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.
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!