Linkin Park
A Thousand Suns: Puerta De Alcala


1.5
very poor

Review

by Irving Tan STAFF
February 4th, 2011 | 86 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Spare us. Please.

Puerta de Alcala is a live EP by Linkin Park that was released on the 1st of February 2011. This exclusive release features six recordings from the band's performance in Madrid for the 2010 MTV Europe Music Awards, is just under 26 minutes long, and can currently be found retailing for only $4.99 at the iTunes Store. Its cover features a grey theme, with the band's logo emblazoned neatly on the top, and all six band members visibly standing under the Puerta de Alcala monument in Madrid. At the bottom, the words "A Thousand Suns: Puerta de Alcala" is written in uppercase typeset, and there appears to be a malformed orb of plasma in the background.

Now that you know what this abomination looks like, you know exactly what to avoid; or even better - shoot on sight.

Linkin Park's A Thousand Suns was, at best, a mixed bag of results. Despite some reasonably interesting ideas and several honest-to-God attempts at decent musicianship, the album was ultimately let down by the fact that its target demographic had long since moved on to newer and greener pastures. But although the crunk metal revolution had come three years too late, there was still some scant consolation to be had in the knowledge that Linkin Park did at least try. However, with Puerta de Alcala, all we get is a group of six individuals seemingly intent on performing their latest impersonation of a deep-sea submersible, plumbing as they do to hitherto unknown depths. Fact: it only takes all of one rotation to discover the only half-decent thing about this EP - that it is a digital release, and thus few to no trees were likely harmed during its production.

More to the point though, the first sign of this EP's utter uselessness lies in the fact that it appears to have no target demographic. As an iTunes release it is definitely not designed to expand the band's fan base, but the supposition that this might be a gift to fans simply doesn't make any sense at all; for why would Linkin Park stop here and not include a mail order for an optional side of whale turds if they were truly trying to come up with the worst fan tribute possible? Indeed, the scene for complete and irrevocable fan-band divorce is set by album opener "New Divide" - which has always been one of the band's weakest songs to begin with. However, this particular live rendition adds nothing at all to an already-uninspired number; worse, it is strangely sterile, disinterested, and comes off sounding completely manufactured (a common theme on Puerto de Alcala, as it turns out). Most damning however, is its ending, which features an abrupt truncation of the introductory synth to "Faint". It is as clear as antlers on a moose that this particular live performance of "New Divide" was always supposed to segue into "Faint" - so why cut the latter out and leave fans with the clumsiest thing since botched decapitations? Only God knows.

The live performances are also unusually loose - "Waiting For The End"'s bridge features a strangely out-of-pitch Mike Shinoda, and the less said about Joseph Hahn's disinterested turntabling, the better. A Thousand Suns' lead single "The Catalyst" is also similarly clogged - check out the awkward transition into the bridge at 4.54, and Chester completely missing the song's tempo about half a minute later. And then there are those moments which are so pathetic they actually end up being hilarious - at the ending of "Breaking The Habit", for instance, Chester attempts to taper off the song by building on its final verse, but a muted response from the fans ends up making it sound like he forgot to sing the last of the lyrics instead. And while we're on the subject of the audience, it's also worth mentioning that the fans on this release sound like they were either a.) completely indifferent to Linkin Park's efforts onstage, or b.) had attended with three layers of duct tape wrapped around their mouths. Whereas live EPs tend to feature fans which virtually throttle the songs along and threaten to be legally obligated to co-billing, one could be forgiven for believing that Puerta de Alcala's throng had been blackmailed into attending. Honestly, this could have been titled Live In Brampton, Ontario, and no one would have been able to tell the difference.

Of the six tracks present here, "What I've Done" comes closest to shining, and by this I mean it turns a sickly hue of green instead of remaining in a shallow pallor of grey. Said track is pedestrian at best, but thankfully it doesn't lend itself to the ridiculous shenanigans of the EP's previous numbers. However, the awkward dichotomy of having a half-decent number book-end a horrifyingly bad release makes for quite a bitter aftertaste, and one which I would not wish on a mortal enemy. In short, do yourself a favour and avoid this release, even if you're a fan; no, wait - especially if you're a fan.

May this burn inside the fires of a thousand suns.



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user ratings (30)
Chart.
2.8
good
other reviews of this album
Sputnik's official false metal authority (1)
Puerta de Alcala is exactly how a live concert should not sound....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Irving
Staff Reviewer
February 4th 2011


7321 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Early morning review.

As always, comments and criticisms will be much appreciated.

Nagrarok
February 4th 2011


8316 Comments


Fact: it only takes all of one rotation to discover the only half-decent thing about this EP - that it is a digital release, and thus few to no trees were likely harmed during its production.


Brilliant. A Thousand Suns was very meh, my favourite LP track is still In the End.

Defeater
February 4th 2011


5782 Comments


This band needs to die.

pos

couldwinarabbit
February 4th 2011


6996 Comments


your positive reviews are above average but you lack spite and anger in your negative ones. While
written well this doesn't seem as sincere as your 5/5 reviews.

Nagrarok
February 4th 2011


8316 Comments


^I agree with this actually, your writing seems to be better in positive ones.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
February 4th 2011


3502 Comments


apparently the band's new improved sounds and drum patterns on The Catalyst are still a mystery to Chester. they get worse every year. pos

Digging: Motorpsycho - The Motorpnakotic Fragments

sifFlammable
February 4th 2011


2741 Comments


reviews a bit unnecessarily harsh, imo.

amanwithahammer
February 4th 2011


575 Comments


Cover actually looks kind of cool. But of these songs really are as clumsily performed/put together as you make out here, I'm surprised this got released in any way.

Tyrael
February 4th 2011


20971 Comments


Linkin Park's A Thousand Suns was, at best, a mixed bag of results.

What you say here contradicts your review of A Thousand Suns Irving.
Apart from that this is still a solid piece of work, so you deserve a pos. I also agree that this is
pretty bad.

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
February 4th 2011


28817 Comments


Puerta de Alcala is a live EP by Linkin Park that was released on the 1st of February 2011. This exclusive release features six recordings from the band's performance in Madrid for the 2010 MTV Europe Music Awards, is just under 26 minutes long, and can currently be found retailing for only $4.99 at the iTunes Store. Its cover features a grey theme, with the band's logo emblazoned neatly on the top, and all six band members visibly standing under the Puerta de Alcala monument in Madrid. At the bottom, the words "A Thousand Suns: Puerta de Alcala" is written in uppercase typeset, and there appears to be a malformed orb of plasma in the background.

Now that you know what this abomination looks like, you know exactly what to avoid; or even better - shoot on sight.

Linkin Park's A Thousand Suns was, at best, a mixed bag of results. Despite some reasonably interesting ideas and several honest-to-God attempts at decent musicianship, the album was ultimately let down by the fact that its target demographic that had long since moved on to newer and greener pastures. The crunk metal revolution had come three years too late, but there was still some scant consolation to be had in the knowledge that Linkin Park did at least try. However, with Puerta de Alcala, all we get is a group of six individuals seemingly intent on performing their latest impersonation of a deep-sea submersible, plumbing as they do to hitherto unknown depths. Fact: it only takes all of one rotation to discover the only half-decent thing about this EP - that it is a digital release, and thus few to no trees were likely harmed during its production.


get this shit out of there

Digging: Charli XCX - Sucker

bloc
February 4th 2011


35024 Comments


These live EP's are so worthless

Irving
Staff Reviewer
February 4th 2011


7321 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Thanks for reading (and the pos votes) guys. Much appreciated.

@ couldwinarabbit:

your positive reviews are above average but you lack spite and anger in your negative ones. While written well this doesn't seem as sincere as your 5/5 reviews.

Seeing that the only 5/5 reviews that I have written are for Disney soundtracks, it appears that I have now found my niche on Sputnik LOL! That said, you're right - I'm no ConsiderPhlebas, but hopefully if I have at it a couple more times a bit more verve will shine through. If at all possible, would you be able to help pinpoint a couple of locations where the review seems less sincere and/or gives the impression of a lack of real spite?

@ Nag:
If you could join couldwinarabbit and give your two cents too, that'd be AMAZING. Thanks =)


Tyrael
February 4th 2011


20971 Comments


These live EP's are so worthless

Not if the band is actually good live.

Irving
Staff Reviewer
February 4th 2011


7321 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Oh, and Tyraelxy:

Linkin Park's A Thousand Suns was, at best, a mixed bag of results.

What you say here contradicts your review of A Thousand Suns Irving.
Apart from that this is still a solid piece of work, so you deserve a pos. I also agree that this is
pretty bad.


Well spotted ;)

Irving
Staff Reviewer
February 4th 2011


7321 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Not if the band is actually good live.


I've actually caught LP live once before - they were pretty amazing. I especially liked the added instrumental solos and song segues that they worked in. The Montreal crowd I was with was also amazing.

None of that magic here.

Tyrael
February 4th 2011


20971 Comments


None of that magic here.

They said that they made A Thousand Suns without even considering if it was possible to play a
decent incarnation of these songs live, that was not a very good idea...

Irving
Staff Reviewer
February 4th 2011


7321 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

That's an interesting point Tyraelxy. I wonder if they actually didn't consider that while making A Thousand Suns...hmm..

Also, while we're here - my comment about A Thousand Suns actually doesn't contradict my review of it. Here, I'm remarking about the general reception to the album, and nowhere do I let on my personal opinions about it =)

=p

Tyrael
February 4th 2011


20971 Comments


No seriously I saw an interview with them on mtv belgium where they said that they had no idea how to
play some of the songs live because they were just doing random stuff in the studio and hoped that it
would sound good. Lol.

Ah if you state it like that, I get your point.

Despite some reasonably interesting ideas and several honest-to-God attempts at decent
musicianship, the album was ultimately let down by the fact that its target demographic that had long
since moved on to newer and greener pastures.

Maybe it's just me but there is something odd about this sentence...

bloc
February 4th 2011


35024 Comments


Not if the band is actually good live.

Even still I think they have no purpose

Emim
February 4th 2011


26675 Comments


It's not even that many suns



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