer for something like Transformers or The Jungle Book. The vocals are meditation to my ears, but there are many vocal layers, making it impossible to play live. That sucks, since this would be a beauty to hear live.
Track 7: Jornado Del Muerto
Oh boy, another interlude. This time it's of Mike and Chester singing "Lift Me Up, Let Me Go" in Romanian. Moving on.
Track 8: Waiting For The End
This song is the main reason why I bought this album. Chester's singing is nice and the lyrics are motivational. The instrumental is catchy and sounds like it could be a decent remix. The meaning I think is that they are holding what they haven't got. One time during a Fort Minor show, Mike remixed Waiting For The End with Hands Held High, a match made in heaven. Even though the song is great, the music video is weird. So if the song is electronic, let's make ourselves electronic! Chester's design in the video freaks me out! Aside from the strange video, the song is one of the best in the album.
Track 9: Blackout
Blackout makes me wanna black out. The song is a mess, way too many random electronic beats, and Chester's screams, while good, don't fit with this song. The beats sound like a drunk and stoned junkie tried to play Session while he was downing cocaine and alcohol simultaneously. In other words, it's random, and not in the good way. The only redeeming factor is the end were Mike sings. But it's not too long, and doesn't redeem this mess of a song.
Track 10: Wretches And Kings
Did I say Blackout sounded like a stoner was in charge of the turntables? Wretches And Kings makes it sound like they only downed a bottle of water and some sesame seeds. This song makes my brain feel like it's being tickled, like those weird illusions and brain teasers you see on the Internet, especially the part in the third verse. The lyrics are pretty awesome, like their about to go to war. You know, this song feels like the perfect song for a battle in a crisis, like the Battle of Gettysburg. This song also samples Mario Savio's operation of the machine speech, and they do a great job doing so. The electronics fit in with the sample very well. Mr. Hahn also nails it in the DJ Solo after the final speech sample. Overall, this song is bizarre, but in a good way.
Track 11: Wisdom, Justice, And Love
Guess what this song is! Another interlude. This time it samples a speech from Martin Luther King Jr. Near the end, his voice gets deeper, like he's slowly turning into an evil android, which is awesome.
Track 12: Iridescent
Before Transformers 3 came out, I wasn't very interested in this song. All I have to say is, thank you Michael Bay. This song is definitely the best from the album. I really adore the change from a piano ballad to a guitar instrumental. Iridescent is also one of few times Chester Bennington plays guitar, the other times being Shadow Of The Day, No Roads Left, It's Going Down, and War. The guitar part, matching with the Gang vocals from the band members, make this song shine the most.
Track 13: Fallout
A reprise of lyrics from Burning In The Skies with a robotic voice. Nothing special.
Track 14: The Catalyst
Here it is, the main event of the whole album. I feel like going out and conquering the odds while listening to this song. The Catalyst alone is an adventure and a glorious mixture of epic lyrics, masterful singing, and insane instrumentals. The "lift me up, let me go" lyrics and gang vocals are the icing on the cake for this masterpiece. This song is the ultimate ending to an interesting and complex album. Oh wait...
Track 15: The Messenger
This song, I think, sounds like something they would make up after the aftermath of a nuclear war. I can tell due to the lyrics and acoustic guitar. This would've been an amazing song, but unfortunately all potential is ruined by Chester screaming his face off to the lyrics. What the serious heck? This doesn't make any sense! That's like if Corey Taylor from Slipknot screamed his throat out on Snuff or Child Of Burning Time, it doesn't work. Unfortunately A Thousand Suns doesn't end on a high note, which makes me wanna scream as much as Chester did on this song.
So, that's my review of A Thousand Suns. What did I think about it?
The concept of this album is beyond creative, but the execution kinda falls flat. Don't get me wrong, the good songs are some of Linkin Park's greatest tunes I've fed to my ears. But the bad songs make me wanna chop them off. There's also way too many interludes. If they were only 1 or 2, it would've been fine, but no! There's exactly 6 interludes, which if removed, would've only made A Thousand Suns a 9 song album! That's the same as an EP, not an LP! No pun intended. Some of them could've been removed and reworked into other songs, but apparently crickets are better than actual music. Seriously, Empty Spaces could've easily been mashed with Burning In The Skies or When They Come For Me instead of being its own track. Another thing I've noticed is that there are a lot of songs with the word "The" in the title. The Requiem, The Radiance, The Catalyst, The Messenger, you name it.
Best Songs: The Requiem, When They Come For Me, Robot Boy, Waiting For The End, Wretches And Kings, Iridescent, The Catalyst
Mediocre Songs: Burning In The Skies, Wisdom, Justice, And Love
Worst Songs: Blackout, The Messenger, and all of the interludes.
Final Rating: 6/10
That's my review. Hope you enjoyed it!
Anyway, this is Nik Brusk, signing out. Up next is a review of Linkin Park's third worst album, Minutes To Midnight. Even though it's the third worst, this is were the Best To Worst series starts to showcase the best of Linkin Park.