After spending some more time with Rick Rubin after midnight, Linkin Park see the sun.
It's hard to believe that it's been over three years since the release of Linkin Park's multi-platinum selling 'Minutes to Midnight' but now deep into 2010 they release 'A Thousand Suns'. With 'Suns' Chester, Mike and co once again record with Rick Rubin. The legendary producer who's worked with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Beastie Boys and onetime Linkin Park collaborator Jay-Z. Well on the more mature, atmospheric sounding 'A Thousand Suns' Linkin Park prove that even if they have '99 Problems' a hit record aint one.
This record has so much depth of sound and is so atmospheric that it might be the most audibly gratifying record the band has done. The set is introduced with 'The Requiem' and 'The Radiance' a haunting intro with vocals from Mike Shinoda (if you can believe that) and a radiant opening track that is classic (new) Linkin Park.
LP's new LP sounds futuristic and also varies with tone, all whilst maintaining the same pace. At times it's compellingly dark and at others it's beautifully light. Also at times it's calm and then it's almost rageful, but listen to this album in the background and it would be hard to tell as the production is so tight that everything comes together perfectly. It's an easy but satisfying listen. It almost sounds like a score or a soundtrack to a computer game. It's probably no coincidence that one of the best examples of this is the track 'Fallout'. Even the ballad 'Robot Boy' is so out of this world, but yet so beautiful that you would think it was written for a sci-fi movie. This whole album in fact is one science experiment that yields incredible results
The last two LP albums have seemed to move away from the younger, angst-ridden and more commercial sound of the first two records. Now although 'Hybrid Theory' and 'Meteroa' are brilliant and defining albums, it's good that Linkin Park can move with the times and grow as a band. Maybe this 'new' sound isn't for everyone, but even though there's a shift in the way the band do things their original integrity and style remains throughout. This is a mark of a truly great band for the ages. This is what happens when people work with a guy like Rick Rubin. He brings the best out of an artist and shows them new ways to paint a picture, but he always ensures that the artist still uses the same brush.
Think the old Linkin Park are gone? Than listen to the standout track 'Wretches & Kings' and think again. Throw this record on at a party and people could be mistaken for thinking it's classic Linkin Park and you know what? After a couple of listens it is classic Linkin Park. The lyrics go to battle with the powers that be and the chorus is the perfect rally cry "Feel alone, final blow/We, the animals, take control/Hear us now, clear and tall/Wretches and kings, we come for you." The track also pays homage to Public Enemy's Chuck D and with the track 'Wisdom, Justice, and Love' featuring a speech from Martin Luther King it's clear that Linkin Park don't just have something new to hear. They've got something more to say and it's time for them to act out. This album acts as a vehicle for the band speaking out about nuclear issues and they do this by striking the core with full force.
Throughout this record the band go through a real evolution of sound. The creativity on this album pushes the envelope but is so controlled that it still delivers. With 'A Thousand Sons' Linkin Park and Rick Rubin's talents burst together in a might splendor and what were left with is pure radiance, but look up the Indian Sanskrit Text, "Bhagvad Gita" (which this album was named after), because that puts it better. TIM DAVID HARVEY