Does Mike Shinoda limit himself?

Discussion in 'Linkin Park Chat' started by AaronJxD, Jul 24, 2015.

  1. #21
    Derek

    Derek LPAssociation.com Administrator LPA Administrator

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    Honestly, if anything I find it quite interesting how every single one of their albums since HT seems to be done in response to something...

    Meteora - Done to prove to critics that they're not a one trick pony, and can make another Hybrid Theory if they wanted to

    Minutes To Midnight - Done to show fans/critics other sides of the band musically, and to give the band the chance to escape from the nu-metal label they were getting buried under with the first two records.

    A Thousand Suns - The band's conscious attempt to completely erase (or at least try to completely erase) any elements of the first three albums. To totally defy anything that sounded like their first few records.

    LIVING THINGS - The band wanting to apply everything they've learned up until that album on a record. To create a healthy mix of the 'old and new' and embrace their old selves instead of running away from it.

    The Hunting Party - Mike being pissed that rock music doesn't have that visceral feel anymore or really sound 'rock'.


    Kind of makes you wonder what event or mindset will influence the next record.
     
  2. #22
    Iopia

    Iopia Well-Known Member

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    The other interesting thing is that THP is the first album where the direction comes from something external, outside of the band. Every other album was to prove or show something about the band itself, and what they can do as musicians, be it proving that they could write another HT, proving that they could write more than just nu metal or proving that they could embrace their old style in conjunction with their new style. THP was the first time where the band wasn't trying to prove something about what the band can do, they weren't trying to prove that Linkin Park can write a heavy record, they were trying to prove that a heavy record can be written in 2014 by a mainsteam rock act.

    As you said, I'm interested to see what the next album will be a result of.
     
  3. #23
    minuteforce

    minuteforce Danny's not here, Mrs. Torrance. LPA Team

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    "Midnight" was the band shooting in any and all directions they could and accidentally ending up with an arguably cohesive and consistent body of work. It was literally anything and everything that wasn't what you heard on "Meteora".

    "A Thousand Suns" is a bit harder to describe -- Shinoda once contrasted it to "Midnight" by saying that it was band taking a single sound or direction as far down the rabbit hole as they could. But I think the same kind of variety of songs is present on both albums; the results of purposeful experimentation in a concentrated effort to do anything other than rap-rock. Lyrically, "A Thousand Suns" expands upon themes which were touched on in its predecessor. Sonically, it's all over the place in exactly the same way that "Midnight" is.

    Conceptually, I personally think of "A Thousand Suns" as a more focused version of "Midnight" because it picks up threads from that album. To me, it has stronger lyrics and more pronounced recurring themes, both in words and sounds. Maybe you could say that the band were no longer searching for the confidence to try new things as they were on their 2007 album, and, instead, they'd found that confidence they wanted and were completely embracing it after having tentatively branched out a little to start with.

    Sonically, I'd obviously compare "A Thousand Suns" to "Reanimation"; in the past, I've described the album as showing how Linkin Park have come full-circle, no longer needing a large ensemble of guests to help them pull off something of that caliber; now, they can do it by themselves, from scratch. :)

    But what the album is a response to, or what the band were trying to "prove" to anyone by making it ... I don't know. They spoke about wanting to experiment and "destroy and rebuild" what "Linkin Park" is supposed to be (in another discussion, they now have a new mold to break out of ...) but the thing is that they'd already just done that. There's no convenient, neat way to understand the intent with "A Thousand Suns" like there has been with all the other albums. I guess that the band went and made new music just to make new music, trying some things - approaches, themes - that they simply hadn't tried before, just like last time, and that's actually all there is to it. :shrug:
     
  4. #24
    Knt.Slbs

    Knt.Slbs K E N T

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    I think it's not Mike who is responsible for limiting the band in terms of their sound, maybe it's the label.. Though Mike and the band decided to go in this direction but the label wanted them to do this. that's why after ATS, the band released LT to counter the damaged (i'm talking about the album sales) of the ATS brought to the public. bringing the old sound to make a fresher sound but the result was not satisfying. So maybe the label dictated them to return to their early sound, retain the main sound but make it more raw, more aggressive thus resulting to THP. I'm just guessing guys. we don't know what happened behind close doors.
     
  5. #25
    MattLP

    MattLP No control No surprise

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    I dont think Warner Bros was very happy with ATS and LT
     
  6. #26
    Captain-EO

    Captain-EO Gibs Sux LPA Super Member

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    The posts in this thread hit everything so well. I'm afraid to even write anything after Louis' reply. I totally agree with nearly all the posts here. The band seems to contradict themselves by wanting to push their music but still wanting to use the "Linkin Park" formula to please people.

    At this point, it seems like each song they write isn't about "How can we be experimental songwriters and really make some different music that pushes our comfort zone really far?", but rather "What new sound(s) can we apply to our music while retaining a chunk of core elements to make it sound somewhat novel?"

    "Oh, here's an idea, let's get Daron Malakian to come play on a song since SoaD hasn't put out an album since 2005! It'll be so cool-sounding! Maybe some System fans will boost its popularity!"

    That's my main gripe with the band.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2015
  7. #27
    Søuł

    Søuł As rogue as they come

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    You have a point there, the band does seem to always attempt to be changing things up sometimes just for the sake of being different, rather than aiming at some true end goal. I guess it's kinda a mix of both, especially with THP. Like Derek said, it was made as a response to Mike being dissatisfied with the rock scene. While it did bring pretty much do what the band wanted to do (bring back the 90's rock sound), the collaborations in a sense can be brought to "Hmm, the might sound better if *-insert artist here-* was on it..."

    On the flip side, let's take a look at how the collaborations came to be, and how that shaped the album. Starting with Page, it really just came about because AFN sounded like something by Helmet. Self-explanatory. The band wanted to try something with Rakim, so it happened. There's the "let's do this for the sake of doing it" aspect. Don't really know the full story behind Daron tbh, but maybe they had the general idea for Rebellion and called him in to help them direct it, in a sense? I don't think the point there was to make it sound like a SOAD song because they haven't released an album in 9 years before THP came out, but rather to help them shape another song that had a SOAD influence for the sound they wanted on the record. While with Tom Morello it does seem almost like a wasted collaboration, it did give the band a view at something they previously haven't really treaded into - jamming. Maybe that'll be an element they can incorporate into future albums.

    There's a lot I agree with in this thread, definitely more stuff to agree with than I disagree with.
     
  8. #28
    GraveDigger388

    GraveDigger388 Nothing's gonna top my Jacky

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    About "doing it just for sake of doing it" , I think it's more like "doing it because we want to".

    The first phrase just sounds......Idk...un-justifiable?
     
  9. #29
    MagmaXtreme

    MagmaXtreme Well-Known Member

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    Can't disagree with that :p

    The themes on ATS which Mike conveys in his verses also resonate better with me.
     
  10. #30
    MagmaXtreme

    MagmaXtreme Well-Known Member

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    I wonder now how widespread the perception of the band, which disseminates throughout this thread, given the points discussed so far about them being safe and needing to build on their song writing abilities, is among the LP fanbase?

    Is the band aware of these criticisms?

    I think that even though they should 'do what they want to do', any artist would see significant purpose in objectively evaluating what the fans are saying and deciding then whether to/how to incorporate relevant feedback into their music & career.
     
  11. #31
    Sonic

    Sonic Searching for the last Chaos Emerald... LPA Super Member

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    I agree with a lot in this thread, good stuff guys.

    I'll say this about The Hunting Party though. I think it's a great album, comes right behind A Thousand Suns for me, but what bothers me the most about it, or rather concerns me the most, is (in my opinion) the best songs on that album feature guest acts. Maybe it's just me who thinks/realizes that. Not saying the other songs aren't good, though.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2015
  12. #32
    Blackee Dammet

    Blackee Dammet Feminism Is My God Now

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    Well Reanimation, largely considered one of their best releases, is almost nothing but collaborations. So there's a precedent for that.
     
  13. #33
    Knt.Slbs

    Knt.Slbs K E N T

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    Yeah, totally correct. I agree on this 100%, the reason why is that the band is in their full potential when working with different artist or group because of these different ideas and vision coming from different perspective. So it's challenging for the band (in my own opinion) because they felt pressured and focus in the studio. For a band that is aiming to be different in every album cycle, why don't they work with different producers? I understand that they stick with Rick Rubin for years because he is the one who can understand band's goal and direction. The Hunting Party being solely produced by Mike & Brad is in the right direction but they need a new external producer for the next record for them to de-Linkin Park-ify themselves again and to be more open and not being restricted.
     
  14. #34
    Qwerty19

    Qwerty19 Well-Known Member

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    Blah. I've given up on posting huge rant to defend my opinion here, but I gotta say that ATS-idolization got so damn old it's kinda ridiculous. I dunno. There is some pretty good constructive criticism here though, but yeah, the whole idea of "LP have so much more potential, ATS showed us that, now they're just being safe" doesn't sit right with me. At all. Never saw that holy ATS potential. And if anything, THP is everything but a safe record in my book. Whatever, to each to their own I guess.

    Though! I find it kind of funny how some LP fans are unsatisfied with LP level of experimentation. Just as a reminder, there are a lot of bands and artists out there, from a lot of different gender, who never switch their formula at all, and yet, few complain about that. There is nothing forcing an artist to mix it up with each record, or to be "polarizing".
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2015
  15. #35
    minuteforce

    minuteforce Danny's not here, Mrs. Torrance. LPA Team

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    Worship? Well, I can't speak for anyone else, but, lately, I've really been thinking about LP in the context of other stuff that I'm listening to, and I can't say that I think very highly of any of the band's albums. They band have made some good songs, some actual good songs, but, as far as I'm concerned, they don't have any albums that are thoroughly good. For me, "A Thousand Suns" is not an exception. I think it showed a hint of the band's potential but, with each passing day, I become more and more certain that that potential won't be tapped into again.

    A good number of us, rather conveniently for this thread, take issue with Shinoda's rapping in Linkin Park songs. Some of us take issue with the band's lyricism in general as well. To me, personally, this is the band's only real problem, generally the only reason I ever dislike LP songs, and maybe the area where I perhaps find Shinoda and co. to be the weakest. In my opinion, so far, it's "A Thousand Suns" that showcases the best that they can deliver in terms of lyrics. That's why I consider it to be one of their best albums.

    To some degree, I can relate when you say that "A Thousand Suns" isn't that great. I kind of agree. Because, sure, it's great if you're putting it up next to, say, "Meteora" (as most of us are generally doing, I'd imagine) but some would tell you rightly that that standard is far too low.

    I'll reiterate that I don't personally believe that the band are "holding back" when it comes to lyrics, especially when it comes to the rapping; I think that we're hearing the band do the best that they can.
     
  16. #36
    MagmaXtreme

    MagmaXtreme Well-Known Member

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    Context is everything. If you've listened to more intricate music that portrays a greater competency in lyricism & production (there is plenty of music which fits that criteria out there) then you can easily see how LP are lacking in their songwriting skills right now considering how long they've been around.

    Like minuteforce said above, I believe ATS showed a hint of LP's real potential (presumably one of the reasons it's Chester's favourite LP record) but I don't think it ranks up against, say, Kid A (Radiohead) or The Dark Side Of The Moon (Pink Floyd).

    I'm not sure the band are doing their best in terms of lyrics though. If you look at the demo lyrics for "Blackout" (for example), and compare them to the ones we ended up with, you can see the band had some pretty creative lyrics flowing but then changed them to make more sense while also making them safer:

    Demo verse & chorus:

    A little bit acid rain
    A little bit celebration
    A little bit anarchy
    A lack of motivation
    It's painted upon your face
    beautiful hallucination
    you can't get enough
    you take and take and take and never say

    Nooooooo!
    You've gotta get it inside
    You push it back down! You push it back down!

    Gooooooo!
    You say you've got every right
    You push it back down!
    Blackout
    Blood in your eye!




    Final verse & chorus:

    I'm stuck in this bed you made
    Alone with a sinking feeling
    I saw through the words you said
    To the secrets you've been keeping
    It's written upon your face
    All the lies how they cut so deeply
    You can't get enough you take
    And take and take and never say

    No / you've gotta get it inside
    You push it back down / You push it back down
    No / you'll never get it inside
    Push it back down
    Black out
    Blood in your eye!


    There are several instances of this throughout their discography, I think they just need to focus more on their writing to improve lyrics in the next album, don't see it being past their capabilities at all.
     
  17. #37
    iPodwithnomusic

    iPodwithnomusic Lift me up, Let me go

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    I actually love Mike's rapping in most Linkin Park songs, and I think the lyrics are good.

    On topic, I think the band did hold themselves back creatively on Living Things and The Hunting Party, but I expect the next album to really shake things up.


    These lyrics make no sense, and I thought this was the result of Chester just improving and saying whatever comes to mind. I'm glad they changed the lyrics.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2015
  18. #38
    JonasTheRoman

    JonasTheRoman Well-Known Member

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    It's so easy guys.

    LP just releases their next album as an Early Access version and the fans actively shape the album. Bugs included. :kappa:

    --

    Well that was a weird thought, but I have to agree with you, I'd like to know whether they put much focus on the criticism the fans express and let it influence their albums, or not. But I think they just do what they want to do (which is not bad). Or what Mike is inspired to do the next time...
     
  19. #39
    MagmaXtreme

    MagmaXtreme Well-Known Member

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    Depends on how you see it. Seriously, to me these make a lot of sense in many different scenarios (especially when you read between the lines), as with artistic content lyrics can be interpreted differently by various people. Nirvana's lyrics were arguably more cryptic but better written than this and many fans had no issue with it.

    I'm aware this is a result of Chester's improving, but he came up with the chorus of Keys To The Kingdom in a similar way and it's pretty good they stuck with it IMO.

    Blackout's lyrics on their own, without the influence of instrumentation, easily look like lyrics from a song off Hybrid Theory or Meteora.
     
  20. #40
    minuteforce

    minuteforce Danny's not here, Mrs. Torrance. LPA Team

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    Fans can fund the album's creation and be rewarded the opportunity to make it themselves. Genius! :lol:
     

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