Saturday, May 20, 2017
Album Review: "One More Light" by. Linkin Park
Welcome back Linkin Park! After "The Hunting Party" which in my opinion was open ass on a copy machine bad (save for a few tracks), Linkin Park is BACK with a capital "B" with "One More Light" and man is this album good! Let's dive in!
The album kicks off with "Nobody Can Save Me" and Chester brings his usual vocals but with the added synth ear-candy just gives the track that much needed umph! Something you'll see me say a lot is that the album utilizes a lot of synth, reminiscent of 80s sci-fi movies. In all honesty, "Nobody Can Save Me" sounds like it was a 311 cover as it starts off very laid back but goes into a powerful place as the lyrics unfold. "Good Goodbye", MY GOODNESS is this track good and I was EXTREMELY skeptical (considering that whenever Linkin Park has guests on their records they usually suck but in this case, they don't and that's a MAJOR shock).
Once again the track kicks off with this 80s synth ala "Stranger Things" but once the track starts Chester brings his usual vocals with a hint of sass "So say goodbye and hit the road! Pack it up and disappear. You better have someplace to go because you can't come back around here! Good goodbye!" and the way he hangs on the "eye" just really puts the emphasis on this dismissal. Pusha T & Stormyz don't suck on this either as their rapping compliment Mike Shinoda's usual staccato punctuated rap style. This is a perfect blend of showcasing Chester's vocal ability while remembering that Linkin Park used to include rap in their music ("In The End" anyone?). Pusha T & Stormyz don't go "gangsta" on the track either and that helps a great deal. Not to mention with Stormyz being British it makes this all the more impressive as both men blend well with the theme of the song.
"Talking To Myself", this sounds so unfamiliar for Linkin Park but it has such a great opening. Chester drops his vocals but the chorus is what really shines out with the "Ooooh oooh oooh!" and the repeated "But I know! But I know!". This is one of those songs that would be extremely fun to sing on stage. Linkin Park has an ability to write songs that are catchy and easy to sing without being kitchy or poppy. "Battle Symphony" what an amazing song! Once again Chester brings the soul in his vocals really painting the picture of a struggle. The song sounds like a military march, complete with snare drums, but this isn't a call to arms it's more or less a song to regroup, get one's spirit back. This is made obvious in the bridge, "If I fall, get knocked down, pick myself up off the ground". But the chorus is what really brings the song to light as everything becomes illuminated "When they turn down the lights I hear my battle symphony! All the world's in front of me! If my armor breaks I'll fuse it back together!". Such a powerful song.
"Invisible" is the only track that doesn't seem to work for me and it's still good. Mike Shinoda showcases his singing skills however they fall short of "In Between" from "Minutes To Midnight". "Invisible" almost seems like it was supposed to be apart of "Battle Symphony" as it starts off with the snare drums and the fact that it follows after it makes it all the more noticeable. That being said, it's still a good track but it won't be making my playlist. "Heavy" wow! I've seen some tracks get hate but not like this. When I first heard the song I really enjoyed it. Chester & Kiiara really compliment each other. I don't know much about Kiiara but she really fits seamlessly in the song matching Chester's distress. Once again a it's a song that's really easy to sing without being poppy. The message is really easy to get but that's not the point, the point is that everyone can relate to those moments when everything heavy. What a great song. When I first heard this, I knew Linkin Park was officially back.
"Sorry For Now" is another Mike Shinoda singing track and again, it falls short of "In Between". I really like Mike Shinoda and I like when he sings but I don't think he makes the right selections to showcase this ability. The song doesn't get good until Chester comes in at the bridge and really makes it clear why he's the lead vocalist. That being said the instrumentals in the song are good. Disconcerting at first but you get used to it. "Halfway Right" is a no for me, and this is the only track that I'd call "bad" and even then it's not bad, I just think the opening of the song sounds dopey and angsty. Linkin Park has done emotions right but they've never sounded angsty until this track.
Finally we come to the title track and oddly enough the first title track of any Linkin Park album, "One More Light". It's a slow moving and very contemplative track about life, time and moments. I hesitate to say this track is good, but I feel like this track will grow on me. Chester gets to sing slower and really bring the emotions out of each word he sings and I appreciate the chorus "Who cares if one more light goes out in the sky of a million stars. It flickers, flickers. Who cares when someone's time runs out when a moment is all we are We're quicker, quicker. Who cares if one more light goes out? Well I do.". I like it but I just can't bring myself to say that it's good. I feel like with Hawthorne Heights' "Decembers", a very slow moving track that picks up. I feel like this could've benefited from a slight pick up, but that's a preference. But I digress.
"Sharp Edges" sounds like a track that originally belonged to Of Monsters & Men and because of that, I enjoy it. It has a nice country vibe and Chester really mimics Ragnar's cadence while maintaining his own pace. I like the fact that song keeps the country vibe and then picks up the pace ending the album on a bouncy note. This song would be awesome stripped of everything and sung acoustic and there are not many Linkin Park songs that can translate to acoustic.
All in all "One More Light" is a 8/10 Would buy! After "The Hunting Party" I was scared that Linkin Park would stick to that sound but luckily they found their roots. 1 bad album out of 7 isn't bad at all. "One More Light" is very much a return to form for Linkin Park but not as daring and driven as "Minutes To Minute". Still missing those Joseph Han solo instrumental tracks he's had since "Meteora" but we can't have everything, can we? All in all, welcome back Linkin Park, I've missed you.