Why Linkin Park? Because they are my forever favorite band, obviously.
I first discovered LP when I was 14 something and that was the time when cable TV was introduced in Vietnam. My favorite channels back then were MTV, of course, and Channel V. One day, when I randomly switched between these 2 channels, I saw an MV of LP, it’s Somewhere I belong. I actually didn’t understand the lyrics but the song hit me. “What the hell is it? Is it what they call rock music?” I thought. So the next thing I do was checking on the Internet, I had to go to an Internet cafe since I had no computer.
What did I find when typing the name of the band? Their songs, of course. As I mentioned above, I was a dumb teenager, who stressed out about everything, especially about shool. Shool sucked. Yes, in Vietnam, it sucked. I got almost nothing from there but stress, tears, and depression. I read through their lyrics with the help of a dictionary. “Oh my Jesus! They wrote these songs for me. Their lyrics describe exactly how I feel about this damn world”. The first LP album I listened to was Meteora, and my favorite songs in this album were Numb and From the inside, especially Numb.
It was like a whole new world for me, where I can find my true and whole self in it. Since then, LP songs gradually became an unseparated part of my life, just like Final Fantasy series. FF series? Yeah, I’ll show you my love for FF in another post. I have to admit that I’m a short-tempered person and when I get lost in anger, nothing can calm me down but LP music. All I have to do then is put on my earphones and get myself drown in their lyrics. It always works.
After Meteora, I discovered LP – Live in Texas, another very good album. The next ones were Hybrid Theory, Minutes to Midnight, A Thousand Sun…No, actually, I had all of their albums in my iTunes library. Though I don’t like all of them but I do appreciate the band’s effort on making music. They keep changing styles. After all, that’s what life means to be, in my opinion. People keep changing in order to find their true selves or that’s the way they express their colorful stories.
On the ways or The journey of Ego…
- Hybrid Theory and Meteora
I found part of myself in Hybrid Theory and Meteora, where Chester’s voice was incredibly powerful and Mike’s rap was always perfectly fit. They voiced out my inner thoughts about life, which I can never dare to speak out loud: stress, depression, the unnamed fear, loneliness,… The older I get, the more useless I feel. It doesn’t mean that I was raised in a broken family or what, but I think my parents do have enough burdens on their shoulders, they do have their own stresses and depressions. Why should I put more on them? Hell no. It’s my personal problem and I’d rather bear it myself than share it with someone else. To me, these 2 albums are self-centered and I call it “Ego and his tiny world”. Ego is a misfit guy, somehow lost and tries hard to find his place in this uncertain world. He keeps questioning about his life, his existence, about people around him, about the society’s expectations of its people. And what he gets in return? Stresses, depressions and a voice in his head telling how dumb he is. But still, Ego has his own solution to get out of this maze, which was created by him. Recommended songs: Numb, In the End, Somewhere I Belong, Crawling, Runaway, One Step Closer, Points of Authority, From the Inside, A Place for My Head, Breaking the Habit, Faint, Papercut, Hit the Floor, Easier to Run.
- Minutes to Midnight
Ego starts asking new questions, not about his tiny world but to a larger, more unstable one. Every day he wakes up with his head filled up with frustrations, uncertainties. I’m my own worst enemy. He gets stuck, again. But this time, he’s facing bigger problems: his imperfect self, this crazy world, political related issues, relationship… All of them make up his new world. In other words, I found Ego as an adult this time, not a dumb teenager anymore, who starts driving his thoughts outside his bedroom. Frankly, I didn’t get this album when I first listened to it. I was still a dumb teenager then, anyway. But when I entered university, when I started thinking more than my very own self, I found it amazing. Gradually, I understood their lyrics, their messages. Both Mike’s rap and Chester’s voice got more emotional. I somehow felt this album like a turning point where a teenager grows up to be a man. Time to open your eyes and stop busting up your own issue, you’re definitely not the center of the world. Recommended songs: the whole album for your full experience.
- A Thousand Sun
Ego is a grown man now who begins setting his feet to the outside world. Still, he is a pessimist living his life full of depressions but this time, he learns to accept the fact that he, and everyone, is imperfect and it’s normal to make mistake, for being human. He then turns his questions to the gruesome and greedy society, politics. He also fights against the will of this system, which tries to make him its thoughtless puppet. Ego is not a weak man anymore, he has his own will and thought. He cares not just only himself but also other people. He’s well aware that this world is under the control of a greedy and callous group, which can be seen as a killing machine.
That time, I was old enough to understand this album. I also feel like I’m Ego. This album, like other ones, once again voiced out my thoughts and concerns. It gave me the strength to move on, to accept the fact that I’m just a normal human being but it didn’t mean that I could let myself be defeated by this system, to become one of its meaningless robots. My most favorite songs in this album are Waiting for the End and Burning in the Skies, especially Waiting for the End. Whenever I feel hopeless or get lost, it gives me the strength to get back on track. Holding on to what I haven’t got. It’s a damn powerful sentence. You get lost, hopeless, all you got is your empty hands but this is not the end, hell no. Get your ass off the couch. Fight for your own right or being merely a puppet? Go rebel or being merely a machine?
I highly recommend you to listen to A Thousand Sun: The Full Experience track to get the whole meaning of this album, the name of the track speaks it all. It somehow likes the stream of Ego’s thoughts.
- Living Things
It’s about common things happening around us, the name of this album speaks its theme: Living Things, or human beings and Ego is a part of it. This time he stops questioning and starts expressing his opinions about relationships, society, people, political issue, what he has been through… In the meantime, he’s seeking for comfort within himself as well as showing his care to people. I think this album is generally good but I don’t find any song that stands out. It didn’t hit me hard like the others.
An electronic and dance version of “Living Things”. Ego takes rest and gets recharged. The first time I listened to this album I found it weird. LP do rock, don’t they? Why it’s a dance album this time. But then, the album name clearly states its message: Recharged. However, this album is a good change and once again, LP proved that their music has no genres, no boundaries. It’s music and they can make it sound good in their own way.
- The Hunting Party
Well, it seems like I’m running out of words but the fact is that I don’t get this album. I somehow feel that the journey of Ego has ended. Not like he’s dead or something but I cannot find him anywhere after Recharged. You might find it weird when I making up a story based on LP’s albums but it’s how I feel about their music.
- One More Light
LP is back but they sound Pop this time. LP do pop instead of Rock? What a shocking news! But their lyrics gain back their old souls. Soul of Ego. Yes, I can sense Ego in Battle Symphony and Heavy. LP keep changing and I respect their choice. It’s their music anyway and I don’t think money is their top priority when making music. The band needs to be satisfied before their fans do. I think it’s fair. Picasso drew for his own will than others’ as well.
Something to expect…
Those are my thoughts about LP’s music and how they influenced me. I’m still listening to them, especially when seeking a way to ease my anger or my pain. No matter how they change, I’ll always be one of their supporters, not a hardcore fan, who I never was.