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Album Review: A Thousand Suns

posted Mar 27, 2011, 10:45 AM by Golden Knight   [ updated Mar 29, 2011, 2:17 PM ]

Posted in Music

By Matt Ramirez

9/27/10

With famed music producer Rick Rubin on their side, Linkin Park has pushed the envelope and has created an album so far out of this world that it leaves even their most loyal fans questioning the direction of the band.

A Thousand Suns is not a traditional Linkin Park album. Gone are the days of the rap/screamo/rock influenced albums that this band is known for. The band has stepped out of its comfort zone and created a neo-war-based concept album.

The band has taken out everything they are known for and have opted for a more melodic, synthesizer driven album. They no longer discuss personal issues, such as family problems or romance, but this time have a story to tell, a modern message to project to the general public. The story takes place after a nuclear holocaust and follows civilization in the aftermath. Though the tone of the music is extremely dark, the lyrics are surprisingly optimistic. They challenge individuals to see how and if they pick themselves up from difficult decisions. This album is a cross between Depeche Mode’s synth-influenced dark pop to U2’s majestic and atmospheric anthems.

One has to admire what the band has done with this album. You never forget the album’s message. Fans would have been just as pleased if they had gone in the same direction as their previous three albums, so the decision to experiment with their sound at this point in their career is potentially suicidal. They have created such a vast fan base through their first three albums that they now have the creative ability to build upon their own ideas instead of trying to make “music for the masses”.

 Some may criticize that the band has taken the technology a bit too far, but their willingness to branch out is a sign of growth and maturity. Great musicians don’t make catalogues of the same sound.

 “A Thousand Suns” is a truly remarkable album and is probably their best so far. It’s one of those albums in which you are forced to listen from beginning to end. What’s exciting about this band is that no two albums sound the same and is yet another step towards Linkin Park’s musical evolution. It will be very exciting to see what they will come up with next in the near future. A-

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