Call them reworked, reconstructed or keeping in line with the album title reanimated, but whatever you do, don't call the tunes comprising Linkin Park's forthcoming release remixed.
With Mike Shinoda and Chester Bennington's new verses, and vocal contributions coming from Staind's Aaron Lewis, Taproot's Steven Richards, and Korn's Jonathan Davis (on a new version of "One Step Closer"), offsetting a decidedly hip-hop lean courtesy of the Roots' Black Thought and Bay Area underground dwellers Kutmasta Kurt and Motion Man among many others, calling the songs that comprise Reanimation, due July 30, simply "remixes" doesn't do them justice. "Reinterpretations" is a term much better suited to the new songs, some with completely new choruses and alternate melodies that may surprise even longtime Linkin Park fans.
"Points of Authority," remixed from the original Hybrid Theory track by Orgy's Jay Gordon, will be one of two songs serving as focal points for the LP, according to Linkin Park's management. While many of the particulars surrounding the contents of Reanimation are intentionally being kept under wraps, Shinoda was able to describe a taste of the tune to MTV News.
"It's kind of an industrial type of song," he said. "It's beat heavy, but it's pretty much all samples, or it's samples of live instruments, and it's heavy. It's like robotic-sounding."
An animated video for the retooled "Points of Authority," which had been months in the making, has neared completion. Directed by Linkin Park's DJ Joseph Hahn, the clip should be completely finalized by the end of the month and surface in early July.
Reanimation's second focus is the new "High Voltage," the original of which appeared as a B-side on the "One Step Closer" CD single, released in February 2001. The song features guest spots from Evidence of Dilated Peoples and New York underground bard Pharaohe Monch, someone whose work Linkin Park think their fans should get to know better.
"He's just a real mellow [guy], soft-spoken, [but] there's a lot of hunger there," Shinoda said. "There's a lot of intensity even though he's been doing it for a really long time and he's really successful in those genres of music [underground hip-hop]. But with a larger, mainstream audience, they don't know him and that's where we wanted to make that little connection -- just bridge that gap. Hopefully, we could say to [our fans], 'Well, we like this guy. We've been listening for a long time. Hopefully you'll dig it, too.' "
Neither song is a "single" by the industry definition of a tune being serviced to radio stations on a specific date, since Linkin Park want Reanimation to stand on its own without being "pushed" in the traditional, commercial sense of the word. Even still, radio stations with both rock and urban formats are likely to begin spinning the song by the end of the month.
With little but formalities standing in the way of Reanimation's completion, Linkin Park are in heavy pre-production for their full-length follow-up to 2000's Hybrid Theory. They'll hit a studio later this summer with hopes to have the album in stores in early 2003.
Joe D'Angelo, with additional reporting by Sway Calloway