Sound — 7
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.
Lyrics — 6
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.
Overall Impression — 7
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.