Seriously, is ATS a step forward?

Discussion in 'Linkin Park Chat' started by os neutral, Sep 19, 2010.

  1. #1
    os neutral

    os neutral Well-Known Member

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    I've been listening to ATS for two weeks now.

    LP had announced a big change, experiments, kind of a concept album, more deepness and to enter new grounds.

    ATS has an epic Topic: Nuclear war, the dangers of the atomic bomb. It fits to LP though who often had some technological and electronic element in their music.
    I had listened to LP for a long time. But after maybe 4 years of excessively listening to them I stopped starting to discover different music. Later MTM was a step out of the box. Not brilliant but revealing some potential. So I looked forward to ATS.
    Would LP really do something really different?
    I liked the Idea of the concept, the journey and the epic but serious topic. It was suggesting they started watching the big picture, putting more focus to what stands behind the music, the big idea. I didn't care if the sound would be different to anything

    So I started listening ATS from beginning to end, just as intended. After countless listens my experience began to settle:


    It starts silently. The sound is mysterious and dark. A dynamic driving beat builds up to a distant background choir and leading to a robotic female angel like verse which sounds pretty chilling.
    This starts pretty good but unfortunately is over too fast. The Radiance with Oppenheimers quote also is really different to everything I have heard from LP yet but unique and interesting
    Now the first 'real' song begins but very differently to what the first two made me expect. The atmosphere gets warmer and softer and the first piano chords approach. Well that sounds good.
    But then a monotonous beat opens the song that won't stop that soon. I'm sorry to say, this is a really primitive beat, the simplest to come up with. Also Chesters voice is obviously electronically smoothened. I don't like where this is heading to. Burning in the Skies sounds like these cheap radio songs that rise and fall on the charts without leaving trace where the vocals are smoothened because the singer is not really first class.
    But Chesters voice is great! Did they need to take all the edge off it? Because it also sacrifices a part of the soul of his voice. And what about that static beat? What about the promising beginning in Raquiem an Radiance? What's going on here?

    Alright, Empty Spaces and then it's When they come for Me. This sounds a little like the old LP, but darker and faster. Mike raps differently here, not bad actually and soon there is the orientalic voice introduced. But one thing bothers me. Why does Mike say 'motherfucker' that often in that song?? I just doesn't seem a fit considering the nuclear bomb topic and sounds just a little phony. This song has some of the old stuff, some good new ideas but what more?

    Robot Boy is different again. It sounds like a hymn but it actually repeats itself the whole time. Also the smoothened voice 'feature' comes into play like in the song before.
    Journada del muerto begins a little more interesting with a heartpumping like sound but moves on to a techno-like ending. Now this was disappointing.

    Is Waiting for the end considered a positive song? Mike trys Raggae Rap. But he sounds like the wannabe pop-raggae guy. ' I thought it felt right but that right was wrong' - It sounds cheesy. Again the beat is simple and the background choir not really inspiring. So is Chesters voice, again smoothened.

    Blackout - when did they forget how to make an interesting beat?? This beat forces the song into its mononous rhythm just like with Burning in The Skys.

    Wretches And Kings calls the old LP into memory again. This time rougher and harder. I didn't get ATS for more of the old stuff but thats at least something they know how to do. It's not necessarily an A-Song compared to the past. It's simply too repeating. This time Mike does well serving something I would call metal raggae though.

    Then it comes, the epic speech, turning into a dystopian robotic voice. Pretty well done, carrying strong atmosphere and a subtle transformation of mood. This actually sounds like the sequel to The Radiance.

    But then again, Iridescent gets ruined by the beat. Unfortunately the melody is too predictable to save the song. Also again the voice-smoothener is in action.
    Fallout is a little Sequel to W,J, and L. Again the robotic voice but not much more to offer this time.

    The Catalyst is fast, a little techno, less predicable, but never the less repeating very similar features over the song, at least the strings insert an unusual flow.

    The Messenger is is much oversung. If Chester wants to sing to an acoustic guitar he can't just remain almost screaming. It sounds stressed is not compatible with the mellow guitar.



    What should I say? This album is not a masterpiece. It has raggae, rock, rap acoustic, electronic music on it, but it fails to do any of it properly. When I think about the Atom Bomb subject, the Album does not really fit to it, except the interludes. Instead LP chooses to use primitive beats and radioaverage smoothing of their vocals although it would not had been necessary because they had already proven better. In fact almost all of the songs are smoothened as a whole. Where are the unexpected sounds and edges? Its gone. LP has made an album that sratches on clichés pop-music. But what really bothers me is that LP steps downwards, even in a new direction. The musical quality of this album is not what LP is capable of. I have to say the Interludes are the best part of this album.

    Considering the noise LP has made about how new and innovative their new album was gonna be, ATS can't fulfill the promises. It is different, its a move from Hybrid Theory to some kind of rock-electronic pop.


    So I'm disappointed. What I hoped was, that LP would be able to jump out of the musical boundaries Warner Brother put up around of them in Gilmore Times to keep them not too excentric. Now with massive international success it was not unreasonable to think they could afford doing their own thing but nothing has actually changed. LP is pop now, thats the only thing. Its only risky because you can;t be sure people want to here popmusic from LP, not because the album itself contains risky music.

    But why? Did Warner put them under tighter control in exchange for a new direction? Well it was not worth it.
     
  2. #2
    Polychromatic

    Polychromatic Banned

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    I for one noticed that alot of the so-called 4 minute or 5 minute songs have almost a minute of build-up and are really only the average radio 3:45ish kind of track. I don't get why fans are blinded by this, saying most songs are super long. Robot Boy takes a while to build, same with When They Come For Me, Blackout, Burning In The Skies (really? we already had two intros) and on top of that When They Come For Me has an extra 40sec ending that seems poorly added on. They already had a short building track in Waiting For The End. My only beef with the album is that we get 4 interludes, and tracks with never-ending buildup, showing how we were blinded by the amount of tracks/length the album has to offer. I like the interludes, but to an extent. Other than that, I don't see any reason to complain.

    Smoothed out vocals is necessary in some songs like the ones you mentioned. Why have a raw and raspy voice on a ballad? Especially when the backdrop is so simplistic and calm. That would sound out of place.
     
  3. #3
    Sonic

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

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    I read half of your post and determined that you have no clue what you're talking about.
     
  4. #4
    Minus

    Minus ohai LPA Addicted VIP

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    ATS doesn't have a concept as much as it has multiple concepts. There isn't a storyline or a common theme as much as the concept of 'an album to listen to front to back'. They've even confirmed it's not about a specific topic, so half of your complaints about songs not fitting the theme are invalid.

    I honestly feel this is the most cohesive, catchy, and most musically intense experience the band has offered so far. I'd go so far as to say it's my favorite LP album.

    This album isn't pop. It's anything BUT conventional.

    Burning in the Skies has no bridge.
    When They Come For Me has no chorus and contains a lot of elements seen in Bhangra. (The song, by the way, is a stab at the fans wanting the old stuff. Look at the lyrics, it's tailored to the fans who want HT part 3. Hence the 'try to catch up motherfuckers')
    Robot Boy is basically a long verse with a synth break in between.
    Waiting For The Edge has a 'bridge' at the beginning and ends too abruptly to be conventional.
    Blackout is split into 3 sections: the 1st movement and the 2nd movement share a vocal stem whereas the 1st and 3rd movement share the instrumental portion.
    Wretches and Kings ends with a bridge that contains an extended scratching section.
    Iridescent has no bridge and an extremely extended chorus section that includes a group vocal.
    The Catalyst has no discernible chorus, 2 synth breaks, a completely different piano section to end it.
    The Messenger has harsh vocals over an acoustic guitar. It creates a very distinct schism between the two elements that is very emotional.

    You're complaining that Chester's voice is smoothened. Did you consider that maybe he PURPOSEFULLY sung it that softly? Chester has stated before that he doesn't want to be screaming the rest of his life. And there are a lot of elements in the music itself that makes each playthrough new and unique. You really need to blast this on some uber-quality speakers, there are little synth sections and samples in the mix that you can't hear at a normal volume.

    This definitely isn't pop music. The lack of guitars doesn't necessarily mean it's not rock, nor does it automatically mean it's pop. And yes, of COURSE they're moving from Hybrid Theory. Do you really want to hear HT again 10 years later? I certainly don't. This isn't a very commercial friendly album that I can see. I'm sad that you say otherwise.

    Although this has to be the first person I've seen that hates the album but likes the interludes.
     
  5. #5
    jrablao

    jrablao Member

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    I completely agree with everything that has been said above except for the one who originally created this thread.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2010
  6. #6
    Moridin

    Moridin Death Contagious Deity

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    I agree with everything Minus said, especially the part about this being LP's best album to date.
    It's most definitely as step forward in songwriting.

    So essentially what you're saying is the only parts of a song that are worth anything are the parts with vocals over them?
    There's such a thing as letting the music breathe. Y'know, set the mood of the song focus on the music for a bit. Instead of smothering every part in vocals like they used to do.

    I really can't see how what you're saying as a valid complaint. "Cut off the minute long build up and the song is only 3 minutes! It's a radio song in disguise! Decievers!"
    Well hell, cut out another minute and the song is only 2 minutes long! Sellouts!
    Those build ups and instrumental breaks within each song, like the end of WTCFM or WaK, are every bit as important to the songs as the parts with vocals.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2010
  7. #7
    SecondCityKids

    SecondCityKids Hey John, What's Your Name Again? LPA Super Member

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    Minus and Moridin FTW
     
  8. #8
    Derek

    Derek LPAssociation.com Administrator LPA Administrator

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    I'm very open to opinions, and do not condemn the people who dislike A Thousand Suns.

    However; with that in mind...this album is far from pop, nor is it commercial. An album that features songs without choruses or song structure is not a pop record. It doesn't matter how slow some of the songs might be.
     
  9. #9
    Fredyg

    Fredyg Well-Known Member

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    I completely agree with this person.
     
  10. #10
    Grizzly Bear

    Grizzly Bear The Downfall

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    I don't care if it's a "step in the right direction" as much as it is a "step in the direction that the band wants to take". However, I'm worried that this thinking will override their good judgement and they'll make an obscenely self-indulgent record that appeals only to them and the most devout supporters. I agree that the band should make music for themselves and that they don't owe a specific style to anyone, but I can also understand the fans wanting to feel some kind of solidarity in associating with something familiar.

    They're dangerously close letting their egos run wild. I hope in the future they'll be able to balance their creativity and the fans' concerns without stagnating their sound or alienating every fan they've earned. Getting the best of both would be far more appealing than simply progressing or regressing.
     
  11. #11
    Jeff

    Jeff WORSHIP LPA Addicted VIP

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    My name is Jay Sensei, and I approve of this message :chuck:
     
  12. #12
    Louis

    Louis Message me if you need to talk. We love you all. LPA Team

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    Enough said.
     
  13. #13
    Meryl_

    Meryl_ Well-Known Member

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    It's not because you liked ATS that you are a devout supporter. I am not. And the last statement would be true if all the fans they've earned were alineated. which isn't the case. I'd say it's a big 50/50, like it was for MTM.
     
  14. #14
    travz21

    travz21 Muscle Museum LPA Super Member

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    This sounds like a lot of the really intelligent critic reviews where they bash the new record. Very logically written.
     
  15. #15
    cloudscream

    cloudscream Static

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    I need a proper definition of pop music.
     
  16. #16
    Rocky

    Rocky Well-Known Member

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    apparently things become "pop" when they aren't a specific genre and don't sound weird as fuck..and have electronic elements....I have no idea wtf "pop" is anymore
     
  17. #17
    hybridsoldier1989

    hybridsoldier1989 strange things are afoot at the circle k

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    Yes; the song structures are more interesting, Mike's rapping is better than previous LP releases, and most of the songs actually feel uplifiting and optimistic! Especially the outro of WFTE. God, what a great song. It's not always fun to listen to downbeat, angry music.

    The lyrics are less boring and bland, the album is a huge step above MTM consistency AND quality-wise.
     
  18. #18
    Flooder

    Flooder Active Member

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    Agreed. :thumbsup:
     
  19. #19
    Henry

    Henry Mochiagete, Tokihanashite.

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    Well....it is clear in the lyric that he said it to the "old LP lover" or "Nu-Metal LP-like" fan.

    And about the concept, as Mike said (or Brad, Fee, blah blah I don't remember), it is not right to call ATS as a concept album. Therefore, everything about the theme and concept you complained overthere are failed.

    This is what they want to achieve, I mean that they want ATS is a album not a collection of songs

    MTM could be a little unexpected, M? <= ok, hell no.

    So, ATS pwned "the unexpected sounds and edges". I pretty sure that you've never expected the album will turn like this.

    So they have Lady Gaga feeling, Kesha annoyances or Justin Bieber softness in lyric? WOW. Redefine "Pop" again please. Or listen to Britney Spears if you like.

    Downward or not, it is your opinion. So no Comment.

    ATS fullfilled it perfectly in my opinion, and it moved from mainstream Nu-Metal to "Undefinable for a whole" sound.

    Did you watch "Meeting of A Thousand Suns"? THey jumped out of WB music Boundaries lol. And if they still under WB control, congratulation, you got a HT part 3.


    Everything has changed since we heard "The Catalyst". I don't know if ATS shares any similarities to HT except a recall song "WnK" (of course they share a band)

    Actually, I think ATS is not good on the board, even Pop listener still cannot stand some ATS songs. Even Burning In The Skies, Waiting For The End or Iridescent must take a lot more times to be get used to for Pop listeners (ex: my mom, my friends,...)

    As I said, redefine POP again lol.
    If ATS was pop, it must blast almost any chart. And the album itself contains VERY RISKY music. Screaming on the game-y background (Blackout), a song with no chorus (Robot Boy), tribal drumming song with "ahhhhhh" in the chorus, not very radio-friendly with "mortha fuckerz" (When They Come For Me), have no real chorus, half electronic, half alternative (or whatever) with full of "earcandy" (The Catalyst), "oversung" (what you said) vocal performance on acoustic guitar and piano (The Messenger)..
    The only song that is not very risky here is Wretches and Kings, why? You know.


    And I completely agree with Minus post.
     
  20. #20
    @LP2K12

    @LP2K12 Est. 2K12

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    Foreplay... ever heard of it?
     

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