There are a dwindling number of artists that can be thought of as worldwide rockstars; that notion has died as the decades have gone by due to a multitude of factors from easier access to a wider array of music to pirating and the decline in desire to attend live events. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t any remaining however as Linkin Park has proven time and time again that no matter what they’re up to, their rabid fanbase awaits every singular drop of info and eagerly anticipates whats to come. This came to fruition once again as excitement swirled around the band as they entered the studio in September of 2015 to begin their seventh studio album, which eventually became known as One More Light and in typical fashion, the group once again bounced around between genres. The end result is most likely going to be their most divisive album yet, but at the same time, one that shows there is still a lot of life left in the band.
Let’s get it out of the way immediately — this doesn’t sound like early Linkin Park, so you can let go of that hope right away if that’s what you were looking for out of One More Light. If you can, instead, accept growth and change then this album should satisfy you. I expected nothing less from the seasoned musicians than perfect production and beautiful composition, and without fail they delivered on every count. One More Light showcases Linkin Park’s versatility and creativity, which is something that has been happening during their entire careers and even during Hybrid Theory’s succession into Meteora. The theme of Linkin Park’s journey as musicians has always been breaking the mold and trying new things, and this album is a perfect example of that.
One More Light is an exemplary alternative pop and electronic album that manifests itself in many different colors, as Linkin Park is often wanting to do. There are tracks that feature rap artists, while other songs highlight an acoustic guitar with more of a folk pop feeling about them. The overall genre of the album holds true to the new age Linkin Park we’ve become accustomed to, but no two songs on this album sound exactly alike to the point of being indistinguishable. One More Light keeps an inspirational, lighter tone by using plenty of major chord progressions and light, aetheric, almost fluttering keyboard sounds, and sampled and chopped vocals, and catchy beats in songs like “Battle Symphony”. But they haven’t completely abandoned electric guitars as “Talking To Myself” opens with a driving guitar riff that blends well with the rest of the song, and doesn’t just feel shoehorned in or out of place. All of the album is written beautifully, and as usual, Chester and Mike’s vocals and lyrics are spot on every time and always fit well with the song rhythmically and melodically. The subject matter of the album is meaningful, and I can’t stress enough how important that is. This is the kind of inspirational, uplifting writing that has a way of changing or even saving lives. The contrast of the raw, visceral, feelings expressed in the insanely popular single “Heavy” feat. Kiiara, and the guarding, comforting feelings in “Invisible” work perfectly together. A critique is that maybe the order of songs could be rearranged to work better, but I’m sure if we got to pick Mike and Chester’s brains a little it would make more sense.
All in all, for anyone who enjoys modern alternative pop and electronic music, and is able to appreciate a few different genres, will absolutely love this album. There are plenty of ups and downs, variation, catchy songs, and meaningful subject matter in One More Light. It’s designed that way, and Linkin Park executed what they were trying to accomplish perfectly and it paid off. This will be an album that goes down in history as one of their best. It will be a tragedy when they decide to pack up shop and stop making music, but for now, we can continue to enjoy and support their new art.
The Gist | Album Review: Linkin Park – One More Light
There are plenty of ups and downs, variation, catchy songs, and meaningful subject matter in One More Light. It’s designed that way, and Linkin Park executed what they were trying to accomplish perfectly and it paid off.