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For fourteen years, rock band Linkin Park has grown, tweaked and overall transformed their music to the point where you can hardly recognize who they are now as compared to Hybrid Theory, their debut album.
Which is terrific; the bands that stay the same are the ones that lose credibility and popularity. We all grow up and change constantly throughout our lives and musicians are no exception. So why shouldn’t their music change as well? Artists who refuse to stray from what skyrocketed them to fame or what they’ve known all of their life, what they are comfortable with and what they believe everyone wants to see them produce, are really dishonoring the great art of music; if you’ve done something once and exhausted all of the possibilities that you particular style has to offer, then change it up. Especially if your beginning efforts were successful commercially; now you don’t have financial factors holding you back, so why worry about what the masses desire? A musician’s loyal fans, in most cases, will still follow and appreciate whatever they produce. And these are the ones that are really important anyways.
Linkin Park followed this to a T and although I’m not overly thrilled with their latest efforts (I’m usually only fond of one or two songs on them, whereas I can listen to their first three albums all the way through), I can’t help but respect the fact that they branched out from the commercially successful yet redundant and clichéd style of their first two albums, and became increasingly less angry and more heartfelt with each album. The instrumentals shifted greatly as well; they have always had electronic roots, but they’ve expounded upon them immensely from the beginning. And, as I’ve mentioned, while it may be true that I don’t enjoy their new material as much, the newer songs that I do like eclipse nearly every early-era song. It’s definitely the perfect example of “Quality over quantity”. Quantity early. Quality later.
Image courtesy of LarryMarano/INFevents.com