Well-known rock band Linkin Park released their seventh studio album on Thursday night, reinventing their sound and deviating (rightly so) from what fans might have been expecting.
The 10-track album, titled “One More Light,” totals just over a half an hour in length and is a far left-turn from their rock albums Hybrid Theory and LIVING THINGS. Sonically, “One More Light” is filled with softer beats than fans are used to and vocals are more pop than anything else. However, I’m not opposed to change and very much welcome this unexpected and apparent genre shift.
Track 1: “Nobody Can Save Me”
The first song on the album is definitely a bit of a shock to fans who might have been expecting the same Linkin Park circa 2012, with songs like “BURN IT DOWN” and “VICTIMIZED.” Instead, lyrics from “Nobody Can Save Me” are softer, begging for forgiveness and sprinkled with realizations of self-acceptance: “I’m dancing with my demons / I’m hanging off the edge / storm clouds gather beneath me / waves break above my head / tell me I’m forgiven tonight / I’m chasing out the darkness inside.”
With lyrics like “let me say goodbye to my demons / let me say goodbye to my past life / let me say goodbye to the darkness / tell ‘em that I’d rather be here in the starlight,” it’s hard to ignore the fact that this album is all about renewal. This track can very easily be sung along to, perfect for long summer drives. Pusha T & Stormzy’s parts of the song remind me of the Eminem and Rihanna collaboration, “The Monster,” providing a nice little rap break in between the sung verses.
Track 3: “Talking to Myself”
The intro to this song is more like what fans have become accustomed to from the band’s former albums and is the song closest to rock on the entire record. The rhythm of the song is one I found myself bobbing my head to and the song has a relatable message: that sometimes, people change.
Track 4: “Battle Symphony”
This track is all about power and perseverance. The slowed down rhythm and lyrics, “I hear my battle symphony / all the world in front of me / if my armor breaks / I’ll fuse it back together,” create a song that is perfectly made for being belted out at high volume whenever life calls for a pick-me-up.
Track 5: “Invisible”
An anthem of regret, “Invisible” is all about making sure that living in the moment and not being afraid to say things that you would otherwise be “too scared to say out loud.” A message that everyone can relate to, this song is definitely worth a listen or two.
Track 6: “Heavy” feat. Kiiara
The first track released from the album, “Heavy” is all about letting go from things that hold you back. This song has lyrics that are reminiscent of the “darker” tone prevalent in earlier albums, however not lacking in melody. Composed almost perfectly for present-day pop radio, this song both has a good message and is pleasing to the ear.
Track 7: “Sorry for Now”
This track is another sing-along ballad, accompanied by a rather interesting melody. Lyrics such as, “there are things we have to do that we can’t stand / oh I’ll be sorry for now / that I couldn’t be around / there will be a day that you will understand” convey another idea that many listeners will already, in fact, understand.
Track 8: “Halfway Right”
This slow-paced song paired with a powerful set of lyrics makes for yet another ballad that I can envision myself singing along with in the car on my way somewhere. Reminiscent of a typical fight song, it’s very catchy and will likely be stuck in your head for a while.
Track 9: “One More Light”
The album’s title song is the slowest one on the record and for a moment I forgot that I was listening to a Linkin Park album. Lead singer Chester Bennington’s vocals on this track sound vaguely like an Owl City song. I don’t foresee this song making it to radio stations, but given the fact that it’s the title track, it’s worth a listen.
Track 10: “Sharp Edges”
This song deserves a few repeats. It starts out slow, with the melody picking up by the chorus. The bridge conveys a message that is often found in modern pop songs, “we all fall down / we live somehow / we learn what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.”
If you’re not approaching this album with the open mind of a true fan, you might be put off with the change in direction that they’ve decided to take. However, it seems to have worked out well so far and the album speaks for itself. They’ve already announced their world tour with Snoop Dogg, so if you’re a fan, this might be a concert to go to.
Favorite Tracks: “Talking to Myself,” “Good Goodbye,” “Battle Symphony,” “Halfway Right,” “Sharp Edges”