Come back, nu-metal, all is forgiven: Linkin Park go soft

Thu, May 18, 2017, 13:22


One More Light

Linkin Park

Warner Bros.


It’s little wonder that the Linkin Park of today are eager to distance themselves from the band that released Hybrid Theory 17 years ago. Nu-metal? Rap-metal? Hip-rock? All memories of the distant past for Chester Bennington and co, although their seventh studio album suggests that may not be such a good thing.

Shirking the electronic sound that dominated much of their later output and with no angle to pursue, the Californians find themselves untethered here. These are mostly bland midtempo pop-rock numbers, like the godawful Halfway Right; the dreary ballad title track; and Sharp Edges, which is practically country-folk. The comparative dynamism on Good Goodbye, featuring rappers Pusha T and Stormzy, is striking.

Mostly, it rouses the thought that perhaps that rap-metal era wasn’t so bad, after all.