I heard about Reanimation on the radio. I was a Staind fan at the time, and I had also been listening to Linkin Park for a while. My interest in them was fading, but then a radio dj got my attention. ďCrawling" from Linkin Park was playing, and when it was finished, he said that Aaron Lewis, the singer for Staind was featured on the remix album, Reanimation. So, in 2002, I asked for Reanimation for Christmas.
I am not a big hip-hop fan, so most of the names on the back of the album didnít jump out at me. However, I noticed that the remix of Points Of Authority was produced by Jay Gordon, the singer for Orgy. At the time, I hadnít heard Orgyís music, so I didnít know how ***e they were. I did know Jay Gordon on from the Queen Of The Damned Soundtrack, though. I also noticed Jonathan Davis was listed on the remix of One Step Closer, which was one of my favorite whiney nu metals songs back then (donít pretend you didnít go through that 12-year-old stage, you snobs). Linkin Park had been one of the bands that got me into metal, along with the now accepted by all as awful Limp Bizkit, so I was obviously interested in hearing their new material. After all, they hadnít put out any material for two years, and that seemed like a long time back then. Jesus, hereís the bloody Tool discography: 1993, 1996, 2001, 2006. Now that
is a long time.
Rob Sheffield, Rolling Stone Magazine
Linkin Park's remix album is something new, just because they're the biggest band ever to try this ***, with the best-selling album of 2001, Hybrid Theory, still riding high on the charts and the radio. Nobody ever accused them of having the most original sound around, but what sets them apart is how they shape all their heavy influences into something fresh and tuneful. Brad Delson's flash guitar, Mike Shinoda's low-key rapping and Chester Bennington's Freddie Mercury-has-risen-from-the-grave vocals fuse into intensely emotional songs of teen angst.
Thus began Reanimation, whose album design intrigued me instantly. I will not review it as a track-by-track, because there are too many fillers and it would be rather tedious. Instead, it will be a song-by-song review, and only the songs I deem significant to the albumís value will be reviewed. Before I begin, you should know that most of the creative direction of Reanimation was under Mike Shinoda, rapper and producer of Linkin Park.
The first thing that got my attention was Opening
, which begins with a beautiful cello melody. Later on, I was impressed to learn that Phoenix, the bassist, plays the cello and violin. A lonely piano tune accompanies him, and it is actually one of the best musical moments of the album. I knew right from the get-go that Linkin Park had something to show, and had explored some new territory.
Opening jumps into Points of Authority
. I would have thought that Linkin Park would want to show that they had drastically changed their songs from Hybrid Theory early on in the album. However, Points Of Authority is more or less the same as the original. Basically, the rap-metal elements are changed into more industrial elements, but this is only because of the keyboards. Not much creativity and innovation is shown in Points Of Authority. Iíll tell you what, though; Points Of Authority has a spectacular video. It is all completely CGI, and it is made by Joseph Hahn, the dj/keyboardist of Linkin Park. It looks like the Final Fantasy movie.
Talk about bad starts to albums (with the exception of the intro track). The remix of In The End
is by far the most annoying song on Reanimation. It begins with the once-powerful piano melody, except it is staccato and irritating. Kutmasta Kurt, and Motion Man, have changed the song, but the original is better. Some of the rapping is changed, but the lyrics are still self-pitying. Motion Man joins the song a couple minutes in, making it even worse. His voice is high-pitched, and actually makes me crack up sometimes. ďAll...I...know, know, know" makes me smile every time. Chesterís singing is the same, but it is otherwise dead with the backup of a guitar, bass, and drums. It just doesnít quite fit in with the basement hip-hop instrumentation, and that isnít necessarily his fault. Sometimes rock singing can be blended with hip hop music effectively, but In The End certainly isnít an example.
The next song is Forgotten
(I refuse to type these ridiculous song names they are given. Using a ď10" instead of ď..ten" is not smart, just wanky). As for the song, I personally enjoy it very much. Mike Shinoda uses lyrics that arenít as nu metal-esque. They are actually quite poetic and profound. The music is driven by harp-like noises, and a fantastic hip-hop beat. Once again, Chesterís singing seems a little out of context, but it isnít as apparent this time. The song has a somber feel to it, unlike the original version of Forgotten. Linkin Park, along with guest rapper Chali 2NA and Alchemistís production, show that they can shed new light upon old treasures (Forgotten was actually one of my favorites from Hybrid Theory). I have to say that the remix found on Reanimation is better than its predecessor. Forgotten (fine, FRGT/10) makes you hope the rest of the album will continue this way.
Next is the remix for Pushing me Away
. Again, Linkin Park shows in the first few seconds that they can give old songs completely new feels. Someone educate me on who Stephen Richards is, because I couldnít find any information on him, and I think he is a decent singer. The verses are actually eerie and dark. In the background, you can here vocal samples of Mike Shinoda being played around with and looped, adding to feeling of surrealism in the song. Pushing Me Away finally breaks through at around 2:15, the somewhat muted sound of the song changing to a bright spectrum. The remix actually has a completely new chorus, which I prefer to the old one. Stephen Richards sings in the interlude, which then goes back to the new chorus. An electric guitar can actually be heard later in the song. Pushing Me Away sounds very different from the original, and Linkin Park once again show that they can expand on their songs.
A Place For My Head
more or less sounds like the original, just with more industrial elements to it. However, after a minute and a half, an annoying rapper named Zion completely ruins the song. Just like Motion Man, his voice is nasal and weak. After a few minutes, the song goes into the energetic bridge where Chester screams ďGo away! Go! Try to take the best of me!" This time, he is joined by another piano melody. The raw power of this segment makes up for the poor beginning. A Place For My Head is improved upon; it is just changed, at times for the worse.
The next significant song is With You remix
, which is Mr. Hahnís remix. It begins with Chester Bennington screaming ďCome on!" The overall sound of the song isnít changed drastically, but the vocal melodies are changed in the chorus. Chesterís vocals power is evident in the chorus; he hits those high notes with insurmountable power every time. With You takes an interesting turn after 2 and a half minutes. Aceyalone raps, and he is better than most of the other guest rappers on this album. Another great musical moment on the album is when he says, along with another melancholy piano melody, ďNo Iím not your puppet. And no, no, no. I wonít let you go..." which segues into Chesterís bridge. With You is an old favorite of mine, and the remix improves on the original, giving it a more length and layers.
Mike Shinodaís piano intermission is quite lovely. That bastard is so good at making sad little piano tunes. We all already know that he plays the piano, from listening to Hybrid Theory, so Intermission isnít a musical surprise. It is still a nice transition song, though.
is one of the better remixes on Reanimation. Cheapshot and Jubacca are credited as the reanimators. The song is given a completely different feel. A minute into the song, Rasco & Planet Asia appear as rappers. The first rapperís voice is actually quite dark and cool sounding. The second rapper has a higher voice, but it isnít that bad. Linkin Park shows true musical collaboration in the remix for Papercut. Chesterís vocals are messed around with in the chorus. Papercut is not one of my favorites, but it is still good.
Next is Backyard Bangersí remix of Runaway
. The song isnít changed very much. Mostly the lyrics are just altered. There is a cool hip hop section a few minutes in, with Phoenix Orion making a guest appearance. I never liked the original version of Runaway found on Hybrid Theory that much, and I have to say that the remix isnít very special either.
isnít actually featured on Hybrid Theory. However, I remember hearing it the radio for a long time, and I think it can be found on one of their dvdís. I hated the piano harmony from the original, but the remix just has nice chords being repeated. There is a sadness that hangs over My December. The singing is soft and mellow, and Mike Shinodaís voice also sounds quite nice for once. The vocal harmony in the chorus caught me by surprise at first, but I have grown to quite like it. It sounds childish, like the ďeenie meenie minie mo" chant on Mudvayneís Choices. The original was annoying, but the remix is both happy and sad at the same time.
Josh Abrahamís remix of By Myself
is best listened to with lots of volume. It is basically a harder, more industrial version of the original. Nothing seems to have been changed, but it is still a cool, hard song. The chorus is similar to other choruses on Reanimation, in that Chester just sings one line and holds it out. By Myself seems predictable, until around 2:45. The bridge is much more powerful than the one from the old cut of By Myself. Originally, the bar line is on Mike saying, ďDonít you" but in the remix, it begins on Chester screaming ďKnow!" In general, By Myself remix, or By_Myslf (oh thatís cool) is less whiny and nu metally than the original.
I will not go into great detail on Cure For The Itch
. I remember finding the original powerful and beautiful, at least whenever the orchestra joins in. In the remix, all the emotion and beauty is stripped. As a result, the final sound is very sterile and dull. There is an irritating tremolo effect, and the orchestra is given a swelling, waning sound. My Hahnís remix of his own piece of work is poor, and adds nothing to the album.
Ahh, at last. The best 2 songs on the album are the last two. First, is One Step Closer
, or 1stp Klosr (there, fine!). This is the closest you can get to progressive when it comes to Linkin Park. Instead of a short, 2:30 song, with no transitions, The Humble Brothersís remix of One Step Closer comes in at 5:46, which is long for LPís standards. The song takes a while to develop; layers are gradually added in, similar to Pushing Me Away, but in greater degree. In the verses, a cool palm muted riff is played, along with some awesome keyboard work. After about 2 minutes, it appears to go back to the original, but it skips the whiny chorus, thank God. Another great musical moment on the album is when Chester repeats, ďOver and over again..." Linkin Park shows in the remix of One Step closer that they donít always have to go verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, chorus, which they almost always do. This might not seem like a big deal, especially to Tool or Opeth fans like myself, but any musical variation is appreciated with Linkin Park. One Step Closer takes an unprecedented turn at 3:30, where the music softens. Jonathan Davis, who is a better singer than Chester, joins in. This is a huge treat for Korn fans of any sort. This flows into a hard section with Jonathan and Chester singing together. The original version of One Step Closer is one of my least favorite LP songs, yet the remix is one of my favorites.
And finally, Crawling
. Phoenix plays a chord progression on the cello and violin, almost identical to the one found in the opening. At first, it seems like it will just be a short outro, but it gradually builds up, Chesterís singing faintly heard in the background. The original Crawling was quite mediocre, in my opinion, but the remix is anything but. At 1:51, Aaron Lewis, another great singer, joins in the song. He sings a variation on ďCrawling in my skin, these wounds...they will not heal. Fear is how I fall; confusing what is real," and he does so better than Chester ever would be able to do. The orchestra is present for the duration of the most of the song, and it really adds to the depth of the song. It finally comes to a powerful and emotional close, after about 5 and a half minutes, which is once again pretty long for Linkin Park standards.
Reanimation is definitely an album that Hybrid Theory fans should check out. Unfortunately, there are some poor songs at the beginning, but there are some other great songs. There are a lot of fillers, but they donít really change the rest of the album. Most of the remixes of the Hybrid Theory songs completely change them, usually for the better. Reanimation shows a lot more musical talent than Hybrid Theory, and all old-school Linkin Park fans should buy a copy. 3/5
Pushing Me Away
One Step Closer
In The End
Linkin Park is:
Chester Bennington - vocals
Mike Shinoda - vocals, guitar, MC
Brad Delson - guitars
Rob Bourbon - drums
Phoenix - bass, strings
Joseph Hahn - turntables, keyboards
Cheapshot & Jubacca
The Humble Brothers
Pharoahe Monch & DJ Babu
Rasco & Planet Asia