Why I like Linkin Park’s new single “The Catalyst” (from ‘A Thousand Suns’)

Last month, when the 30 second preview for Linkin Park’s latest single “The Catalyst” hit the web, fans were upset. Many asked “where are the drums, guitars?!,” and said they didn’t like the direction Linkin Park was heading. Understandably so.

Linkin Park The Catalyst new song

When ‘Hybrid Theory‘ (2000) came out, Linkin Park was coolest thing in the so-called “nu-metal” genre (after Limp Bizkit kicked things off). It became their best-selling album and showcased the kind of music this so-called “metal” band could churn out. From rap infused “Papercut” to the song everybody knows the words to — “In the End” — Linkin Park was the best nu-metal had to offer.

Next came the remix album ‘Reanimation’ — mostly a showcase of DJ Joseph Kahn’s talent. It took tracks like “Points of Authority” and made it sound even more awesome (not to mention a cool music video too). Then came ‘Meteora‘ (2003),  my (& probably everybody’s) favourite Linkin Park album. From the awesome “Faint” to the brilliant “Breaking the Habit” and their best ballad to-date, “Numb” — Meteora offered great singles!

By now, Linkin Park was the de facto music used in thousands of AMVs and other fan-made videos dedicated to their favourite  video game, movie, anime, etc. They dwelled further into the world of hip-hop thanks to their collaboration with Jay-Z, which was another successful project.

And then came ‘Minutes to Midnight‘ (2007).  While I liked the tracks “Bleed It Out,” “Hands Held High” and “No More Sorrow,” the album in general was a disappointment. And I wasn’t the only one who agreed. Most fans were disappointed. When everyone was looking forward to another “In the End” or “Numb,” all they got was “Shadow of the Day”. Weak.

Three years have passed since the release of Minutes to Midnight and while Linkin Park’s popularity hasn’t diminished at all, fans who have been listening to LP since the days of “My December” have been hoping for a real return to form.

Which brings us to Linkin Park’s latest single “The Catalyst”….

… and going by most of the comments, return to form this isn’t!

But you know what? I’m not dissing the band (just yet). This is just one song from their upcoming album ‘A Thousand Suns‘. And after listening to the full song, I like it! I only hope the whole album isn’t like this.

Is the new album going to be another Minutes to Midnight? Rick Rubin is the producer on this album as well, so it could. LP have always mentioned in the past that they would like to try and keep doing something different, but I’m sure the members have listened to their fans too. I mean, for gods sakes, they were even famously mocked a few years ago for their formulaic song-structure:

It’s a double-edged sword. If you are generic, people criticize you for being the “same”. If you try and be different, fans are disappointed and ask for the “good ol’ days”. And as talented musicians, singing the “same ol’ shit” can get hella boring…. but they don’t want to lose their fanbase either.

So here’s hoping ‘A Thousands Suns‘ (out in September but suuuure to leak online August-end) is a good mix of songwriting we haven’t heard from LP before, along with some kick-ass jumpers like “Faint”. But whatever they put out, I pray there isn’t another “New Divide“. Now that was some ‘generic’ sh*t!

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  • Nissim


    How can you say M2M was a disappointment???..and Shadow of the Day is 1 of the best songs of Linkin Park. The whole album ATS wont sound like The Catalyst. There will be some rock songs and there will be some soft songs too. Anyhow you cant deny that LP are one of the best bands of all times. You cannot judge them by just 1 song or say that LP is dead. LP rulz…waiting for 14th sept !!

    Mithun Divakaran Reply:

    “How can you say M2M was a disappointment???”
    – Because I appreciate that Linkin Park wanted to try something different, but aside from 3 or 4 songs, their attempt to try out a different sound for a change was mediocre at best. Unlike their first two studio albums which had amazing tracks one after another.

    “Shadow of the Day is 1 of the best songs of Linkin Park”
    – According to you.

    “The whole album ATS wont sound like The Catalyst”
    – Never said it would. As mentioned above, I’m looking forward to listening to the whole album before judging the direction LP is headed.

    “Anyhow you cant deny that LP are one of the best bands of all times.”
    – One of the best bands of the last decade for sure.

    “You cannot judge them by just 1 song or say that LP is dead”
    – I wasn’t, didn’t say they were

    Thanks for dropping by my blog.

  • Chandan


    dude….You’re probably crazy to say that minutes to midnight was a disappointment. I think they took a leap of faith, LP isn’t just bout being Hard core Rock band or Hiphop band, It’s bout creating good music and that’s exactly what they are doing.
    If u didn’t already know, What i’ve done is one of the most praised song of all time which was also nominated for grammies….(what i’ve done, not faint or breaking the habbit) and am not sayin those aren’t good songs,am just saying that being a hard core fan of theirs,i’ve understood what goes through their mind while creating music and i must say,they are the best ever…It was Catalyst that broke that billboard record by gaining such an huge audience.
    so all i would say to u is to stop complaining,if u want hard metal rock,go listen to megadeth or metallica…..cuz if u can’t bear the new direction of LP’s music,then i think it’s time for u to let go of them….but remember,it won’t change the fact that LP is by far the best Alt Rock Band of all time….

    Alexander LS Reply:

    But they’ve proven their point. That can do other stuff than Hybrid Theory/Meteora, but fact is, that most hardcore fans (like myself) wants them to go back to their roots, at least a little bit. They should definitely combine their new ideas with some of their older and harder music. “The Catalyst” and “Wretches and Kings” are HUGE disappointments in my honest opinion. “The Catalyst” isn’t very good, nothing like their old stuff, but I could endure having it on their new CD. “Wretches and Kings” is just plain sucky. If it wasn’t made by Linkin Park, I would think some crappy Austrian DJ had mixed it in his living room. God I do not want to listen to that track voluntarily.
    What the author of this article wrote about Linkin Park listening to their fans, I respectfully disagree. I don’t know, maybe they think that they can pull of anything now, because they’re so big, and people will still like them (or at least buy their albums). They want to try something new, so they go all-in on their project, no matter what critics say.

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