Linkin Park Releases A Thousand Suns

Sara J Dufort

When Linkin Park first hit the music scene in 2000, they quickly rose to the top of the charts. Each album that they have released since has been done similarly, and with the publicity gained at the MTV Video Music Awards, there is no doubt that they will do the same again. Yet, A Thousand Suns is different from anything that the band has recorded, which has some diehard fans up in arms. There is no doubt that the album has potential, but if you are looking for the sound you know and love, you will be sadly mistaken.

With fifteen tracks, A Thousand Suns comes in at what you might call a shorter album, unless you count the introductions. Nearly every song has an introduction before any lyrics come in, ranging from thirty seconds to even a minute. This can be frustrating for a person who wants to get down to the message that Linkin Park is trying to convey. They may have thought that doing this would heighten anticipation, but instead it just instills frustration. Linkin Park is a talented band, but if that is all people wanted to hear, they could go to their local elementary school concert. People are entranced by Chester Bennington’s voice, and it is hard to have a hit radio song, with such long introductions.

The major issue involved with this album is not the introductions, but instead, the change in genre that has taken place. The members of Linkin Park have been known to do side projects, but when they come together, a certain sound is expected. They tried to deliver this in a few songs, like “The Catalyst,” but as a whole, they were unsuccessful. It seems like they are trying to reinvent themselves, but there was nothing wrong with them in the beginning. If another band had come out with this album, it would have been taken in with less criticism. They have been historically Alternative Rock, but this album came out sounding more like Muse and the “space rock” genre.

Yet perhaps the band had realized that the music society is listening to is changing, and they want to adapt so that they will be popular for the next few decades, instead of just the next few years. The changed sound could be the best move they ever made, or it could be the worst. The make or break point is normally during the first week of sales, and it seems like they may have made the right decision. The album sold 241,000 copies during the first week, and debuted at number one on Billboard Top 200.

It is not that the album is terrible; yet, the shift catches the listener off guard. In fact, it is the best album that has been released in recent months. Nevertheless, when a person has certain expectations, and they are not met, there will always be disappointment. If you have never listened to them before, you will be fine, but for those who picked up Minutes to Midnight the day it was released, it will take a little longer to warm up to it. The best advice is to listen to the album all at once, to truly enjoy the experience.