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Changing sound could be a bad move for a rock group

Brie Coder

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On Feb. 16, Linkin Park announced they were working on a new album entitled “One More Light.” This will be the band’s seventh studio album and will be released on May 19. Like any other artist, the band released a single that will be featured on the album. The song called “Heavy” features pop singer Kiiara. When the song was released in February to YouTube, fans were not pleased. Many fans criticized the song saying that this was nothing like their previous work. So the big question is whether or not Linkin Park is changing their sound to the point that it’s dissatisfying their fans?

Linkin Park is known for their nu and rap metal sound. They are two-time Grammy award winners, and have sold over 70 million albums worldwide. The band began their career in 1996 when Mike Shinoda (rapper/backup vocalist), Rob Bourdon (percussion) and Brad Delson (lead guitar) were still in high school. With a struggling band, several members left the group. When the band’s original vocalist Mark Wakefield left the band, Chester Bennington joined the group. Along with Bennington, Dave Farrell (bass, backing vocals) and Joe Hahn (turntables, and programming) joined the band that went from Xero (their original band name) to Linkin Park overnight.

In 2000, Linkin Park released their first album entitled “Hybrid Theory.” The album sold over 4.8 million copies and earned best-selling album during that year. Much of the band’s most popular work came from that album including “Numb,” “Papercut,” “In the End” and “One Step Closer.” The album was based on the feelings of average people who are often hard to talk about. Bennington even commented that the song “Crawling” was about his struggles with drug addiction when he was a high school student. When the album was released, that was when their fan base expanded. Linkin Park continued making albums that sounded like “Hybrid Theory” until 2007.

Many fans argue that in 2007 when “Minutes to Midnight” was released was when the band’s legacy began going downhill. Others believe it was later in their career, around 2013, with their album “The Hunting Party.” Most Linkin Park fans can agree, however, that their first three studio albums were their best. Fans feel that their new work did not have the same feeling as the first three albums did. They believe that Linkin Park has been more concerned with pleasing record executives and were lost in the creative process. In regards to the songwriting, each member is still in charge of the writing process. “One More Light,” will be the only one that has two additional songwriters on the album. The two songwriters who will help write the music are Julia Michaels and Justin Tranter. Both Michaels and Tranter have worked with many pop artists, including:Britney Spears, Selena Gomez, Justin Bieber and Gwen Stefani. The new song “Heavy” has a pop feel, and fans are concerned that it will be the case of another rock band going pop.

Record labels have been known to change band’s styles, only for the outcome of a possible increase in album popularity. Since 1999, Linkin Park has been with Warner Brother Records and has continued making records through their label. There have been disputes between the band and the label, but in the past they have been resolved. It could be now that Warner Brothers wants the band to modernize their sound so that younger generations get to know who they are, instead of knowing them as a late 90s early 2000s band. Any way you look at it, the fans are still displeased.

Only time will tell if Linkin Park’s upcoming album will be a success. It is all up to the fans and their view of the new music that will determine the band’s fate.

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The independent student newspaper of Western Illinois University. Serving Macomb since 1905.
Changing sound could be a bad move for a rock group