Linkin Park was the first real rock band I found myself obsessing over. Until then my life was pretty much painted by 90s pop. The first time I heard them sing One Step Closer (Chester had a head full of hair then),
I fell in love with the lyrics and the anger. Many evenings were spent rocking out to Hybrid Theory, trying to let out my teenage pains! Hybrid Theory till date is one of my most favorite albums of all time. The lyrics are beautiful, the music is outstanding and the voices filled with emotions.
Over the years, Linkin Park has experimented with their music. I’ve noticed many people have been unhappy with that change but growth requires change and Linkin Park as a band have grown and in my opinion, their transformed music continues to deliver.
This Friday, I’ve selected Linkin Park as my Soul Therapy because their music ‘enables expression of emotions’. Being a rocker is somehow associated with being a bad-ass senseless rebel, in that respect Linkin Park would probably lose points. But to me rock music isn’t about being bad, rock has a unique way of touching your heart through its lyrical arrangements and raw intensity within the voices. Rockers after-all are some of the most amazing singers. I’m thinking Chris Cornell!
Other than beautifully displaying human emotions through outstanding production of music, Linkin Park embrace ‘transformation‘ through the constant risks they take with their art. Hybrid Theory and Meteora were created around the themes of alternative metal, nu metal and rap rock with a combination of electro. Minutes To Midnight, featured more vocal melodies and less rap. The track ‘Valentines Day’ is one of the most beautiful combinations of lyrics, vocals and sound. This was an album that was massively criticized but Linkin Park continues transforming. A Thousand Suns has been overplayed on my iPod! Linkin Park went electro-rock with this album and it is interesting that even the critics found a strange similarity with Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. They experimented with a political theme this time around, the speeches add an interesting element to the album. There is a short track “Jornada Del Muerto’ which is my absolute favorite along with ‘When They Come For Me’. Their most recent work is ‘Living Things‘ which debuted at #1 on Billboards albums chart, is a lot more electro than ever before, with Mike rapping more often. The lyrics are outstanding as they mostly talk about ‘recovery after traumatic experiences’ as Guardian puts it.
Had Linkin Park continued spinning out the same tunes, it would have gotten boring. Bands make music for the fans and if the fans are happy, the critics’ opinions don’t matter. As a typical 90s girl, the three artists who influenced my teenage years were Backstreet Boys with their pop, Linkin Park with their rock and Eminem with his rap. All three artists in my opinion have transformed to cater to their fans, they have taken risks and matured with the fans. That is what real artists do. The lesson I picked up seeing my favorite artists change was that transformation is essential for truer expression of art. Sometimes it is all about expressing the real artist in you and changing yourself because it makes you happy. If you are happy with who you are, other opinions shouldn’t matter. Linkin Park puts this beautifully in their new track ‘In My Remains’ – Wash Away The Worst of Me. That is something I am hoping to do, continue shedding off the patterns, the ideas that are just not working anymore so I can express the truer me.
Here are some of my favorite Linkin Park tracks:
I don’t know what’s worth fighting for
Or why I have to scream.
I don’t know why I instigate
And say what I don’t mean.
I don’t know how I got this way
I know it’s not alright.
So I’m breaking the habit,
I’m breaking the habit
A Place For My Head
I wanna be in the energy, Not with the enemy, A place for my head.
And the clouds above move closer
Looking so dissatisfied
But the heartless wind kept blowing, blowing
I used to be my own protection, but not now
Cause my path had lost direction, somehow
A black wind took you away, from sight
And held the darkness over day, that night
Go stop the show
Choppy words and a sloppy flow
Shotgun opera lock and load
Cock it back and then watch it go
Mama help me I’ve been cursed
Death is rolling in every verse
Candy paint on his brand new hearse
Can’t contain him he knows he works
Fuck this hurts, I won’t lie
Doesn’t matter how hard I try
Half the words don’t mean a thing
And I know that I wont be satisfied
So why try ignoring him
Make it a dirt dance floor again
Say your prayers and stomp it out
When they bring that chorus in.
Jornada Del Muerto
Mochi agete, Toki hanashite: Lift me up, Let me Go
No, you can tell ’em all now
I don’t back up, I don’t back down
I don’t fold up, and I don’t bow
I don’t roll over, don’t know how
I don’t care where the enemies are
Can’t be stopped, all I know; go hard
Won’t forget how I got this far
For every time saying…
Here is a beautiful augmented reality show by Linkin Park titled A Thousand Horizons, which was a unique charity art show for the victims of Japan’s tsunami and earthquake. I caught this live last year and it was fantastic!
Check out their official website. It is definitely one of the best artist websites I have come across. This blog post turned out pretty lengthy, I need to cover Mike Shinoda’s amazing art work in some other post.