If you had even a short chapter of adolescent angst in the very early 2000s, there's a good chance you had Linkin Park's "Hybrid Theory" in heavy rotation, and now said CD is collecting dust at your parents' house. Well, clean it off, because Linkin Park is releasing a new album to be titled One More Light, and the first peals of their 100-miles-a-minute new music are making their way out into the internet. Or... maybe not?
In fact, Thursday saw Linkin Park releasing the official lyric video for "Heavy," and it certainly is something else. Not only isn't it slowed down to a molasses speed, it almost sounds downright ambient. And with featured vocals by Kiiara in the mix, this certainly doesn't feel like the Linkin Park you relied on in your tween years. And hold on, because this is apparently their new standard.
“One of the reasons we picked ‘Heavy’ as the first single is because it’s kind of core to the sound of the album,” guitarist and co-vocalist Mike Shinoda said during a KROQ interview Thursday. “This isn’t like a polka album with one song that sounds like this. This is how the album sounds.” Wow, OK. And though the lyrics definitely sound like classic Linkin Park with lines like, "I keep dragging on what's bringing me down, if I just let go, I'd be set free," it's shockingly melodic.
Does that mean that Linkin Park has completely forgotten their roots? Not quite. In a Facebook Live broadcast, the band opened with a take on the pain-ridden "Crawling." But even that wasn't the same rendition you would see on so many Dragon Ball Z anime music videos 15 years prior. Unplugged and piano-driven, the vibe was certainly a lot quieter than I remember.
So maybe we're not exactly going to be reliving the turn of the millennium all over again. "Heavy" seems to set an unfamiliar tone that is, well, anything but heavy. But lyrically, and even looking at the track list for the album (including monikers like, "Nobody Can Save Me" and "Sharp Edges") they're still retaining a sense of hardness.
One More Light won't formally be released until May 19, so we won't really be certain of what to think of this newer, almost gentler Linkin Park until then. But you can catch a quick listen to "Heavy" below, and download the single and pre-order the album if you like what you hear.