Saturday, 22 July 2017

On Reflection: Linkin Park's "One More Light"

Two days ago we lost a voice in the Metal/Rock community, tragically Linkin Park's lead singer Chester Bennington chose to take his own life. It comes around a month after his close friend Chris Cornell did the same, a lot of voices are speculating he would still be alive if Chris where too. Chester has spoken openly about his childhood abuse and inner struggle in the past and with the reality of his actions we now realize the extent of pain and suffering he was going through. In my teenage years Chester was a big, immensely talented voice in our generations music and their massive album Hybrid Theory remains the most popular Nu Metal album to date. I never kept up with the band over the years however that record holds a special place within.

I recently decided to check in with their latest release One More Light, mainly due to a morbid curiosity with the media backlash for the bands change in direction. Listening to it again the record feels almost unrecognizable when focusing on the lyrics. My main criticism of the album was that of a disingenuous feeling between lyrics that glorify pain and suffering through what were yesterdays squeaky clean, sunny pop sound. Now reality illuminates the authenticity in his words, the sincerity all to raw to accept. Listening back to the classic "Crawling" again sounded like a whole new song, a chapter had been closed on that page. The words "crawling in my skin, these wounds will never heal" have a tragic weight about them now.

The point of this article is perception, the master of our reality. In my case a sense of a disingenuous expression has turned out to be utterly false. Ill never enjoy this record now as its drenched in a harrowing sadness given Chester's passing. Whats to be learned is the same lesson I'm trying to teach myself all the time. Everything is just a perception. You are a perception of yourself, you only perceive others and that all comes with a wealth of ignorance that our minds bypass in order to give us a sense of understanding. We are wired to think we know best when we actually know an infinitesimal amount of whats to be known... I conclude that we should grant artists some authenticity with their music, regardless and lessen our instinct to pass judgement. The same should be said of people in our day to day lives too, for we our all capable of feeling pain and should never let those expressions fall on deaf ears.

RIP Chester


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  2. So sad, and so true what you say Xisuma

  3. Having heard about it, and at first feeling reluctant to believe it until it was suddenly everywhere, I spent the rest of the day listening to "Hybrid Theory", "Meteora" and "Minutes to Midnight" back-to-back on repeat for the first time in a long while. And hearing those songs, and those lyrics again, it very quickly occurred to me that those albums are chock-full of Chester's pain...and maybe that wasn't such a good thing for him. I remember reading a few weeks back about the things he said, and the disdain he had for the way fans were clinging to Hybrid Theory, and at the time it felt a bit off-character for him to me; I respected him, even though I'd drifted from the band after they changed direction, and it struck me as uncharacteristic that he might say something like that; he always struck me as someone who had respect for his fans, and I reasoned there must be something more to it that we weren't privy to, but would probably never know about. Call it presumptuous, but I think now I understand why he said the things he did -- he wanted, and likely desperately needed, to put that music and where it came from behind him, but people didn't want him to move on from it, not knowing the full context of his reasons.

    I think, perhaps, having listened to those albums over again these last couple days, that he tried to use music and songwriting as a medium to express his pain, as many do - but not many go through the things he did, and I wonder if maybe in trying to exorcise his demons through song, he immortalised them when it made him famous and brought him wealth, but not happiness, something no currency can buy. And then the music became a prison he couldn't seem to escape from, of his own making.

    Linkin Park's music was, for me as I'm sure it was for many others, a cornerstone of the soundtrack to my formative years...and with his sudden and very much unexpected death, it feels as though a keystone has been taken from the foundations of who I am. I can't imagine how his family must be feeling; but more, I have no idea where his band-family will go from here; I can't think of how they might move on without him. His voice and talent were so unique...It would be the same if it were Mike - both are irreplaceable. I honestly don't know how Linkin Park would continue without either of them. And that breaks my heart.

  4. RIP Chester we lost a grate man

    I have never been to such type of posts before truly remarkable stuff it has.