# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Linkin Park - Linkin Park

  by Jeff Thiessen

published: 6 / 10 / 2010

Linkin Park - Linkin Park


In his 'This Metal Sky' column, Jeff Thiessen explains why he finds Linkin Park's latest album 'A Thousand Suns' to be completely lacking of any real meaning or focus

“A mind that questions everything, unless strong enough to bear the weight of its ignorance, risks questioning itself and being engulfed in doubt. If it cannot discover the claims to existence of the objects of its questioning - and it would be miraculous if it so soon succeeded in solving so many mysteries - it will deny them all reality, the mere formulation of the problem already implying an inclination to negative solutions. But in so doing it will become void of all positive content and, finding nothing which offers it resistance, will launch itself perforce into the emptiness of inner revere” -Emile Durkheim Linkin Park stand for nothing. They never have and the smart money says that isn’t likely to change no matter what they decide to record as a group from this point on. This isn’t to say absolutely every performer has to represent stationary forces with every inch of their being. That’s nonsense. Instead, let me put it this way: it’s easy to scoff at those who wear Vladimir Lenin t-shirts as opposed to reading his commie literature fervently, but in this day and age, it just isn’t practical to assume the latter are the game-changers. Sadly, some of the biggest social influences are starting to emerge from an incredibly pedestrian standpoint, since it’s much easier for the commoners to align themselves with a cause rooted in pure simplicity. Minimalism does seem to be a way of life more than ever these days, but probably not in the sense Epicurus had in mind. Linkin Park on the other hand, seems to have been doing all in their power to keep a galactic gap between them and their inexplicably large fan-base. The fact that they’re still highly relevant says more about our society’s contemporary embrace of anything that doesn’t challenge us on an intellectual or personal level, than it really does about the music about Linkin Park. Cheap thrills. There seems to be no more appropriate two-word combination in the English language that can successfully describe the plight of Linkin Park. ‘A Thousand Suns’ is no different; in fact, it seems to push this concept into new, almost perversely remote areas that only the truly brain-dead lost souls dare wander. Listening to Linkin Park’s most recent effort is depressing. The music contained on this album is automaton glory, sonic adventures for those who interpret cheap sentiment as applicable reports on the human condition. Whatever path of logic or calculated risk that seemed to spoon-feed Linkin Park to the adolescent masses in the early stages of this millennium, are more than conspicuously absent. You may read somewhere that ‘A Thousand Suns’ is comparable to ‘Kid A’ in its grand vision and scope. If you do read this, my recommendation is you immediately delegate the author of this insane stupidity to the blacklisted, discarded pile you lump any of the other blithering idiots in your life who equate preposterous hyperbole with high art. ‘Kid A’ is an industry landmark, an indisputable classic that ranks among rock music’s highest achievements. ‘A Thousand Suns’ is pro-tools on steroids, and worse, living proof Linkin Park has officially given up. ‘A Thousand Suns’ is a deafening black hole. I’m well aware Linkin Park has never been the most authoritative of groups, preferring to let cryptic, wailing sentiment preside prominently over taking the time to say anything worthwhile or inspired, but the wimpy effort of this album is still appalling, stunning. Surely we can’t be expected to interpret flighty, glitched out, by-the-numbers electro trash as anything but what they really are: contras in the most anti-climactic manner in regards to the original definition of the word. There is no revolution here as the hype would lead you to believe, instead a pathetic whimper that reaches few, and touches even fewer. A part of me really wanted to commend the effort here, as it’s now abundantly obvious Linkin Park are finally acutely aware they never really meant anything to the world. Now instead of a vague, half-assed attempt to convince us otherwise, at least for the duration of their album, we have big, loud computerized beats that would sound truly excellent pumping through a grand Bose sound system (with ‘Blackout’ proving to be the primo example of this). Still, I couldn’t even truly come to grips with accolades on such a resigned level, just because the white flag Linkin Park waves is presented in such a craven rhythm. Everything you need to know about ‘A Thousand Suns’ comes in the form of the album’s first two songs, ‘The Requiem’ and ‘The Radiance’. Both are forty second long instrumental filler. I’ve been listening to music on a frequent basis for the last fifteen years of my life, and for the life of me, I cannot remember any opening effort so openly strive for pronounced ennui. The fucking cowardice here simply must be heard to be believed. It’s almost impossible to get rid of the rotten swine taste in your mouth after those two tracks, and I wouldn’t blame you one bit if you didn’t feel the need to give any of the subsequent tracks a chance after the opening effort, but in fairness to Linkin Park, there actually are a few standouts on ‘A Thousand Suns’, although they all come in the last half. This all but ensures the first half will prove to be completely worthless, so really we’re looking at a sub-standard EP here. ‘Jordana Del Muerto’ somehow stumbles into an identity of being aimlessly pretty, a fairly wonderful little two minute track that never overstays its welcome and quickly morphs into one of the more sublimely beautiful songs the band has ever recorded. Basically, it sounds like an instrumental Nine Inch Nails would be proud of, which certainly isn’t the highest compliment I could bestow upon a track, but for the sake of context here, that ranks as downright mind-blowing. ‘Wisdom, Justice and Love’ seemingly goes for the same effect and nearly succeeds....but I guess I just didn’t love the idea of one of the most passionate Martin Luther King Jr. quotes being robotically programmed in the form of some misguided attempt at a late-album interlude. But for every semi-well executed idea on ‘A Thousand Suns’ that is comfortable with their new identity as a bass-heavy coffee house band, there are two ‘ballads’ that are very nearly completely unlistenable. ‘Waiting For the End’, a surefire upcoming single waiting to pollute the airwaves of whatever FM radio station in your neighbourhood who specializes in marketing safe, contemporary danceable rock as ‘cutting edge’, gives us some of the most sophomoric lyrics since Billy Corgan did on ‘Mellon Collie’. Take a look for yourself: “I know what it takes to move on/I know how it feels to lie/All I wanna do is trade this life for something new/Holding on to what I haven’t got”. Told you. And even worse is the closing track ‘The Messenger’. Without a doubt, this ranks among some of the most grossly miscalculated attempts at climactic sincerity that exists in current music. I’d rather listen to a tape of baby seals getting clubbed to death than let ‘The Messenger’ grace my iTunes again. Above all, ‘A Thousand Suns’ is visceral proof Linkin Park no longer has a home in music today. This is the sound of helpless flailing in the throes of an industry that no longer cares to carve out corners for Cali boys with a vacant sound and even more vacant words. No resolution is in sight here, and I’d put it the odds at 3-2, at least, that even the most loyal fans will be heavily reluctant to classify this effort as anything less than a swan song in the most lame sense of the term. Often times I have written about records being vindicated over time, and while I’ve been right just as often as I’ve been wrong in those cases, I still have no qualms going on the record and saying ‘A Thousand Suns’ will prove to be the catalyst for the very timely demise of Linkin Park. All great art has one eye on the present and one on the future, on the eternal. Unfortunately for Linkin Park, neither realm is holding a place for their existence. At least ‘A Thousand Suns’ has some killer bass.

Picture Gallery:-
Linkin Park - Linkin Park

Linkin Park - Linkin Park

Visitor Comments:-
376 Posted By: Grammar Monster, CANADA on 22 Nov 2010
Check your grammar. If you choose to write like you're smarter than you are, get someone who is smarter than you--ideally a person at the intellectual level you are trying to write at--to proofread it for you. Also, the fact that you understand Linkin Park well enough to discern if they possess depth and meaning means you've listened to them a lot. That is ironic; you're probably a hipster. Also, "*insert touching, singhtful Linkin Park lyrics here*"!

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