Linkin Park has been slowly drifting into the mainstream for years, but their new album, One More Light, is utterly disappointing.
In the early 2000s, Linkin Park scored big with both Hip-Hop and hard rock crowds alike for their runaway hits such as, “One Step Closer,” and “In the End.”
Their latest work seems a far cry from the good old days when they had more of a one-two-punch, consisting of frontman Chester Bennington‘s rock scream and Mike Shinoda‘s lyrical ability.
Over the years their music had progressively gotten softer. Their sophomore album, Meteora, went on to be the most successful album in the history of the Billboard alternative music charts.
Linkin Park would return after a four-year hiatus with yet another hit, Minutes to Midnight, produced by Def Jam Records co-founder, Rick Rubin.
As soon as Rubin started to work with the band, the music slowly began to change, becoming slightly more progressive while maintaining the hip-hop/hard rock foundation of the band, which fans have come to know and love.
Following A Thousand Suns (2010), they produced and released one more album with Rubin, before lead guitarist Brad Delson stepped in to work with Shinoda on The Hunting Party (2014).
But the production is not what makes One More Light almost unlistenable. It is the fact that they almost sound like they are trying to be something they are not, more like Twenty One Pilots.
Instead of sticking to the same sound, Linkin Park tried to change it up so much that it became pop music. And you know it’s pop music when your mother calls up raving about how she’s been wanting to hear Chester actually sing instead of scream.
Keeping an open mind while listening helps, however, for fans having to listen through tracks like “Invisible” and “Sharp Edges” will be a major let down.
If the first single off the album, “Heavy” featuring singer-songwriter Kiiara, was any indicator, Linkin Park has indeed embraced the mainstream.
The album’s saving grace comes in the form of an epic cross-continental, Hip-Hop collaboration. American rapper Pusha T and UK Grime heavy-hitter Stormzy, join Mike Shinoda on “Good Goodbye,” delivering only a taste of the Linkin Park we once knew.