Linkin Park’s desire for reinvention has never been a secret; ever since 2002’s Reanimation — and their subsequent team up with Jay Z on Collision Course — they’ve been in the business of tearing things down.
But in recent years, with the release of the artful, adventurous A Thousand Suns and the equally oblique LIVING THINGS , they’ve only accelerated that destruction, largely abandoning their hard-riffing roots in favor of songs that explore textures and create atmospheres. That they’ve done so without fear of alienating their fans (or royally pissing off shareholders at the Warner Music Group) only speaks to a larger point: there truly is no other band of their stature so willing to push the boundaries, blow things up, and begin anew.
It’s no surprise, then, that on the heels of LIVING THINGS, Linkin Park are set to release RECHARGED, their most adventurous — and ambitious — album to date. Featuring remixes from outsiders like Steve Aoki, Tom Swoon and Dirtyphonics — and re-workings of tracks by Mike Shinoda and LIVING THINGS producer Rick Rubin — it represents a near complete reimagining of the Linkin Park universe; and unlike Reanimation, the changes are more than cosmetic.
To wit, while there are no tracks with titles like “Kyur4 th Ich” or “P5hng Me A*wy” on RECHARGED, there are endless moments that take Linkin Park’s signature sonics to the brink and back. Frontman Chester Bennington’s yowls are smashed together with knotty, gnarly electro on KillSonik’s walloping remix of “Lost in the Echo,” rapper Pusha T contributes a biting verse to a massive, molecular reworking of “I’ll Be Gone,” and Shinoda contributes a pair of stand-out tracks: a spindly, starry version of “Castle of Glass,” and a skittering update on the LIVING THINGS stomper “Victimized.”
In short, RECHARGED is full of big risks and even bigger ideas, a record that not only shows where Linkin Park are at in 2013, but hints where they may go next. And now, ahead of its October 29 release, MTV is giving fans an exclusive listen to the full album. Push play, and marvel at LP’s continued determination to destroy it all and start over again.