Linkin Park – One More Light
Released: 19th May, 2017
Chester Bennington // Vocals
Mike Shinoda // Vocals, Rhythm Guitar, Synthesizer, Keyboard Piano
Brad Delson // Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals
Dave Farrell // Bass, Backing Vocals
Rob Bourdon // Drums
Mr Joe Hahn // DJ
The road to One More Light has been a pretty tumultuous one for LP fans following massive worldwide global backlash after the release of their first single ‘Heavy‘ which infact was the complete opposite in sound compared to the title, but we’ll push that factor aside because they did tell us this album was going to be completely different compared to previous ones, however things started to go downhill when frontman Chester Bennington began telling fans to “Shut the Fuck Up” when it came to criticism of the song and even went as far as telling us all to get over it. Well, for a fan of the band for years (including some of their more commercially successful albums) I have held onto hope that maybe this album wouldn’t be as bad as we imagined and maybe it was just a case of two songs that were misses surrounded by a whole bunch of winners. The only way to find out was by sitting down and going through the ten one by one…
‘Nobody Can Save Me‘ begins and immediately all you hear is that muffled EDM shit most pop acts have whored to the absolute shithouse on the radio lately, a soft beat and finger clicking follows as Chester Bennington comes in singing his lungs out (minus screaming) heading towards the chorus which is full of synth sounds, that creepy muffled EDM shit from earlier and a wob-wob (however you spell it) hint of dubstep. It’s a very pop-tastic song that you would imagine Justin Bieber singing to your teenage daughter while you death glare the prick from 200 meters away. I feel awkward hearing a grown man sing with this kind of music behind him, mid-life crisis anyone? Lets’ move onto ‘Good Goodbye‘ featuring rappers Pusha T and Stormzy (who I have never heard of before until this exact moment) who’s input reflects that stereotypical try hard gangster shit about being stuck in jail and getting hard done by. Linkin Park‘s own rapper Mike Shinoda opens the track with his signature rap/rock vocals and it’s great, not as heavy or in your face like previous songs such as ‘In The End‘ from Hybrid Theory or ‘Faint‘ from Meteora, but more of a soft, yet still punchy vibe. Believe me, I used to be a rap/hip-hop fan back in the day but what I’m hearing now is just another attempt at capitalising on the success of others, it offers nothing new to the genre and to me, Mike Shinoda is the best thing about this song. ‘Talking to Myself‘ is the first time I’ve heard a guitar so far but it’s drowned out by what sounds like a Calvin Harris [he’s a DJ rock fans] dance music soundtrack leading us up to Chester
whingeing singing quite softly with a hint of attitude behind him. The chorus vibe feels like an old 70‘s/80‘s uptempo blend of R&B, disco with a drop of rock. Its hard for me to explain but once you hear it, you’ll get what I mean. All I can think of is Donna Summer and those old R&B all female groups my Mum used to play when I was a kid. The band was right, this is soooo different for even them. It’s catchy, but not the kind of thing you’d be proud to catch.
‘Battle Symphony‘ was the second song released (I stopped listening after ‘Heavy‘ to wait until I could review the album in full) and all I can think of now is… okay, I get it now. This album is targeted to women who enjoy easy listening, motivation supporting anthems. Think back to when Birds of Tokyo got stuck in that Mum Rock phase when they released the album March Fires in 2013 with singles like ‘Lanterns‘, ‘This Fire‘ and ‘When the Night Falls Quiet‘, they were good and listenable but so far removed from the band’s earlier work. This album is Linkin Park‘s Mum Rock album. That’s the only explanation, especially with lyrics like “I hear my battle symphony, all the world in front of me, if my armor breaks, I’ll fuse it back together”. I know right, it’s so bad you kinda feel sorry for them, but it gets worse “Battle symphony, please just don’t give up on me and my eyes are wide awake”. Nothing screams desperation like someone begging for something not to end. In this case I can’t wait to move onto the next song which is ‘Invisible‘ and we welcome back Mike Shinoda to the spotlight only now he’s singing pleasantly and clear nowadays too, but it doesn’t help to save the song in any way. There’s a common theme of little drummer boy-esque snare beats happening I’ve picked up on during a few songs now. They’re quite subtle but the overzealous EDM shit in the background dominated most of what you’ll hear. Now, it’s either a piano or jewelry box music that fades the song out as we then move onto my favourite mistake from the band ‘Heavy‘. I’ve been quite vocal in my disapproval of this overproduced song and not one opinion of mine has changed, no matter how many times I force myself to listen to it, I still come out the other side with the same mentality of this being a waste of studio space. It is EXACTLY like 85% of the songs on the Top 40 Charts right now. Bieber, Sheeran, Chainsmokers and all the female singers that sound exactly the same as Kiiara (the guest singer). She is a carbon-copy of Selena Gomez, Zara Larson, Alessia Cara and Halsey and offers nothing they haven’t done before. If you think I’m being factious, go listen to any of their songs and tell me they sound different. I’ll be waiting…
‘Sorry for Now‘. I gave it a chance and hoped it may change my opinion but once that shitty, sound effect popped up I was instantly turned off. If someone knows what to call it [the peaking/popping high pitched voice that sounds like it’s saying “dab, dab, doh, dab”], it’ll make explaining it to the uninformed so much easier. Shinoda sings, Chester raps but other than that, it’s just another overproduced pile of crap disguised as music. ‘Halfway Right‘ combines the repetitive dance music we’ve heard so far, with a piano and bass line drop deep enough to make your heart skip a beat if you’ve downed an illegal amount of Fireball shots (which may be the only thing that’ll make the rest of this album an enjoyable experience). Oh yeah, there’s bloody “nah-nah’s” in there too… NEXT! ‘One More Light‘ the title track is up and we’re treated to a repetitive ballad that sounds as if it was half-arsed in the recording studio, simple lyrical content and a feeble attempt at emotion behind the singing. Finally we’re at the end with ‘Sharp Edges‘ rounding out the experience and immediately we’re greeted by an acoustic guitar playing which has a similar sound to Avicii‘s ‘Hey Brother‘ and Milky Chance, which makes sense considering the band are obviously going for that EDM styled cross genre theme. The chorus however sounds strangely as if they tried to attempt country music while they’re shoveling everything else they can into this album, Chester sings “Sharp edges have, consequences I, guess that I had to find out for myself. Sharp edges have, consequences now, every scar is a story I can tell”. An ode to trying something they thought was a good idea at the time, only to realise how wrong they were later…
Right, One More Light has officially killed this once reputable band’s brand. I’m not exaggerating either. Anything you knew and loved from Linkin Park in the past has been erased from existence. This isn’t what I (as a fan) signed up for, there is no connection to any of their previous work evident here (not even a little bit). It’s also as if they hired someone to write their music who specialises in tweeny pop-crap produced to make kids think what they’re listening to is good music. They’ve lost all credibility. This isn’t LP. This is some other entity posing as a band that was once well known around the world, but has now ended up running their name into ground.
Linkin Park – One More Light track listing
01. Nobody Can Save Me
02. Good Goodbye
03. Talking to Myself
04. Battle Symphony
07. Sorry for Now
08. Halfway Right
09. One More Light
10. Sharp Edges
To see where I think Linkin Park got it all wrong, click here
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