Yesterday I read the comment ´´Do not rush , just make the best album of all.´´ at Linkin Park´s new youtube video ´Studio Sounds (Good Problems) - Linkin Park 2016´. I replied with ´´We’re beyond that stage already.´´ But I wanted to explain my comment a little more, so I wrote this story. Which actually became a comprehensive lifestory about what Linkin Park means to me I would really like tho share it with you guys! Hope you enjoy reading it:
**’’**I love all the albums you guys mention!! I will explain myself a little better! With all the directions Linkin Park took in their career, they have eventually become a mature, grown-up, experienced and most of all quality-delivering band. They set the tone of their career in an immense way with Hybrid Theory and Meteora. With those great nu-metal albums they already gained a huge fanbase within 3 years and put their mark in the music industry. So soon, they had already become a band the world would never forget. In my opinion, they made the right choice not to continue their nu-metal style, but experiment with other genres and become a diverse band which evolves instead of falling into oblivion with making the same music over and over. Minutes to Midnight became my favorite Linkin Park album at the time. Hardrock combined with rockballads, and I fell in love with the softer side of Chester’s voice. I love Chester’s screaming, but his softer unique and pure voice really touched my heart.
I started listening to Linkin Park around 2007, and their first 3 album were already released at that time. In no time they became my favorite band. It almost felt like an eternity waiting for the release of their fourth album. I just had the need to hear new music from my favorite band. New Divide was a great foretaste, and it showed that they had been continuing their need to evolve themselves as a band and create something unique. And they did! A Thousand Suns is definitely their most unique, experimental and also one of their best albums to date. Besides that, Chester really improved as a vocalist. His voice already touched my heart during the Minutes to Midnight period, but his singing on Waiting For The End is one of the most beautiful things I have ever heard in my life. Since then, Chester has always been my #1 vocalist, because of the diverse, unique and beautiful voice he has. In 2011, I saw Linkin Park live for the first time (Rock Werchter) and it was one of the best nights of my life. Especially because they had already released 4 albums, their setlist was more unpredictable than ever before and the mix of different genres/styles turned into a unique and great live performance.
Then they started working on their fifth album, and at THAT moment I thought: ‘‘Do not rush, just make the best album of all.’’ Everyone knew they reached their limits of experimentation and knew Linkin Park would return to a more safe, radio-friendly sound. I was hoping for a unique and ‘something-I-never-heard-before’ fifth album, but Living Things became their most predictable one. They combined all the experience they gained since their first album and put it together in Living Things. Don’t misread me! I love Living Things, and Lost in the Echo, Castle of Glass, Roads Untraveled and Powerless are among my favorite Linkin Park songs! But at that time, I was hoping for something new, I was hoping they wouldn’t play safe, and take their time to make the best album ever. So when I said ‘‘we’re beyond that stage already’’ I was refering and refering only to this point in their career.
Eventually, it was the right thing for Linkin Park to release an album like Living Things. Because it was sort of a summary as their career so far. Instead of releasing a ‘greatest hits’ album (which would sum up their career so far) they combined all their experiences to create a new album and show the world how they had evolved as a band. They kind of closed a chapter in their life with releasing Living Things, and simultaneously made an unspoken statement: ‘‘We have become a mature band and we’re about to make a whole new/fresh start’’.
(I’d also like to point out I love Linkin Park for not releasing a greatest hits album so far. I thought they would, because they reached a moment in their career a greatest hits album could be a bestseller. But luckily they proved me wrong. Releasing a greatest hits album is such an easy way to make money. Linkin Park earned my infinite respect by showing us what music is all about: MUSIC, not money. It also shows that they are their own boss, that they are making the music they like to make and that they are not restricted/owned by a suppressive music company, which is only trying to make profit most of the time.)
Linkin Park had become a mature band, which was enhanced by the fact that they were going to produce their sixth album all by themselves. Their 5 albums so far have never dissapointed me (Living Things also eventually), even though they were always searching for new sounds and exploring different genres, I love every single song they produced and I really praise Linkin Park for improving themselves as musicians and artists. There is so much talent among this band, and the way they are continuingly trying to broaden their skills, really inspires me and showed me I should always be myself, and believe in myself.
So, Linkin Park was working on their sixth album. As I said before, during the wait for Living Things, I was hoping they wouldn’t rush anything and make the best album ever. That didn’t turn out as I hoped, but with the extra experience gained and after closing a chapter in their life, I was DEFINITELY sure that their sixth album would become one of their best. Because they had become an adult band, were making a fresh start, didn’t have to prove anything to anyone anymore and had 100% selfawareness of their talents and skills, I was sure they were going to deliver some real quality. And they did! In my eyes, The Hunting Party is their best album to date (Closely followed by Hybrid Theory & Minutes to Midnight). The Hunting Party is such a hardrocking, ‘cruel’, passionate album, that it completely blew me away. Once again Linkin Park proved why they deserve the title as my favorite band. That same year, I saw them live for the second time in my life (Ziggo Dome, Amsterdam) which included a summit (I joined LPU somewhere during 2014) and it’s been the most memorable concert I visited so far. Standing all the way up front, reaching Mike’s and Chester’s hands, I will never forget that.
So, now we’re all waiting for their 7th album. I don’t know if it’s gonna be better than The Hunting Party, but I’m already assured that it’s gonna be something really beautiful. I don’t have any expectations or wishes, The Hunting Party was THE album I have been waiting for as a Linkin Park fan. At this moment, I’m just really happy with the fact that there’s going to be a new album in the near future.
Linkin Park has become such an important part of my life, and although this story has become much more than just an explanation of why I think ‘’‘they’re beyond the stage of rushing anything anymore’’ already, I really hope someone enjoys reading this. And I’m really looking forward to hear about what Linkin Park means to you, and the most memorable stories you have about the band! Best wishes!**’’**