There’s been a lot of backlash from fans and critics regarding Linkin Park’s new album, “One More Light” because it’s vastly different than what the band has released in the past. Part of it understandable, the record sounds highly commercial when you line it up with the rest of the alternative genre right now. Plus, it wasn’t that long ago that Mike Shinoda was bashing bands like Chvrches being on the alternative chart when they use a lot of the programming elements that are in right now and certainly teeter on the edge of being a pop band. Then Linkin Park releases an album that’s in a lot of ways a pop album.
That’s how the backlash is warranted, but what can’t be understood is people wanting bands to stay the same and do what they’ve done repeatedly. Yes, “One More Light” sounds like an alternative pop record, but if someone legitimately released a nu-metal record in 2017, we’d look at them like they were out of their damn mind. Good or bad, “One More Light” is what it is and for being an alternative pop record, it’s not half bad.
The programming/synth work across the board is great. The songwriting is catchy as hell. The surprise of the album to me though is how good Shinoda sings on this record and how much better the songs where he leads are better than the songs where Chester Bennington leads. That couldn’t have been predicted, but it’s the case. Shinoda’s voice is perfect for this record while Bennington’s sounds a bit out of place.
“One More Light” won’t win any hardcore Linkin Park fans over as being their favorite record, but it’s something new and different that the band put out in the later stage of their career. When they could have released a straight-forward rock record, Linkin Park decided to release an album filled with risks and that’s to be commended, not bashed.