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NickDuffy

A Thought on ATS

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My opinion changes a lot on Linkin Park's A Thousand Suns but as of lately I feel like i've been praising this album and giving it the recognition that it doesn't even deserve. In 2010 when I heard "Linkin Park new single" and "puzzles" I was going bananas. I was so excited for new Linkin Park and after an amazing record in Minutes To Midnight I had nothing but high hopes for the record.

 

When it was released I was all over it saying it was a 10/10 masterpiece, beautiful, and amazing. Now i'm struggling to give it a 3/10. The record is considered ground-breaking in terms of Linkin Park. Why? Because most of the songs all connect via basic synth lines (Radiance into Burning, Jornada into Waiting, Waiting into Blackout, Fallout into Catalyst)? Why, because Mike is singing on more songs? This album is a cacophonic catostrophe in my book. It looks like an attempt for attention, as they admitted, a deliberate curveball.

 

The whole album was the band trying to be different. Not evolving, but forcing themselves to create something out of the box. This creates an unnatural atmosphere and feels very odd. I can just picture Mike going "whoa whoa whoa, we used a synth like that on Reanimation, let's not use that, let me add a reverb to this patch and make an original sound!". It's defeating the purpose of evolving.

 

Speaking of evolving, where is the evolution? Blackout sounds like a song that was sent to Marilyn Manson and remixed and sent back to the band. And new sounds? Where? That bridge sounds like they pulled out their Reanimation bag of tricks with the glitched vocals going off rapidly. Also, their live show? Their almost making a mockery of Mario Savio and J. Oppenheimer's speeches by glitching them up and decreasing and increasing the pitch to make them sound like a broken record going apeshit.

 

This album sounds like a playlist I made with random songs on my iPod. The synths of The Catalyst don't compliment the acoustic guitar in The Messenger. The crickets and guns don't feel right after listening to the mellow Burning In The Skies. But wait everybody! This is original and beautiful because they're doing this right? Suprise suprise after beautiful lyrics from Burning In The Skies we can listen to Mike Shinoda spit his worst raps to date as he goes off telling people to catch up and even throws out shout-outs to 1980-1990's rappers he grew up listening to. Yeah we're burning bridges and losing what we shouldn't have and now we're pumping fists to a Fort Minor like track. In fact, the rapping on this album feels very Fort Minor and doesn't blend in with the record, or in fact the band itself. Linkin Park shouldn't be recycling Public Enemy lyrics. This album sounds like a compliation cover album, drawing in everyone elses influences and ideas but their own. Coldplay, U2, Nine Inch Nails, hell i'm being generous this sounds like a cross between Fort Minor and The Cardigans.

 

Linkin Park is a great band, and have so much potential. This album tricked me into believing everything they said though. This band wanted attention so badly. So badly that Mike had to make a blog post trying to debunk a few people's thoughts of the album! You can't blame them for that, but why seek attention for making an odd record when you can just do a great album naturally?

 

I'm sorry, I don't want to sound like a troll but this album went from a 10/10 for me, to a 2.75. I don't get it.

Edited by FleshIntoGear

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whoops this got really long

 

Well then, what would you suggest they do?

 

You brought up some valid points there. Some. But some aren't necessarily valid.

 

" The record is considered ground-breaking in terms of Linkin Park. Why? Because most of the songs all connect via basic synth lines (Radiance into Burning, Jornada into Waiting, Waiting into Blackout, Fallout into Catalyst)? Why, because Mike is singing on more songs?"

 

It's not that the songs connect, that's not actually new to LP (listen to Reanimation or Meteora). It's the fact that the songs actually don't all sound vaguely similar. It's the fact that instead of Chester and Mike singing and rapping about their feels, they're discussing subjects that are less personal, more...thoughtful. Is it masterfully executed? No. Was it one of the best albums of 2010? No. But did the songs indicate a willingness to deviate from the norm for the band? Yes.

 

The album is indeed the band wanting to be different, and trying to be different. It feels like an experiment. Sure, the sound can evolve naturally, and it will. But sometimes you'll want to push it, see what happens when you take yourself out of the usual situations creating the usual shit. That's called art.

 

You know that Reanimation wasn't entirely the work of the band, right? They didn't do anything on most of those songs. So I don't know why you're bringing Reanimation into the discussion. And in regards to the sampled speeches, the manipulations are an extension of the music and segues in the live setting. It's not like the six of them sat backstage and said "How can we shit all over these two men? Oh yeah, by messing with the speeches! Yeah let's do that!" The samples are put into a different context with a different meaning in live concerts.

 

I can't say anything about the segue from The Catalyst to The Messenger because honestly I hate the studio version of The Messenger and its placement isn't great. It could've been intended to be a quiet closing to the album, intended to bring one back to calmness after the peak of The Catalyst. But I don't know. I don't like The Messenger on the album at all, so I'll move on from that.

 

What about Empty Spaces doesn't sound right? Burning in the Skies evokes imagery of nuclear fallout. Empty Spaces illustrates an emptiness in the world following that event, and then bam, war sounds. Because that's what happens in the vague, vague series of events that you could see in the album.

 

When They Come for Me's flow isn't great, but it's far from the worst Mike's done. Have you listened to Hit the Floor? The Fort Minor-esque raps made their way into the album because the Linkin Park-esque raps are shit. Mike has zero emotion in any of them except for the reprise of High Voltage up until he went and did Fort Minor. It brought an intensity to the words and made you believe them more.

 

And finally, give me one goddamn artist that comes up with 100% original, not-influenced-by-anyone-else-ever music. You can't, because it's impossible. Every single artist in the business today is influenced by the people that came before them, and Linkin Park is no different. This isn't a Coldplay album, or a U2 album, or a NIN album. This is a Linkin Park album. And they're not going to make Hybrid Theory 3.

 

tl;dr I respectfully disagree so shush.

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whoops this got really long

 

Well then, what would you suggest they do?

 

You brought up some valid points there. Some. But some aren't necessarily valid.

 

" The record is considered ground-breaking in terms of Linkin Park. Why? Because most of the songs all connect via basic synth lines (Radiance into Burning, Jornada into Waiting, Waiting into Blackout, Fallout into Catalyst)? Why, because Mike is singing on more songs?"

 

It's not that the songs connect, that's not actually new to LP (listen to Reanimation or Meteora). It's the fact that the songs actually don't all sound vaguely similar. It's the fact that instead of Chester and Mike singing and rapping about their feels, they're discussing subjects that are less personal, more...thoughtful. Is it masterfully executed? No. Was it one of the best albums of 2010? No. But did the songs indicate a willingness to deviate from the norm for the band? Yes.

 

The album is indeed the band wanting to be different, and trying to be different. It feels like an experiment. Sure, the sound can evolve naturally, and it will. But sometimes you'll want to push it, see what happens when you take yourself out of the usual situations creating the usual shit. That's called art.

 

You know that Reanimation wasn't entirely the work of the band, right? They didn't do anything on most of those songs. So I don't know why you're bringing Reanimation into the discussion. And in regards to the sampled speeches, the manipulations are an extension of the music and segues in the live setting. It's not like the six of them sat backstage and said "How can we shit all over these two men? Oh yeah, by messing with the speeches! Yeah let's do that!" The samples are put into a different context with a different meaning in live concerts.

 

I can't say anything about the segue from The Catalyst to The Messenger because honestly I hate the studio version of The Messenger and its placement isn't great. It could've been intended to be a quiet closing to the album, intended to bring one back to calmness after the peak of The Catalyst. But I don't know. I don't like The Messenger on the album at all, so I'll move on from that.

 

What about Empty Spaces doesn't sound right? Burning in the Skies evokes imagery of nuclear fallout. Empty Spaces illustrates an emptiness in the world following that event, and then bam, war sounds. Because that's what happens in the vague, vague series of events that you could see in the album.

 

When They Come for Me's flow isn't great, but it's far from the worst Mike's done. Have you listened to Hit the Floor? The Fort Minor-esque raps made their way into the album because the Linkin Park-esque raps are shit. Mike has zero emotion in any of them except for the reprise of High Voltage up until he went and did Fort Minor. It brought an intensity to the words and made you believe them more.

 

And finally, give me one goddamn artist that comes up with 100% original, not-influenced-by-anyone-else-ever music. You can't, because it's impossible. Every single artist in the business today is influenced by the people that came before them, and Linkin Park is no different. This isn't a Coldplay album, or a U2 album, or a NIN album. This is a Linkin Park album. And they're not going to make Hybrid Theory 3.

 

tl;dr I respectfully disagree so shush.

 

If Korn did a Korn 3, Linkin Park will do a HT3 eventually ;)

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If Korn did a Korn 3, Linkin Park will do a HT3 eventually ;)

The difference is, Korn's popularity has been slumping since 2002. Linkin Park continue to sell out arenas, reach chart-topping positions and headline festivals today.

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I'm not a fan of ATS either, but I do think it's a good album. No where near as good as MTM, Meteora or HT, but still good. I don't consider an evolution to just become heavily electronic, I know all you guys on this board think that just because LP says it's their best album, and because LP said it was a huge evolutionary album, but that's my opinion. MTM was an evolution from their old sound. When MTM was coming out, that's all LP talked about, is how MTM is such an evolutionary album and how amazing it is, etc. They did the same thing with ATS, and they will probably do the same thing with the next album. I don't want another HT Part 3, but I did enjoy the more alternative rock sound LP had on MTM. I'm not into electronic music much at all. I'd rather have their be pop rock songs with distorted guitar, some screaming, some ballad type songs, some rapping, etc.

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I agree with everything you said, i also praised when it first came out and I also was tricked into believing what they said and what they did. album sucks really.

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I know all you guys on this board think that just because LP says it's their best album, and because LP said it was a huge evolutionary album, but that's my opinion. MTM was an evolution from their old sound. When MTM was coming out, that's all LP talked about, is how MTM is such an evolutionary album and how amazing it is, etc. They did the same thing with ATS, and they will probably do the same thing with the next album. I'm not into electronic music much at all. I'd rather have their be pop rock songs with distorted guitar, some screaming, some ballad type songs, some rapping, etc.

So what you're saying is, going from heavy pop music to alternative pop music is "evolution," but going from alternative pop music to some electronic pop, trip-hop, acoustic/alternative songs with non-pop structures is not? How do you figure that? The jump from MTM to ATS was way more of a jump than the jump from HT to MTM. You're confusing your subjective opinion on the quality of the music with objective fact.

Edited by Xero21

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*in regards to FleshIntoGear*

I agree with everything you said, i also praised when it first came out and I also was tricked into believing what they said and what they did. album sucks really.

Allow me to express my immense surprise at your opinion.

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So what you're saying is, going from heavy pop music to alternative pop music is "evolution," but going from alternative pop music to some electronic pop, trip-hop, acoustic/alternative songs with non-pop structures is not? How do you figure that? The jump from MTM to ATS was way more of a jump than the jump from HT to MTM. You're confusing your subjective opinion on the quality of the music with objective fact.

MTM wasn't all pop... It had a classic rock and alternative feel to it, as well as some punk elements. I'm just saying, MTM was an evolution from the classic LP sound, no questions asked. ATS was too, just not to my liking.

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That's another thing. Weird song structures are considered revolutionary and challenging nowadays. Linkin Park didn't do a good job with it besides The Catalyst. Most songs are a normal structure with a little something latched on at the end. Examples: Burning In The Skies, When They Come For Me, Blackout, Wretches And Kings, Iridescent, and The Messenger. 6/9, 66 percent of their full length songs are in normal structure with a quick latch on at the end.

 

Minutes To Midnight felt like a natural evolution because although it sounded lighter and warmer it still sounded Linkin Park. There were songs like In Pieces which sounded like Linkin Park, but at the same time fresh and exciting. Songs like Bleed It Out are just basic songs which hit heavy, not Pro Tools files containing 60 tracks and layers of medium nonsense.. These effects and gimmicks come off so cheesy sometimes. Wisdom Justice and Love was spooky and i'll never deny that, but tracks like Fallout? Lame. Filler.

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That's another thing. Weird song structures are considered revolutionary and challenging nowadays. Linkin Park didn't do a good job with it besides The Catalyst. Most songs are a normal structure with a little something latched on at the end. Examples: Burning In The Skies, When They Come For Me, Blackout, Wretches And Kings, Iridescent, and The Messenger. 6/9, 66 percent of their full length songs are in normal structure with a quick latch on at the end.

 

Minutes To Midnight felt like a natural evolution because although it sounded lighter and warmer it still sounded Linkin Park. There were songs like In Pieces which sounded like Linkin Park, but at the same time fresh and exciting. Songs like Bleed It Out are just basic songs which hit heavy, not Pro Tools files containing 60 tracks and layers of medium nonsense.. These effects and gimmicks come off so cheesy sometimes. Wisdom Justice and Love was spooky and i'll never deny that, but tracks like Fallout? Lame. Filler.

I can't argue if you think stuff like Fallout is lame filler. :lol: But you're oversimplifying the song structure thing a bit. Blackout is not simply pop structure with something tacked on the end. That's a three movement song. The first third is pop, the second is a breakdown/solo as opposed to a bridge, and the third is a completely new movement. Robot Boy has no structure, it's just free-flowing. The Catalyst is similar to Blackout. The Messenger really isn't a pop structure per say, it's just a short acoustic ballad.

 

So that's 4/9. That's not bad for a band who, prior to ATS, had done nothing but churn out potential singles (with the exception of TLTGYA). I'm not saying ATS is a revolutionary album in the grand scheme of music, I don't think it's Kid A or Sgt. Pepper. But for the band themselves, it was a game changer because they evolved out of making simple pop music. You don't have to like it, and I completely understand if a bunch of layered electronics isn't your thing. But where ATS took the band as artists is beyond their previous albums for sure.

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I can't argue if you think stuff like Fallout is lame filler. :lol: But you're oversimplifying the song structure thing a bit. Blackout is not simply pop structure with something tacked on the end. That's a three movement song. The first third is pop, the second is a breakdown/solo as opposed to a bridge, and the third is a completely new movement. Robot Boy has no structure, it's just free-flowing. The Catalyst is similar to Blackout. The Messenger really isn't a pop structure per say, it's just a short acoustic ballad.

 

So that's 4/9. That's not bad for a band who, prior to ATS, had done nothing but churn out potential singles (with the exception of TLTGYA). I'm not saying ATS is a revolutionary album in the grand scheme of music, I don't think it's Kid A or Sgt. Pepper. But for the band themselves, it was a game changer because they evolved out of making simple pop music. You don't have to like it, and I completely understand if a bunch of layered electronics isn't your thing. But where ATS took the band as artists is beyond their previous albums for sure.

Hey being an Innerpartysystem, Digitalism, and Muse fan it's safe to say I like electronics when it comes to music. The thing is this album is either instantly thought out to be as garbage from 20 year old people who think nothing of Linkin Park and their favorite band is most likely an unknown indie rock band, or people that are diehard fans like us. Just because we are diehards, we don't automatically give this album a 10 or a 5 that's true, but we also give this album alot more hype than it should have.

 

I think when the 5th album drops, it will be their best. They stated that they don't mind when something sounds like something they did before, but at the same time are playing with new gadgets and doing new things. THAT is an example of a natural yet out-of-the-boundaries evolution. Not A Thousand Suns.

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THAT is an example of a natural yet out-of-the-boundaries evolution. Not A Thousand Suns.

I guess this is where we disagree most. Linkin Park consist of grown men. Artists. Their evolution doesn't have to be "natural." I see nothing wrong with an artist doing something intentionally different for the hell of it. They can do whatever they want. I find that exciting.

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I guess this is where we disagree most. Linkin Park consist of grown men. Artists. Their evolution doesn't have to be "natural." I see nothing wrong with an artist doing something intentionally different for the hell of it. They can do whatever they want. I find that exciting.

This. You can't really tell an artist that what they're doing is or isn't evolution. If the music sounds different, I consider that evolution. Whether it was just what they wrote without thinking about it or if they intentionally threw out all their signature traits and wanted to do a completely different thing, it's evolution.

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I agree with everything you said, i also praised when it first came out and I also was tricked into believing what they said and what they did. album sucks really.

And this is coming from a person that thinks that "Meteora is one of the greatest albums of all time"..

*facepalm*

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And this is coming from a person that thinks that "Meteora is one of the greatest albums of all time"..

*facepalm*

And had large obnoxious horrible blue text in his sig saying we should all forget ATS for a long period of time. Egotistical? Yep. Elitist? Yep.

 

*headdesk*

Edited by adaminator1

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Damn. I forgot, I live in the generation where layered plug-ins is considered great music. Name five of the greatest albums of all time that were made strictly on a computer. For those who always defended Linkin Park claiming they aren't a "pro tools savvy band" they sure love the album that was made mainly with samplers and synthesizers. No wonder "The Catalyst" sounds awful live as opposed to "The Little Things Give You Away" or "Faint".

 

"Shut up when i'm talking to you" is an absolute awful lyric, but when you release an album ten years later with the lyric "try to catch up mothafuckaaa!", it becomes a signature-worthy statement. That's the Linkin Park smart-fan logic right? Hey Bliss and I should be bashed forever since we enjoy Meteora and Minutes To Midnight. At least when I see songs from those albums played live, I don't see the whole band using samplers while the lead singer is dancing back and forth bashing on electronic drums screaming his heart out "fuck it are you listening!?".

 

This is 2012. This is the generation where Radiohead is the legendary band of the past, The Black Keys are the future, and if a song has a radio-safe structure, it's considered bland and unintresting. Break out the mouses and keyboards, it's time to start a revolution! Who wants to go to a real concert? That's right we got Skrillex here for you!/sarcasm

 

(oh yeah this post also makes me a troll because I have a different opinion than the majority even though I praise other albums that they make especially one that is far from nu-metal, in Minutes To Midnight).

Edited by FleshIntoGear

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So what you're saying is, going from heavy pop music to alternative pop music is "evolution," but going from alternative pop music to some electronic pop, trip-hop, acoustic/alternative songs with non-pop structures is not? How do you figure that? The jump from MTM to ATS was way more of a jump than the jump from HT to MTM. You're confusing your subjective opinion on the quality of the music with objective fact.

unless your meaning pop as popular I can't take this post seriously

 

I can't argue if you think stuff like Fallout is lame filler. :lol: But you're oversimplifying the song structure thing a bit. Blackout is not simply pop structure with something tacked on the end. That's a three movement song. The first third is pop, the second is a breakdown/solo as opposed to a bridge, and the third is a completely new movement. Robot Boy has no structure, it's just free-flowing. The Catalyst is similar to Blackout. The Messenger really isn't a pop structure per say, it's just a short acoustic ballad.

 

So that's 4/9. That's not bad for a band who, prior to ATS, had done nothing but churn out potential singles (with the exception of TLTGYA). I'm not saying ATS is a revolutionary album in the grand scheme of music, I don't think it's Kid A or Sgt. Pepper. But for the band themselves, it was a game changer because they evolved out of making simple pop music. You don't have to like it, and I completely understand if a bunch of layered electronics isn't your thing. But where ATS took the band as artists is beyond their previous albums for sure.

ATS was more pop than the rest of their albums

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