Any album that starts with an introductory track called “The Requiem” automatically places itself on the border of moderation and pretentiousness. When the second track proceeds into a sound-byte of a Robert Oppenheimer quotation, the border whooshes into oblivion and the album sits quite firmly at the top of Ostentation Mountain. Such is A Thousand Suns, the latest release from Linkin Park.

Bizarrely, track 4, “Empty Spaces”, clocks in at 18 seconds long and is presumably supposed to make a statement, though the statement itself is ambiguous. The clear highlight of the record is “When They Come For Me” – its cautious blend of rap and heavy electronic beats is certainly reminiscent of old-school Linkin Park.

As for the rest of the album, it’s pretty dire. “Wretches And Kings” is kind of cool if you like crunk-rock club music. “Robot Boy” is self-indulgent and slightly boring, while “Iridescent” dispenses with the slightness and is just downright dull, and “Fallout” doesn’t even bother with the dullness, it’s just pointless. “Wisdom, Justice and Love” takes its name from a speech made by Martin Luthor King Jr, and is simply another flamboyant sound clip that doesn’t clearly establish its reasoning for being on the album.

It’s clear that with A Thousand Suns, Linkin Park are trying to make a point. Sadly, it’s a concept album without a real concept. But more importantly, the record also lacks any intelligible musical styling, and on every characteristic that would usually help make an album enjoyable, it falls extremely short of the mark.  [ END ]

Track Listing:

01. The Requiem
02.The Radiance
03. Burning in the Skies
04. Empty Spaces
05. When They Come for Me
06. Robot Boy
07. Jornada del Muerto
08. Waiting for the End
09. Blackout
10. Wretches and Kings
11. Wisdom, Justice, and Love
12. Iridescent
13. Fallout
14. The Catalyst
15. The Messenger

Run Time: 47:46
Release Date: 09.14.2010