“One More Light” is the seventh studio album from rock band Linkin Park that was released on the 19th of May and debuted at number 1 on the US Itunes charts. It was released on Warner Music and is the follow up released to there previous LP “The Hunting Party”. The new album features artists such as UK rapper Stormzy, and US artists like Pusha T and Kiiara, who is the first female vocalist to appear on a Linkin Park project.
Over their 17 year career Linkin Park have experimented with a variety of genre’s in there music, from Electro-rap albums to there debut efforts of metal rock on “Hybrid Theory” and for this group it has seemed to work. But to fan’s Linkin Park are almost unrecognisable on there new album “One More Light”, as they transition into a new genre of pop music, and hear lead singer Chester Bennington’s voice go from edgy rock, to soft melodic pop.
In 2014. Linkin Park dropped there album “The Hunting Party” which was produced by Mike Shinoda and Brad Delson, and it marked a shift from their electronic rock sound with the help of producer Rick Rubin. The pre-production of “One More Light” began in 2015 during the tour for “The Hunting Party” by Shinoda on his mobile phone. When the tour ended the band decided to go into full production for the project teaming up with people like Martin Garrix, Zayed Hassan, and even The Lonely Island, but none of these final collaborations made the final version of the album.
With “One More Light” the band decided to use a new concept, all the songs featured on the album began with vocals being recorded first working on the story first, then the hook, and finally the music. In an interview Mike Shinoda spoke about the new production concept “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. 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. 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.”
Unlike previous albums, no one else besides the band plays on the record, but there are features and plenty of collaborations with songwriters. The album has been described as pop and pop rock. The band had been writing and recording mostly in Los Angeles but also had a few sessions in London and Canada where they worked with a few different songwriters. In an interview with Billboard, Shinoda explained the creative process of the new album “We’ve focused almost exclusively on songwriting, not on sound, not on genre, not on arrangement, on words and melodies. And that is something Rick Rubin has always told us to do years past and we never listened because we started always track first. Now we’re writing songs and now we’re just starting to get into the style of that.” While working with Justin Parker in London, Shinoda also learned a different approach to songwriting: to write without any sound in mind and, instead, write with meaning in mind. Instead of writing tracks piece by piece, the band wouldn’t leave a session without having a song. It would all start as a conversation, and out of those the songs would build progressively from a chord progression to lyrics.
Fans and critics had different opinions of the album, saying that although it is something different it doesn’t steer away from what Linkin Park produces and that is an album that is 100% them. Metacritic assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album has an average score of 45 out of 100 based on 5 reviews, which indicates “mixed or average” reviews. Yes this is not a typical Linkin Park album, but what can be said is we can’t criticise a band who are known for experimenting with genre’s going into a market that they are yet to explore. Maybe with this commercialisation of “One More Light” we might see the band back in the Billboard Charts, a place where they belong.
Rating 3.5 / 5
Tracklisting and Credits:
- Nobody Can Save Me (Linkin Park/Brad Delson/RAC)
- Good Goodbye (featuring Pusha T and Stormzy) (Linkin Park/Terrence Thorton)
- Talking To Myself (Mike Shinoda/JR Rotem)
- Battle Symphony (Linkin Park/Bolooki)
- Invisible (Mike Sinoda/Justin Parker/Emily Wright)
- Heavy (featuring Kiiara) (Linkin Park/Justin Tranter)
- Sorry For Now (Mike Shinoda/Matthew Tyler Musto/RAC)
- Halfway Right (Chester Bennington/Mike Shinoda/Ross Golan)
- One More Light (Mike Shinoda/Francis White)
- Sharp Edges (Mike Shinoda/Brad Delson/Juber)
*Image Source: rockon.it