Review Summary: Turns out that we all cared if the lights went out.
Everyone knows that person; that specific someone whom you can't wrap your head around. Often seen as dubious and debatable, humans described as such are known to have traits that represent a “strong personality”. These types of people unintentionally intimidate others due to their self assurance. But strong characters go beyond just people. In a way, 'Linkin Park’ are solidified in their ways.
'One More Light’ is an album I would describe as a musical/metaphorical example of an idea determined in its own being. If ‘Linkin Park’ was a person, it would be that sensible, blue collared, extroverted introvert with a sensitive knack to him. This album focuses on new ideas rather than old tricks, a statement that could be said for the rest of their work. Except unlike the rest, these new tactics cater farther from their most endearing roots, as remote since ‘A Thousand Suns’. Whoever said ‘Linkin Park’ has a song for everyone is a genius. One reason why they’re so successful is because of their versatility.
As a rock album, ‘One More Light’ will not appeal to many. Don’t expect the signature nu-metal sound they’re famous for. Poppy song structures and electronic elements take over the majority of the seventh studio album of ‘Linkin Park’. Overall, this album takes the same direction as Bring Me The Horizon’s ‘That’s the Spirit’, or The Smashing Pumpkins, ‘Adore’. The adrenaline is down, and the softness thickens. This is the most downbeat record in ‘Linkin Park’ history.
This is the least heavy recording of ‘Linkin Park’. After all, this album’s called ‘One More Light’, not “One More Heavy”. The only time Mike Shinoda raps is on the second track, ‘Good Goodbye’, which sounds like something that wouldn’t feel out of place if it was lumped with their older album, ‘Living Things’, despite the pointless guest artists that appear on said track. Have you ever wondered what it would sound like if Mike and Chester switched vocal roles? ‘Sorry for Now’ might answer that question. Here, Bennington does the rapping, and Mike sings. As for the rest of the vocals, everything is sung in normal fashion for a duration of around 35 minutes.
Instrumentally the album is not completely ignorant. There are instances where you hear acoustic instruments, despite the technological domination. ‘Talking To Myself’ shines in audible guitars and drums. The title track features the same, and in turn, helps create the most emotional number on the record. It fits more perfectly than a nun in church on Sunday.
Wherever ‘Linkin Park’ gets brought up, there always seems to be strong personal feelings towards the group compared to other bands. For me, I always looked at them as the underdogs of the musical world. Yes they are massively huge in terms of fan base and relevance, but for some reason, they didn’t always get the respect they deserved. I’ve always connected with ‘Linkin Park’ better than most bands for the same reason people like Spider-Man; because they did not portray the conventional “rockstar image”. They weren’t pretentious or macho in their writing, they were easily relatable instrumentally and lyrically, and they simply got a knack for creating hooks. Chester said it best: They’re just normal guys with a cool job. The band’s down to Earth personality made it easier to like them, especially for a average joe like myself. And I know I’m not the only one who thinks the same.
From one perspective to another, I could understand the backlash towards ‘One More Light’. I feel critics complain about the more poppy direction for a fair reason. Deep down, they know there’s more substance to them. They can be a lot better than just another generic pop group. In that case, their statements are true. This IS the same band that breeds ‘Meteora’, ‘The Hunting Party’, and ‘A Thousand Suns’. But in my opinion, they pull off both their rock sensibilities and their pop personality pretty well.
Perhaps we were a bit too critical of ‘Linkin Park’ in recent times. Sure, it’s not the album we were hoping for, but what’s the big deal? I can recall the exact statements being heard since ‘Minutes to Midnight’. Why bother trying to please a sub-culture that will drag you south from satisfaction no matter what? If ‘One More Light’ truly was Chester Bennington’s suicide note before his departure from the world, then we were all too stupid to realize this. If this event brought anything positive, it at least gave us a wake up call. To realize we can’t take anyone/anything for granted. Because at this rate, life is unpredictable. Even though his passing left us in depressed moods, it also brought us closer together. From here on out: I hope we learn from this experience; becoming wiser, more open, kinder, and creating a better community because of it.
Overall, ‘One More Light’ is as Pop as ‘Linkin Park’ has ever been. They always had that element to them, but nothing in their catalog exposes this aspect more than this album. You can also look at ‘One More Light’ as a sequel to ‘Living Things’. As long as you don’t look at ‘One More Light’ as part of the rock genre, I think it’s possible to enjoy this for what it is. This is a band/album that was secure with themselves. The independent and unnerving direction of ‘One More Light’ set some people off, but that’s the price you pay for being a musical nomad.
‘Linkin Park’ is a band that will always stir controversy. The group themselves are a strong personality because of their constant push of experimentation, with little regard of outside noise. They don't need anyone's approval. Their evolution creates opportunities, and they're not afraid to do what they want, or say what they want. It seems their standing in music is similar to mine: the love for the job is there, but the passion for the communities they're constantly lumped into is not. Who could blame them? Fans have pronounced them dead since 2007. The band caters to themselves, and rightfully so. For them that's the way it's been, and that’s the way it always will be. ‘Linkin Park’ will go down as one of the better rock bands to emerge from the 21st century. #Facts