SINGLE REVIEW: Linkin Park – ‘Heavy’


Linkin Park were the first band I liked, and there’s certain love and loyalty that comes with that.

Needless to say, I own every studio album. I’ve seen them live twice and plan on going a third time next time they come round to Melbourne. I might not even be writing about music for SYN Media if I hadn’t started listening to Linkin Park.

Many bands make similar sounding records throughout their career, some may evolve and change. Others, like Linkin Park, throw the formulas that made them famous out the window, and polarise the fans and critics. Fans of this band are used to changes, but I’m not so sure about this change.

A few years ago, band member Mike Shinoda wrote an opinion piece lambasting the state of rock a few years ago, and in interviews he pointed out rock radio’s transformation into what he described as “Disney commercial music”. This attitude led directly to the band releasing a rock album that was heavier and more guitar-driven than the last two. This was 2014’s The Hunting Party.

Just three years later, they come out with their poppiest single yet, ‘Heavy’. The title almost seems ironic as it’s just pop. It’s a commercial radio song. The band even collaborated with prolific pop songwriters, and brought in guest vocals by pop singer-songwriter Kiiara. This is supposedly what the band’s seventh album, One More Light will sound like when it’s released in a couple of months.

‘Heavy’ is not a bad song, but the only thing that stands out is how it doesn’t stand out. It contains none of the elements that make a Linkin Park song; there’s no mixed elements of rock, metal, hip-hip and/or electronic music.

The main lyrical hook of the song “Why is everything so heavy?” does not directly indicate what demons or hardships the subject in the song is going through, allowing the listener to make their own interpretation or relate it to themselves. Other than that, the lyrics are nothing special. The track is under three minutes, so it does make its point, and it’s done.

Considering what I said in the very first sentence of this review I’ll probably still enjoy the new record, but for now, I’m a little taken aback by this change. It’s a decent pop song, but it’s not Linkin Park.

Linkin Park’s seventh studio album One More Light is out May 19th.

Words by Stefan Bradley.