Sputnik Music A Thousand Suns Review

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  1. #1
    Joe

    Joe I'm tried LPA Administrator

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    Another review has emerged of Linkin Park's new album. With the album right around the corner; press, media and music websites will be giving their impressions of the new album all this week. Check out Sputnick Music's review below.


    A Thousand Suns isn’t quite the return to the magic of debut album Hybrid Theory, as it has been billed in some quarters, but neither is it a straight re-enactment of the turgid attempt at a stadium-filler that was 2007’s Minutes to Midnight.

    Producer (or, more accurately, Executive Producer) Rick Rubin has been retained from the previous album, as has been the general tendency towards melody rather than harsh vocals and distorted guitars, but in many other senses it’s a more true representation of the group’s origins: meshing heavy rock with old school hip hop in the tradition of Rage Against the Machine and (briefly) Public Enemy. Indeed, the revolutionary political posturing that Rage perfected almost two decades ago is briefly replicated on a couple of tracks here – explicitly so on pre-release track ‘Wretches and Kings,’ on which a speech sample inspires us to rebel against our role in “the machine.”
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    For the most part, A Thousand Suns is nothing more or less than a return to form for the California six-piece. ‘Burning of the Skies’ sees lead singer Chester Bennington wallow in the territory that best suits him, self-pity, as he sings: “I’m swimming in the smoke / Of bridges I have burned / So don’t apologise / I’m losing what I don’t deserve.” By contrast, rapper Mike Shinoda shows his best side early on too, rapping on ‘When They Come For Me’ that: “I’m not a robot / I’m not a monkey / I will not dance even if the beat is funky.” There’s no common thread as such, just two sides of the same coin: Chester, the sensitive, persecuted soul and Mike, the abrasive front for the same feelings.

    Musically, A Thousand Suns is more intricately put together than any of the band’s previous releases, even the ultimately superior Hybrid Theory. ‘When They Come For Me’ sees the band incorporate Eastern influences, with a bassy acoustic drum beat and a fluid, Indian-sounding vocal line underpinning the rapped chorus. ‘Waiting for the End’ is a throwback to the ‘90s, landing somewhere between the reggae stylings of 311 and bubblegum rap group Sugar Ray, while the enigmatic ‘Wretches and Kings’ boasts an unmistakeable dub influence.

    Most intriguing of all, however, is perhaps the most straightforward piece on the entire record. ‘Robot Boy’ is the simplest composition on the record, and probably the most affecting, but I’m loath to actually describe it, because ‘Robot Boy’ is about as close to boyband territory as heavy metal will ever get. The tight harmonised vocal melody falls somewhere between East 17 and Enrique Iglesias (all the Es) – the former because it’s so casually laid-back and the latter because it fades out with ‘Journada del Muerto’ (Journey of the Dead), a Spanish-language version of the main melody.

    ‘Iridescent’ is a straight singing duet that sees Shinoda and Bennington alternately share and trade lines, while the relatively mundane arrangement comes as close to emulating the bargain basement-U2 feel of the last record. Delay-soaked guitar and keys loom large before giving way to a distorted lead and gang vocals that are reminiscent of the Killers’ ‘All these Things that I’ve Done’ – a little hackneyed at this stage, but nevertheless well-executed. Lead single ‘The Catalyst’ recalls Sing the Sorrow-era AFI with aggressive gang vocals and creeping electronics, while closer ‘The Messenger’ is an overproduced attempt at emulating an acoustic Tom Gabel track.

    All in all, though, A Thousand Suns is a dramatic turnaround in fortune for a band that were destined for obscurity after getting it so badly, badly wrong on their last record. Granted, they’ve always maintained a steady level of popularity, but in musical terms they had become a non-entity. Whether Rubin held faith in them, or they kept faith in Rubin, or both, the marriage has finally begun to reap dividends and, though imperfect, A Thousand Suns is an extremely well-crafted rock album from a band whose (self-directed) anger is, for once, well placed.

    Summary: An extremely well-crafted rock album from a band whose (self-directed) anger is, for once, well placed.

    3.5 / 5 - Great

    Source: Sputnik Music via El Muerto
     
  2. #2
    Sonic

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

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    Good review.
     
  3. #3
    L₳ζ₳Я

    L₳ζ₳Я The Evil Speculator

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    This is probably as realistic as it gets.
     
  4. #4
    Jesse

    Jesse Out of the abyss. LPA Über VIP

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    Pretty good review that actually does a good job when it's being negative. XM should hire this guy.
     
  5. #5
    bryanl

    bryanl Member

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    And still HT remains untouchable. I don't think they'll ever top HT.

    Good professional and fair review.
     
  6. #6
    Jesse

    Jesse Out of the abyss. LPA Über VIP

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    Um so far as I can tell this will probably top HT for me.
    As for Meteora, damn, it beat that entire album with just the stems of The Catalyst :lol:

    Don't like Wretches & Kings much though, for the fact that it sounds too Meteora-era with an M2M vibe thrown in there.
     
  7. #7
    Louis

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

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    I can see this being the most accurate review that comes out.
     
  8. #8
    SecondCityKids

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

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    Now this is a good review. He names the ups and downs and gives a fair opinion. Good
     
  9. #9
    thebaysboy

    thebaysboy Well-Known Member

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    GUYS! waiting for the end JUST went up on LP"S myspace!
     
  10. #10
    Derek

    Derek LPAssociation.com Administrator LPA Administrator

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    This review actually has me excited. Sure some parts weren't 100% glowing but it seems like the person was very impressed.
     
  11. #11
    cloudscream

    cloudscream Static

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    Very good, in-depth review. I enjoyed it.
     
  12. #12
    bryanl

    bryanl Member

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    This is definitely a good sign:

    "for a band that were destined for obscurity after getting it so badly, badly wrong on their last record."

    Because MTM was indeed horrible. It's good to know they realized that.
     
  13. #13
    evulture

    evulture Banned

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    Amen to that. HT is untouchable:sweating:
     
  14. #14
    evulture

    evulture Banned

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    WOW .. it is up on Myspace ... :D EXCITED :D
     
  15. #15
    Death Slayer

    Death Slayer Julian

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    Just compare this to the last review and you'll go like 'Hell now this is a review!'
     
  16. #16
    cloudscream

    cloudscream Static

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    Even the kids on sputnik music got interested. It's obvious they're easily swayed by reviews.
     
  17. #17
    Blackee Dammet

    Blackee Dammet Feminism Is My God Now

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    Not really. Sputnik users are generally very critical about everything, and if you read the comments most of them are mocking the "Linkin Parks Kid A" MTV article. Easily swayed is the last thing I'd say they are.
     
  18. #18
    cradle

    cradle Foreword LPA VIP

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    Same W and K's got played out, i'm waiting for the album quality b4 i judge.
    .
     
  19. #19
    Alexrednex

    Alexrednex Well-Known Member

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    Good review. For me this will probaly beat HT in my book!
    I hope so. But HT was amazing, and so will this album be, im sure of it
     
  20. #20
    DJIntensity

    DJIntensity Well-Known Member

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    Waiting for the End perhaps?
     
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