Last night Linkin Park premiered Until It’s Gone, the second song to be revealed from their upcoming album, The Hunting Party. In numerous interviews the band have announced the record will be much more guitar-orientated than its predecessors, which saw the once nu-metal band experiment with the world of synths and electronica.
However, Until It’s Gone, comes across like a b-side off of Living Things, with bland verses and a chorus whose only lyric is the cringe-inducing cliche of “you don’t know what you have until it’s gone”. In fact the only hint of aggression during this four minute track comes across as the song ends, with Chester finally entering into a scream on the final lyric.
Every release since Minutes to Midnight has been led by a radio-friendly single, so this track’s release came as no surprise, but it’s not its commercial-orientation that bothers me. Previous radio-friendly releases have at least been strong tracks, What I’ve Done was simple but powerful, The Catalyst was energetic and creative and Burn It Done showed promise. Until It’s Gone has none of these traits; it’s lyrically poor, whilst the music is generic and void of any emotion.
The first song that was released from the record was a different story. Guilty All The Same welcomed back the guitar riff and featured a minute-and-a-half long intro which exploded into life and showed signs that the six-piece had finally learned to amalgamate electronic influences with the metal guitar riffs, which provided the foundation for their nu metal success. The track isn’t perfect though; Rakim’s rapped verse sounds like it was added on at the last minute, disrupting the flow of the song and the outro guitar is weak and relies too heavily on effects. In addition, the production job was intended to be raw and ragged, but it was taken too far, leaving parts of Guilty All The Same sounding cheap and lazy.
So far the picture painted by the two released songs is not the best. I really enjoyed both A Thousand Suns and Living Things, because they stuck with a style and wrote strong tracks within that domain, but with The Hunting Party no style has been defined as of yet, which has led to one track that is too busy with ideas, and another that succeeds at nothing. Hopefully the other ten songs on the record can change my mind, because I’ve always loved the way Linkin Park constantly re-invent themselves and are successful at doing so.
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