Linkin Park is renowned for being the last of the ‘true’ nu-metal bands, having evolved so as not to get outdated. The American rockers have progressed and expanded their sound, with the progression in Recharged marking a new step into the realm of dance and dubstep. The new 67-minute album is almost entirely a set of remixes of 2012’s Living Things with the addition of a new song featuring Steve Aoki. Whilst this is not necessarily a bad thing, it certainly leaves the album open to mixed reviews.
Opening with ‘A Light That Never Comes’, the highly anticipated new collaboration, the album kicks off to a flying start. The verse is a signature Linkin Park rap from Mike Shinoda with a catchy, up-tempo beat, while the chorus is reminiscent of recent albums Living Things and A Thousand Suns. Follow-up ‘Castle of Glass’ remixed by Mike Shinoda is more of a disappointment, especially to anyone familiar with the original song. Because of its slow, repetitive introduction and a dubstep breakdown it would not be out of place in a nightclub, but it seems alien on a Linkin Park record. ‘Lost in the Echo (KillSonik remix)’ and ‘Victimized (M. Shinoda remix)’ are, once the listener has come to terms with the dance-side of the album, a high point. Unfortunately the raps that characterised the original songs are mostly removed or toned down, which again would not be noticed by a new listener, but feels like a missing limb to those who are familiar with the band and have high expectations.
Undoubtedly the best remix on the album is Enferno’s take on ‘Powerless’, one of the few songs that has actually improved since the original. After adding a foot-tapping hi-hat and euphonic set of synthesisers, the originally slow and dull ballad is transformed into a stomping, feel-good anthem, succeeded anticlimactically by ‘Burn It Down (Tom Swoon remix)’, a disappointing and messy reorganisation of an originally catchy song. To anyone unfamiliar with Living Things, Recharged can be addictive, full of pulsating drum and bass loops. But what the album gains in dance-ability, it loses in terms of intricately woven guitars and echoing vocals. The remixes featured on Recharged are far more instrumental than their unaltered counterparts, and most of the songs sound very similar to one another. Rather than a short but sweet rally of unique and original songs, Linkin Park’s latest remix album is seventy minutes of continuous and repetitive dance tunes. To those who liked Living Things, avoid Recharged unless you are a fan of dubstep. And to those who haven’t heard Living Things… it is currently half the original price and twice as impressive.
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