Linkin Park has long since drifted away from the nu-metal screeching of “Hybrid Theory”, in fact that’s been no secret since after their 2010 release ‘A Thousand Suns’. However with the latest album (released today), it feels Linkin Park has wandered ever further. The heavy guitar and screaming vocals we knew have been fully stripped away and the band’s new style appears to lean heavily on both vocals and melodies. Bands often evolve into something new and we see artists change their styles up often, in hopes to not compete with themselves and a previous successful album and/or singles. One More Light was mostly recorded and written at Larrabee Studios in North Hollywood, although sessions occurred in both the UK and Canada with other songwriters. The band later went to Sphere Studios (LA) for more space.
The pre-production of ‘One More Light’ began in mid-2015 during The Hunting Party Tour by Mike Shinoda on his phone. The main production began as soon as the tour ended. The writing style for the new album was different than any other. Each song on the new album began with vocals being recorded first along with the story of the song. After the vocal foundation was laid down, they wrote the hook then the music was recorded. In an interview with Zane Lowe, Shinoda explained the composition as, “In terms of the style of the record, it’s one of the most diverse stylistically, there’s more genres mashed into this album than anything we’ve ever put out. You don’t hear a lot of super heavy guitars. There isn’t any screaming on the record.” He adds, “To some extent it is a very polished record. Stylistically we wanted to blend all of the sound and genres together in a way you can’t tell them apart”.
“…This is how the album sounds. So we wanted to go out with a song like that, where everybody can get a sense of the direction of this body of work.”
The lead single on the new album is, ironically appelled ‘Heavy’ and the sound of the song showcases a definitive new pop direction. Shinoda told Billboard, “One of the reasons why we chose ‘Heavy’ as the first single is because it is really the core sound of the album. This wasn’t a scenario where the whole album sounds one way and the single sounds different. This is how the album sounds. So we wanted to go out with a song like that, where everybody can get a sense of the direction of this body of work.” The band did warn us of the new direction they were taking but it feels derivative. It’s easy to understand that the band wants everyone to respect their evolution but whether or not that happens will be a point of much interest to those on the Bleachers. Seventeen years after Hybrid Theory set the world on fire it’s our best guess that die-hard fans of Linkin Park’s previous incarnation will be taking a moratorium on this record – whilst their kids will probably love it.
Linkin Park earlier announced a World Tour and tonight they will be playing The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas NV to coincide with the release of ‘One More Light’.
Michael Erron is a studio and touring musician and for over a decade has been banging on drums all over the map. Originally from the Los Angeles area he now resides in Las Vegas working as a session musician. In his downtime Michael is also a Computer Engineer, working with Virtualization and Network Infrastructures.