On the upcoming LIVING THINGS album, Linkin Park veer away from the political territory they explored on Minutes to Midnight and A Thousand Suns, and instead mine decidedly personal topics — relationships crumbling, trust eroding, faith failing. In a lot of ways, it is perhaps the most aptly titled record in recent history.
As proof, look no further than the first single, “BURN IT DOWN,” which is full of lines like “I played the soldier, you played the king/ Struck me down, when I kissed that ring,” none of which are about empire building or military service. Instead, the song is very much about the give/take dynamics of a relationship, and what happens when it all falls apart.
And the video for the song — which premiered Thursday (May 24) on MTV — follows in the same vein: There are no sweeping shots of battlefields or wretched politicians … instead, it is a decidedly human thing: just the band, in a room, sweating their collective asses off and pouring their hearts into the music. It is a performance video pushed to the limit, and sure, there are a lot of digital effects added for good measure, but they’re used only to highlight the personal flourishes of that performance — the intimately tight close-ups, the pained attention to details — shoot, even when they burst into flames at the end, you have to at least wonder whether they didn’t just spontaneously combust … it’s that intense (and intensely personal) of a thing.
So after spending the better part of five years exploring the outer boundaries of what a massively popular rock band can get away with, Linkin Park return home with “BURN IT DOWN” and LIVING THINGS (due June 26), shifting the focus eternally inward. Not only is that bound to make their diehard fans happy, but it makes for a truly interesting new chapter in this increasingly fascinating band’s career.
What do you think of the “BURN IT DOWN” video? Leave your comment below!