Six Months are as good as any.
You could argue that Linkin Park is back, but to be frank, they never fucking went anywhere. Linkin Park just did what they're good at: doing something different. We can all agree that artists need to try something else otherwise they themselves get boring and stale, no matter what your medium is.
And in the true meaning of Artists, that's what they did.
But that's not to say an artist can't go back home.
In fact that's the most comforting thing; going back home. And that's where they've gone with The Hunting Party.
Linkin Park came back home.
Well, in that raw, angry, visceral sense. It's not Hybrid Theory or Meteora. There will never be a third of those. So who ever's still fucking hung up on THAT should probably step back from the ledge already and move on.
Living Things came together in a reverse overture, and it was a masterpiece.
The Hunting Party, a content piece of riot, finally figured out what in the fuck to do with A Thousand Suns, and that was shove it into Living Things. Which, as far as I'm concerned, when it comes to A Thousand Suns, may or may not always be a good thing. They've figured out what to do with ambience, and they figured out what to do with soundbytes.
Unfortunately, that meant becoming trigger happy with exploiting their kids [ie Chester's] for el oh el cutes factor, which to be perfectly honest, is the only thing WRONG with the album.
The thing with AntiSocial media is; the celebrity glamour is cracked open. I know exactly what any celebrity is eating, drinking, and shitting out at any given time of the day just by looking up their whatever feed. Which is great, I guess. If you want people to know your bullshit, bullshit social media is the place for it.
Not at your job.
Bring your child to work day was a bunch of laughs, but let's be honest, it's a fucking nuisance. And unless there is a damn good reason for me to be hearing a musician's child in my music, and the only good reason I have is that they're in an accomplished children's choir, they damn well shouldn't be there. It's as exploitative as it is cringe worthy. Unless I was adopted INto your family, I honestly don't give a damn to hear what elohel cute thing the mouthy 9 year old is barking in my ear. I don't need a soundbyte of a tball game because you're feeling sentimental, and I damn well don't need a squalling baby tailing the end of a song, which has nothing to do with the song it was in, nor does it have anything to do with the song that's immediately following it. There are no reasons for ANY of those samples to be IN my music; to be in an album that is THAT raw and angry.
You're a proud parent, good you should be. But do the rest of us a favor and leave them OUT of the music. Your kids are YOUR business. Not anyone else's. I trust they're in capable hands so enjoy them on YOUR time, not mine.Shots Fired:
Raw and visceral, the aptly named The Hunting Party is out for blood from the get go. They can smell it and there's no where to hide. While not another carbon copy of Hybrid Theory, The Hunting Party is angry and brooding and full of fire in an era of music that has taken Rock as a whole Genre, and shoved it so far back into the closet it's in Narnia. And it's a sound that's been missed.Four-eyed Father of the Year:
More than my hatred for parent-child songs, [See the Beyoncé review] there's my hatred for children IN songs. Not only is it tacky and obnoxious, it's also something that's not usually featured in Rock.
Here's some examples right from off the top of my head:
Whether it's stock and blatantly sampled or the artists are just so involved with showing off their pride and joy, there doesn't seem to be an understanding that the rest of us, just don't care to hear it. Be it because we DON'T have our own and can't relate, or we need to escape into our music to be AWAY from it. Your babies; cute and wonderful as they are [and when aren't they] don't belong in the music. Especially when there is absolutely 100% no reason for them to be in there.
The only person to pull this stunt off and make it work was Tarja Turunen, ironically an operatic metal artist, who incorporated her baby daughter SO well into the ambience of "Lucid Dreamer," it almost felt like you were spinning through time and space down the rabbit hole. And I'm not just saying this because she's my Queen, because Chester's my Angel and I'm having NONE of it.
If you want to hear The Hunting Party the way it SHOULD sound, lop off the endings to "Keys to the Kingdom," and "The Summoning." You can trust me on this, "War" makes better sense with the abridged version of "The Summoning," preceeding it because now it becomes a gapless song instead of an interlude with a tball game that MAKES NO FUCKING SENSE.
It is possible to eliminate the baby squall in "Until It's Gone," you just need to break it down into the nano-seconds, and it's well worth it if you have the patience.
I'm sure they can explain it away all they want, but so can Lady Gaga about her social commentary in her music videos. Which is terrific but that doesn't mean it makes ANY DAMN SENSE to the song. LOTR:ROTK:
Drawbar / Final Masquerade are the Tinfoil / Powerless of The Hunting Party. Just beautious music. The problem [after the Kids] is that while Tinfoil / Powerless rightfully ended Living Things, Drawbar / Final Masquerade doesn't end The Hunting Party. A Line in the Sand does. And there's absolutely no hating on A Line in the Sand, because the album is practically flawless, it just doesn't feel FINAL. I expect two or three more tracks to follow it. Whereas Drawbar / Final Masquerade FEELS final. They make me want to digest what I just heard. A Line in the Sand doesn't have that air of finality to it, and I would risk redundancy for finality because at least I could say I had closure.Note:
Although I still stand behind redundancy v finality, if they had ended Final Masquerade on the album the way they did in the music video, I'd have no qualms about A Line in the Sand closing the album.& Then There's Maude:
Mark the Graves, through no fault of it's own, is just a peculiar song. It's full of aggressive music, with passive vocals akin to Minutes to Midnight, most noteably No Roads Left, and I can't nail down a feel for it because it just acts out of place. Maybe because I associate it with Minutes to Midnight, or maybe because it just interupts two sets of trifectas and it throws me off my groove. Either way, it's a song best left alone and not to be thought about too much. fartbook review:
Dear Linkin Park, Hunting Party indeed. Shots were fired and there was no where to hide from the raw intensity of the album. So why in God's name would you bring your offspring to the party? I thought you were above exploiting your kids inside your music where they DON'T BELONG. What a decidedly R&B move for a ROCK BAND. Angel-Face is afraid of Lana del Rey for chart position? He should be. There's not many who follow rock that will be thrilled to headbang to a mouthy little 9 year old because Daddy thought it was adorbs. Also, if you're going to tell RollingStone that you're planning on "weeding out the emo" for the new album, you probably should've decided AGAINST a sound byte of your son's TBall game, not to mention the squalling baby. What a minute, yet completely infuriating cluster of bad choices for what really would have been a perfect ROCK record.
PS: If you're going to name a song, Final Masquerade, it probably should be the very last song on the album, especially since when the song actually ends, it gives off an air of FINALITY. Final Masquerade makes me want to digest what I just heard, A Line in the Sand doesn't.
Hide your kids.