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Linkin Park’s latest album “One More Light” has elicited a mixed response from its die-hard fans. This American rock band, born in California, has crossed a series of genres in their music history. This latest album is the latest example of their experimental work.

For those who really understand the ethos of Linkin Park, this latest album is not as offensive at it seems to some. The latest House crossover has enraged many fans, as it is a leap away from the screaming vocals of Hybrid Theory. Yet Linkin Park has never defined themselves as a ‘rock band’. They have always been the alternative.

Alternative to the ‘alternative’

One More Light is Linkin Park’s much awaited seventh studio album release. It follows ‘Hunting Party’ which was released in 2014. They mixed up the recipe, by recording vocals first – which is not the norm for this band.

“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,” says vocalist Mike Shinoda.

This album is indeed more polished than their previous ones. And pleasantly so. But they have received heavy criticism with a  2/10 score by NME (New Musical Express). Neil Z. Yeung of AllMusic goes on to say “The issue isn’t that it’s a pop effort… there’s no feral screaming from Chester Bennington” which has become Linkin Park’s trademark sound.

“The band, with every album, every song we’re trying to challenge ourselves. We like to try new things. We want to explore new territory with the sounds and the songwriting,” Linkin Park in interview with Billboard.

“Why is everything so heavy?”

The topic of depression has arisen on several occasions when Linkin Park discusses their latest soundtrack. Some speculate that the reason Linkin Park’s new sound is so different is due to the lead singer, Chester Bennington, suffering from throat cancer. This means he can no longer scream when in the studio or on tour.

The song “Heavy” was a collaborative piece with Kiara. This was the first single that was released and set the tone for the whole album.

“One of the reasons why we chose ‘Heavy’ as the first single is because it is really the core sound of the album. 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,” says Shinoda.

It’s harsh to criticise the band for trying something different. They have a history of experimenting with sounds and pushing the envelope. This latest pop album still carries the carries potent lyrics that many can relate to – which is what rocketed them to popularity in the first place. Many people have turned up Linkin Park’s “Crawling” or “Numb” at some difficult time in life. Linkin Park’s real gift is their ability to sympathise with people through their lyrics.

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