Released: Sep 10, 2010
Genre: Alternative Rock
Label: Warner Bros
Number Of Tracks: 15
Linkin Park's fourth studio album takes a step away from being commercially viable and the result is often a more eclectic, satisfying venture.
A Thousand Suns
UG Team, on september 24, 2010 20 of 28 people found this review helpful
Sound: With the news that Linkin Park's fourth studio record A Thousand Suns was about to be released, it was difficult not to feel a little bit of trepidation. Chester Bennington and the boys had veered into more commercially viable, pop-driven material than ever before with Minutes To Midnight, trading in experimentation with benign melodies. While this move certainly didn't hurt them on the charts (What I've Done earned the #1 spot on the Mainstream Rock chart and was nominated for a Grammy), it all seemed a far cry from the creativity heard on the debut record. Linkin Park opted to go the concept album route with the latest release A Thousand Suns, and that artistic path perhaps allowed for a more grandiose scope musically. In the end, the original idea to explore the topics of war and nuclear warfare works beautifully for the band, who at the very least has lessened their infatuation with the pop-rock formula.
Filled with interludes and computerized vocal effects, Linkin Park' A Thousand Suns could in some ways be deemed self-indulgent. To add fuel to the fire, the title was inspired text from the Bhagavad Gita that states, If the radiance of a thousand suns were to burst at once into the sky that would be like the splendor of the Mighty one. That type of reference could also provoke many to think Linkin Park has ventured into territory that is perhaps a bit too deep for them, but it's certainly an intriguing subject that is enhanced by inspired arrangements and melodies. Even more importantly, it all adds up to a much, much more interesting listening experience than the instant radio singles heard on Minutes To Midnight.
Beginning with understated electronica with a solemn twist, the instrumental The Requiem morphs into another mini-interlude The Radiance. The latter, along with several of the interludes on the album, utilizes sampled speeches. In the case of The Radiance you hear the words of theoretical physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer, but elsewhere the voices of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mario Savio are featured. The incorporation of various sampled interviews/speeches and the affected computerized vocals of Chester Bennington (Robot Boy, Fallout) relay almost a soundtrack-like feel to A Thousand Suns. So much so, in fact, that the album almost seems to be brought down by the very few typical rock arrangements included in the tracklist.
The highlights of the CD actually incorporate a healthy balance of Bennington's vocals and Mike Shinoda's rapping. Shinoda, who co-produced the record with Rick Rubin, has never been more confident with this approach and at times channels Chuck D (Wretches and Kings) with a bit of an industrial metal twist. Bennington's more angelic vocals do get center stage on tracks like Iridescent, and while there's no arguing that the singer has never had a more impressive range, it's his powerhouse belting that usually makes the lasting mark. // 8
Lyrics: Although Linkin Park's A Thousand Suns is a concept album supposedly revolving around warfare, there are still the universal subjects of love and self-reflection that rule supreme on the record. Bennington's lines tend to be fairly standard, but Shinoda's raps are the moments that deliver the most original lyrical content. The golden moments arrive with lines like, I came in the ring like a dog on a chain; And I found out the underbelly's sicker than it seems; And it seems ugly / but it can get worse; 'Cause even a blueprint is a gift and a curse (When They Come For Me) Like many a concept album, the messages are often blurred and rather vague, but it's actually the music that drives A Thousand Suns in the end. // 8
Overall Impression: A Thousand Suns may never be considered Linkin Park's work of genius, but it's still a welcome offering from the sextet. The band didn't rein itself in for a radio format, and that in itself is a godsend. Some listeners will undoubtedly be taken aback by Linkin Park's sudden, jolting left turn musically, and there are a few tracks on A Thousand Suns that do seemed to have a forced epic quality. On the whole, however, the album is refreshing, multifaceted, and at long last daring. // 9
A Thousand Suns
travislausch, on september 24, 2010 5 of 6 people found this review helpful
Sound: Linkin Park have been called many things, good and bad, in their career: edgy, creative, whiny, musically simple, innovative, generic, single-minded, lyrical geniuses, and lowest-common-denominator label trash... but one thing that has never come up for them is the term "progressive".
That's not to say that A Thousand Suns is going to give Porcupine Tree a run for its money, and I certainly wouldn't say that there are many prog vibes on it, but if there were one album Linkin Park has released that I could say had a progressive streak to it, it would be A Thousand Suns.
The first things you're going to notice about this album are the relative lack of guitars, and the way almost all of the songs run together like one long track. The former, it's not as bad as you think it is. There are still guitars on most of the songs, but it's not presented in the same way Brad Delson has done in the past. There are very few Hybrid Theory-esque power chord riffs, and not many Minutes To Midnight-style clean arpeggiated guitars. What you hear of Brad all over this album is guitars pushed very deep into the background, as in "Waiting For The End" or "When They Come For Me" or "Jornada Del Muerto", or heavily effected and possibly re-sampled guitars like in "Wretches And Kings". Far be it for me to say whether this is objectively positive or negative, as I liked Brad Delson's guitar contributions to Minutes To Midnight, but here the guitar serves a purpose that's almost completely the opposite of what most guitarists would even consider using a guitar for. The only real guitar standout is the first "non-interlude" song, "Burning In The Skies", where Brad plays an octave solo with a few Edge-style high chords.
But the latter, the songs flowing into one another, makes this album feel very different. Many of the shorter interlude tracks serve as intros or outros to many of the longer songs on the album, and sometimes you even have to check your CD player to make sure you're on a different track.
In place of the guitars, many songs have an overabundance of synth sounds and electronic percussion. That doesn't mean the album is without acoustic elements, as "real" drums and guitar are heard on many songs on the album, but they're not as dominant.
And here's a song-by-song track review:
01. The Requiem/The Radiance: I'm counting both as one track because they really do run together as if they're one song. You get a lot of synth effects, a girly vocoder voice that's actually Mike Shinoda, and an excerpt of a Robert Oppenheimer documentary, where the man himself reveals his feelings after witnessing the Trinity nuclear test, and recounting the Bhagavad Gita, a Hindu scripture. It sets the apocalyptic tone of the rest of the album quite well.
02. Burning In The Skies: this track might be the closest to a Minutes To Midnight song on the album, also recounting the feelings of post-apocalyptic isolation that seems to be a lyrical thread throughout the album. Musically, there are a few interesting diversions like a main verse in 6/4 time rather than 4/4, a pretty typical chorus, and a brief octave/chord guitar solo by Brad Delson. A pretty standard pop/rock tune, in the context of an album that is about as anti-commercial as it gets from LP.
03. Empty Spaces/When They Come For Me: the former is an 18-second track which means basically nothing on its own, but sets up the tone quite well for the latter, which is probably one of the more interesting LP songs ever released, with its tribal drumming, electronic underpinnings, almost synth-like heavy guitars, Shinoda's rapping taking on a dimension not heard in either Hybrid Theory or Minutes To Midnight, Chester singing a wordless melody not unlike a lot of Oriental music, and a break with a pretty interesting keyboard lead, right to the end of the song, where Chester also outlines some really nice vocal harmonies.
04. Robot Boy: opens with a piano part I almost confused with that of Paul McCartney's "Maybe I'm Amazed". The rest of the song is synth atmospherics with tons of vocal harmonies from Chester. That's one thing that's not lacking on this album: vocal harmonies. They're all over the place, even during a lot of the raps. The song ends with something strange for LP: A synth solo. Yes, a real synth solo not unlike those heard in many prog tunes.
05. Jornada Del Muerto: one of the few interludes worthy of a separate mention. The synth/guitar backing goes against another synth solo, which leads right into the next track:
06. Waiting For The End: starts with a really deceptive guitar part which makes you expect something heavier, but the track takes on a reggae style, and there are vocals that remind me quite a lot of The Beatles in Chester's verses. Yes, it's pop, but it feels to me more like Beatles-variety pop than Beiber-variety pop, which is a good thing in my eyes. The end of the song brings some much-welcomed guitar and acoustic drums into the mix, which is great for the song.
07. Blackout: the only real weak spot on the album in my eyes is the first half of this song, which is made of two elements that would sound absolutely brilliant on their own, but together create a jarring clash of feelings. One is Chester's vocals, which are like a half-rapped, half-sung, half-screamed part, while the other is a bubbly and joyous electronic beat and synth part. Alone, those two elements would sound great, but the way they clash on this track makes me cringe. Things pick up in the second half, when Chester's vocals are backed by a heavier guitar and manipulated by Joe Hahn, and the softer part is brought back in with Shinoda singing instead.
08. Wretches And Kings: the closest thing to a hark back to ancient LP times on this album, featuring a heavily effected guitar, hip-hop-style synth basses, and some really cool build-ups in the second half. It sounds like nothing they've done, and yet it feels vaguely familiar. Definitely the heaviest tune on the album. Joe Hahn's scratching is really cool in this song too.
09. Wisdom, Justice And Love: a piano interlude with a Martin Luther King speech over it, which progressively gets more and more vocoded to the end. Actually sounds quite eerie and disturbing, in a good way. Great build-up to the next song.
10. Iridescent: another song that could have fit easily on Minutes To Midnight. Not much in the way of heavy sounds, but a lot of atmosphere and texture, as well as some of Chester's more thought-provoking lyrics and vocals to date. It's been said that this song contained a guitar solo, and I'd like to clear up that it does have a couple of standout guitar parts, but don't expect any shredding. Most of it is in the same vein as Burning In The Skies, and I think they even share a basic chord progression. A great song, but it lacks the immediacy of some of the other songs.
11. Fallout: another interlude. Not much to say about it, as it doesn't really stand out to me at all. But it's kind of the opposite of Wisdom, Justice and Love in that the voice starts off with effects, and gradually becomes less and less effected until it sounds natural.
12. The Catalyst: this song seems to fit in much better when taken into the context of the album. Even though it was a fine enough single, hearing it within the album makes the whole progression make sense, and even adds to the experience of listening to this song. For those living under a rock who might not have heard it, it's got all the elements of this album: Much more electronics, a synth solo, Mike and Chester alternating on vocals quite a bit, guitars buried in the mix, and a breakdown on piano where the entire mood of the song changes from an electronic sound to a more natural rock band sound. The song sounds very climactic in the context of the album, and makes a pretty perfect second-to-last track.
13. The Messenger: in many ways, this is the album's denouement... the dessert after the meal... the cigarette after the lay. The rest of the album's tone has been one of post-apocalyptic horror and bleakness, but this song makes its message clear: there is hope. Instrumentally, the band is stripped down to acoustic guitar, piano, and Chester giving a pretty powerful performance that seems to be without any post-production trickery like Auto-Tune. It's really quite a nice track, though Chester may be over-singing a bit. Still, it's a really good closing to the album, and drives some of the point of the album home.
My final rating on sound would be a 9 out of 10. There are only a few weak spots here and there, but nothing that really prevents this album from being good. It's a fresh and different sound for LP, though it may be nothing some of you haven't heard before. I can definitely understand how some fans will dislike this album, as it sounds nothing like any of the previous albums LP has released, but approached with an open mind, this album is a very satisfying listen. // 9
Lyrics: Lyrically, this album is also a huge leap for the band. There are fewer, if any, lyrics that sound anything like the pissed-off, depressed, and tormented Chester Bennington we all remember. Most of the lyrics seem to take on an apocalyptic bent, talking about isolation and fear, and while these threads run pretty much through the whole album, there are a couple of diversions along the way, like Mike's rap in "When They Come For Me", which almost seem like a thinly-veiled "f*** you" to fans who want the band to retread old ground. Some lyrics, like the chorus to Burning In The Skies and the main hook of The Catalyst, reappear in other parts of the album, also lending credibility to the idea that this is meant to be a concept album.
And while the final track, The Messenger, carries a message of hope which should be seen in a pretty positive light, it does feel a little sappy and is maybe not as successful as it could have been.
The vocals are almost all over the place on this record, with Mike doing a lot of melodic singing, reggae-ish rapping, and even more traditional rap styles, and using a lot of post-production effects like Vocoder. Chester also varies his performances a lot on this album, tackling everything from gentle crooning to screams to dramatic melodic vocals. And except for the song "Blackout", none of it really feels out of place.
Definitely deserving an 8 for a combination of vocal performance and lyrical composition. // 8
Overall Impression: Overall, this is an album meant best to be taken with an open mind. I'd get the feeling, personally, that this album might see more positive reviews if it were any band besides Linkin Park releasing it, since this album really doesn't sound like any LP before it. Whether this is good or bad is up to you, but I believe this album to be the most creative and original thing LP have tried to date. But I can still see the flaws on this album for what they are, and believe they should iron those out on their next outing. And as cliche as it sounds, I kind of missed the guitars on this album, even though they're all over the album, I would have loved at least a couple of big stand-out guitar moments. But even without guitar heroics, A Thousand Suns manages to be a very engaging album that demands complete listens rather than sporadically listening to one song here and one song there. It might even be too much for the average LP fan, who probably doesn't want LP to make a Dark Side Of The Moon or Abbey Road.
I'm going to give this album an overall 8.5 out of 10, but I'm rounding that down to 8 for the rating on the site as there are still a few things I'd like to see them accomplish next time around. But don't get me wrong, I found this album to be pretty great. I'm not quite ready to call it LP's "magnum opus" just yet, but it's a very rewarding listen. // 8
A Thousand Suns
unregistered, on september 24, 2010 4 of 7 people found this review helpful
Sound: Linkin Park have finally released the concept album they've talked about for years, and the sound is a definite depature from their past albums. 'A Thousand Suns' is likely to segregate the Linkin Park fans into 'Love It' and 'Hate It' categories, but overall, it does have a very distinct sound.
For the purposes of this review, I will review the album without bias towards who the artist is. A Thousand Suns accomplishes a task that has not been seen recently in music: a solid, front to back, fluid, concept album. Having released the album early on Myspace as 'The Full Experience,' Linkin Park has created a sound that flows as 47 minutes of cohesiveness. The songs mix very well together and many of them could not survive on their own without the rest of the album to keep them in context.
As far as individual songs go, it is nearly impossible to rate or review them, as the nature of the album is to be one solid track. Many songs do have a great sound to them, but that sound is carried on from the previous songs. Surprsingly, 'The Catalyst' suffers in sound as a single from not being in the album's context. Once replaced into the track listing as a whole, the song is very fitting and quite enjoyable. The same could be said for any song that they could've released as a 'single.'
Overall, the album is done very well. Whether or not fans will like the techno/hip hop/pop styling is yet to be determined; however, there is no doubt that Linkin Park has done what THEY wanted, not what they feel their FANS wanted. In that, they have created a good, solid album, regardless of the genre change. // 7
Lyrics: The lyrics on this album are very expressionistic (thought there is still a touch of the classic LP angst). Both Mike and Chester sing throughout the album about the current state of our world, and share their views on what we are doing to society. Interspersed with the lyrics are speeches from past leaders such as Martin Luther King, Jr. The only weakness is that the imagery, metaphors, and word choice has not matured. However, each song contributes to the overall concept of the album, while the lyrics blend well with the music backing them. Overall, the lyrics are well done to suit the concept even though they introduce nothing new to Linkin Parks' repetoire. // 6
Overall Impression: Overall, I actually enjoy this album, but I believe it has the distinct chance of dividing Linkin Park fans. In comparison to their old sound, it is a huge let down and a major stylistic change that would only be comparable to Metallica changing for 'Load' and 'ReLoad.' Those albums definitely upset many Metallica fans, and segregated the fan base, as will this album for Linkin Park.
As a stand-alone concept, this album is very successful in its creation, and for that, it is an enjoyable album. However, fans who are unable to seperate the name 'Linkin Park' from the sound of this album would likely be best to avoid it, as it will be an upset. // 7
A Thousand Suns
SF3P0X1, on september 27, 2010 3 of 5 people found this review helpful
Sound: I just listened to the new Linkin Park album A Thousand Suns and I have to say it's disappointing to hear this band resort to rehashing previous albums. (No, Reanimation wasn't a rehash album, that was a remix album. There's a difference.)
A Thousand Suns sounds like Minutes to Midnight with different tracks. The grungy, rock-filled albums of the past are obviously over, shoved out of the way in favor of new wave indie pop and anti-war/anti-government propaganda. Lots of ambiance can be heard on this track, lots of fades and rushes. The instrumentation is lacking for all of the effects they used to not make every song sound like the last.
Remember Meteora? That neat experiment song Nobody's Listening? It sounds like they tried for that feel on nearly every song on this album. Like the entire album is an experiment, and a failed one at that.
I'm generally a fan of Linkin Park. I gave their last album a shot, and some of the songs grew on me, and here I was hoping they'd go back to their roots for this new CD. I hoped for nothing, I was let down. // 4
Lyrics: The tracks on this album sound like they were all written with the intent to cry foul on the government, but do little else. It's an anti-war, anti-terrorism, anti-"do anything but f*cking complain" album, and very nearly crosses the threshold into EMO territory.
There are tracks on this album that are too short to be worth anything. I can understand the intro being a short bit of music, but when there are other tracks that are snippets of speeches and nonsensical percussion runs, I start wondering if the production of this album was mixed with the production of an Eminem album. // 2
Overall Impression: Chester and Mike both seem to have lost the edge they had when LP first hit the scene. Originally, the band was ridiculed by everyone because they used generic lyrics and sang about things like dating and heartbreak, but their music was catchy, and angry, and it was a sound that was different from everyone else. It dug into your soul and latched on so that you couldn't ignore it or easily forget it. It was guitar and percussion heavy, it hit hard, and it lingered.
This album, like Minutes to Midnight, has lost that edge. Chester and Mike and the rest seem to be wanting to tell this generation something, but they've lost the means to do it. Gone are the angry lyrics and the hard-hitting, different sounds. Gone are the drum- and guitar-heavy musical riffs. In their place are the same lines being repeated over and over in a different order, with synth-heavy tracks in the background.
The closest you'll get to their old sound on this album is the song Blackout. And even then, it sounds like they had Michael Jackson sing/scream this track before the man died. And the background music just does NOT fit. It seriously sounds like it belongs in the water level of Sonic 4. It even sounds like it was generated with a MIDI synthesizer or a Genesis.
Wretches and Kings sounds like a throwback to Fort Minor. You know who Fort Minor is, right? Mike Shinoda's little rap group pet project? They had, like, one commercially released album and a bunch of self-released LPs. It's actually not bad, but one good song in a collection of 15 is not a good thing.
The title track for this album is The Catalyst. It's been featured in the commercial for some war game... I think it's Call of Duty, might be Medal of Honor. One of those games. I'd heard it there, I'd heard it on MySpace, I'd heard the remixes, I'd even took a shot at remixing it myself. It's crap.
Seriously. The title track, for the first time in Linkin Park's history, is absolute shit. Like Blackout, The Catalyst's music sounds like it was done with a MIDI synth. The lyrics have a very LOUD anti-war/pro-religious sound to them. Are Linkin Park trying to crossover into the Christian Pop/Alternative genre? (I hope not, there are enough faux Pop/Indie/Alternative artists doing Christian music -.-) If I wanted to listen to a political Indie album, I'd throw in Thursday's Full Collapse.
All in all, the album is a piece of sh*t with a SINGLE defining song. That song will probably never get any radio airtime. LP will litter the radio with their softer, politically stuffed songs (like The Catalyst) and declare to the rest of the world that they've forgotten their old fans. // 4
A Thousand Suns
Jasonbts, on september 24, 2010 2 of 3 people found this review helpful
Sound: This album seems to depart farther from the bands previous sound on albums such as Hybrid Theory at times, however at other points on the record, there are beats or phrases semi-reminiscent of the older Linkin Park sound. The sounds range from heavy pulsing beats to softer piano ballads, and all the way to an acoustic guitar anthem at to close the album.
This record has been in the works for almost 2 years and in that time the band has been on a self-declared quest to find new and innovative sounds and they did not fail. A Thousand Suns features many different percussion sounds, mostly electronic, but there is also a fair share of organic percussion sounds as well. Synthesized keyboards are heavily used to broaden the soundscape and vocal effects complete the picture.
Brad Delson has clearly delved deeper into the realm of guitar effects, obvious on tracks like "When They Come for Me" and "Wretches and Kings" although tracks such as "Burning in the Skies" feature a more familiar Linkin Park tone.
Joe Hahn takes a much larger DJ role in this album as compared to Minutes to Midnight (2007). His largest feature is at the end of the track "Wretches and Kings" where there is a clear scratch solo at the same level of "Cure For the Itch" of the 2000 album Hybrid Theory. Also throughout the album, predominantly in "Blackout" you can hear Joe mixing samples of vocals, like in the beginning of "Don't Stay" (Meteora 2003)
There are also 3 instances of recordings of famous speeches mixed into tracks, either as and intro in "Wretches and Kings" or as the basis of the entire track in "Wisdom, Justice, and Love" which features a speech from Martin Luther Kind Jr.
Overall this is a very diverse album. Although having many new and fresh sounds, there are still traces and nods towards the older styles on Linkin Park to be found on A Thousand Suns. // 8
Lyrics: A Thousand Suns' lyrics take dynamic leaps from Mike Shinoda's standard lyrics about his musical views, all the way to the end of the world. Chester's lines seem to steer towards a more expressive and emotion feeling. Lyrical themes repeat throughout the album. For example the intro track "The Requiem" features some of the first few lines from the next to last track "The Catalyst".
These lines from "When They Come for Me" seem to sum up a major theme that is represented across the album:
"Once you have the theory of how the thing works,
Everybody wants the next thing to be just like the first,
I'm not a robot"Mike's lyrics in this song lash out against the people who have been saying that Linkin Park should have stuck with their early Hybrid Theory sound. This album's goal was to depart from previous Linkin Park records and create a new sound, so it's natural that the lyrics would represent this concept.
Vocally the album shows many new and familiar sides of both frontmen. Chester's vocals range from heavy frantic screams in "Blackout" to soft controlled and emotional vocals in "Iridescent". The song "Waiting for the End" has a very unique, almost foreign sound while "The Messenger" features heavy soulful singing on top of acoustic guitar.
Mike returns to his rap roots for several tracks like "When They Come for Me" and "Wretches and Kings". The song "Waiting for the End" has seemingly reggae influenced raps. He also contributes his singing voice in songs like "The Catalyst" and several other points throughout the album.
A new addition for this album is group "chanting" vocals found on "The Catalyst" as well as other tracks. Some of these feel like a worthy addition to the song, while others simply feel like a set-up for a live audience participation section.
Finally there is a very interesting vocal in the opening track, "The Requiem". It sounds like a computer generated female voice singing a segment of the lyrics from "The Catalyst", "God bless us everyone, will we burn inside the fires of a thousand suns, for the sins of our hand, the sins of our tongue, the sins of our father, the sins of our young." // 8
Overall Impression: This album, in my opinion, should be judged by itself, and not compared to previous Linkin Park albums. It's much to different from past records to be compared. This new sound is definitely a new direction for Linkin Park and, in my opinion, is a very good one. The band seems to slowly but surely be working its way toward the true Linkin Park sound, and this is another piece in the puzzle.
To me, the most memorable songs from A Thousand Suns are "The Messenger", "Iridescent", and "Burning in the Sky". These three tracks stand out on the album and have stuck in my mind when I wasn away fromt the album.
A great aspect of this album is its consistency. Each time I listen through the album, I feel like I have listened to a true album, not just a collection of songs that happened to be recorded around the same time. Even "The Messenger", a track so distant from anything else on the album seems to blend into the experience. Each song still maintains it's own traits so it doesn't feel like the same song repeated over and over. The album just flows and makes an original album experience. I don't see myself listening to this album by skipping from track to track, but instead starting at the beginning and listening all the way to the end, because the album as a whole builds on itself and flows so well. // 9
A Thousand Suns
DIII 503, on september 24, 2010 2 of 5 people found this review helpful
Sound: Linkin Park is out with their fourth studio album: A Thousand Sons. Interesting to notice, the sound has been quite similar to their new found musical direction- one that was found in Minutes to Midnight. However, this album shows a bit too much of experimentation with ambient elements, which has created a concern that they are deviating away too much from what they used to be. This album is totally devoid of their well known 3 minutes Nu Metal pieces, which they are so popular of. Rather, this work has a mixture of mellow rock, ambient and pop sound and feel to it. To me, that's over experimentation. It contains too many, short interlude tracks which really make it easy to forget. On contrary, the positive aspect is, as LP is know, the songs are well polished in terms of their production quality (this, actually, doesn't need any mention). And I missed Brad's slingy riffs on this album, which kind of wants me to go back to their older works. But, if someone is looking for improvisation and a bit of complexity in the guitar works, this album will deliver well. // 7
Lyrics: The lyrics could've been much better in this album, I would say many of the songs began with catchy verses but then, out of nowhere, they started to get a bit hackneyed. I liked the way The Catalyst started off, saying about the problems of society that are inescapable but then again, the lyrics start to get repetitive (How many times would they have to say God save us everyone, we're a broken people living under a loaded gun). The song Waiting For the End also has a good touch to it. As for singing, it's evident that Chester hasn't displayed his screams regularly. Fact. This album wasn't made for his screams. But he more than managed to keep listeners with his clean vocals, and he sings with versatility. However, Mike's potential as rapper has fallen somewhat. He has failed to throw out his charisma that he used to possess. // 8
Overall Impression: Overall, this album disappointed me somewhat. After listening to Minutes to Midnight, I expected something of more essence than this. They have totally diverted their music into uncharted territories. Not that it's bad to experiment, rather it created a discord in their own sound. They should've, atleast, made some songs akin to their previous works, just to spice up the sound and keep listeners interested. I would have to say, I also fell asleep listening to some of the raps of Mike. It might also split their fan base, as experimentation so often do. To say the least, Linkin Park is not a band that I like but I still wrote the review of what I thought about this album. The band's sound has evolved a lot since those early Meteora and Hybrid Theory days. Although this album had some moments of creativity in it, it's very far away to receive worldwide acclaim. // 7
A Thousand Suns
Msu_Man04, on september 24, 2010 2 of 3 people found this review helpful
Sound: I've been a huge fan of Linkin Park for many years, and I find enjoyment in parts of Minutes to Midnight, so I'm going to be as open about this as I can. I'll pay attention to the fact that I DO prefer Hybrid Theory and Meteora, but change happens, and Linkin Park is not without the talent to do so.
Upon playing the album, I hear an ambient intro track. Yeah, that sounds like new-age Linkin Park alright. I glance at iTunes and see that it is only 2 minutes long. Yeah, that sounds like new-age Linkin Park alright. And the beats come in, and the creepy vocals... Hmm. "The Catalyst" lyrics. Not bad, it's got a cool vibe. So I'm expecting a buildup into an awesome song, right?
Wrong. Dialogue. A full minute. The second track is a minute of dialogue. Thanks guys. Next...
Oh, hey, it's "The Little Things Give You Away!" Wait, no it's not, it's the first legitmate song, "Burning in the Skies". It sounds a LOT like the previously mentioned song, but... It's a neat, soft, cool 6/4 melody. Mike singing, like, GOOD singing. That's new, too. And Chester brings us into an atmospheric chorus, a good sing-along. The track's got a nice sound, not too different from parts of Minutes to Midnight, but... Oh well. So the song has an octave-based guitar solo, fitting of the mood. Repeat chorus. So it sounds like they'll keep us on familiar ground to lead us into this new album. Okay.
Next song. Wait... 20 second track of war noises.
HERE is where the album takes off. "When They Come for Me." This song is the spiritual successor to "Nobody's Listening." It has a... well... headbanging, industrial sounding guitar riff, [quite simple. DUN. DUN. DUN. *rest*] and... Mike rapping. Nice! I like this. Wait, he even just referenced "Points of Authority!" I like this! All of this is over some tribal sounding, crazy dance-drumming. And as Mike tells us to "Try to catch up, muthaf--ka!," it leads into an Aztec-sounding vocal chorus with no real words. Reminds me of the Asian-sounding "Nobody's Listening." So, another verse, chorus, and a bridge part where the song cools off and Chester joins in, singing softly "Oh, when they come for me, come for me, I'll be gone..." I'm eating this up. It's great, and it sounds great. It begins to pick up, and as political as it is, it REALLY works. It all leads back into the chorus and is showing promise. The next song, "Robot Boy," is very piano-based. I was hoping it would be "My December"-like, but... I was a tad disappointed. But this is a definite dim-the-lights-and-grab-your-lighters song. The song doesn't feel like it ever picks up, it has the same sort of epic feel throughout, with various electronic effects throughout. It's not a bad song, but not a staple.
The next song, "Jornada Del Muerto," starts quietly with some muffled Chester singing, which is quite hard to discern. This leads into an electronic-type of solo-type melody thing, which isn't bad, but seems a tad random. The song builds up, but when it's only 1:30, there's not much it can build to, so it drops off, leading into the next song.
"Waiting for the End." This song sounds, at first, heavier than it really is. The first verse features Mike sort-of rapping, but there are like 4 Mikes tracked on top of eachother, and there IS a melody, so it's sort of weird. Chester then comes in, singing... well, another soft thing. So then Chester sings for a little bit, through the chorus and another verse and chorus, then Mike rap-sings another verse. The whole song has an upbeat vibe, and it's not bad, but I think it'll take awhile to click. But the song sort-of takes off at the end, which was well-needed. Ends up about the same as "Robot Boy," but a bit better.
And holy #@%^ing hell, this next song is the surprise of the album. "Blackout." Remember it and remember it well; it's the most pissed off Linkin Park song in awhile [at least the first 3/5 of the song.]. It starts with some quiet synths, then a distant, muffled drum beat. This is followed by some low, bass-y chords that I'm not really sure how to describe, but the mood created by them is awesome. Another synth comes in with a riff, and then the song suddenly speeds up with Chester... rap-singing. Weird... but he sounds a little pissed off in this verse... And now he's screaming his head off in the chorus, and I'm loving it. This sounds like it could've been taken from some Meteora sesions. Chester asks us if we're "f[b]u[/b]cking listening" and then blasts into the chorus screamer again. This song is definitely a catchy one. And then halfway through the song, we get some industrial, mixed, "New Divide breakdown"-like electric guitar chords. With Chester going crazy, sort of, and it's all mixed together and chopped up. Good to know DJ Hahn is still involved. And then, of course, new-age Linkin Park makes it quiet and soft as Mike sings about colors and looking to the sky or something. But then it picks up with those chords again... and it all seems okay when the beat and Chester join in. This song will be great live, and is easily a staple Linkin Park song. Let's go to the next song with high hopes.
Crap, another dialogue song. Wait... no, not a dialogue track, just a small intro into the song. "Wretches and Kings," which a few people have already heard. It starts similar to "When They Come for Me," but a little more... mixed, low, and beat-heavy. Good, Mike's rapping again. I missed that. And not the pussy-rapping in "Hands Held High." [DISCLAIMER: I like that song, I'm not dissing it] So then it breaks down a bit before the chorus so it can build up, and then Chester brings in the chorus, which... I don't care for really. Not very catchy, meh, whatever. But the verses are good. So there's another one of those, and a chorus, and a breakdown. Cool. Oh, record scratching! Finally! Missed that too! And so the song ends.
Next track, "Wisdom, Justice, and Love." Man, this'll be a cheesy song. Wait. Not a song. It's dialogue. But the speech gets distorted... and creepy... and robot-like... And it's actually kinda cool, backed up by some piano chords.
And we go into "Iridescent." Piano intro, slow, cheesy-sounding. Mike is singing quietly, and it's... actually sort of cool. It's nothing like Linkin Park, [or old LP], but it's very atmospheric and... nice. Chester joins in, with his very powerful voice. This song is really an upbeat song about not being afraid or something, or being happy... well, the music communicates it. It's fairly Minutes-to-Midnight like. And halfway through the song we get a true crowd-singing bridge, with... well, a crowd singing. And then it explodes into the chorus, a big sing-along fest... and I really want to see them just so I can join in, no matter how different it is. They've hit something that works.
Next track. "Fallout." Starts with some ambience, with some vocals [extremely robotic at first] with lines from "Burning in the Sky" that get less distorted, and it fades off after a minute, into...
"The Catalyst." I don't care what anyone says, this song is great in my opinion. It's got tons of energy, and is a very angry song. When it explodes, I just wanted to run around and scream. It could've done with a heavy guitar riff, yeah, but the synths still do a good job, and the build-up is great. The second half, [which is the "My December" chord progression. Try to get that out of your head now.] is great as well. Just a good song, a good choice for a first single.
Acoustic guitar? Linkin Park? What? "The Messenger," eh? Better be a good message. Let's try it, it's only 3 minutes anyway. So it's Chester singing... very powerfully. Man, he can scream. Dang, man. He's SCREAMING at times on top of an acoustic and piano, and that's it. In the major scale, no less... Not much to the song. Just a great, powerful, emotional song. A nice closer, really, but... it doesn't fit the rest of the album, really.
So the sound has gone from at times even more experimental than Minutes to Midnight, to exactly the same as Minutes to Midnight, to almost Meteora-esque, to... well... if you're familiar with Linkin Park's pre-Hybrid Theory stuff, Xero, well... Some of it actually sounds like that. Namely, "When They Come for Me" and "Wretches and Kings," the extremely heavy, industrial, electronic sound. Really, I'm impressed, I really am. I came away pleasantly surprised. // 8
Lyrics: Hoo boy. Okay. Well... As we know, Linkin Park has gotten fairly political lately, and that has not changed. Much of these lyrics are about quite political and controversial topics, namely nuclear warfare and the like. But at no point does it seem overdone, really. And Mike bringing his REAL rapping [i.e. more badass] back into the mix is going to be well-received by fans, I'm sure. These song topics range from complete awesomeness and badassery ["When They Come for Me," "Wretches and Kings"] to, like I said, nuclear warfare ["Burning in the Skies"], to what seems to be as an insane internal struggle ["Blackout"]. Really, the lyrics are fine. I like when they write about personal anger, but I don't mind a little politics as long as it stays somewhat modest. Overall, the lyrics weren't too bad. // 8
Overall Impression: Well. I dunno how to put this, so I'm just gonna say it. I think Linkin Park is going to fully "make up for" [in some people's words] of Minutes to Midnight within a few years. The direction they've taken with this album is a good one. It's very clearly recognizing their earlier days, and while it could have embraced it and taken from it a little more than they did, it pleased me quite well. They can experiment, and I think they do everything well no matter what they do. I just hope that they'll keep doing what they've tapped into again on this record, which is that electronic and industrial stuff.
Needless to say, I would indeed recommend this album. It lacks some meat, with only 8 or 9 "real" songs, but the ones that hit definitely hit. Minutes-to-Midnight haters should find a few minutes of solice on this album, even if they don't like the majority of it. A good effort by the Linkin Park guys, and a step in a good direction. // 9
A Thousand Suns
Caboose911, on september 24, 2010 1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: Oh, Linkin Park, how I missed you. That Nu Metal Sound was great! But Minutes to Midnight was such a let-down. Now, you're back with an incredible sound and great vocals!
This album ties itself together very well, with small 1 minute - 2 minute segments of either a speech or a quick little tune, by Hahn.
01. Requiem: a great way to kick off the album, deriving a quote directly from their single, The Catalyst. With some vocalizing in the background, and ambient noises all the way through. The girl's voice however, is a little creepy. 8.5/10
02. The Radiance: this is the first of a few very short, about a minute, speeches that are on this album, very interesting to listen to. Also, very powerful speeches so it add's to the experience. 7/10
03. Burning in the Skies: the first full song on the album. Nice beat, and the lyric's accompany the instruments very nicely. Although, I think this song could have been better if it had their old Nu Metal sound, but it's still good. 8/10
04. Empty Spaces: the shortest bit on the album. Only 18 seconds, it's not really needed in my opinion. It's just crickets chirping, and gunfire, and people yelling. Pretty useless in my opinion, but a cool intro to the next song. 6/10
05. When They Come For Me: this is a very interesting song. Starts off with some rapping by none other than Mike Shinoda. Then when you expect Chester to come in screaming, he comes in singing melodically. It's kind of cool, and the beat is really incredible, but something's missing. 8/10
06. Robot Boy: starts out with a piano intro, it's not a very exciting song. It's just a nice calm song to listen to. The title really has nothing to do with the song. It's alright for the most part, just seems a little out of place. 6.5/10
07. Jornada Del Muerto: a very interesting piece by Mr. Hahn. Sounds really cool, but its only a minute and a half long, so I wish it were longer. But it's kind of cool so I forgive them. 7/10
08. Waiting For The End: starts out with a cool guitar riff, then when I start to think, "Hey, maybe this will be a Nu Metal song!", and then my hopes get shattered by Mike. Comes in rapping and it doesn't sound that bad. Then Chester comes in, yet again, singing Melodically. I like him more as a screamer personally, but he is a truly incredible singer. The chorus of this song really proves this. 8.5/10
09. Blackout: the intro to this song reminded me of Bon Jovi's Livin' on a Prayer, so much, I thought my ipod shuffled. Until Chester started singing. And I finally got to hear Chester scream again! The verses are really good and he sounds good, but the chorus in incredible! Finally he sounds like he used to. It's great. Then in a great Nu Metal guitar 'riff', if you can call it that, Chester comes in screaming, and it sounds great! Then Chester and the guitar fade out, and it becomes a slow song. I was so overly disappointed when this happened. Mike came in singing, and then the guitar came back, but Chester didn't scream for the rest of the song. But no matter what, this is still a favorite from the album. 9/10
10. Wretches and Kings: this song was released about a week ago, and I love it with a passion, it's got a good beat and the guitar sounds really good, even though it doesn't stray from a few different riff's, it still sounds really good. It's got a couple speeches in it which I could care less about. But Chester does sing the chorus which is a highlight in my opinion. All the verses are done by Mike though, so that was a little sad, but he did them well, so it was okay. 9/10
11. Wisdom, Justice, and Love: another speech. This one by far, is my favorite of the speeches, its really cool, and it is very powerful, and the piano accompaniment really sets a mood. His voice fades out into sort of a distorted voice near the end, and all he says is, "Cannot be reconciled for wisdom, justice, and love." It sounds cool is all I can say.
12. Iridescent: the previous track really leads into this. Mike comes in singing some very good lines. And he actually sounds really good, the Chester starts singing, and it all gets even better. A very meaningful song, and very powerful. It's also got great background music attached to it that complete the piece. Very good. 8/10
13. Fallout: another semi-speech, quoting the lines from "Burning in the Skies". It's kind of cool, and sounds neat. The Distortion fades around the end, and you're left with Chester's amazing voice. 7/10
14. The Catalyst: I never really liked The Catalyst that much, I first heard it and just lost a lot of hope for this album. I just feel that it's definitely not one of the best songs they've ever made, I mean, it's decent, but nothing to get excited over. The drum-beat seems too electronic, and just generic really. And personally I don't like the electronic beep's and boop's throughout the song. It does get good when the guitar comes in though.
15. The Messenger: the shortest real song on the album. It's Chester's acoustic song, and he does an incredible job. It's nice and calm, and he sings incredibly. Just a very heart-felt song, and paired with Chester's vocal style, it's just a blur of awesome. A great closer to a great album. 9/10
You can tell that Linkin Park is maturing as musicians but sometimes I wish that wouldn't happen. Their new sound is really good, but isn't quite as good as their Nu Metal sound. Although, I still like it a lot. // 8
Lyrics: Chester never fails to impress, especially with this album. Some songs sound a little forced but it's all quality lyrics so I really enjoyed it. It's definately one of their most impressive album's, lyrically, to date. The lyric's are very well written and are great to hear coming from Chester, or Mike. A few lines especially really stick with you. Almost the whole song, "The Messenger", stick with you and just play through in your head throughout the day which is alright, cause it's a great song.
Needless to say, I really enjoyed the lyrics from this album, and they accompany the music very, very well throughout. The only time I could think of that had needless lyric's would have been in the song "When They Come For Me" For a lot of time at the end, while Chester is belting out some really good lines, Mike is just in the background rapping, "Try not to get jumped, motherf***er!" or something like that. It's just pointless but besides that, the albums lyrics are incredible. // 9
Overall Impression: Overall, I really Liked this album, it has it's downsides like every album, but it's still good. I've been a Linkin Park fan since the beginning and I've always liked them, even through their Minutes to Midnight phase. I liked them more, when they were Nu Metal, but they still write good music! And they can still perform and pull off really what ever they want. // 8
A Thousand Suns
Smokinjoerules1, on september 24, 2010 1 of 4 people found this review helpful
Sound: I will first of all forewarn everybody here.
- WARNING: NOT FOR PEOPLE STUCK IN THE DAYS OF HYBRID THEORY -
Anyway, back to the review. Linkin Park surprised everybody with the release of Minutes to Midnight back in 2007, they've (by reading comments on here) surprised everybody with this release as well.
I would describe the sound now... if I could. This is the least generic album I've ever heard in my life!
Mike Shinoda was right when they said they would deify genres with this record... The new sound is excellent! // 9
Lyrics: Lyrics get you thinking on this album a lot touching on subjects like the recession, and the fall of mankind (yes i said the fall of mankind). Making for some altogether interesting songs being sung.
Mike has definitely improved his singing skills (rapping says the same), when I heard "In Between" off their last album, it was the only song I didn't like because Mike was singing it and didn't do too well at it. But if you listen to "Irridescent" on this album, you'll see his singing skills have vastly improved.
Chester's voice on this album sometimes screams unnecessarily like "The Messenger" and perhaps too much screaming on "Blackout". But other than that he still sounds great! // 8
Overall Impression: I'll break it up track by track and describe it, if I can...
01. The Requiem: Probably the best intro to an album I've heard in a while, eerie electro opening followed by a weird electronic voice :S
02. The Radiance: just atrack seperater really, more or less a speech by someone random.
03. Burning In The Skies: doesn't sound great at first listen, but it will grow on you, a relaxing song that wouldn't sound out of place on an Enrique Inglasias CD.
04. Empty Spaces: another track seperater, with a weird jungle ambience.
05. When They Come For Me: here's where the album kicks off more, a starnge intro beat leading to a kick ass hybrid between Nu-meatl and Bollywood! It sounds great lsiten to it honestly!
06. Robot Boy: put aside the slightly lame intro and there's a pretty good chillaxing track here. Might sound a bit boybandish to some people though :/
07. Jornada Del Muerto: another track seperater sounding pretty much the same as Robot Boy.
08. Waiting For The End: the hippy side of Linkin Park, that is all I will say.
09. Blackout: not the best song on the album really, a lot of unnecessary screaming from Chester.
10. Wretches and Kings: everyone loves a blast from the past! This has more of their original sound in it, yet still sounds different, yet epic! One of my favs off the album.
11. Wisdom, Justice, and Love: a speech by M.L.King jr with a gradually more robotic voice.
12. Iridescent: a beautiful song sung by Mike mainly.
13. Fallout: the great and more built-up version towards The Catalyst
14. The Catalyst: didn't like it when I first heard it (turned out to be the least weird song on the album), but has since grown on me, the intro track before it compliments it excellently!
15. The Messenger: album doesn't end on a high note sadly, an acoustic song ruined by screaming again... album should've ended on The Catalyst.
Overall, I love this album, despite their new sound! Who wants to hear Hybrid Theory remade 4 times in 10 years anyway, I know I don't.
Favourite songs include:
When They Come For Me
Wretches and Kings
If it were stolen, I would buy it again. Mike was also right in saying that this album is best listened to all in 1 go. Well Done Linkin Park! They have delivered once more! // 8
A Thousand Suns
Mithraw, on september 24, 2010 1 of 5 people found this review helpful
Sound: First of all: the overall sound differs a lot from the "classical" Linkin Park sound they once started out with, as in the heavy Hybrid Theory Era - this leads to a lot of controversy between quite a few fans. After all, it is a rather experimental concept album.
The baseline-sound of the album is best described as electronic rock - imagine on a scale of "Minutes to Midnight" by LP meets "Intruders Must Die" by the Prodigy. Quite a few speech/sound-samples from political speeches are used.
Now, for a Song by Song analysis:
01: The Requiem (2:01): a short electro/piano entrance with female singing and a background-chorus
02: The Radiance (0:57): speechsample and some work by mr. hahn in the background, electronic
03: Burning in the Skies (4:13): softer singing, chester in clean voice for the chorus and an edited background-choir with mike shinoda as main voice for the verses. reminds a lot of "Hands held high" or "what I've done".
04: Empty Spaces (0:18): battlefield-sounds
05: When They Come For Me (4:53): *heavy* electronic with an arabic touch, Very Bass-heavy, drums steadily rocking the rhythm in the background. Shinoda rapping again, good to hear. short interlude by chester. 2nd-heaviest track on the album in my opinion.
06: Robot Boy (4:28): piano, a slow choir of voices. again, lot of electronica giving the basic melody. the far-away screams of chester near the end send shivers down your spine.
07: Jornada Del Muerto (1:34): the slow choir singing on in japanese, a nice fade-out to robot-boy.
08: Waiting For The End (3:51): pace picks up again. Distortion kicks in, along with shinoda rapping. The chorus by chester is a heeeavy contrast to the verse, just his singing and drums with some background-voices. In the end, both clash together.
09: Blackout (4:39): synthesizer-intro, till chester's screaming wakes you up and LETS HIM DO THE RAPPING... What the.. And it definitely sounds awesome. Screaming on the chorus, rapping on the verse. This is weird, especially when the electronics kick in hard for the interlude. Mike sings in the end, for a pumping transition into:
10: Wretches and Kings (4:10): this is a BEAST compared to the rest. Intro-Speechsample and extremely heavy electronics. Shinoda doing the verse-rap and chester in an agressive chorus. This is as heavy as it gets on A Thousand Suns. Mr. Hahn gets to work the table too, nice to hear.
11: Wisdom, Justice, and Love (1:38): another speech-sample(MLK), a dark wind in the background. Fades out robotically.
12: Iridescent (4:56): slow, sad, piano, mike and chester singing. got a slight 80s-synth-pop-touch to it. it feels like a follow-up to "shadow of the day".
13: Fallout (1:23): a first little outro from the feeling. Robo-voice and a dark background.
14: The Catalyst (5:39): the 3rd in power on this album. Mike and chester giving away a grand finale. More electronics again, in a nice symbiosis with the heavy guitar-backing.
15: The Messenger (3:01): acoustic guitars, chester singing. When I first heard this track I had a weird combination of green day's "when september ends" and "the little things give you away" in my head. This is a definitive last song on the album as soon as you hear it starting.
Overall: 9, it is a *concept*-album, and the concept in itself fits rather nicely. maybe an 8.5. // 9
Lyrics: 01: The Requiem (2:01): the female singer gives a short insight of what's to come, with a line from the second-last song, the cataclysm. We
02: The Radiance (0:57): Speech-Sample by Robert Oppenheimer, with a hindu parable "Now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds". Seamless link from the Requiem, as a dark second intro to the album.
03: Burning in the Skies (4:13): "I'm swimming in the smoke of bridges I have burned - so don't apologize, I'm losing what I don't deserve." lyrically the negative outcome of "what I've done", stating that we've screwed up. "I use the deadwood to make the fire rise, the blood of innocence burning in the skies".
04: Empty Spaces (0:18): sound-sample, battlefield-sounds with a sergeant talking
05: When They Come For Me (4:53): a short ode-to-self by shinoda - "I'm a tough act to follow". Nicely fits the fan-discussions.
06: Robot Boy (4:28): deeply motivational song, not the deepest of lyrics, pretty straightforward statement to get your a** up and do something about it instead of just complaining how bad everything has become.
07: Jornada Del Muerto (1:34): sorry, japanese somehow didn't compute
08: Waiting for the End (3:51): about a new beginning, the personal restart, "I'm picking up the pieces, know where to begin, the hardest part of ending is starting again". In a deeper sense also a reflection of their previous works, heavily selfcriticising.
09: Blackout (4:39) hard to tell, these lyrics seem very shallow at the beginning, and you get distracted by chester rapping them, but they have a deeper meaning. could be about breaking up a relationship as well as about a manipulative government. this is a tough one.
10: Wretches and Kings (4:10): if you thought "no more sorrow" was too shallow for being a heavy political song, THIS is the one for you. The intro is the speech Free Speech Activist Mario Savio held upon the Berkeley Entrance Steps in 1964 ("you've got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels upon the levers upon all the apparatus and you've got to make it stop") - and the lyrics follow up just as heavy. "the people on top push the people down low", "there's no sh*t we don't run when the guns unload" - "wretches and kings, we've come for you".
11: Wisdom, Justice, and Love (1:38): martin luther king. "Injecting poisonous drugs of hate into the veins of peoples normally humane, sending men home from dark and bloody battlefields physically handicapped and psychologically deranged, cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice and love.." keyword of the speech: "a true revolution of values will lay hand on the world order". Where is this going?
12: Iridescent (4:56): "remember all the sadness and frustration - and let it go"
13: Fallout (1:23): the lyrical fallout of "burning in the skies".
14: The Catalyst (5:39): "God save us everyone, we're a broken people living under loaded gun". This is a echoing scream of all the evil things in "what I've done".
15: The Messenger (3:01): a song of compassion, of remembering who you are, of literally coming home. A beatiful ending.
The lyrics give you a lot to think, to phantasize, but they do not miss to carry their basic meaning the instant you hear them. Solid 10. This album got meaning. First word to the last. // 10
Overall Impression: This is *definitely* no Hybrid Theory crawlback. They tried something new, another different angle of approach to their own musical experience. If maybe you thought "man, this is too weird, soft and experimental for me" when you listened to "Minutes to Midnight", then "A Thousand Suns" maybe just isn't for you - but as it still got it's heavy side at times, and a lot of interesting ideas finally come true (like chester doing the rapping in blackout - the first time you hear it, the style will blow you away), my appeal to everyone would be:
"Get it, or go to a friend who owns it, and listen to it, in it's full length, without any breaks, at least once."
You *will* get the urge to tap back or maybe even forward a song at first, but I really recommend the full deal at least once before you start choosing the tracks.
At times when listening to this album I really missed the "old" LP, the hard and heavy times. But then I listened to the lyrics, fused with the new sound, and figured that Linkin Park has evolved. "When They Come For Me" put this up really good... Some of the old songs made you jump up steadily, made you pump the adrenaline, go haywire, but.. They lacked soul at times. And those guys are here to change that. // 10
A Thousand Suns
slipknot5678, on september 24, 2010 1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: A Thousand Suns shows how Linkin Park have progressed over the years and demonstrates their change in musical direction. Unlike their previous albums, A Thousand Suns is a concept album of sorts and features many segues as well as full length songs.
This album is much more hip hop and electronic oriented than its predecessor, Minutes to Midnight. They include more influences, such as ambient music and Public Enemy (the band cited them as an influence). Every song (excluding The Messenger) includes heavy use of synthesizers and samples. A Thousand Suns is also Linkin Park's most diverse album.
Brad Delson's guitar playing is less predominant on this album. The guitars are still there, but on most songs they are heavily synthesized and often times not an important part of the song. The lack of guitar does not make the album bad, but many songs would be better if the guitars were used more.
Each member performs the music phenomenally. Drummer Rob Bourdon's drumming is better than ever. Pheonix plays the bass as good as he did in the past. DJ Joe Hahn plays a more important role on the album. There is turntable scratching on multiples songs, which is one of the highlights of the album.
Linkin Park experiment more on this album. "The Messenger" is an acoustic song, never done on a Linkin Park album before. A couple songs sound similar to Minutes to Midnights, others sound more similar to their older works, but the album maintains its own unique sound.
The album is composed very well. The full length songs are all great and contribute something different to the album; however, the album would be better if there were a couple more good full length songs and less segues. The segues are good for the most part, but a few of them sound like half written experiments rather than fully worked out songs. Because of this, the album takes a while to pick up; there isn't a full length song until track three. // 9
Lyrics: Lyrically, the album isn't awe-inspiring, but they work well with the music.
Linkin Park were inspired by nuclear warfare, although that is not what the entire album is about. The album's title is a reference to a quote made famous by J. Robert Oppenheimer, who is featured in "The Radiance" as an interviewee. The album also features a speech by Martin Luther King Jr. in "Wisdom, Justice, and Love" and the "Bodies Upon the Gears" speech by Mario Savio in "Wretches and Kings". The speeches work with the music surprisingly well.
Lead vocalist Chester Bennington sings beautifully; his vocals on A Thousand Suns are on par with all of his past work. He goes out of his comfort zone on may songs, he even screams on "Blackout". Mike Shinoda's rapping is present on three songs ("When they Come For Me", "Waiting For the End", and "Wretches and Kings"). The rapping, unfortunately, on A Thousand Suns is not as good as the rapping on past Linkin Park albums or the Fort Minor album. Shinoda's singing is used more, singing in most of the songs. His singing is more powerful than it was before, although it is nothing amazing. // 8
Overall Impression: A Thousand Suns is on par, possibly even better than Hybrid Theory and Meteora, the band's first two albums. It flows beautifully as a concept album. The main problem with the album is the fact that there are not enough full length songs (there are only nine). It would also be a better album if there were more guitar parts and if each member participated on each and every track more often.
Standout songs are "When They Come For Me", "Wretches and Kings", and lead single "The Catalyst". All of the songs are great, even if they don't seem particularly interesting at times.
A Thousand Suns is one of the best albums released this year. It proves yet again that Linkin Park are great musicians and know how to write good music. // 10
A Thousand Suns
Perge, on september 27, 2010 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: Wow...just wow...this album is...different to say the least. This album does build on itself as a concept album...but why? If you love concept albums I suppose this is a good thing. Stylistically...AVA meets the gorillaz in a way 'I'm not to happy about unfortunately. Its as if there trying to fuse their old sound with MtM and it just leaves you feeling like theres not enough there, and alienates fans of both. I get layers and textures and music but...this is taking it to far. AvA has it covered guys. // 4
Lyrics: Lyrics I'll give to them. On their own, the lyrics read like poetry in a time where lyrics are almost an afterthought. They do work with the music. They do work with the time's we're in, but it's as if LP has become detatched, viewing everything from a third person prespective, instead of as it happened to them. Very melodramatic though... I get stuff sucks, but come on guys. Grow up and do something about it. Thats what their lyrics make me feel about the LP. a 7. They we're well written. // 7
Overall Impression: Does it compare to other albums? No. Not at all. If MtM was an equivlent to the black album, then this is load and ReLoad. A couple tracks caught my attention, namely waiting for the End, and Blackout. It was new, and they worked well as songs. But overall this is not an album that holds much replay value for me. Guitar wise...very experimental...but experimental isn't always good. Look at where experimental has taken the "core" scene. Its become a dull blur of noise. To LP i say take a step back. Stop trying to immitate old stadium bands. Its already being covered...and your not bringing alot to the scene unfortuanetly. A six. Because while its new to them...its not that good. // 6
A Thousand Suns
unregistered, on september 24, 2010 0 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: To start this review off, Linkin Park has entirely changed they're sound from anything they've ever done before. In fact, it's ground-breaking. It's a genre that no other artist has ever done before. They make good use of Mr. Hahn's digital sounds to make it feel somewhere in between hip-hop and techno, but they style give it a rock feel. However, there is an obvious difference between the sound here then that of their previous albums, which will leave some fans disappointed with them abondoning much of their rap rock roots. Small little 'short' tracks may annoy some people with their over-abudance, many of them not even mentioning a word in them. The album is a concept album, and one of the few that every song must be listened to understand what is going on. The change feels radical and sudden, with a limited amount of transition from previous albums, but overall Linkin Park does a good job presenting this. // 7
Lyrics: The lyrics are very well crafted, almost every line smoothly flows from one to the next. Their is a noticible amount of swearing in certain songs, and in one paticular one (When They Come For Me) feels a little bit to much. The swearing does not take away from the power of the rest of the lyrics. With less rap, most people would think that Mike Shinoda would not be doing much vocal work. But yet he and Chester work the same as they have in the past-Mike does the verses for the majority and Chester does almost all of the choruses. Mike's vocal work compliments the lyrics brilliantly, while Chester lacks the power Mike has, he makes up for it in his high-pitch and his famous scream at appropriate times. Exerts from speeches are also thrown in certain songs to add to the lryics, and are powerfully spoken (One was by Martin Luther King Jr.). The lyrics are the true highlight of the album. // 9
Overall Impression: For the most part, this album is stellar. And yet, there feels like there's something missing. It wouldn't have hurt to throw in some of the classic rap-rock songs in that they do so well, or even a bit of a heavier feel to some songs that needed it. It lacks some of the magic Hybrid Theory had. On the other hand, the story is brilliant and intelligently political, the ground-breaking genre is radical but it works for the most part and the lyrics are perfectly played out. If you're looking for the next Hybrid Theory, anyone else who wants a refreshment from modern rock and music all together should definitely check this album out. // 8
A Thousand Suns
Jakelman10, on november 01, 2010 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: One of the greatest challenges in the music scene today is to create your own genre and create it with passion. Linkin Park has proved as an elite force in the art of combining rock and hip-hop, along with electronic tones that adhere two different styles mutually. After much commercial success, the band decided it was time to move on and with their fourth and newest album, they seem to have found their footing to progress in this direction. This album, while built around solemn subject matter but electronic fast-paced tracks, revolutionizes modern rock with sweet raw and organic resonance with every song. While keeping the electronic elements persistent, the band has successfully once again made a piece or art with such dexterity, and well crafted song-writing, not only composed but crafted as well. The album secretes a pure almost heavenly sound that leaves you in a trance-like-state that you can't just seem to snap out of. Each track, so precisely mastered and produced, stands out and stands together. Rick Rubin once again tackled the challenge to produce a unique blend of both ambient and compressed sounds and he does this with poise and in the end, is triumphant.
"When it came to doing things that felt very much like older Linkin Park, like mixing hip-hop with a rock chorus, [we] felt like, if we were going to do it, we need to really do it in a way that felt natural and felt original and felt like it was something we hadn't done in the past," says lead singer Chester Bennington. He goes on to describe the album has, less technical and more organic. // 9
Lyrics: Unlike past albums, A Thousand Suns, is more political than personal. Unlike the usual lyrics of hate, contempt and resentment, the band speaks out against the problems within American society and within the government, going as far to distorting Martin Luther King Jr.'s voice on Wisdom, Justice and Love, a true anthem.
Not every raw rock album must be distorted, especially one by Linkin Park as it would be expected. Iridescent, shows to be a still song with a U2 anthem quality to it even credited with crescendos into a soft piano pressing along, a truly beautiful hymn composed with such elegance and raw emotion.
This move from rap-metal to more melodic song structures with cinematic effects holds true to the bands original sound along with allowing new fans to come and embrace the heart-pounding paced tracks, a true blend of electronic beats and hearty hip-hop influences such as When They Come For Me. // 9
Overall Impression: If you are a looking for a new original sound, but aren't threatened by seeing a number one billboard song on an album this is made for you. Loaded with anthems, ballads and just pure techno-rock, this truly makes its mark in rock n' roll and shows no hesitation of backing down anytime soon. Rock will soon make its way to revolve around Linkin Park's original style using synthesizers and heavy guitar power chords, but no one will quite pull it off quite like Linkin Park does so eloquently. // 9
A Thousand Suns
Caleb Weyant, on november 03, 2010 0 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: To start out... Linkin Park never ceases to amaze me in how they come up with new ways to reinvent themselves. I love all of their albums and this is no exception. I am constantly amazed by the amount of programming and sampling that has been done on the album. At times it seems alittle too much though...
Songs that really stuck out to me were:
Blackout - Alot of people said the synth riff and screaming clashed... Well I agree but it clashed in an amazing way! This song IMo is one of the best on the record and definitely worth listening all the way through.
The Messenger - This somehow reminded me of a mix between The Little Things Give You Away and Leave Out All The Rest. I don't know how but being so stripped down to a singer, guitar, and piano is something that LP has never done. This album is full of new sounds from Linkin Park and this is no exception. The rawness makes the whole album seem raw lyrically... And gives more meaning to the speeches integrated in the music.
Wretches And Kings - My first impression was a blast from Linkin Park's Past. The scratch solo and rap make the song feel like a electronic version of WITH YOU. The reggae style lyrics in the chorus is the only thing that I DISLIKE about the song. Screaming the lyrics IMO would have fit in much nicer like in NOBODY'S LISTENING.
Waiting For The End To Come - Very well done song... Very Deceitful beginning with heavier guitar riff but transforms into a reggae/ hiphop beat. I like mikes rapping which I think shouldve have been done in both verses instead of just one which to me makes the song seem out of balance. Chester singing is done very well and I really enjoyed that.
Wisdom, Justice, and Love/Iridescent - I grouped these two songs together because to me they just flow perfectly. Sad singing by Mike lead Chester into the chorus sounds absolutely amazing. In the second verse the sample gives me the impression of hope that I think this song wants to convey in the end... That just really stood out...
The Catalyst - IMO this is not a great song. But very note worthy. Stealing a quote from A CHRISTMAS CAROL was very clever and made me want to listen to the song more. As I listen to the end it reminds me of a WHAT I've DONE guitar to very low volume which I think gave the song some meat rather than just synth, electronic drums, and bass. Good song all in all.
I didn't go song by song because these are the songs that really stick out to me. All the others just seemed empty and not really noteworthy sorry if you disagree but first half feels like one big intro to a real song Waiting For The End To Come. // 9
Lyrics: I was BLOWN AWAY. This records lyrical substance has blown away any of the others by far... In the past linkin park has really just sounded just ticked off and not offering hope. Now this has gotten it right. I see a sign of hope with the ending track. It is a new side of LP I haven't heard EVER. The most amazing vocal song on the record is The Messenger. Bringing all the record, Speeches; Songs; and "intros", to a close. Chester's singing (not screaming) capabilities blow me away in this album. Supplemented by rapping and singing of Mike the two make an amazing vocal pair that could produce alot more albums in the future. // 10
Overall Impression: This record remind me of a remixed minutes to midnight. That's the only explanation have for it. It is so different from original LP that it is hard to swallow. Even with that I LOVE alot of the songs on this album including: Black Out, Waiting For The End To Come, Wretches And Kings, Wisdom Justice And Love/Iridescent, The Catalyst, and The Messenger.
Even though I love this new sound I still think having more "Nu Metal" guitar would please me more... But all in all this is a very impressive record.
Well Done LP you have done it again. // 8
A Thousand Suns
Lyri-x, on march 31, 2011 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: Linkin Park have an incredible story behind them, and despite the extreme differences heard in A Thousand Suns, a true music fan must appreciate the musical techniques, developments and passion put behind this album. The members of Linkin Park have proven to be very instrumentally talented but as shown more significantly on this album; they are extremely gifted behind a computer screen. Despite the record being very technologically based the sound is very powerful and raw, whether it is the clean, moving sound of the piano in 'Iridescent' or the striking, pounding synth pads in 'When They Come for Me.' // 9
Lyrics: Linkin Park have not changed their lyrical styles but are portraying them in different ways. In A Thousand Suns you will still find lyrics of hopelessness, anger and passion that were seen in earlier albums. The band took a turn for the surprising by including love as a theme in some of the songs, and Chester Bennington manages to pull them off with his unique voice and lyrical skills which have been evidently pushed to the max in all of his albums. Despite the changes, Linkin Park's lyrics in A Thousand Suns are haunting, inspiring and challenging. // 9
Overall Impression: This is an exceptional album because of the progression behind it and the breaking of boundaries. A Thousand Suns was interestingly compared to Radiohead's Kid A as an album when it was released, because of the stylistic changes. Admittedly, some songs seem to be present for filler purposes but their sound is still beautiful and the power of the other songs on the album makes up for this. The song 'The Radiance' is a particularly powerful song even though it is not a main song on the album. The musical exploration that went behind the making of this album is incredible and can be heard clearly, the negative attitudes are mainly from fans who miss the days of Hybrid Theory. On that note I would say, if you can only buy one Linkin Park album; choose Hybrid Theory. But if you are a music fan looking for depth and insight and passion in an album, buy A Thousand Suns. // 10
A Thousand Suns
o0kasra0o, on september 20, 2012 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: 2 years ago when this album came out I remember I was so pissed off because I was hoping for an album like "Meteora", and it was a complete different music... I don't want to be a stupid LP fan who says all of LP works are awesome and kicka-s but "A Thousand Suns" is really a masterpiece. First of all to get into this album I recommend that you get a good headphone and listen to it at a night and you better be alone. And try to listen to it carefully. From the Epic beginning of the album to the slow, peaceful moments of "Messenger" you will sink in the atmospheric theme of the album. I don't know why I hated it. I wanted to write a track by track review and be more critical at the songs but I think it spoils the feelings of the album. The only bad thing about the sound is that sometimes it gets noisy. // 9
Lyrics: Best Linkin Park lyrics ever. All of the songs have great lyrics but the problem is that despite that this is a concept album there are some songs that have nothing to do with nuclear bomb. Overall lyrics are much better than "Meteora" and "Hybrid Theory" or "M2M". // 9
Overall Impression: I love that each song from this album has a unique sound and impact of the album as whole. I would buy it again if it was stolen. My fav songs: "Burning In Skies" - "Catalyst" - "Messenger" - "Iridescent" - "Waiting For The End" (all of the songs are great). This is probably LP s best work (I never thought I would say this :D). // 9