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hahninator

One More Light Album

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After sitting on One More Light, here is what I think about the album.
This is the first album I did not preorder from the band since I became a fan well before Meteora because of how shockingly weak Heavy was for me for months.
Before I go through the songs, I want to point out that there is guitar all over the album, used in different ways which seems much more up Brad's alley compared to The Hunting Party and Living Things. I like the loud explosive guitar sound by the band but I can understand that gets old to write/play for so long. It’s a semi-new way of using guitar on an album for LP, using it as more of a background accessory instrument instead of a prominent instrument on the songs. We see this on the Sorry For Now breakdown, the Invisible piano ending, before the chorus starts on Halfway Right, the One More Light bridge, etc. It’s actually everywhere. So Brad might have been the most creative on this album actually, just plugging in overall good sounding guitar into the pop songs.
A quick run down of it top to bottom… Nobody Can Save Me has some cool MTM-esque lyrics that remind me of Valentine’s Day in a way. Dark lyrics with a poppy beat and the clash between the two is actually good. Chester sounds super “clean”, and I don’t know anyone that can complain about his vocals honestly...it just proves what we already know - that he’s a great singer that can sing in any genre of music.
Sadly, the songs are overloaded with clapping samples, excessively sampled drums, and generic pop noises. Good Goodbye is a pre-release song that we know and I think it was a total waste to put two guest rappers on it when Mike could have had three verses to himself. The live verse he does is already better than both of the guest verses to me. Not a fan of the chipmunk on the track.
My friend Parth pointed out to me that Talking To Myself is a song that would have been overplayed hourly by KROQ in 2012...and I agree. The description that it is a “The Killers”-esque song is pretty accurate with the guitar and bass. For this album, Talking To Myself is a highlight. Is it organ samples chopped and thrown together for the intro?
So there's “doing pop” and there's “overdoing an attempt at pop”, and Battle Symphony is the latter. It sounds like the biggest attempt at creating a purely top 40 pop song in the band's catalogue and easily is the worst song on the album to me - no comparison. Invisible is the first attempt we hear at Mike singing a song by himself in a few albums. I’m not a big fan of the mid-tempo upbeat-sounding poppy songs in general so Invisible doesn’t go anywhere for me. Two pretty weak songs in a row.
One thing interesting about Heavy is after listening to it a million times, I’ve noticed how much stuff is really going on in the instrumental of the song. Where some songs seem instrumentally weak, Heavy actually has a ton of layers in it. I’m not a fan of the track but you can tell they spent some time layering and layering the Shinoda sounds on that one.
The biggest highlight on the album is Sorry For Now. If Mike wants to sing on One More Light (album), then a song written to his kids with soaring vocals over quality pop samples is the way to do it. While Invisible is more mid-tempo and Mike’s vocals don’t go anywhere, they really shine on Sorry For Now. The band completely flips the script and lets Chester rap the bridge where before the entire delivery pattern would be switched. Everything from the start to the end of the song is great to me. I’m a big fan of pop that is GOOD - some examples are Backstreet Boys’ Millenium/Black & Blue albums and Taylor Swift’s Speak Now/Red/1989 albums. Everything on Sorry For Now is done like a truly well-written pop song. That breakdown comes out of nowhere, in a great way, and is awesome. And then there’s Brad just throwing guitar over it...I dig it. A+ job. Why the hell couldn’t we get more “oh shit” moments and creative pop songs on this album like Sorry For Now? This song is leagues above the rest on the album.
With Halfway Right, we really confirm the vocal melodies become really repetitive as it’s also a pretty forgettable track. The most intimate part of the album is One More Light, which the album is named after. It’s a very natural delivery for Chester and it’s a fantastic acoustic/soft song. To me it is much better song than a comparable stripped down track, The Messenger. For once I think this would be a good slower song live and that comes from someone criticizing all these piano songs and soft songs in the setlist for a decade now. The lyrics and soft approach to the song are both great.
With a good chance to finish the album off with a strong closer, the band falls very short with Sharp Edges. LP has released three “epic” closers out of the last four albums - The Little Things Give You Away, Powerless, and A Line in the Sand. A Thousand Suns would be included in that too if the album ended with The Catalyst. Sharp Edges goes nowhere...maybe the album should have ended with the title track. If this song was on Minutes To Midnight instead of In Between I don’t think we’d be complaining, though.
The bottom line for me is - music was an obvious afterthought on this album. Did Phoenix, Rob, or Joe write anything *at all* for the album? The problem with pop is that it utilizes such small numbers of people from the band. Overwhelmingly we see a reliance on computer beats and noises, inevitably from the database of “Shinoda sounds” (or the chipmunk gallery). The lyrics are not inherently better than any previous efforts… specifically let’s reference the Minutes To Midnight and A Thousand Suns eras where lyrics were being delivered in their prime. Even the laughable Living Things had good lyrics at points. Most importantly, the melodies get old, fast. This album was an experiment but one they did not necessarily succeed at for a cohesive effort… this makes three albums in a row cohesively weak when home runs, erm, grand slams were hit with MTM and ATS which I consider the prime of the band creatively. Three albums in a row have been full of filler content (remember Until It Breaks, Skin To Bone and Until It’s Gone?). Creative parts of the album like Sorry For Now are minimal and hard to find outside of that song. Imagine if the music had been approached first - we’d see many more creative moments like Sorry For Now and maybe would have ended up with a good pop album. Remember Leave Out All The Rest? That’s a signature pop song (probably the best in the LP catalogue) that would fit into this genre perfectly, and the band nailed it.
It’s a bad album but it’s even worse when LP throws their name on it. While Linkin Park is not held down to one genre or style specifically, there are elements missing from One More Light, specifically more rapping from Mike. In the one song where it could be showcased (Good Goodbye), unnecessary and unfitting guests were shoved into the song into what can be called the greatest wasted opportunity of the album. But doesn’t that sum up the album in one sentence?
The Good: Sorry For Now, Talking To Myself, Nobody Can Save Me, One More Light
The Bad: Battle Symphony, Good Goodbye, Sharp Edges, an attempt at putting chipmunks into a song
Recommendations: Drop Battle Symphony from the live show ASAP (which Joe has messed up already 3x) and replace it with Nobody Can Save Me.
Final score: 4/10 because I’d keep these 4 songs I enjoy and rewrite the rest of the album. Someone call Ryan Tedder, Max Martin, etc for some pop advice.

 

 

Good review. I agree with everything you said

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After sitting on One More Light, here is what I think about the album.
This is the first album I did not preorder from the band since I became a fan well before Meteora because of how shockingly weak Heavy was for me for months.
Before I go through the songs, I want to point out that there is guitar all over the album, used in different ways which seems much more up Brad's alley compared to The Hunting Party and Living Things. I like the loud explosive guitar sound by the band but I can understand that gets old to write/play for so long. It’s a semi-new way of using guitar on an album for LP, using it as more of a background accessory instrument instead of a prominent instrument on the songs. We see this on the Sorry For Now breakdown, the Invisible piano ending, before the chorus starts on Halfway Right, the One More Light bridge, etc. It’s actually everywhere. So Brad might have been the most creative on this album actually, just plugging in overall good sounding guitar into the pop songs.....
The bottom line for me is - music was an obvious afterthought on this album. Did Phoenix, Rob, or Joe write anything *at all* for the album? The problem with pop is that it utilizes such small numbers of people from the band. Overwhelmingly we see a reliance on computer beats and noises, inevitably from the database of “Shinoda sounds” (or the chipmunk gallery). The lyrics are not inherently better than any previous efforts… specifically let’s reference the Minutes To Midnight and A Thousand Suns eras where lyrics were being delivered in their prime. Even the laughable Living Things had good lyrics at points. Most importantly, the melodies get old, fast. This album was an experiment but one they did not necessarily succeed at for a cohesive effort… this makes three albums in a row cohesively weak when home runs, erm, grand slams were hit with MTM and ATS which I consider the prime of the band creatively. Three albums in a row have been full of filler content (remember Until It Breaks, Skin To Bone and Until It’s Gone?). Creative parts of the album like Sorry For Now are minimal and hard to find outside of that song. Imagine if the music had been approached first - we’d see many more creative moments like Sorry For Now and maybe would have ended up with a good pop album. Remember Leave Out All The Rest? That’s a signature pop song (probably the best in the LP catalogue) that would fit into this genre perfectly, and the band nailed it.
It’s a bad album but it’s even worse when LP throws their name on it. While Linkin Park is not held down to one genre or style specifically, there are elements missing from One More Light, specifically more rapping from Mike. In the one song where it could be showcased (Good Goodbye), unnecessary and unfitting guests were shoved into the song into what can be called the greatest wasted opportunity of the album. But doesn’t that sum up the album in one sentence?
The Good: Sorry For Now, Talking To Myself, Nobody Can Save Me, One More Light
The Bad: Battle Symphony, Good Goodbye, Sharp Edges, an attempt at putting chipmunks into a song
Recommendations: Drop Battle Symphony from the live show ASAP (which Joe has messed up already 3x) and replace it with Nobody Can Save Me.
Final score: 4/10 because I’d keep these 4 songs I enjoy and rewrite the rest of the album. Someone call Ryan Tedder, Max Martin, etc for some pop advice.

 

 

Amazing review, best opinion at this time of the album. Agree in everything.

Edited by MacGyver

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Maybe their next album will have some energy cause.

I think they should return making music like they did (Hiphop production team)

 

Why? it worked. If it ain't broke don't fix it lol.

 

I won't play this album alot. I know in a year from now, i won't even play it.

I can see why they take lots of pride on these songs, probably due the fact it's more introspective.

The music could be ALOT better and interesting.

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Why? it worked. If it ain't broke don't fix it lol.

 

Even though I totally dislike the record so far I completely disagree. I will always take one record that I can't stand at all, if that means I get five other records which are completely different and creative and which I like. If you don't change how you work, you will be stuck and create the same thing over and over again.

I can get over a couple of years without LP music I like, but I couldn't get over 10 Hybrid Theories over and over again.

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Even though I totally dislike the record so far I completely disagree. I will always take one record that I can't stand at all, if that means I get five other records which are completely different and creative and which I like. If you don't change how you work, you will be stuck and create the same thing over and over again.

I can get over a couple of years without LP music I like, but I couldn't get over 10 Hybrid Theories over and over again.

Oh no i didn't meant making another Hybrid Theory.

Maybe for the next record they'll incorporate things they picked up from writing this record. (If only the band still did a Making Of..)

 

I'm all for the band moving forward

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Actually I want to wait till the official release and buy the record, but on the other side I don't want to spend money on a record I don't like....

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Oh no i didn't meant making another Hybrid Theory.

 

Didn't want to put words into your mouth. I just over exaggerated to make my point clear ;)

 

Actually I want to wait till the official release and buy the record, but on the other side I don't want to spend money on a record I don't like....

 

Spotify?

Edited by graveguard

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Not bad but not their best.

It'll grow on me the more I listen but I think this will fall the way of LT in that I won't revisit it much.

 

I get a very 80's feeling from most of the album but I can't really explain why!?

 

Good, Goodbye sounds out of place on this album when listening to it as a whole. It's like they guys decided they need at least one song with rapping on it so just shoved it in there.

 

First album without an instrumental of any kind. I wonder was this intentional by band and if so, why.

 

I won't rate the songs individually just yet as I need to give them a lot more plays.

My musical tastes vary with LP being my favourite. In a way, I'm not surprised by the sound of this album and I applaud them for being sound versatile and different with pretty much every album.

Yes, this is mellow but there's times when I like mellow and times when I like heavier songs.

Crooked Teeth is out on Friday so that'll deliver me some heavier stuff.

 

I look forward to giving OML plenty of play-throughs in work tomorrow ;-)

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Just hand a chance to listen to all the songs I hadn't heard yet. 0/10. Worst LP album by a mile. I have no idea what they were going for, or how they listened to this and thought this was what they should release. It's nothing more than a weak attempt at becoming radio relevant again. I'm embarrassed for them. First album I won't buy.

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Home now and had a chance to listen to it. Really not a fan, it's without a doubt the worst album they've put out.

 

With that said, there are some bits I like:

- I like TTM as a whole since, as someone else on here said, it sounds like what "Linkin park does Pop" should have sounded like.

- GG. I like the idea behind this songs, but as others have said, it could have really done without the featured artists and should have just had Mike do the rapping

- BS. Compared to everyone else, I actually kind of like this, It reminds me of a stripped down LITE. Plus always love when ever a song utilizes those army like drum rolls.

 

That's really about it, everything else is just terrible. I can see me going back and listening to 2 of those songs above and the live version of GG.

 

I'm glad "Rammstein:Paris" leaked today to give me something else to listen to

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Didn't want to put words into your mouth. I just over exaggerated to make my point clear ;)

 

 

Spotify?

Yes maybe, don't know yet

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I'm annoyed that the free copies that came with my tickets counts as an album sale. I'd love to voice my opinion with my wallet but I guess I can't. If it wasn't for those free copies this would be the first LP album that I wouldn't own and that says a lot because I purchased the Recharged vinyl.

 

Meanwhile, the album I like the least is getting a good chunk of its tracks played live. Where was this attitude for the LT and THP cycles?

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I'm annoyed that the free copies that came with my tickets counts as an album sale. I'd love to voice my opinion with my wallet but I guess I can't. If it wasn't for those free copies this would be the first LP album that I wouldn't own and that says a lot because I purchased the Recharged vinyl.

 

Meanwhile, the album I like the least is getting a good chunk of its tracks played live. Where was this attitude for the LT and THP cycles?

 

As far as understood you have to redeem some code or something like that. Otherwise it won't count. So if you haven't redeemed it yet, just don't do it.

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I'll post my full review tomorrow via my website, but goddamn this album is fantastic. It's not perfect and yes, I'll admit it could have been done a bit more creatively, but just the pure emotion and fantastic use of what would otherwise be generic pop sounds in a more matured and less sell-out way works great for them. Sorry For Now is perfect, and OML (song) isn't far behind.

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I'll post my full review tomorrow via my website, but goddamn this album is fantastic. It's not perfect and yes, I'll admit it could have been done a bit more creatively, but just the pure emotion and fantastic use of what would otherwise be generic pop sounds in a more matured and less sell-out way works great for them. Sorry For Now is perfect, and OML (song) isn't far behind.

Fantastic?? Yeah, no.

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Fantastic?? Yeah, no.

Grow up , everyone has an opinion including you talking shit all the time.I'm seriously sick of your negativity as If LP commits crime by releasing this album . we get it it's not your taste doesn't mean that others can't praise it .

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Well, I am that type of fan, that prefers the heavy LP with screaming and rapping, but I was expecting the record to be a lot worse... I am happily disappointed :D Even though it is different and anything but heavy, I enjoy cca half of the songs, and that is good, I guess.

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Sorry for now is easily the best song, but even then, that song had more potential to branch off into this dancy-80s funky beat, they really could have latched onto that that musical break that they only play initially and then for the last 5 secs of the song.

 

 

Sharp edges sounds like Mumford and sons - in a bad way. All the songs are boring and bland, and the production although top notch in its ways, provides for a boring experience. If they tried a little more raw take, it could have slightly saved the album from the abyss of forgettable.

 

 

From initial listen,

 

arguably their worst effort (living things sucked too)

 

Lyrics were F. They always have had catchy corny lyrics but this was highlighted as terrible.

Instrumentation- B. They had interesting layers, beats, texture and tones as per usual and expected at this point.

Structure- F-. Straight ABYSMAL and overly repetitive.

 

 

2/10.

Edited by FaiNt

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Fantastic?? Yeah, no.

Looking forward to the next six months of replies like this from you every time someone has anything positive to say about this record.

 

Also looking forward to the inevitable "WHY DO YOU HAVE SUCH A VENDETTA AGAINST ME" private message too. :lol:

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I think the album would score higher if it wasn't LP, but LP should have spent a litttle longer on it. I'm not feeling most of the melodies or at least how its structured in a.. "we've heard this before" type thing. I liked what they were going for in Good Goodbye, Talking to my self and Sorry.

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I hear heavy Twenty One Pilots influence of Sharp Edges and Halfway Right.

Edited by Casey27

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It seems many people react to the negativity by saying "oh you want them to go back to Hybrid Theory?!?!" - umm, no... Despite LP's albums after Meteora being "different" and obviously moving away from Nu Metal, they have at least been unique, experimental, and pushing boundaries.

So it's really annoying to see people dismissing criticism as "oh the old LP is gone, stop moaning" - literally every album they've ever made is, *in my opinion* better than making a pop album with Justin Bieber song-writers.

This album is what it is, it's mainstream and poppy and that was the plan all along. Fine, we can disagree with whether that's a good direction or not but that's a separate issue.

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Sharp Edges writing process went something like

"How can we be Ed Sheeran"

 

They were playing around with folk back in LT, but your comment could be just a joke so anyway :P

 

I agree with Rogue about it being fantastic, I love it. One More Light was probably their first song to make me cry out of pure emotion since Hands Held High.

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