|Linkin Park's new album 'A Thousand Suns'. If you own this image then please let me know if you want me to take it down|
So I'm driving along listening to the new Linkin Park song ‘Wretches and Kings’ when I hear a very familiar piece of dialogue coming through my speakers, particularly the line "and you've got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you've got to make it stop". I knew it from somewhere, but I couldn't remember. It wasn't until they played the same quote at the end of the song that it twigged: Chief! This is Chief Tyrol of Battlestar! At first I thought it was weird, but since Linkin Park have said that they wanted this album to have influences of the unorthodox and abstract sounds they experimented with in the early stages(1), so why not include a quote from an well-known and often time critically acclaimed series?
When I went home I looked it up and realised that the speech wasn’t exactly the Chiefs, it was Mario Savio. He was a free rights advocate in American in the 60s and gave this famous speech in Berkly. Chief paraphrased the speech (just putting this here in case anybody thinks I believe the BSG writers copied this word-for-word) when he spoke to the union on New Caprica, and it worked to rouse them to striking and standing up to the Cylons.
The rest of the album is an awesome mix of beats and music, alternating between powerful ballads and just plain crazy tunes. It’s not exactly back to their ‘old’ stuff, but it’s along a similar enough vein to please those who have disagreed with their new stuff. My favourite, though, is the mix of ‘The Requiem’ and ‘The Radiance’. There’s no gap between these songs on the album so it seems like the two are one, and this is simultaneously the best and the creepiest music I have ever heard. The female voice they have repeating the chorus to ‘The Catalyst’ is odd enough, but the music and the J Robert Oppenheimer(2) quote in the background really drive home to oddities.
This is one of the best albums that I have heard in a long time. Everything gels together so well that this is a work of art. Well done to Linkin Park and the gang who put this together.
So, did you like this album or the songs mentioned? Or do you listen to repeats of 'Meteora' on your music player of choice? Let me know in the comments.
(1) Note from the band in the album sheet.
(2) The album title is also a line attributed to Oppenheimer when discussing the first nuclear blast.