Linkin Park has had much success from the very beginning with their 2002 debut. A Thousand Suns is sure to draw the same enormous amount of attention that their earlier releases have, but this time, the creativity stands out like a shining star in the center of darkness. Or a black hole clouding the light.
With the very first track, "The Requiem", it is very obvious that something is quite different. Linkin Park has always been a good band... but this intro is epic. A small female voice cuts in, and this intro builds and builds into "The Radiance", which is the second part of the album's intro (it includes a quotation of Robert Oppenheimer speaking).
Before we know it, we're into the third track, "Burning In the Skies" and it's basically the first proper 'song' on the album. This is the first time, from all I can recollect, of a Linkin Park album opening with a pretty, mellow song. However, it is definately, in its sound's definition, classically Linkin Park. Clean, superior vocals, over nearly techno (but not quite) guitars and piano. Luckily for me, I consider this sort of sound to be the best part of Linkin Park.
A war-fuled intro called "Empty Spaces" leads us to "When They Come For Me". This song is more evidence of the creative diversity on the album; it is a very strange yet cool rap song, with a chorus and ending that'll make you throw your hands up. It's definately not in the same catagory as the ever-relaxing and empowering, "Robot Boy".
Just when you think you've heard the last of the intros, "Jornada del Muerto" fools you wrong, and it leads us into "Waiting For the End", which a head-bobbing repitition of piano... yet it sounds a lot like reggae. Prepare yourself so you don't get whip-lash, for "Blackout" is completely different than the previous track; it's bouncy, filled with screams, and somehow alternativey. Still, you must prepare yourself: "Wretches and Kings" is rock-rap at its best. That's right - you just experienced three completely different types of music in about nine minutes.
"Wisdom, Justice, and Love" continues to include a man speaking, just as "Wretches and Kings", but since it is yet another intro, the voice fades out creepily and desperately with piano in the background, and we are led to "Iridescent". It has the same piano used in the intro, and is absolutely a loveable song with a nighttime sound.
"Fallout" is the next and last intro on the album. It's creepy in a Star-Trek sort of way, and following it, comes "The Catalyst". This is perhaps the best songs on the album, and my personal favorite song from the band. It builds and builds throughout, and Chester's voice hovers above all others, declaring the beautiful lyrics with more meaning than anyone else ever could. It is both mellow and upbeat; it is perfect. I get chills each time I hear "The Catalyst".
Acoustic guitars rule "The Messengers" - the final track on A Thousand Suns. Unfortunately, it's technically the worst song on the album. Chester's voice can be so great, but it's quite screechy on this one, and there's not many instruments to accompany it either. However, it's meaning is enough for me. The peaceful end to a CD centered around war.
It's amazing how much this band has evolved over the years. A Thousand Suns has proved that Linkin Park is never what you expect them to be. We already know that they can make some good songs and have amazing voices and are incredibly talented. But this album is so much more than that. They have pushed the boundaries of creativity and made it all beautiful. A Thousand Suns is a constant crescendo and completely memorable.
(I could give this a 4/5... but it seems a little low-ish...)