MTV posted a very well written article about Linkin Park's upcoming album, comparing it to Radiohead's highly successful 'Kid A'. Excerpts below, the full article is here.
"A Thousand Suns is washed in ominous electronics, jarring percussion and an unshakeable, unyielding post-millennial tension. The latter is nothing new for the band — their 2007 Minutes to Midnight dealt, in parts, with the politics of George W. Bush and the tragedy of Katrina — but here, they've steeped the entire album in a thick coat of dread. It's a transition underscored in the repeated refrain of "God bless us every one/ We're a broken people living under loaded gun," first heard in opening number "The Requiem" and then later on in lead single "The Catalyst." And in moments like the beginning of "When They Come for Me," when chirping crickets are gradually drowned out by the sound of artillery, or, most notably, in the use of recorded, world-weary speeches by scientist Robert Oppenheimer, political activist Mario Savio and Martin Luther King Jr.
Each of the speeches are appropriately monolithic — Oppenheimer's famous quoting of the Bhagavad Gita after the first testing of the atomic bomb in 1945, Savio's terrifyingly prescient "bodies upon the gears" screed in 1964, King's 1967 lament that the horrors of modern life "cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice and love" — and it's telling that they all come from the last millennium. Because, really what A Thousand Suns (which takes its name from Oppenheimer's speech) is trying to say is that none of these problems, these terrors or these specters that haunt us in 2010 are particularly new. Quite the opposite, in fact. We've just chosen to ignore the warnings. And now it might be too late. And that's another reason it reminds me so much of Kid A.
But that's where the similarities between the albums end. Because rather than hide their fears in a claustrophobic din (as Radiohead did), Linkin Park make the conscious decision to rage against them. They're not willing to go down without a fight, and it's in those moments — the massive roar of "Waiting for the End," the thunderous, squealing "Blackout" (Chester Bennington's best moment on the album) and the muscle-bound might of "Wretches and Kings" — that the album truly soars. And it bears mentioning that for all its mechanized morose, there are some decidedly uplifting moments too. Most notable among them is "Iridescent," which starts with just a piano line, then slowly heads skyward on interlocking guitars (they do in fact exist on the album) and explodes in a rousing chorus of "Remember all the sadness and frustration/ And let go."
It all ends with an acoustic-based number, "The Messenger," which features Bennington going full-bore and culminates in this lyric: "When life leaves us blind/ Loves keeps us kind." And perhaps that's the real message of the album, that no matter how far gone things may be, humanity isn't beyond saving. What separates man from machine is our capacity to love, and despite all evidence to the contrary, there are still things worth believing in. All of that may seem crazy, but Linkin Park seem just insane enough to buy into it. And they want you to as well. After all, at this point, it's about all we have left.
So while A Thousand Suns may be dark, sprawling, discordant, ambitious and an all-out game changer, Kid A it's not. This one's optimistic."
Thanks to the LPA and wesleyhahn for the hint.