Sound — 7
Linkin Park was formed in 1996 and released their debut album, "Hybrid Theory," in 2000, which led to international fame. Since that time Linkin Park has released 5 studio albums. They've previously messed around with remixes as well, but "Recharged" is the strongest effort in this regard. The production of the album was completed by Mike Shinoda and Rick Rubin. There are 14 tracks on the album, with a runtime of almost 70 minutes. The only new song on the album is "A Light That Never Comes," which is the first track, and the album closes out with a remix of that same song. A few of the songs from "Living Things" are remixed more than once on the album. The album opens up with the new track, "A Light That Never Comes," which is already a dubstep track in its original form. The high point of this album is the lyrics, though it does have an infectious beat, as well. Next up is "Castle of Glass," which was remixed by producer Mike Shinoda. It opens with some heavily processed vocals, but by the first time the bass drops - at around a minute and 45 seconds - I was won over. "Lost in the Echo" was remixed by KillSonik, and this is definitely one of my favorite remixes - it has a super HEAVY bass drop. "Victimized" is next up, and this is another track remixed by Mike Shinoda, and it stays pretty intense from beginning to end. "I'll Be Gone" was remixed by Vice and also includes Pusha T. This track definitely has a strong hip-hop feel to the music, which works really well with the guest vocals by Pusha T on the remix. "Lies Greed Misery" is a Dirtyphonics remix, which is very "wub" heavy from the very beginning of the track and probably the most heavily remixed track on the album. "Roads Untraveled" was remixed by Rad Omen and also features Bun B, and this track has a cool ambient thing going on for a lot of the track. "Powerless" was remixed by Enferno, and is almost more of a "house music" or standard "techno" remix than it is dubstep. "Burn It Down" was remixed by Tom Swoon, and this is another track that is more in the realm of house music than it is dubstep. "Until It Breaks" was remixed by Datsik, and has a very cool "bass drop." "Skin to Bone" was remixed by Nick Catchdubs and features Cody B. Ware and Ryu on the track, as well. This track has a cool creepy hip-hop vibe to it. "I'll Be Gone" was remixed by Schoolboy, and this is another one where the beat takes precedence over most of the other aspects of the music. "Until It Breaks" was remixed by Money Mark as a "Headphone Remix," and I can definitely see why you would call this a headphone remix - there is some interesting stuff going on with the panning. The album closes out with the Rick Rubin "reboot" of the new track, "A Light That Never Comes." It has a cool tribal drum thing going on, as well as an acoustic piano and a lot of "world" instruments. It is a much more minimal track than a lot of the other tracks on the album, but also one of my favorites.
Lyrics — 7
After just recently reviewing another album with Chester Bennington, it is interesting to hear his vocals more in his own style. It makes a world of difference. As far as the lyrics on this album go, all but one of the songs are remixes so I don’t want to be treading over old ground and discuss them. I will, however, provide a sample of the lyrics from the new track, "A Light That Never Comes," with Steve Aoki: "Nah, you don't know me/ Lightning above and a fire below me/ You cannot catch me/ cannot hold me/ You cannot stop, much less control me/ When it rains, it pours/ When the flood gates open brace your shores/ That pressure don't care when it breaks your doors/ Say it's all you can take, better take some more/ Oh, 'cause I know what it's like to test fate/ Had my shoulders pressed with that weight/ Stood up strong in spite of that hate/ Oh, the night gets darkest right before dawn/ What don't kill you makes you more strong/ And I've been waiting for it so long/ the nights go on/ waiting for a light that never comes/ I chase the sun/ waiting for a light that never comes/ Oh, Waiting for a light that never comes." I was very intrigued by the lyrics to this track, which I read before listening to the track.
Overall Impression — 7
It comes down to this - there are people who like dubstep and dubstep remixes and there are those people who do NOT like dubstep. Do yourself a favor - if you don't like dubstep then don't bother with this album. For the rest of us, I thought this was a really solid dubstep/remix album. Honestly, I'm not the hugest fan of Linkin Park and I thought this remix was better than the original songs. I was especially impressed with the new track, "A Light That Never Comes," and I also appreciated the lyrics from that track. I actually enjoyed the Rick Rubin "reboot" of "A Light That Never Comes" more than the original track. I also really enjoyed "Skin To Bone (Nick Catchdubs Remix)," "Roads Untraveled (Rad Omen Remix)," and "Lost in the Echo (KillSonik Remix)." At the end of this day, this is just a remix album, but for what it is it was done well.