Does Mike Shinoda limit himself?

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

  1. #41
    Xero-G

    Xero-G Reborn LP Fan, and plan to stay that way.

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    While I understand where several of you are coming from, one thing I don't understand or agree with is the notion that The Hunting Party was a "safe" album. Safe in what way? If it is compared to modern or popular rock, it comes across as being quite different. The fact that THP uses mostly raw instrumentation and scaled back on electronic effects indicates to me that it was more risky than safe. I say this because I have heard more and more modern rock songs that are largely electronic and do not emphasize rawness or aggression like THP does. As we know, straight-up electronic music or music with prominent electronic elements are virtual "Kings of the Hill" in today's music culture. So again, how exactly is THP a "safe" album when put into the context of modern music that is classified as "rock" or a related sub-genre?

    Edit: On the actual topic: I can't really say for sure whether Mike or any of the other band members are limiting themselves one way or another. While I would like to see more in-depth or thought-provoking lyricism, I can understand why LP would write simpler or easier to understand lyrics. Songs with more concrete, rather than abstract, lyrics will be more understandable and consequently more accessible to a wider audience. That said, I really do enjoy when LP steps into the Twilight Zone and writes more abstract lyrics which aren't immediately clear but can be interpreted in various ways. The simple beauty of music is that it is always open to interpretation.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2015
  2. #42
    MagmaXtreme

    MagmaXtreme Well-Known Member

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    THP was a bit of a risk for LP considering that aspect of stripping away much of the electronic elements which were abundant on the last two albums, a change of pace for sure. However it's their song writing on this album which shows they are being a bit safe. They still follow a formula using simple melodies with pop sensibilities (even though the pop elements are what make them popular to this day).

    UIG was a clear disappointment for some, not just with the degraded quality in lyricism (one of the worst to come out of LP) but also the song conveys a tired concept in a manner which is not that creative, and other artists have executed/performed such music better before.

    Mark The Graves shows potential until you see how simple the chords are for it, hardly 'progressive' in the grand scheme of things.

    Final Masquerade is exactly what you expect from an LP single, nothing crazy here, it's not a bad song though!

    Songs like GATS, Wastelands, Rebellion, Keys To The Kingdom and A Line In The Sand are pretty much what we can expect from LP at this point as well, nothing different from what they've done in the past at the core level. They've clearly tried some new things (e.g. Chester's half-scream in KTTK, Mike's more complex rhyming scheme on Wastelands, and slightly more elaborate guitar solos) but have not done enough to take their song writing to the next level.

    War was a nice experiment, and I think if the band explored this sound a bit more they could have made it memorable, otherwise it is just a fun listen for a small while then you move on to better punk songs (of which there are plenty that surpass this song in every aspect of artistic quality).

    Drawbar was interesting, not sure how it fits in the context of the album though, it makes sense when you listen to it on it's own.

    Don't get me started on AFN.

    In short, THP was an alright album but it still retained a lot of the elements LP are comfortable incorporating into their music which I feel held back the project's potential. Rather than feeling like a succession of what they have done in the past it still just sounds like they've largely regurgitated those endeavours with a different sound and some little experiments here and there.
     
  3. #43
    Qwerty19

    Qwerty19 Well-Known Member

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    Aside from Wastelands, I'd never ever expected any of those songs from LP, especially at this point in their career. Or well, if we are talking about song writing in term of structure and stuff, then fine, but then again, ATS had a lot of those basic structures as well. And certainly a lof of pop sensibilities / simple melodies.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2015
  4. #44
    MagmaXtreme

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    Yea sure, but ATS had a much stronger concept and vision, it's LP's most adventurous record. Of course ATS wouldn't really go down as one of the best concept albums of all time when compared to David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust or even Radiohead's Kid A for some of those reasons you mentioned.
     
  5. #45
    Blackee Dammet

    Blackee Dammet Feminism Is My God Now

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    Disagree, it seems like they were just experimenting for the sake of experimenting. And while I think it hit more than it missed and I hope they try it again in the future. I don't think they really had any real vision or plan going in or even as they were making it, in fact the Making Of DVD ends with them panicking and not sure how to wrap up recording as the deadline creeps closer.

    Chester's overall argument is 'Fuck them lets do what they want', but the entire DVD is pretty much them spitballing ideas and just ends with a frantic "Holy shit where are we going with this...". They were throwing everything at the wall and most of it stuck, but I'd say that was in spite of, or even because, they went in with no concept of vision.
     
  6. #46
    minuteforce

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

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    The band members have stated that they went in with no idea where they would end up, and stitched the songs together conceptually as they began to pile up. It was when they sequenced the tracks into an album that any sort of threads between the songs revealed themselves, and I would guess that they worked on tying (some of) the tracks together sonically, thereby (arguably) creating a more cohesive and consistent experience.
     
  7. #47
    MagmaXtreme

    MagmaXtreme Well-Known Member

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    I was referring more to the actual music than the creative process. Without this background knowledge the tracks on ATS together portray themes of war, suffering, despair, conflict, apocalypse, seeking of comfort amidst chaos etc. These themes create a more cohesive sonic picture than any of LP's other albums.

    This is what I mean by the 'concept' and 'vision' of an album, as in how it conveys messages cohesively and with some backbone to them. Again, not saying ATS is particularly great in the grand scheme of things, but it stands out in LP's discography.

    I had watched those scenes before (the whole DVD in fact) and was aware of these issues LP faced during the making of ATS. It's worth noting that some great records have come out before during times of conflict for the respective bands. I don't believe that you need to pre-determine a 'vision' for an album for it to be a strong and highly acclaimed effort in the artistic sense.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2015
  8. #48
    minuteforce

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

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    Yeah, when it comes to art, not everything is deliberate
     
  9. #49
    Atticus

    Atticus Bullets lance the bravest lungs

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    I strongly disagree. The Hunting Party may not have been a concept record, but there was certainly a central theme of rebellion and overcoming conflict. To say there isn't one is just delusional.
     
  10. #50
    MagmaXtreme

    MagmaXtreme Well-Known Member

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    I didn't say THP didn't have a central theme, just that it isn't communicated as well as it was in ATS (it is a concept record after all). For one, much of the lyrics on THP are fairly simple & generic (UIG, GATS, Wastelands chorus, War) compared to ATS.

    There where also other elements like the speaker phone & middle eastern chant at the end of WTCFM which strengthened the delivery of the message and enforced the album's themes. This is contrary to THP where there isn't much backbone to support the messages delivered.

    The lack of creativity in instrumentation within some areas (Wastelands bridge, GATS intro, ALITS and War could have evolved more musically...) doesn't help support the case for the album either.
     
  11. #51
    minuteforce

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

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    On your last point, you could say the same thing for any song, including what's on "A Thousand Suns". What's "creative instrumentation"? When is there enough " musical evolution" or whatever? :)
     
  12. #52
    MagmaXtreme

    MagmaXtreme Well-Known Member

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    By creative instrumentation I meant coming up with melodies that are interesting and don't grow/become tiresome/tedious quickly, such segments should add to the enjoyment/value of a song, unlike the guitar parts in the Wastelands bridge for example.

    Musical evolution is when you have a song which, when listening to it, feels like it's 'going somewhere' or that progresses somehow musically. This is not necessarily the same as 'progressive music' as even a pop song with the typical structure can consist of certain dynamics, musical techniques, unexpected moments etc. which make it enjoyable throughout.

    I guess War did have a climax towards its end, but the monotony of the instrumentation and lyrics (which they become so after several listens) makes the song feel stale. The concept feels so generic and the song lacks some character overall IMO. It would have been more enjoyable if the instrumentation was more interesting (even with the constant repetition), something like Big Black's "Crack Up':

    [video=youtube;KoNqe1Xxkco]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KoNqe1Xxkco[/video]
     
  13. #53
    minuteforce

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

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    Both fair points. I do think that the first is especially subjective, though, 'cause people have wildly different ideas about what's tedious and what isn't. Personally, I don't mind the bridge in "Wastelands" and I like that the progression switches up for the final chorus - that said, "Wastelands" is not an LP song that I especially like.
     
  14. #54
    MagmaXtreme

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    That's true, I do think that again it depends on context. Much of people's ideas and perceptions on what is tedious will be influenced by music they have listened to previously and what resonates with them most.

    Someone who is a fairly avid listener of rock music (depending on what type of rock and the scope of their taste) may or may not deem the Wastelands bridge as 'uninteresting', unless say they could recall many more interesting songs which have been enjoyable throughout, and that might influence their opinion to be so for this particular track.
     
  15. #55
    Atticus

    Atticus Bullets lance the bravest lungs

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    The lyrics can be interpreted as simple and generic, or they can also be seen as one big statement against the current state of the music industry. Although A Thousand Suns is clearly stronger in that regard there's no doubt.

    Like minuteforce said, that's entirely subjective. In my opinion GATS and ALITS feature the most progressively evolving instrumentation on the album, and are technically more impressive than anything featured on A Thousand Suns.
     
  16. #56
    minuteforce

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

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    Again, if anywhere, it's really the lyrics where the band seem to either hold themselves back or fall short, and the instrumentation sometimes - a lot of the time - doesn't manage to compensate. That's how I see it.
     
  17. #57
    MagmaXtreme

    MagmaXtreme Well-Known Member

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    Sums it up quite well :)
     
  18. #58
    Xero-G

    Xero-G Reborn LP Fan, and plan to stay that way.

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    I find it quite interesting that you say this. What is it about LP's instrumentation in general that comes up short, or is unable to back up lyrics that may be interpreted as generic or tired? What could be added to LP's instrumentation to give it more "oomph", in your opinion?
     
  19. #59
    minuteforce

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

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    "Wastelands" is a good example - to me, the chorus is really boring lyrically, and the guitar work and drum work there don't make up for that. But, on the whole, I don't think "The Hunting Party" suffers from this too much.

    LP are instrumentally sound, in my opinion. It's only because of the lyrics that I might dislike a song, and I'm definitely not the only one. That's when a good instrumental isn't enough.
     
  20. #60
    MagmaXtreme

    MagmaXtreme Well-Known Member

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    Speaking for myself, improving or building upon the quality of instrumentation LP has in their songs depends on what you're trying to do better. I think for some songs on ATS, arguably their most 'experimental' album, there was room for improvement on the aesthetics & texturing of songs (production-wise) so that they don't feel so synthetic as they do.

    I think LP was kind of trying to achieve that on "The Catalyst" where they used a vocal effect to make it sound like they were singing underwater - while ideas like this add more substance & atmosphere to a song, they could have done it a bit better, maybe like mixing the song in a way where it sounds like the voice is actually 'drowning' for example.


    Generally LP could do more with adding some character to their songs, as they seem to be making melodies with pop sensibilities hence the result is some average instrumentation (not necessarily a bad thing on its own) with the kind of performance we've come to expect from them. The band would benefit from moving away from this and exploring other options in to develop their song writing, and that would naturally incorporate a different approach to instrumentation on some level.

    "War" is a good example of LP's attempt at this, but they really needed to go the extra mile rather than have a riff (made in 5 minutes as Chester put it) repeat with some decent vocal performance from Chester (I would give him credit for being creative with vocal dynamics and delivery on this one) and sub-par lyrics (at best).
     

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