Linkin Park has explored many genres since they released their debut album ‘Hybrid Theory’ back in 2000 – and rightly so. The musical space has changed so much in the past 17 years and, naturally, the band has had to evolve and grow alongside it. However, many feel that the pop approach taken on their new album ‘One More Light’ is completely the wrong approach. Has the rock band sold out?
The truth is, bands like Twenty One Pilots have found the perfect middle ground between the pop and rock genre. Commercial tracks often become instrumental to an acts success and I can’t blame the group for trying something different. In fact, I love when a band is pushed outside of their comfort zone. However, I was surprised when the group released ‘Heavy’ as the lead single off this record. I wasn’t a fan. But, I grew to enjoy it rather quickly and it’s become a favourite recently (once the shock subsided).
Naturally, every album has its pros and cons. Surprisingly, the pop sphere is one the group seem very comfortable in – despite the fact that it is so different to anything they have done before. Despite the new sound, the group’s essence is still incredibly visible. You know it’s a Linkin Park record and that’s something that is incredibly important. Vocally, it’s great seeing Chester Bennington take a stab at singing. Surprisingly, he has a great range and does a fantastic job showing off this side of his vocal. ‘One More Light’ is an interesting change. People don’t like change, but it’s necessary and, honestly, a great step for the band.
However, the album isn’t perfect. In fact, it’s far from it. The group seem incredibly uninspired on the record. The album is full of sloppy writing, ineffective hooks and sonically, the group take some risks that don’t pay off. A perfect example of this is the EDM-driven ‘Sorry For Now’ where the group sound incredible uncomfortable.
Another downfall is the fact that many of the compositions on the record lack originality. They’re forgettable and, honestly, there isn’t anything you haven’t heard before on the record. Besides the collaborations with Kiiara, Pusha T and Stormzy, the album is too safe.
Sure, this is Linkin Park’s most confusing release to date, but doing something different was necessary. Many Linkin Park fans will be disappointed but will commend the group on their artistry. Truthfully, the group could have done something amazing within the pop genre, but they played it too safe.
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