Photo via amazon.com

3/5 Stars

The band Linkin Park reminds us that we are human in an emotional album, “One More Light.” Machine Shop and Warner Records’ 2017 release of “One More Light” holds significance to the band, Linkin Park fans and its general audience as it is the last album featuring Chester Bennington prior to his death in July of the same year. This album was a tribute to the band members’ mutual friend’s passing, making the album and the meaning behind it even more poignant.

More than ever, it is important for us to realize that we are all human despite our struggles and differences. At this point in the band’s history, they found room to explore, be weird and venture outside of their musical comfort zone. Despite making a drastic sound change starting with this album, “One More Light” offers a variety of unique, focused and careful lyrics which allow the audience to empathize with the conflicts and struggles of life. The album inspires the audience to face life’s challenges with perspective, understanding and positivity, and to take challenges head-on as a way to motivate and improve oneself. Bennington and band mates communicate that by remaining optimistic in one’s thinking, we are able to tackle the issues we face as a society. 

While some critics praised the new direction for the band, others bashed the album, considering it a cheap attempt to absorb the latest musical trend. The album presented a drastic change in sound, which many fans simply were not used to. Linkin Park took a bold step by shifting their focus from writing music that their audience would like, to writing music that was more meaningful to the band members. Whether you consider the quality of music to be dependent upon a musician’s passion or by the recognition of their sound may determine the listener’s personal rating of this album. 

One of the best aspects of this album is the fact that it isn’t political. Normally, avoiding discussion of politics is difficult in albums of this genre, and to still appeal to the minds and hearts of many might be what drove the album’s success. As a critical value kept in mind during the songwriting process, Linkin Park attempts not to write for one member, but the whole band. Consequently, people respond to music with more positivity when it is relatable, making this album a particular stand-out for fans.