on September 14, 2010
If you can believe it, this is the first review I've ever written for an album, despite being an amazon customer for years. Why? Because I'm just so damn disappointed in all the negative reviews of A Thousand Suns.
First of all, let me say that I'm not a lyrics person. What I take away from LP's music is a feeling, an emotion, and so far I gotta admit that I'm loving the feeling I get from this album. No, it is not like any of their previous works (though I think we all saw where they might be going as a band after MtM). No, it is not nearly as angry as Hybrid Theory. And no, it is not nearly as catchy as Meteora. So what the hell is it?
To me, it's a recovery album. This may be lost on some readers, but if i picture LP's albums as a man going through life, I see their early music as a very wounded and angry man. The catharsis in listening to those albums comes from realizing that not only does someone else out there hurt as much as you, someone out there may actually hurt even more. I revel in listening to those early CDs for that reason. When Reanimation came out, I saw a slightly more playful side to LP. The wounds were still there, but they were being examined now, looked at in an almost clinical, curious way. Minutes to Midnight disappointed me at first, I'll admit it. The wounded man was no longer angry, but I still was. It took me several looped listens to come to terms with the fact that he had moved on, and was beginning to let some of the old grudges go. It's not a tired album - far from it - but MtM does give one the sense that LP was getting tired of fighting all the time. That they were searching for solace.
A Thousand Suns, then, in my view, is Linkin Park's first glimpse of solace. Listening to it, I see the wounded man internalizing his anger differently now than in Hybrid Theory, taking the weight of his troubles on his own shoulders rather than throwing them onto others. A salve of sorts is applied to some of the old scars, though a few new cuts are evident too. It's not a happy album by any means, but it is peaceful, in a way only LP can make industrial noise sound. It's also not a simple album; I am sure that future listens will reveal even more about the music to me. But for now, I felt the need to let other hesitant buyers know that I trust LP pretty implicitly with my musical soul. Whatever journey they want to take me on, I'm willing to go for the ride. And I'm willing to grow up with them too, if that's what they ask of me.
on December 16, 2010
I got hooked on Linkin Park about 5 or 6 years ago when I really started listening to music, and when I say hooked I mean hooked. I would not only listen to Hybrid Theory and Meteora non-stop, but I would listen to any unreleased song I could find. I was a die-hard fan. So naturally when I heard that they were going to put out Minutes to Midnight, I would look high and low for any glimpses of what the new material would be like. When the album finally dropped, I bought it, but was a bit let down. I expected the Mike Shinoda's raps over the rock beat with Chaz shredding the chorus with sing-scream lyrics. Instead, I got a few hard songs, and a bunch of soft ballad-esque songs. But the ballads grew on me, and Minutes to Midnight became one of my favorite CD's. So flash forward 3 years to the release of A Thousand Suns, I basically knew what to expect. The soft songs took some getting used to, but in the end they became favorites.
1 - The Requiem - Leadoff song with an apocalyptic feel. The distorted refrain from The Catalyst adds a chilling perspective to it. Overall a good way to start the album off.
2 - The Radiance - More of a driving beat, with an excerpt from the speech from Mr. Opphenmeier talking about the atomic bomb and relating it to the Bhagavad Gita (a text I just finished for one of my college courses). Not anything really special, just a filler
3 - Burning In The Skies - Really soft electro song with Mike singing the verses and Chester singing the chourus. Beat is made up of electronic drum and a toned down electric guitar and piano. Bridge of the song has some pick-up of the guitar to give it more of a driving beat
4 - Empty Spaces - Think Civil War. Sounds pretty cool.
5 - When They Come for Me - This is one of those songs that will grow on you. Has a bass drivin tribal drum beat with some synthetic guitar elements. Mike kills the verses while Chester does an arab/indian imitation over the chourus that sounds really good actually
6 - Robot Boy - Really basic song, probably my least favorite on the album until it grew on me. Chester and Mike harmonize singing verses over a power ballad beat. Vocals on this song are great.
7 - Journada Del Muerto - Instrumental leading to Waiting for the End. Really expected something darker due to the title (Spanish for Journey of the Dead) but instead got something that is 80's synthesizer sounding.
8 - Waiting for the End - Really a feel good song. One of my favorites on the whole album. Mike drops 2 sick reggae style verses over a electrodrum and piano beat. Chester comes in with a beautiful chourus, and the song is capped off with a fist-pumping head nodding (not banging) bridge and finish. Really wish they would play the intro with actual guitars live, because it would sound sick.
9 - Blackout - The intro had a weird yet cool 80's feel to it. Chester comes in with 2 scream/rap verses and finally lays waste to his vocal chourds on the chourus. After the second chourus the 80's beat is replaced with a hard driving head-banging electro beat with the chourus being chopped and screwed and basically remixed by DJ Hahn. The song changes once again to end with a soft singing verse by Mike over a beat almost identical to the intro.
10 - Wretches and Kings - Best song on the album. Starts off with a speech by Mario Salvo, then launches into a head banging guitar beat. Mike drops 2 dirty verses with Chester sing/screaming the chourus ala old Linkin Park, with DJ Hahn dropping a turn-table solo at the end. Lyrics and beat make the song a staple for any pre-game playlist.
11 - Wisdom, Justice, and Love - Dr. Martin Luther King delivers a speech over a piano, and his vioce gradually changes to evil robot
12 - Iridescent - One of my favorites. Starts off with a slow piano and deep lyrics, then gradually builds and builds into a full-fledged song with guitar, drums, lead vocals, and gang-vocals in the background. Truly worth your listen
13 - Fallout - Chourus from Burning in the Skies is repeated with distortion. Leads up to The Catalyst
14 - The Catalyst - First single, and a really good song. Starts with a fast paced electrodrum and turntable scratch beat with Mike and Chester trading vocals. The song adds more and more layers until it breaks into the bridge, where it gets really good. Bridge breaks into piano and drum beat with Mike repeating "Lift me up, Let me go." Then Chester belts out the same lyrics along with Mike, and the original beat is fused with the current one forming an epic finish.
15 - The Messenger - Not sure why everyone is down on this one. I believe it's a very good song, and Chester belting out the lyrics over acoustic guitar makes it captivating. Beautiful ballad with good lyrics to live by.
on October 17, 2010
Why is everybody whining about it not being like the first two albums? When was being different a bad thing? It amazes me how people can't seem to accept the fact that LP wanted to go a different direction with this album instead of doing the exact same thing as Hybrid Theory and Meteora. If you would like to know Mike's take on the subject, just listen to "When They Come For Me", which is where the above quote came from.
I personally really enjoy this album. It's almost a mix of old-LP and Pink Floyd, and it's awesome. By that I mean I feel like the vocals are much closer to their old sound, but they are experimenting A LOT with the instruments. It honestly sounds like Hahn is doing all the work (which is why I was confused when it was announced that six songs are going to be in Guitar Hero). My other complaint is that there are really only 9 full songs on this album; the rest are filler songs that sound like they came from a Pink Floyd album, hence the comparison.
Personal favorite songs include "When They Come For Me", "Waiting For The End", "Blackout", and "Wretches and Kings" as my overall favorite from the album.
on September 14, 2010
Linkin Park have been a tight, incredibly solid band for the past decade. Both "Meteora" and "Minutes to Midnight" were fine records that were well-arranged and filled with excellent, even profoundly well-crafted songs, including those that did not make it to the radio.
With "A Thousand Suns" the group maintains its inspiration and creative juices, but only a little more than that.
Mike Shinoda and Chester Bennington ooze passion and commitment, yet very few of the songs catch hold, and the ones that do - including singles "The Catalyst" and "Waiting for the End" - are not as strong as the vast majority of the songs from their last two albums.
The guys attempt a great deal and make some heavy artistic statements about the state of the world and our collective understanding as a people, both on the local and global level, but these messages - admirable though they may be are - are buried in generally uninteresting, though pleasant, songs.
The best by far is "Wretches and Kings" with its message of recognizing the real enemies (as George Carlin called them, "The Big Club") who walk among us and immobilize the lower classes. However, the rousing speech from political activist Mario Savio is stronger and more memorable than the song itself.
The album is still a fine, if, essentially, forgettable, listening experience. "Blackout" is fueled by intense, boiling-over-the-top anger, sadness and frustration, and "When They Come For Me" has more energy and precision than the majority of the tracks. "Robot Boy" also has some smooth, chilled grooves that work well.
The best thing about "A Thousand Suns" is its consistent efforts to scintillate with musical pleas for elevated social consciousness. That central theme is never strayed from, so the record manages coherence.
Linkin Park have their first mild album here. It is not a poor record by any means, but it is filled with artistic promise that it only sometimes fulfills. It pales in comparison to what this band has previously proven itself capable of.
on December 19, 2011
Been a fan of Linkin Park for quite some time so I was quite eager to hear this direction of their musical journey. I had heard from several others the negative opinions of this album however when it comes to music I reserve the right to form my own thoughts. This album is not for you if you are just looking for an album of 4-5 minute standard tracks as you would normally get. It is mixed with some interludes and some wandering thoughts. It is by all means an artistic album and one of experimentation. Linkin Park simply allows us to go on that journey with them. It is actually quite good with several songs that are the familiar Linkin Park sound but there are new background additions that add to the mix. You have to listen to the album from cover to cover and simply be open to going on a journey of discovery and through it you will find yourself questioning the world around you. If you are just looking for a typical rock album...not for you but if you are looking for an album of artful exploration with some great tunes then this one will not disappoint. I can think of many experimental 'rock' albums that were misunderstood but endured. For the naysayers....they have their opinions and are entitled to them but music is a personal connection with your soul so be open to go to new places.
on November 21, 2011
I buy a fair amount of music, some of it new, some of it old. Out of everything I've bought recently, I have to say, A Thousand Suns is my favorite. If it was a record or a tape instad of a digital download, I would have worn it out from repeated listens, and had to buy a new copy by now!
Why do I like this album so much?
- Great beats, catchy tunes, hell, just great music. If you want to listen to a few track samples to see what you'd be buying, try 'When They Come For You', 'Waiting for the End', and 'Wretches and Kings.'
- Thought provoking. This was completely unexpected for me for a Linkin Park album, new respect for these guys. The samples and lyrics are great, including quotes from Oppenheimer, father of the atomic bomb, and civil rights leaders. Check out [...] for more details. I also liked that several of the songs / titles were related to the atomic bomb.
- Musical depth. Some of the songs are great on the first listen, but many of them you don't fully appreciate for weeks.
As an extra bonus, the digital download includes not just the individual tracks, but the entire album as a single track at the end. I really liked that.
Overall, awesome album from a group which I'd always thought was good, but now think is great!
on July 22, 2013
If you've liked anything that Linkin Park has done in the past, then you will like this cd too!
I have liked every cd, as a whole, that this band has put out, since their first cd back in 2000.
Even though, they pretty much just kind of do the same kind of stuff, every now and then,
they will through in a song or two that's a little different than what they normally do.
But, I just really like their kind of music.
on July 23, 2011
I understand that the style of the album is completely different than previous LP releases, but it is very enjoyable, so there is no need for so many negative reviews. I love it! The only reason I gave it four stars instead of five stars, though is because there are only nine actual songs on the c.d. The other stuff (tracks 1, 2, 4, 11, and 13) is pointless to listen to because it's just some guy talking and screaming and other nonsense. Track 7 is just the same sentence over and over again, but it's not a song I always have to skip. The nine songs that are actually worth listening to are incredible.
on October 28, 2011
I've been avoiding to buy this album because I knew about the change of their musical style, but I finally decided to buy it because I decided I wanted to listen to the new Linkin Park. I gotta say I love it. Yes, it's different. Less shouting, less anger. If you expect something like Hybrid Theory or Meteora, you will definitely be disappointed. But this is still one of the greatest albums out there. I actually like it better than Minutes To Midnight. As much as I love their former albums and I will miss such "classic" LP pieces, I think I am ready to embrace the new LP now.
This is my first time ever to write a review for any products on album because I wanted to put my opinion/encouragement out there. If you are an old Linkin Park and cannot accept how they are right now, that is totally fine. Because obviously their music had changed. But if you are avoiding to listen to this album like I used to, I want you to at least give it a shot. I also want those who have never been interested in LP before or who even hated LP before to listen to this album and re-evaluate them.
on February 10, 2013
I admit I prefer the more melodic of the songs Linkin Park does to the more rap-stylings but having said that, I also think Waiting for the End is one of the best constructed pieces of music I've heard in decades. Most of the rest of the CD play as entertainingly though none of them reach quite that height of brilliant construction Waiting for the End does. Listen to it in headphones, then try the Catalyst for driving in the car.