“God save us everyone we’re a broken people living under loaded gun, and we can’t be outfought we can’t be outrun, we can’t be outmatched, we can’t be out won, no!” (Linkin Park 1)
The preceding is a quote from Linkin Park’s premier single from their newest album, A Thousand Suns. The music itself, while gathering similarities from old school Linkin Park, is an entirely original creation of the band. The single features a syncopated drum beat, a soft singing of the bridge with a repeat of the lyrics in full voice and with a larger drum accompaniment, a classic Linkin Park move, and finally, a lot more synthesized scratches than in a usual hit. The lyrics of the song describe a population, one that has reaped the resources of its land, to the point where the super nations fight for any lasting sources of fuel. Interestingly, the lyrics prove that god has the power to forgive the people for causing mass conflict, death, and war, so the song’s chorus resembles a wartime prayer. The poetry of the entire album follows suit, telling the account of a poor, lonely, soldier facing the loss of his lady, fighting in a rich man’s war, watching cities crumble, and witnessing freedom fighters protest. Since the album has a strong anti-war themes but in a time where the young generation does not react to the conflicts occurring in the Middle East, and focuses more on the happenings on the Jersey Shore, the war cry seems to fall on deaf ears. As a band grows, so does their sound, lyrical themes, style, and music.
In a single hit, Linkin Park never showcases too much of one thing. Almost every song mixes a few elements of what Linkin Park does best. Whether it’s impressive syncopated drumming, piano rapping, scratching, mixing, synthesized beats, smooth singing, scream singing, or even a wild guitar solo. What first brought me to favor Linkin Park were the interesting variety of sounds they used to make up the song melodies. The band wasn’t a classic rock band that simply used guitar, bass, drums, and singers. Well-placed scratches and synthesized melodies, and everything from Chester’s smooth singing to his manageable scream is a highlight of the group. Mike Shinoda’s headstrong rapping, as well, stood out to me. Also the aggressive lyrics heightened with even more hard-hitting choruses, are nicely contrasted with the band’s smooth singing.
From the beginning, Linkin Park has dawned a style in their music bordering on rebellious anthems. In the 90’s, it brought a rebellious nature to a generation with no big conflict. Linkin Park’s most popular single, Numb, showcases lyrics like, “Can’t you see that you’re smothering me… I want to be more like me and less like you” (Numb Linkin Park). It highlights Chester’s vocals, features a tricky drum pattern, uses a soft piano melody, and incorporates synthesized beats. The lyrics of the single foster hatred towards the man, and a desire to live freely, escaping the torture of harsh conditions. This feeling of being controlled by a dishonest ruler, borders on the line of paranoia, and the theme undoubtedly stems from earlier Linkin Park songs bent on the idea just that, paranoia. The song ‘Papercut’ and ‘Crawling’ identify that clearly with lyrics like, “Crawling in my skin, these wounds they will not heal,” and “Everybody has a face that they hold inside… that waits when I close my eyes... it watches everything”(Linkin Park 1). These chants rang instill a sense of awareness of possible treacherous surroundings. The idea of not living in a protected world but rather one in danger of being overruled, plagues the lyrics. But why were these kids listening to the music of Linkin Park, what kind of music were they bringing to the industry that had not been seen before. What makes them so special? It’s all about genre.
Linkin Park is one of the premier bands that pushed newer genres together, tested