rionaleonhart: top gear: the start button on a bugatti veyron. (going down tonight)
Riona ([personal profile] rionaleonhart) wrote2017-08-08 10:42 pm

Sifting Through The Wreckage.

I have now listened through all seven Linkin Park studio albums from beginning to end! I've bookmarked a... frankly ridiculous number of tracks, although most of them were in my bookmarks before I actively started listening to full albums. (Counting non-album tracks, I have bookmarked over fifty Linkin Park songs. Fifty. There are more than half a hundred Linkin Park songs I love. They are the best band ever and all the other bands are just going to have to deal with it.)

Here is my definitive, unfaultable ranking of which albums are the best, determined through the following extremely scientific method:

METHODOLOGY: Which album have I bookmarked the most tracks from?
CONCLUSION: That one's the best.

I am a woman of simple needs. I don't care about how well the songs flow together or how coherent the album's themes feel. I just want a load of songs I like to listen to. As such, I am not going to make adjustments based on the total number of tracks. Screw your percentages. A twelve-track album on which I like eleven tracks is better than a ten-track album on which I like all ten, because it gives me more songs to listen to endlessly. If you think that's unfair, One More Light, you shouldn't have skimped on the tracks!

A couple of caveats:

- I listened to Hybrid Theory from beginning to end many times as a teenager, so I think of it more as a full album than as a set of individual songs. I originally just bookmarked the album playlist. Since then, I've bookmarked a few particular favourites, but I haven't been quite as diligent about going 'ooh, better hang on to this one' as I have been with songs from other albums, because I know I'm never going to lose a Hybrid Theory song; at some point, I'll listen to it in full again. Its position on the list of albums may therefore be lower than it deserves. (I hadn't realised until just now that I'd left the eternal classics 'Papercut' and 'Crawling' off my bookmark list. Better fix that.)

- The entire One More Light album is now pretty painful. I listened to it from beginning to end before we lost Chester, but I haven't been able to bring myself to since. There are songs on there I might decide to bookmark if I heard them another time or two (e.g. 'Battle Symphony'), but right now I just can't.

Weird discovery in the course of this adventure: 'New Divide' was never on a Linkin Park album? Really? Are you sure? I mean, I wasn't expecting 'Rolling in the Deep' or that silly song about jellyfish to be on any of their studio albums, but 'New Divide'?

I don't particularly expect anyone to be interested in this entry, but TOO BAD, I'M WRITING IT ANYWAY.

Each album title is followed by the list of tracks I've bookmarked. Asterisks denote songs I've been known to listen to on repeat; bolding denotes my favourite song from each album.

#7: A Thousand Suns, inexplicable nuclear war concept album. Five tracks (out of fifteen).

*?Burning in the Skies (I haven't technically listened to this on repeat, but that's because I've only just discovered it. I'm absolutely going to listen to it on repeat, no question. I broke off in the middle of my Hunting Party listen because I suddenly and urgently needed to hear it again.)
*Waiting for the End
The Messenger

This had an unfair disadvantage, because its songs aren't designed to be listened to individually, but it also had an unfair advantage, because it has the largest number of tracks, so ultimately it balances out and it's got the right position. Probably. This ties in both number of tracks and number of 'listen on repeat' songs with the next album, so I'm going to use the highly scientific tiebreaker of 'which order feels right?'

#6: Living Things, weird mishmash album. Five six tracks (out of twelve).

*In My Remains
*?Burn It Down (I think I've listened to this on repeat, but I'm not entirely certain.)
*Castle of Glass
Roads Untraveled
(EDIT: *I'll Be Gone)

I thought this would do better! I think I was just blinded by how much I love 'In My Remains' and 'Castle of Glass'. There are a couple of tracks I might return to at some point: I'm still deciding how I feel about 'Lost in the Echo', and 'I'll Be Gone' is stuck in my head, but it's one of the many songs with retroactively sad lyrics, so I'm hesitant to listen to it again and decide how much I like it. (EDIT: Okay, it's the next day and I woke up with 'Battle Symphony' stuck in my head, which is a much harder song to deal with, so I listened to 'I'll Be Gone' to drive it out. Definite bookmark. I'm not going to edit any future bookmarks into this entry, because they'll probably mess up the DEFINITIVE, SCIENTIFIC ORDER of albums, but I thought I might as well add this one, as it breaks a tie and doesn't change the ranking. Incidentally, this makes A Thousand Suns the only album on which I've bookmarked fewer than half the tracks.)

#5: One More Light, controversial pop album. Seven tracks (out of ten).

*Nobody Can Save Me
*Good Goodbye
*?Invisible (Again, may or may not have listened to this on repeat; I'm not sure.)
Talking to Myself
One More Light
Sharp Edges

Higher than I thought it might be! It'd do even better if I were taking percentage of tracks into consideration. But I'm not, One More Light. I'm sorry. Might revisit 'Battle Symphony' at some point, when this album is a little less hard to listen to.

#4: Hybrid Theory, my childhood introduction to Linkin Park and therefore the album I'm most emotionally attached to. Seven tracks (out of twelve), but, as mentioned, unfairly disadvantaged by my tendency to treat it as a full album rather than a collection of songs.

With You
*In the End
A Place for My Head
Pushing Me Away

This ties with One More Light in number of songs. Technically, I should probably put One More Light above this, as it beats it using the measurable criterion 'how many songs have I listened to on repeat?', but screw your measurable criteria, it's Hybrid Theory, it already hurts enough not to have it in the top three. (EDIT: It's less than a day later and I've already screwed up the rankings by bookmarking 'Runaway'. Science is difficult.)

#3: Meteora, the more polished successor to Hybrid Theory and the only time Linkin Park has put out two similar-sounding albums in a row. Seven tracks (out of thirteen).

*Lying From You
Somewhere I Belong
From the Inside
*Easier to Run
*Breaking the Habit

Another tie, with both Hybrid Theory and One More Light! This is really messing with my perfectly scientific album-ranking method. Anyway, this album is so good and I place it above Hybrid Theory with only slight grumbling from my inner thirteen-year-old.

#2: The Hunting Party, HARD AS HELL. Eight tracks (out of twelve).

All for Nothing
*Guilty All the Same
*Until It's Gone
Final Masquerade
*A Line in the Sand

wait, what, I wasn't expecting this

The top three were supposed to be Hybrid Theory (for the nostalgia), Meteora (for the quality) and the ~mysterious victor~ that actually isn't all that mysterious! What's The Hunting Party doing here? I mean, yes, it contains 'A Line in the Sand', which is a potential candidate for my favourite Linkin Park song, but... really? When I listened to this album in full, I was going 'hmm, not entirely sure this direction works for me, although I admire their experimentation.' And yet it turns out that somehow I've bookmarked a full two thirds of the tracks. Apparently this is a better album than I'd realised!

#1: Minutes to Midnight, first experimental album. Nine tracks (out of twelve).

*Leave Out All the Rest
Bleed It Out
Shadow of the Day
*What I've Done
Hands Held High
No More Sorrow
*Valentine's Day
*In Pieces
*The Little Things Give You Away

I'll be honest: the thrilling, suspenseful countdown doesn't really work when I've already declared my favourite Linkin Park album in my last entry. But now its superiority has been scientifically proven. What a great, great album.

I found myself feeling unexpectedly chipper whilst compiling this entry! Chipperness has been in short supply for the last few weeks and I was terrified it might have fled me entirely, so this is great news. I just love this band! I love talking about this band! And maybe I can never enjoy them in the same way again, but I'm relieved to realise that doesn't necessarily mean I can't enjoy them at all.

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