music / Columns

411 Music Fact or Fiction: Is Linkin Park Done?

July 28, 2017 | Posted by Joseph Lee
Linkin Park

Welcome to the 411 Music Fact or Fiction! This week, Joseph Lee takes on Jeremy Thomas.

The latest claims against R. Kelly will amount to nothing.

Joseph Lee: FACT – When the claims were first revealed, they were certainly shocking. But since then it’s devolved into a lot of “he said, she said” and the waters are muddy enough it might be hard to find any evidence of anything. Unless one of the alleged victims ‘escapes’ and tells her story, it doesn’t like like anything will come of this.

Jeremy Thomas: FACT – To be 100% honest here, if I had written this the day the allegations came out I would have said “Fiction.” Not that I blindly accepted them as true, mind you…but I mean, Kelly’s past actions has created a certain image around himself and I’m not so self-righteous to admit that it would have led to immediate inclinations to believe it. As time goes on and more and more people are contradicting the reports, I’m becoming a lot more skeptical. It is still very possible that the allegations are based in truth, but there is likely now more than enough for reasonable doubt status. I don’t honestly see anything happening to him at this point.

You don’t see Linkin Park continuing in the wake of Chester Bennington’s death.

Joseph Lee: FACT – Bands have continued in the wake of their higher-profile frontmen’s deaths, but I don’t see it happening here. It seemed like they were all close to Bennington and he was a real driving force behind a lot of the music. I’m sure Mike Shinoda contributed greatly as well, but it always felt like a collaborative effort that didn’t have too much of one of the other. Outside of possibly a tribute song or one final tour, I think the band is done. They have their side projects, Shinoda has Fort Minor, so that would be where I say the focus goes from now on.

Jeremy Thomas: FACT – It’s hard to say this, but I strongly suspect so. I am a big fan of Linkin Park’s and even over the lackluster last couple of albums, I always saw the qualilty and dedication they had to their music. Much like some other bands we’ve discussed in this manner, I would not expect the remaining band members to continue on under the LP name. That brand has a lot of name value, but it’s also indelibly tied to the iteration that Bennington fronted. Mike Shinoda released a new logo for the band with one side of the hexagon missing, showing how they aren’t complete without Bennington. I think that says everything we need to hear about what the group will be like without him.

Ed Sheeran’s Game of Thrones cameo was out of place.

Joseph Lee: FACT – Instead of being like, “hey cool, Arya is interacting with nice people for once,” I was completely taken out of the scene. I always thought Game of Thrones was above that sort of thing.

Jeremy Thomas: FACT – I want to be clear here: I don’t think it was a bad cameo. Sheeran is getting a lot of shit for the appearance, but I think it was fine. It was, however, a bit out of place and took me out of the show for a moment. That’s simply a matter of Sheeran being such a recognizable person and actually getting real screen time, as opposed to just being a dialogue-less background cameo like Will Champion of Coldplay or Mastodon. Sheeran is no Emmy-caliber actor, but he did fine in his role and it was what it was. Yeah, it was a slight bit jarring but I don’t understand the complete hatred he’s getting for it.

SWITCH!

A Starz series about Mariah Carey’s life would be interesting.

Jeremy Thomas: FICTION – Man, I tried for a couple of minutes here and I cannot think of any music celebrity’s life who is less interesting material for a Starz television series than Mariah Carey. I am a fan of Carey as a pop singer (most of the time) and I appreciate that she has risen to become one of the more powerful mainstream artists working today, but very little about her story intrigues me. It is worth noting that Starz is pretty much nailing every television show that they throw at the public, so if anyone could make this interesting it would be them. But even then, I don’t think they could do it.

Joseph Lee: FICTION – I have enjoyed her songs over the years, but I have zero interest in her life story. I don’t really watch a lot of music biopics and Mariah Carey is no Johnny Cash, you know?

You’re not impressed with the video for ‘Kill Jay Z.’

Jeremy Thomas: FACT – Not hugely, nope. The track itself is great, but the video just didn’t grab me. I certainly get what it’s going for, mind; the concept is provocative, but I don’t feel like it does enough with the concept. The Gerard Bush and Christopher Renz-directed video focuses on the visuals, and while I’m a fan of not hammering viewers over the head to deliver the message I do think that they could have oushed this one a little more. It was okay, but by no means was it at the visual level I expect from a JAY-Z track.

Joseph Lee: FACT – I’m just not really into JAY-Z anymore. I guess the video was fine but his stuff just doesn’t do it for me anymore. We’ll always have his earlier tracks.

Chester Bennington was an underrated singer.

Jeremy Thomas: FICTION: Hold off on the pitchforks. As I said above, I am a big LP fan and Bennington was great. I don’t think he was underrated though. He was a fine metal/hard rock singer, but I think it would be unrealistic to overly lionize his performance skills. Bennington’s passion was evident in every some he performed and that’s an important part of one’s singing talent, but I also don’t think that was unrecognized. He got due credit for his energetic performances and was recognized as having a very good voice. I believe he was a hell of a frontman; I just don’t think there was a big disparity between how he was rated and where he actually was.

Joseph Lee: FACT – For a while it was the cool thing to bash Linkin Park, and I just sort of dealt with it because the bands I like usually do get trashed. But Hybrid Theory was one of my favorite albums in my teen years and a lot of that was due to the raw emotion Bennington brought to his music. You can’t teach that. He had a powerful voice and it’s the reason their sound is still remembered, even their last album strayed away from that sound.

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