By Nikayla Goddard, May 23, 2017 —
Linkin Park’s previous albums tend to fall into a heavier alternative rock genre. But their new record, One More Light, strays into pop territory while experimenting with electronic beats.
“Nobody Can Save Me” starts off the album in a surprisingly upbeat manner. From the title, I was expecting a song full of anguish and throat-scratching yelling. But when the finger snapping began, I questioned where the hell the Linkin Park I know and love went.
The lyrics will be familiar to fans of the band’s old music — just with a summery techno beat instead of heavy guitars. Out of the whole album, “Heavy” is the most similar to past songs and lives up to its name with a pounding rhythm. Singer Kiiara is an excellent feature on the track and the song’s nostalgia factor makes it a highlight of the album. “Battle Symphony” also stands out for adequately balancing the band’s new pop groove with classic alternative intensity. The title track “One More Light” also has heavier lyrics hinting at depression and death, making it more haunting than the other happy-go-lucky tunes.
In “Invisible” and “Sorry For Now”, it’s nice to hear Mike Shinoda — usually the rapper or background singer — step up to the plate and become the lead vocalist. Less appreciated, however, is the chipmunk-like backup vocals in “Good Goodbye” and “Sorry For Now.” While the adoption of a more pop-heavy style is tolerable, the high-pitched squeals are not.
While the album is enjoyable overall, the band doesn’t display their talents in any dramatic or adventurous way, making the album a disappointing addition to the band’s discography. As much as it would pump up a summer party, One More Light lacks the intensity that Linkin Park is known for.