"Session" - Song by Song, Let's Talk Linkin Park

Discussion in 'Linkin Park Chat' started by hawk, Jul 2, 2014.

  1. Tocaraca

    Tocaraca A part of me screams away silently

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    The sampled heartbeat is what I was talking about (the pumping noise), it also appears at the start of Burning In The Skies, the song I am about to discuss. The heartbeat should also appear in The Summoning, and maybe Empty Spaces. I just think it would fit perfectly.
    Burning In The Skies was the first song I really liked when I was first hearing ATS. The intro is very nice, Mike sings well, Chester in the chorus is beautiful, the guitar solo is probably the best part of the song. Overall good song by Linkin Park.
     
  2. Cities

    Cities Paranoid Android

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    "Burning In The Skies" is great. Mike sounds really good in the verses, what Chester sings in the chorus is brilliant and the Brad's "solo" gives a kind of energy in the song. Is a great soft song that gives an atmospheric sense. It sounds greater live like in that 2011 London footage. I wish they could play this song live again.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2014
  3. LPBuq

    LPBuq Member

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    Burning In the Skies is strange, seeing as it's a soft song but it also contains deep, political lyrics. On the album, I consider it as being the 'easy period' between the fast-paced speech of The Radiance and the epic drums, alarm noises and Arabic screams of WTCFM. I like this song as a whole, and I'd like it to be played live every now and again.
     
  4. minuteforce

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

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    I like "Burning In The Skies" well enough but I also think that it's really boring live.

    The 6/4 timing in the verses was a bit of a surprise, and the band have since then gone on to use other unusual time signatures in their songs on "Living Things" and "The Hunting Party".
     
  5. Captain-EO

    Captain-EO Eh, Gibs Is Aight I Guess LPA Super Member

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    Burning in the Skies is the first real look into what A Thousand Suns is about. The Requiem and The Radiance foreshadowed what was to come, ultimately leading up into the song after the effected explosion sound in The Radiance as Oppenheimer finishes with "I suppose we all thought that, one way or another." What I love most about Burning in the Skies is its amazing imagery. Images of thick smoke, fires, "the blood of innocence burning in the skies". It's a very different take from Linkin Park's early days, from lyrics that were upfront, to the point, and angry, to stimulating imagery and a foreboding message. The guitar and piano go brilliantly together. Though not one of my favorites, or even close to being a favorite, I do like Burning in the Skies quite a bit. It is the perfect first "full song" on A Thousand Suns.
     
  6. Atticus

    Atticus Bullets lance the bravest lungs

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    What follows the dark introduction of The Requiem/The Radiance is a masterclass power ballad that takes everything Linkin Park has learned from it’s softer, more melodic side discovered in Minutes To Midnight, and releases this experience in the form of blissful alternative rock. The slow-burning first-half of Burning In The Skies features Shinoda singing a vibrant verse about “the blood of innocence burning in the skies” and pouring the “rising sea” into “an ocean of debris”. His voice once again is a stark contrast to that of front man Chester Bennington, carrying a calming timbre that is remarkably soothing to the ear.

    Some of the band’s best lyrics of their career are instantly captured in this moment as the quiet track, accentuated by acoustic guitar and piano, transitions into a soaring chorus by Bennington as his crystal-clear voice sings of “swimming in the smoke of bridges I have burned”. Brad Delson briefly gains the spotlight in the bridge for an exhilarating, if simple octave-filled electric guitar-solo before bringing the song back down to earth for one last humble chorus. Burning In The Skies showcases a Linkin Park matured far beyond its years of nu-metal, and even many of the alternative tracks seen in Minutes To Midnight seem amateur in comparison.
     
  7. Tyler

    Tyler Well-Known Member

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    So here we go with ATS:

    The Requiem/The Radiance is a brand new way for LP to kick off an album, and the way the choral chant opens The Requiem is a clear example of how this album will be different. I didn't notice until I saw both videos in that post that The Requiem is actually played at a higher key in live shows. It works really well in both of the live versions, both with the Savio speech into Papercut/Wretches, or slowed down and part of The Catalyst in the Mashup Intro this year.
    The Radiance is pretty simple, and the Oppenheimer speech really tells you what the subject matter of the album is. I'm indifferent about the live incarnation, I don't have a problem with it, and it's actually a good bridge between Numb and BTH, but it doesn't stand out to me otherwise.

    As for BITS, this is such an underrated song. For the people who say that LP sucked after MTM/ATS, they really need their heads checked and to give this a good listen. This has some of the band's best written lyrics and melodies, it really separates it from so many other songs. In fact, overall, it is another one of the songs that shows the whole band dynamic and gives balance for most of the instruments. And there's even a guitar solo!...Which may not have been recorded by Brad, as we have learned recently that Mike recorded a lot of the guitar parts of ATS. Mike plays the solo live, but that is probably also so Brad can continue playing the main part without changing any amp/pedal settings. Plus the solo sounds a lot like what Mike plays on the outros to OSC and WFTE live. I like the 6/4 time to it which makes it unique there too.

    What are some songs that they have done off their last two albums that use anything other than 4/4 or 6/8? LP has always written some pretty simply structured songs, time signature-wise.

    Not much else to say about BITS live, just that I noticed in the video here that Chester does a very high harmony in the verses that I never noticed. Not too different from the studio version live, but I kind of like the chorus being thrown into some Bleed It Out performances, more because Mike plays some chords on it too. But that's about it, just my....Opinion :shinado:
     
  8. Alexrednex

    Alexrednex Well-Known Member

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    I love how songs like Burning In the Skies have multiple interpretations. A interpretation could be that it's about how Robert Oppenheimer felt - regretting that he made the Atom bomb, since he is literally responsible for the "blood of innocents burning in the skies". Another interpretation could be that it's more of a personal(and well written) relationship ballad.

    A simple but beautiful song. I love the finger picking from Brad in this song - and even the solo is pretty nice. I actually made an extended solo for the song to make it a bit more epic, which I kind of miss now when I listen to the actual song now.
     
  9. InvaderPhantom

    InvaderPhantom Active Member

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    I fucking love this song, it's extremely underrated. "And in the end, we were made to be apart / Like seperate chambers of the human heart" is the best line LP have ever written. It's the most important LP lyric for me.
     
  10. UltimateLegend

    UltimateLegend Well-Known Member

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    Missed all of MTM, but I'm just going to hop back into ATS.

    The Requiem/The Radiance are really good openings. I love the way that The Requiem foreshadows the entire album, and the ambiance of the track is amazing. The Radiance is a good lead in to Burning in the Skies, and I love how that also foreshadows a lot of the album.

    Burning in the Skies is one of my personal favorites off of the album. It has some of the best lyrics the band has written. I've seen some criticism that the chorus doesn't really fit with the album due to being "dancey and happy sounding", but I think that the lyrical dissonance really helps the song out. The small guitar solo in this song is really nice too.
     
  11. Louis

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

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    For me, "Burning in the Skies" is one of the band's best - especially in terms of its lyrics. The band's use of metaphor here allowed a lot for the layered meanings that Filip described. For me, it's such a personal song - in some way a reflection by someone who feels like they're losing someone or losing people. There's a helplessness that accompanies such reflection, feeling as though perhaps it was meant to be that you would drift apart from those people. I know I can really relate to it, and I think there's just something so heartbreaking about "losing what [you] don't deserve."

    I think musically the song is solid. It's a nice transition from the guitar work of Minutes to Midnight, and I think the melodies and harmonies of the verses and the chorus are just so well crafted. I think there are few songs in the band's repertoire where you can look back and say, "You know, that song is really perfect as it is." And I think that's what I would say about "Burning in the Skies." It's not a song that leaves me wanting more in anyway - I feel satisfied when I listen to it. I think Filip said it well also - the song is performed with the emotion that it requires. The rises and falls, and the sounds of the vocals, give the song the emotional edge that makes it so good.

    It's a nice thematic element, too, that it introduces - losing what you never really had. "I'm losing what I don't deserve" versus "I'm holding onto what I haven't got" from "Waiting for the End." I mean, you have to wonder if the band genuinely had all of these themes in mind or if what they crafted was just so well put-together that all of these different threads kind of presented themselves afterward. I don't know. This album is just so good, really. Sometimes I think even despite how many fans here on the LPA love it that it's still a bit under-appreciated in some way.

    Also, the fact that we're not spending a week on "Empty Spaces" is an atrocity.
     
  12. minuteforce

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

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    Yeah, it's the deeper bass, thicker vox mixing and the big opening synths that set this song apart from "Midnight" in terms of sonics
     
  13. Nicholas

    Nicholas Well-Known Member

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    Despite the praise of A Thousand Suns on LPA, I do as well feel like it is almost criminally underrated. There's a lot under the surface that you don't initially catch, it wasn't until many years later that I was able to appreciate it for what it is. An album designed around human emotions and confrontations (War, politics, fear) it's like listening to one person's story, transitioning from loss (Burning in the Skies), anger (Blackout), fear (The Catalyst), acceptance (The Messenger). Something of which I feel separates this album from the rest of their discography. There's a direct message, but at the same time it sets itself up to allow the listener to interpret it however they like. It's almost designed too well. The album before it felt like a band trying to find their right place, here everything feels so right, so genuine. Personal yet easy to relate in many ways.

    Although, I feel like "TRY TO CATCH UP, MOTHERFUCKER" sort of throws away everything I said :D

    Anyways, that's enough rambling. As for "Burning in the Skies", it's a great introduction to the album's themes.

    "The blame is mine alone, for bridges I have burned. So don't apologize, I'm losing what I don't deserve".

    It's lines like this that don't make it surprising when fans (Mostly here) often cite A Thousand Suns as the band's most well written and crafted album. It's almost too hard for me to find any flaws in this song, it's beautifully written. Anything bad about I could say about it would just be nitpicking, it's perfect the way it is.

    Now, I can't wait to discuss their best song next, "Empty Spaces". What an awesome title.
     
  14. Bawa

    Bawa Could wait to see tomorrow.

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    CHUCK SAID AN UZI WEIGH A MOTHAFAWKING TON
    pewpewpewgangsta Well, I guess this discussion is for the next song <,<

    Burning in the Skies is a beautifully dark, mellow song, filled with regret. Beautiful lyrics, wonderfully crafted instrumentally, just really an excellent ballad. The song structure leaves a little to be desired in an album like ATS, but the content is solid.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2014
  15. Susy

    Susy god break down the door LPA Contributor

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    The dynamic duo - "Empty Spaces" and "When They Come For Me".


    "Empty Spaces" is the fourth track on A Thousand Suns. It is an 18-second interlude containg nothing but sounds of crickets, followed by soldiers yelling and eventually a bomb dropping. The Meeting of A Thousand Suns shows the band working on the song, with Brad saying the band needs more crickets. When performed live, the show was essentially just an intro to "When They Come For Me", performed in it's original form. It's first performance happened on October 7, 2010 in Argentina, and it was played through most of the A Thousand Suns touring cycle before being dropped for the European leg of the Living Things Tour. It was brought back for the Honda Civic Tour with Incubus, and it's final performance happened on January 10, 2014 during the band's Las Vegas show to benefit the Philippines. Through the years, a lot of jokes have been made about the crickets and the song in general, so I'm just interested to see who can come up with the best one now. Go on, amuse me.

    "When They Come For Me" is the fifth track on A Thousand Suns. At almost 5 minutes in lenght, it's an incredibly organic, raw experience, yet it's so subtly produced. It is one of the three tracks on the album to feature Mike Shinoda's signature rapping, and in my honest opinion, it might be the best showcase of his skills that we have ever gotten. The song's working title was "Dingleberry", but the demo has, so far, not seen the light of day. I'm sure I'm not the only one hoping it finds it's way on to a future LPU release. In a few interviews after A Thousand Suns' release, the band stated "When They Come For Me" is the album's most complex track, with the Pro-Tools session being composed of over a hundred elements. The song took over a year and a half to make. In the Meeting of A Thousand Suns, we can see Mike was visibly stressed working on the track, stating "the screen looks like a metropolis". Brad Delson often joked about not knowing how the band is gonna performed the song live, yet it turned out pretty well. The ending portion of the track was done entirely by Czeslaw "NoBraiN" Sakowski, the winner of the Linkin Park featuring You contest. Our very own Linkin Park Association managed to arrange an interview with Czeslaw, in which he briefly spoke on his experience of working with the band:

    On September 2, 2010 the band released an LPTV episode titled Megaphone Brad, which detailed the band working on "Dingleberry", the demo which would become "When They Come For Me". The episode is fairly funny, with Brad and Mike arguing about the lenght of the song intro and later on Mike laughing at Brad's megaphone yelling. Why am I trying to re-tell something you can watch? Here you go:


    Now this is gonna be a tough one for me to write. "When They Come For Me" begins with sampled drums after which a ton of bass is added, before the song's signature tom drum pattern appears. The full beat appears very soon, changing a few times and always just adding more elements. It's definitely noticable why the song took over a year and a half to make. After about a minute long introduction, Mike quickly lays down the first verse over the craziest beat the band has ever made. It's truly remarkable, and very, very hard to put in words. Not much is changed in the chorus, but the sound remains massive. The second verse follows, with a simplified drumbeat in the beginning, and tons, tons of synths. The crystal-clear mixing is very important for this one, as not a single element feels buried in the mix. After the second verse, the song has a "calm before the storm" moment. Cheser sings over a clear synth or an effected guitar or... - whatever that is, you tell me. The drums are brought back in very soon, as the song gets it's most passionate, melodic moment. The chorus is then repeated, this time louder then ever. With a song that begins so massive, it's incredibly the band managed to actually have progression during the song. Brad might have not laid down a crazy guitar solo, but he laid down a sick megaphone solo. He screams "Toda la gente, preste atencion, escuchenme bien ahora mismo.", which, when translated into English, means "Everyone pay attention! Now, listen to me." The song's ending, as I've stated before, was done by NoBraiN. It features a variation on the drumbeat with backed up by Chester's Arabic screams and "hey"'s from "Wretches and Kings". The reason why this was so hard to write, is... my reaction to every single sound in this song is: "holy shit, how?!".

    The verses are, as I've stated before, a couple of my personal favorites Mike has ever written. Not only does he flow over the beat seamlessly, he actually says some really good stuff. It begins with Shinoda's usual "I am/I am not" lyrics, before things start to actually make sense. In the first verse, he makes a reference to "Points of Authority", saying "nor the same person telling you to forfeit the game". Mid-way through the verse, he spits a couple of my favorite lines he's ever written - "'cause even a blueprint is a gift and a curse/'cause once you got a theory of how the thing works/everybody wants the next thing to be just like the first". The chorus is the home of the now legendary, heavily parodied line "try to catch up, motherfucker!". The second verse begins with Mike honoring hip-hop's greatest. The songs and artists he references are Lauryn Hill's "Lost Ones", Notorious B.I.G.'s "Mo Money Mo Problems", Big Daddy Kane’s “Ain’t No Half Steppin” and “My Uzi Weigh a Ton” by Public Enemy, with the line being written by Chuck D. Mike admits he's just a student of the game they taught him, but he does it damn well - "rockin' every stage in every place that it brought me". When it's all said and done, what we have here are some of Mike's most lyrical, and most interesting verses ever. Chester's portion of the song vows "oh/when they come for me/come for me/I'll be gone", perhaps unrelated to Shinoda's rhymes and up to you to interpret. All in all, great lyrics for a great song.


    (look, not London 2011!)

    "When They Come For Me" was often dropped from and brought back into the setlist. Just like "Empty Spaces", it was performed live through the A Thousand Suns touring cycle, dropped for the European leg of the Living Things Tour but brought back for the Honda Civic Tour and last fully performed on January 10, 2014 for the Typhoon Haiyan relief show. It was always performed live with "Empty Spaces" as an introduction. Aside from that, the song had no other modifications done to it, and it was performed in it's original album form. In 2014, Mike started to occasionally include a verse from the song for his "rap medley" during live shows. The performance I embedded above comes from the band's February 5, 2011 SNL performance, and though it may not be the best performance of the song, there's a reason I chose this one. I think it's noteworthy that the band chose to perform a song whose chorus consists of the line "try to catch up, motherfucker!" on America's biggest late night show. In 2013, "A Light That Never Comes" was the far more understandable choice. Needless to say, this performance caused some people to ask "what the hell did Linkin Park just do on SNL?". I'm not even making this up, that is literally the title of this Gawker article. What do you think of the live performance, and these two songs in general?
     
  16. Jesse

    Jesse Out of the abyss. LPA Über VIP

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    Damn. I forgot to do Burning in the Skies. So, real quick.

    Burning in the Skies is the first released studio track on an album in which Mike Shinoda's singing didn't come off as just a novelty. Whereas on Minutes to Midnight he blended his harmonies with Chester Bennington to great effect, on In Between, while one of my top Linkin Park songs, at first listen it was alarming to hear Mike's haunting vocals align with the instrumental, on Burning in the Skies it feels entirely natural and doesn't come off as just an experiment. The song also brought with it a darker imagery through lyrics, that of which Linkin Park had not yet released on a studio album, speaking of death of innocents and the guilt of humanity.
     
  17. minuteforce

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

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    It should be noted that, during the breakdown section in "When They Come For Me", "Empty Spaces" is actually reprised in full. :)
     
  18. Michele

    Michele Praise Brad Delson, our Lord and Savior. LPA Addict

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    So , now we are here.

    Empty Spaces: At first i was really annoyed about the fact , that 15sec crickets deserved to get a single track on A Thousand Suns , now i understand why they choose it to make it so. A good bridge from Burning In The Skies to When They Come For Me, especially the end. It change the whole atmosphere from BITS now in a most darker one.

    When They Come For Me: Hands down , maybe one of the best "rap" lines Mike has ever written in the LP carrer. How Filip said, the beat , the flow and most of the stuff he said here is something genius.
    "Opposite of lazy, far from a punk
    Y'all ought to stop talking, start tryin' to catch up mother fucker
    " maybe one of my favorite lines on the album. Like how some statemants in WTCFM can be related to all the "NU-METALZZZZZZZZZZ" "fans". The instrumentals are very different from the things they have done before and live it just explodes. Funny to see the drumming and Brad yelling some Spanish Words :lol: The darker atmosphere here is fantastic. It shows that there is something dangerous out there (in the course of the album) that will happen.
    The mood is gloomy, but it is more threatening in the course of the album, even if the storm is still emerging delayed by less dark mood episodes.


    But the only question that remains open is: Is the Ketchup really that good Mike? Why do you say: "TRY THE KETCHUP MOTHERFUCKER!" Is :ketchup: really that good? :leo:
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2014
  19. Atticus

    Atticus Bullets lance the bravest lungs

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    Nightfall bestows the brief interlude afterwards, featuring chirping crickets before exploding artillery fire is heard raining in the distance. A Spanish commander speaks to his soldiers over a microphone, and then as starkly as Empty Spaces enters the record, it passes by with just 18 seconds to its name. When They Come For Me is the track that takes the interlude’s place, and while Linkin Park seemed comfortable within it’s own skin as masters of mellow music, suddenly the momentum shifts and A Thousand Suns is sent into pandemonium. A jarring electronic synth blares in the forefront alongside a tribal-influenced drum line by Bourdon, setting the tension for a titanic song.

    The rapping styles of Shinoda reawaken with a newly bestowed swagger that shows he is in dominant control. Jesting to their nu-metal past, Shinoda announces “I am not the fortune or the fame / Nor the same person telling you to forfeit the game”. The chorus is completely alien, featuring Bennington rise to the occasion for an unorthodox, wild chanting yell. Rather than relying on conventional lyrics, Linkin Park chooses to display pure, savage emotion instead. Shinoda adds another layer to the chaotic chorus shouting, “Try to catch up motherfucker”.

    The bridge returns to humble grounds with Bennington beckoning “oh when they come for me, come for me, I’ll be gone” over a repeating clean guitar riff before the song falls once again to madness. Just when the end seems near, Delson picks up a microphone and repeats the same Spanish line from Empty Spaces, leading the track into absolute anarchy. Bennington enters a frenzy of wails, far more savage than before, and Bourdon plays a conclusive beat. When They Come For Me feels like a 5-minute long tribal outburst. It’s loud and violent, highlighting towering walls of electronic synths.

    When They Come For Me is a song so incredibly difficult to classify in a genre, that the best way to describe it would simply be “Linkin Park”, which is ironic considering how paradigm shifting the track is for a world-renown rock band.
     
  20. Tocaraca

    Tocaraca A part of me screams away silently

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    I am not going to say anything about Empty Spaces because it means nothing to me. :kappa:
    When They Come For Me is a very strange song... at first. That weird synth that sounds like a distorted guitar is just... I don't even know :(
    The rap is good, but I don't see why so many people love it so much. I can think of many better raps by Mike:
    I Have Not Begun
    Dedicated
    High Voltage
    Step Up
    It's Going Down
    Anyway, as I have said before, I HATE the outro. I mean, just... why? Bravo Chester, bravo, you can whine! This really needs to show up in one of your songs!
     

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