Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Linkin Park "A Thousand Suns" by Madli Sepp

Linkin Park is an American rock band from California, USA, which was formed in 1996. The band has released four albums and has had tremendous success with each one of them. The first album went Diamond and multi-platinum in several countries followed by three more albums that all topped the Billboard charts. The last album A Thousand Suns was released in September 2010 and was no exception when it comes to success.
Linkin Park plays alternative rock/metal, mixed with rap and hip-hop and has succeeded to adapt these genres to a radio-friendly style.

A Thousand Suns can be classified among those certain kind of albums that follow a specific theme throughout the album and carry a deep message. Although it received great feedback, many long-time fans were not so eager to listen to it, because the band had done something totally new and less conventional. The theme of the album is strongly political and talks about the human kind’s biggest danger – nuclear war. It is an album that must be listened as a wholesome packet, so to treat every song individually is somewhat pointless. Although, the album does contain tracks that can be listened separately, the full effect still forms when they are listened in the given context.

The lyrics from the first introductory song: "God save us, everyone, we will burn inside the fires of a thousand suns" make a dramatic start. The second song, being only 3 seconds longer (2:01), is an interview with J. Robert Oppenheimer. This pattern of speeches occurs also in Wisdom, Justice, and Love with a speech of Martin Luther King, Jr and in Wretches and Kings where the speech belongs to Mario Savio.

The third song Burning in the Skies is a first full-length song that carries a mellow mood and nice piano sound. Fourth song, Empty Spaces is again a sequel with 18 seconds of chirping grasshoppers, gun shots and distant shouts. Fifth song, When They Come For Me, is the most Linkin-Park-like-song with pristine drum sounds and rap that truly kick-starts the war theme and sets the right mood. It is followed by Robot Boy, with stunning piano intro; and although all these amazing sounds take you instantly somewhere else, one should still not forget that alongside these fearsome tunes, the lyrics are definitely worth listening to for they have truly gone the whole way when writing them.

The sixth song Waiting for the End is probably the most famous one from the album, for it has been played on our radio stations for months and is apparently the most radio-friendly song, with catchy music and lyrics. What distinguishes it from other songs is also this fake impression that it’s a positive song when it actually talks about, as the title itself says, – the end.

However, this positive impression does not last, because the gloomy sounds, combined with speech sequels are back to stay. It’s also nice to hear Chester Bennington’s famous scream in Blackout and see that their old style is still remained. So: “Fuck it Are you listening?”

The culmination of the album is definitely The Catalyst. Here the epic lyrics from the first intro song are heard again, but with the most effective electronic sounds. And just as the emotions are in the highest point the album suddenly ends with the last song The Messenger which light guitar sounds leave you kind of uneasy and...waiting for the end.

A Thousand Suns is definitely not an album full of fa-la-la-fa-la-la songs that you can listen to make your car drive more fun or sleep more peaceful. Linkin Park has made something remarkably different and REAL. This mixture of genres accompanied by deep lyrics may not suit for everyone, but if you want to gain something more from music than just a background sound, than this album is certainly worth listening to.

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