Linkin Park was my all-time favorite band growing up, so when they teamed up with Kiiara and dropped single “Heavy” last week, I scrambled to a computer to listen. And I really, really wish I didn’t.
Just when LP was finally getting back in touch with their roots, they shart out a cookie-cutter pop song as musically complacent as it is lyrically vapid. Who needs their formerly symphonic blend of rock, rap, electronics, metal, and even pop? Not today’s Linkin Park, because they’ve discovered that the same synthesizers and R&B beat you hear everywhere else will fit their songs just fine. So sure, the track has a certain catchiness to it, but if a dessert chef indiscriminately dumps sugar into brownie mix, you shouldn’t applaud him if the final product tastes a bit sweet.
As for the lyrical content, it’s the same thoughtless drivel infecting most other pop songs. The speaker is self-centered (“I drive myself crazy / Thinking everything’s about me”) yet angsty (“Why is everything so heavy?”), a toxic cocktail that reminds every listener of the most unbearable person they know. It’s like LP is trying to reach younger fans through a pathetically thin caricature of the archetypal millennial, while crossing their fingers that no one will notice.
I know that LP is capable of so much more, so maybe One More Light, out May 19th, will be better. Or maybe I should just accept that, as the group chases simple popularity under the guise of artistic risk-taking, the name “Linkin Park” refers to a band lacking any sort of identity and offering no meaningful product.
Run Time: 2:50
Release Date: February 16, 2017
Check out the song “Heavy”. Or don’t.