Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Linkin Park - A Thousand Suns (a track by track description and breakdown)

by Tim Beck on Tuesday, September 14, 2010 at 10:16pm

just my thoughts... typed out as i listened to the album in its entirety. some thoughts might seem very random.... and i might be wrong with my interpretation... but none the less, here they are for you to see. check out the album for yourself. i recommend it. ~ tim

1. "The Requiem" 2:01 - ethereal. like a soundscape to something dark and mysterious. effects-laden vocals. a foreshadowing to The Catalyst. there is no daylight, just darkness.

2. "The Radiance" 0:57 spoken word. "now i become death, the destroyer of the worlds." a warning of things to come… to the end of everything.

3. "Burning in the Skies" 4:13 the first real song on the album. a simple beginning. a modest opening song for an alternative band. vocals by Bennington and Shinoda. the song slowly builds but never over steps its modest beginnings.

4. "Empty Spaces" 0:18 someone preaches in the background. explosions and cannons fire and explode.

5. "When They Come for Me" 4:53 a solid tribal drum beat with bass are persistent. Shinoda brings a Chuck D-esque rhyme, with no apologies. the choral parts are the perfect compliment. the tribal rhythms serve as an edgy, conflicting end to the song. aiding the listener navigate through the concept of the album.

6. "Robot Boy" 4:29 so many layers to this song, including a sweet vocal mix. "you say you're not going to fight 'cuz no one will fight for you." "you say the weight of the world has kept you from letting go." "you think compassion is a flaw and you'll never let it show." "you think you've hurt in a way that no one will ever know." "but someday, the weight of the world will give you the strength to go." i really like the lyrics to this song. "hold on. the weight of the world will give you the strength to go." thus far - this is the most powerful song on the album. this song would never be played on the radio - but it'd be a great song to hear live. and it is a nice touch to this album.

7. "Jornada del Muerto" 1:34 indecipherable lyrics… this interlude sounds like a helicopter blade is spinning around… like when The End by the Doors plays in Apocalypse Now. the song then builds to a crescendo and fades...

8. "Waiting for the End" 3:51 another kicking drum beat to start. like Jay Z's 99 Problems (or the remix of Rihanna's - Umbrella). def. a Rick Ruben influenced track. (he co-produced the album). Bennington's vocals over the drum dub is nice. "the hardest part of ending is starting again." this song has hope - unlike any other song thus far.

9. "Blackout" 4:39 this is the farthest thing from any LP song we've heard in a while. almost screamo. very fast lyric style. listening to this song reminds me that these individual tracks are not mere songs. the are pieces to the puzzle. if one is missing, the story of this album is incomplete. this is a great concept album… much like Mew's - And the Glass Handed Kites was a great concept.

10. "Wretches and Kings" 4:10 this is a stand up and fight anthem. more Chuck D influence here. lyrical references to Bring Da Noise and Fight the Power by Public Enemy. "Wretches and Kings, we come for you!" - Bennington bellows this. Shinoda then scares anything in his path. in this concept album were a movie, this track is the rising action. this is the anthem. put your hands up. Mario Savio speech heard in background.

11. "Wisdom, Justice, and Love" (Linkin Park, Martin Luther King, Jr.) 1:38 a piano track as MLK preaches against violence and war and hate. the voice of MLK becomes warped and morphed. the closing robotic line of speech: "cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice and love…"

12. "Iridescent" 4:56 Shinoda shows his softer side - with lead vocals shared with Chester. "remember sadness and frustration… and let it go." a change needs to take place. but change breeds difficulty. is it worth the risk? that is what this song is about. a chorus of many join together at the end. to show unity? to show commonality? voices rising up. standing together. ready.

13. "Fallout" 1:23 a transition to the end. Mike Shinoda's voice through a synth/robotic voice effect - sets up the climatic ending.

14. "The Catalyst" 5:39 this song is why the whole album exists. this is it. it all comes to a head here. "God bless us everyone… we are broken people…" the foreshadowing from The Requiem is here. very fast. driving. climatic chaos in song form. this is the rising up. the resistance. standing their ground. overcoming. preaching the truth. "Lift me up. Let me go." a resounding cry. a nice conclusion to a great risk of an album from a band that was capable of pulling it off.

15. "The Messenger" 3:01 i envision this song playing as the credits role. the story has been told. the world of Matrix-like struggle between man and authority and a machine that rules with iron fist and war - The Messenger closes the show. the curtain is being pulled. a final reminder of what the struggle was all for. possibly the first acoustic track LP has ever recorded. with Chester Bennington streching his vocals once again. the curtain is now closed. the lights are up. the show is over. never forget.

now listen again. repeat. and repeat. and repeat. 

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