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Linkin Park - One More Light - CD -

Price per Unit (stuk): €19.95

There are basically two appropriate ways in starting a new Linkin Park album review. The first way is that you discuss it in an unbiased way, in which you don’t compare it to any of their previous albums; or, secondly, you discuss it in an informed way, in which you reference not so much the evolution of their style, but their freedom to make the albums they want to make.

The problem with method one: anybody from ages 25-45 (roughly) can’t be unbiased. If they hadn’t really paid much attention to A Thousand Suns, Living Things, and The Hunting Party that probably means they got turned off by Minutes to Midnight, and thus only heard Linkin Park’s singles here and there, and don’t really know—or care—what their new music is all about. Only really young kids who hadn’t been raised on Hybrid Theory and Meteora dominating the rock (and pop*) stations can really judge this album unbiasedly.

But that’s not the point, per se. The only real way in reviewing a Linkin Park album is being knowledgeable, not emotional. Why do I say emotional? Because many people who stopped liking Linkin Park was because Minutes to Midnight was a Rock album as opposed to Nu Metal, and they didn’t just stop liking Linkin Park, they flat out hated Linkin Park. I guess they took it personally.

With that being said, I’ve stuck with Linkin Park, because I was never a Nu Metal fan. I knew I liked Linkin Park because I saw glimpses of what they could be; even in Hybrid Theory and Meteora, there were glimpses of something more. Something better than Limp Bizkit, Korn, and Disturbed; something more versatile; beautiful—and I think Meteora’s Breaking the Habit was the first real glimpse, the first transition into their future selves.

One More Light is a pop album, sort of. And that’s okay. I’m fine with a ten-year-old girl and a fifty-year-old woman singing lyrics to my favorite band. I don’t have to have Linkin Park be a band that only a select few people like—I mean, heck, The Hunting Party was their heaviest album, and their least popular. The Hunting Party had a few songs I enjoyed, namely speaking Until It’s Gone, Final Masquerade, and A Line in the Sand, but the rest of the songs were a bit clunky—ugly even. I respected the album. I respected the concept. I just didn’t really connect with many of the songs, and, alas, often the songs—especially Mike’s rapping—were style over substance.

One More Light, however, is very much the inverted twin of Hybrid Theory. Every song on Hybrid Theory were single-material; every song on One More Light is single-material. The only difference is the sound and the maturity of themes. What I love about One More Light is that the lyrics came first, and the music came second—and you can tell. The lyrics are really personal, and they’re really, really relatable.

Nobody Can Save Me – 3/5
This is arguably my least favorite song on the album because I don’t know how to describe it. Maybe that means I’m shallow. But also perhaps that says something about its originality. The song begins with Chester singing “I’m dancing with my demons,” which is a very interesting lyric. And I think it describes this album well. Dancing and demons are two extreme contrasts of one another. Now, if you listen to this album from beginning to end, as you should, this will be the most alien sounding song you’ve ever heard from Linkin Park. You might love it, you might hate it; I’m on the fence.

Good Goodbye – 3/5
This contains the only rapping on the album. And it’s okay. The chorus is okay. The verses are okay. I understand why this song is on the album: because of its potential to be popular at sporting events. But this song, while technically very good for a pop-hip hop song, is not my cup of tea. I think a Macklemore collaboration would’ve been for more interesting.

Talking to Myself – 4/5
This is a really fun, energetic song. Reminiscent of Maroon 5 (and hey, I like Maroon 5), this is the first standout track on the album.

Battle Symphony – 4/5
This is one of the only songs that have a vintage Linkin Park sound. I’m not saying there’s rapping or screaming, but I definitely could imagine hearing this on any of their post-Nu Metal albums. It’s an inspirational song about persevering.

Invisible – 5/5
Mike takes lead vocals in this song, and it’s one of the best on the album—and by far, this is Mike’s best vocal performance. Ever. This is one of those songs in which the lyrics really resonate with me. You might not like this song if you don’t find a connection, but I do. And it’s beautiful.

Heavy – 3.5/5
Maybe if I hadn’t heard Heavy being played on the radio 100 times already—and maybe if I didn’t have the anxiety that the rest of the songs on the album would sound like this—I might’ve liked this song more. But the truth is, I don’t. It’s not a particularly bad song if you like The Chainsmokers. But I don’t like the Chainsmokers.

Sorry for Now – 5/5
The best song on the album, hands down. Mike sings well-sung, well-written verses and an oh-so-catchy chorus. And Chester raps. Yeah, you heard me right. He raps. This is such a unique song, and it’s in my top 10 Linkin Park songs of all time.

Halfway Right – 5/5
Another outstandingly original song. It’s well-sung, well-written, catchy, personal, a breath of fresh air. It’s like nothing they’ve made before.

One More Light – 5/5
This song is about dealing with death. I cried listening to it. And I’m a bodybuilder with a beard. I think it’s not surprising that the album was named after this song.

Sharp Edges – 5/5
So I hate all Country song. ALL Country. No exceptions. I don’t even like Country-Rock like Mumford and Sons. If I heard any kind of twang, my ears bleed. Yet Sharp Edges definitely has a Country element to it. A lot of people will compare it to Mumford and Sons, there’s no question about it, but it’s something so much more. It’s a short song, which is the only downfall—but it’s a perfect choice to end the album.

This album, I feel, is stronger and more original than their previous album, The Hunting Party. And I gave The Hunting Party a 5/5. But—and this is a big BUT—it’s really short. And that hurts it. I feel like Mike should’ve held onto Welcome and adapted it into a Linkin Park song, because the Good Goodbye really feels out of place on the album, and I think another hip-hop oriented song would’ve been balancing. But other than its length, I can’t complain. One More Light is—and there’s no question about it—Linkin Park’s most unique album. And if you call it a Pop album, then it’s a really unique pop album. They hold their own against good pop artists, which says a lot.

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