Sunday, October 3, 2010

Linkin Park

just as i promised, see?
so, what is the history behind Linkin Park? no, i'm not going to tell you when or where or how they were born, seriously no (rolling eyes), but, i'll tell you how i got hooked with them.
to be perfectly honest, i din't grow up with them in my teen years. when a few of my matrix friends were quoting and rapping In The End, i laughed and shook my head at them, finding the absurdity of the situation where two teenage girls were so hooked up to some band babbling about an ending.
it took me a year after that to realize that they are not just some band.
it was my first year in uni. my first semester as a pharmacy student. i enrollled a month later than the rest of my classmates, i was a tesl student before that. i guess the late situation stressed me out. i was afraid of being left too far behind in study, and mind you, it's a pharmacy course. Pharmacy. tough one, seriously. and i mean, seriously.
so, i had this roommate. i couldn't remember her real name now (people's names always elude me, but i remember familiar faces. i guess i'm more of 'a face person' than 'a name person', if you know what i mean). she asked her friends to call her Sookie, after that cute, chubby character in Gilmore Girls, and she was the one, i mean Sookie my roommate, not Sookie from the Gilmore Girls, who introduced me, formally, to Linkin Park.
no, i didn't literally shake hands with Shinoda or Chester, are you crazy?!
okay, sorry about that.
Sookie took IT course. she was a cool and relaxed person, always finding something to laugh about and a hopeless romantic who fell for Shane West in A Walk to Remember. strangely enough, she also fell for Linkin Park. and dragged me along with her. heh.
i guess she grew tired of me groaning every time i study, that she handed me Hybrid Theory cassette one fine morning. to shut me up, or to calm me down, i seriously don't know which one was her true intention. i think that was how i remembered the first time i truly listened to Linkin Park. i couldn't remember any other method of introduction. and as i listened to the band screaming and tearing my eardrums apart, with Sookie grinning knowingly at her side of the room, i fell in love. muahahaha! what a way to say it, but i just did. a bit too late since the band was already established and famous through out all the world, but there i was, grinning from one ear to the other along with her.
and yeah, i did babble along with Mike and Chester for In The End after that, got problem with it, huh?
soon after that i found myself borrowing Hybrid Theory and Meteora from Sookie more time than i could count and then finding my own way, i bought those two albums and another one too, The Reanimation. which quickly became my favorite one. it's an electronically re-mastered, remix of Hybrid Theory, actually, but there was one particular song, Wth> You, which got me hooked on that album. it's romantic. heh, not a way you would describe Linkin Park, i'd say, but that song is just that. here's a snippet of its lyric:
It's true the way I feel
Was promised by your face
The sound of your voice
Painted on my memories
Even if you're not with me
I'm with you
You now I see keeping everything inside

With you
You now I see even when I close my eyes
With you
You now I see keeping everything inside
With you
You now I see even when I close my eyes..
this is basically the same lyric as the original version. sweet, huh? and here is a snippet of the added version for the remix version, even more romantic... :) (please, don't laugh):
It ain't like me to beg on my knees
Oh, please oh baby please
That's not how i'm doing things
No i'm not upset, no i'm not angry
I know love is love, love
but sometimes it pains me
I'm never without you,
i'll always be with you
You'll never forget me, i'm keeping you with me...
there. listening to that, i always imagine Shinoda kneeling and pleading and that never fails to bring a smile to my face. heh.
after Meteora, they went on tour, produced tour albums, did collaboration works with Jay-Z, and Shinoda went on rapping with Styles of Beyond and produced Rising Tied under the name Fort Minor, which also was a hit. i bet you've heard of Where'd You Go and Believe Me. but the song in that album which held quite a memory for me was The Hard Way. nice one. you can't put together rapping and melancholy music in the same sentence until you heard that song. and all this while Linkin Park went on a hiatus. for four years since their last official albums.
and then, like the spectacular band that they are, they came out with Minutes to Midnight in 2007. my final year at uni. tough final year. Thank God for these guys who finally came out of their cave, heh! i bought the cd and dvd of the band doing their work to produce that particular album. they had to go to a secluded house and drilled themselves for the work. it was hillarious watching them went through the process, heh. out of more than a hundred songs written by everyone in the band, not just Shinoda and Chester, but Rob, Brad, Phoenix and also Mr Hahn contributing, twelve songs were finally agreed upon to be produced and What I've Done became the first single and was such a hit, it was also in the Transformer's first soundtrax. and became my permanent wake-up call too. literally and figuratively. literally because it is and still is the song of my alarm clock (ngehngehngeh), and figuratively because it's the song of regrets and moving ons. something i'm too, very much familiar with.
but the song that touches me deeply from that particular album is Leave Out All The Rest. i'm sure you've heard it. final single, i think, from that album. and also included in Twilight's soundtrax. not such a fan of that particular saga, so i'm not going to elaborate on that boring movie, heh! anyway, LOATR is also a song about moving on. about leaving something good behind. good memories. good deeds. so, yeah, we have our bad moments, we have our bad judgement, we have our bad mistakes. but leaving all those out and just taking or remembering the good ones is not such an easy task to do, ey? that's what the song tells us to try to do, actually. nice, huh?
this album, Minutes to Midnight, to veteran fans of Linkin Park might not really be what they expected. they expected it to be like Hybrid Theory and Meteora, headbanging and screaming and tearing your heart apart. this one is quite the opposite. not so much headbanging, not so much screaming. but the lyrics can tell you the reason why. they've matured up. after four years, they became adults who see things differently. they scolded the ironic situation where people can pray and still get into a war and bomb a mosque (Hands Held High). they became sensitive people who were touched by a catastrophe like the hurricane Katrina and wrote a song about it (The Little Things Give You Away). in a way, i could relate to that. because i've matured up too. and that's why i love the band so much. even they admitted in the album that they aimed to come out of their comfort zone, something i could relate to, too, and they succeeded with this one.
i might not grow up with them in my teen years, but they grow up along with me now.
and this year, in September, out came A Thousand Suns. again, people have numerous comments about this one. i read them in their official website, more than one person is dissatisfied, saying they want more along the line of the first album. a reply i liked about that complain came from another fan who said that as a fan, we should appreciate the band, not just one particular album. we're a fan of the band, not just an album. if we said we only like one particular album, we're not really a fan of that band, just of that particular tracks of songs. i agree with that. if you truly like a band, a true fan, you'll appreciate everything they have to offer. any changes. any new improvements. and Linkin Park improves, a lot. to my best knowledge. and so, i'm still a die-hard fan of them. :)
speaking about A Thousand Suns, it really is something different. the first time i heard it, i have to admit, i was not very much impressed. but i expected that. after Minutes to Midnight, they got quite a lot of work to measure up. but after a replay, i already got the song i put on repeat one. heh. Waiting for The End, their second single is terrific. the lyrics is something i could really relate to these days, talking about moving on (again), and how desperate it is to just want something different from what we have now. i am in that situation now, so that song struck a strong chore in my heart.
the rest of the tracks is not bad, either. i even found my 'feel good song' from this album, When They Come For Me. its music is a happy tune and the lyric is, ehem, funny, that i always smile listening to it. each song has its own uniqueness, its own trademark sound, although i do wish for more complete songs rather than talks and instrumentals. but then, i enjoy the album all the same, still.
they've matured up. we could see that in their lyrics, hear that in their music.
the reason that i like them so much is that they ackowledge the presence of God. you can hear that in The Catalyst, their first single from A Thousand Suns. they ackowledge that people sin. and they ackowledge that only God can help us. can forgive us. they might not believe what we believe, but it's much better than songs saying making a wish to a star or an airplane, for that matter, because this kind of lyrics is dangerous. it might deviate us from what we should believe in without us realising it. we should only wish to Allah, pray to Him, what do we need an airplane to change into a star for, right? the music might sound nice, ear-catching, but i prefer to listen to what they're saying, what the lyric is all about, the story behind a song. i prefer to be careful that way.
so far, Linkin Park's lyrics are okay. scratch the cursing parts, most of what they're trying to say is that the world is coming to its end. something we all are aware of, but not that prepared for. they are trying to help us realize that better. not many people would take it that way, but i do. in some twisted, poetic way of mine, i'd say that Linkin Park and i have the same opinion about the world these days. how we keep on doing the wrong things and do not realize that all those catastrophe happening are God's signs that what we're doing are wrong. it's a difficult lesson, trying to fathom that.
now, what more can you ask from a band that you love, to prove to you?

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