Well shit, I'm surprised I went all this time without once posting in this thread. I guess I don't need to at this point, because Louis and a couple others really hit the nail on the head, but just one thing I want to address. Let's get it straight: When the OP asks "musically wise," and correct me if I'm wrong, she did not mean how the music SOUNDS. she meant how the music is composed and written. sound is more or less irrelevant in the equation. Everyone has different preferences when it comes to musical sounds. Some like loud sounds, some like melodic, some like aggressive, synthy, bass-y, distortion, the list goes on. But the composition of the music surpasses all of that because EVERY song, regardless of sound, can be compared apples-to-apples if you look at the composition. And THIS is where A Thousand Suns just fucking eats up most of Linkin Park's earlier work. The earlier music is pretty much just basic power chords with safe chord progressions and common song structure. Nothing really dares to even try to step out of the box. A Thousand Suns does. Not only that, but the layers in some/most ATS songs are just ridiculous. So in summation, people like Dementia may prefer the sound of earlier albums because it's more upbeat, a better mix of X genre and Y genre, etc etc., but as far as composition goes, it's not even close. A Thousand Suns gets it.