I decided to swing by here to discuss the new album since I haven't been by an LP website in a few years during the "in-between" time since MTM. What I found upon arriving was forums clouded by people who think they have a say so in the directions the band chooses to take. It's like there's not even a discussion, just two sides of a fanbase: the ones who just want Hybrid Theory again, and those who appreciate the new sound.
I use the term "new sound" loosely, since I've listened to all of their albums several times, and it's very clear to me that it is an evolution. The best thing about this band is their ability to build, not replace, the sound they are known for. Linkin Park has always been about breaking barriers and defining their own genre, and they have never been about becoming stagnant. A Thousand Suns has traces of all of their work so far, on every song I can pick out sounds from their earlier work that prove that they haven't abandoned who they are, like some people on this website are claiming. "Iridescent" is strongly reminiscent of "My December" in it's presentation and sound. "The Catalyst" has a twinge of "Breaking the Habit" embedded under it's crazy techno breakdowns. I could go on.
I got the new album, I took it into my bedroom, turned down the lights and popped on a pair of headphones, listening to it from start to finish. There were some places where I was wondering what was going on, but it quickly became apparent to me that this was a theme album. I felt by the time I finished the album that it was one of the most beautiful musical journey's I have ever been on. There are many albums out there, and there are few that I've listened to that can hold together as a cohesive experience like Linkin Park's latest. Even the transition tracks serve a purpose, such as "The Radiance", with the quote from Oppenheimer (sp?) that set up perfectly for "Burning in the Skies".
To sum things up, every single one of you are entitled to your opinion, and I am not going to sit here and tell anyone that they are wrong. But what a lot of people need to grasp and understand, is that it doesn't really matter how much bitching is done for the band to return to their "old style", because the Linkin Park "style" is what you're experiencing right now. Always growing, evolving, changing. If it no longer fits into your taste, then I guess it's time for you to move on, because Mike makes it very clear in "When They Come For Me" that Linkin Park is not about to turn back, nor should they. I count myself lucky that LP is one of those few artists that really appreciate their fanbase so much that they keep them so close. Respect them for the decisions they make creatively, after all, it is their band, not yours.
I'm far from saying the new album is perfect, but I feel it is a very solid album, and I appreciated a lot of the new sound combinations they put together, and I felt the lyrics were some of the strongest in their existence as a band. "Iridescent" being my personal favorite.
I don't know about the rest of you, but I quickly become bored with bands when they start churning out things that sound identical to the last three albums they put out. If it's generic music you're after, there is plenty of it out there, but this is not the place to look. Sorry.