After a very satisfying first year in LPU 6.0, and an equally enjoyable second year with LPU 7.0, anticipation was pretty high for LPU 8.0, particularly the CD that was to come with it. This excitement was heightened by a blog post by none other than Mike Shinoda. He described the LPU8 CD as containing (I'm paraphrasing but I'm fairly sure this is accurate) neither "live tracks" nor "new Linkin Park album music."
And of course, the fans went insane. What could this mean? Is it remixes? It's Reanimation-style remixes of Minutes to Midnight tracks! No no, it's cover songs. Linkin Park must have recorded covers of songs they've played live before, like Wish or Sweet Child O'Mine. No wait guys! He said it's not "new" Linkin Park album music! That means it must be OLD Linkin Park album music, we're totally getting Meteora b-sides! The speculation went on and on.
Let me clarify on what I expect from the band, as a fan (this topic of discussion has been covered by Mike in his blog a couple times, so I'm gonna take this time to respond from a fan's point of view). I expect, well, good music. That's it. What that music sounds like is completely up to the band. I don't believe the band owes me anything, quite frankly. I've been a fan since Hybrid Theory, but I don't take the attitude that I helped make this band what they are today, or that they owe me something because I'm the reason for their success. In fact, I think of my relationship with the band a bit opposite of what many fans might. Many people think they gave the band their fandom and their money, so the band owes it to them to give them what they want. I believe that the band gives me the timeless gift of music that I love and can listen to over and over again, so I pay them back with my fandom and money.
I say all this because the LPU 8.0 CD surprised everyone. Some in a good way, some in a not-so-good way. The word "polarizing" has been used a lot in describing Linkin Park's music since 2007, and that word is very fitting for LPU8's CD. The CD was essentially a parody album. Mike and Chester went into the studio and recorded silly parodies of different genres and artists, from Elvis to Fergie. Or, if you were dead-set on expecting those Meteora b-sides, Mike and Chester went into the studio and recorded "a slap in the face to their hardcore fans," as I saw some people put it.
I felt bad for the band when I saw the fan reaction upon the leak of the CD. As I mentioned before, I've been a hardcore fan of Linkin Park since their first album, so though I don't know the band members personally, I like to think that I at least have a general sense of what their personalities are like. They really are good guys, they mean well, and I know they would never intentionally set out to insult their fans. MMM...Cookies was meant to be a parody CD that the entire LPU could have fun with, basically the LPU's inside joke.
People cooled down over time, and I like to think that once everyone cleared their heads, they learned to have fun with the music. I know I had fun listening to the music, considering the fact that "26 Lettaz In Da Alphabet" is one of my top 15 most played Linkin Park songs on iTunes. Yeah. I'm not even embarrassed.
(maybe I should be)