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Why Linkin Park’s New Single “Heavy” is a Smart Change of Style

from+www.linkinpark.com
from www.linkinpark.com

from www.linkinpark.com

from www.linkinpark.com

Joel Freecheck, Editor-In-Chief

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from Wikipedia

Linkin Park has long been one of the most popular and most recognizable bands from the 2000’s and 2010’s. Their hit singles What I’ve Done, Numb, In The End, among others, captured the spirit and angst of the millennial generation. The band has sold an impressive 60 million albums worldwide, and their debut album Hybrid Theory has been certified Diamond (10+ million sold in USA)  by the RIAA. They have a unique style that is always adapting to the mainstream and has proven insanely successful for over a decade (see figure below).

As soon as the band started using an electronic-tinged sound, their album sales have dwindled. This coupled with the historically low album sales of the 2010’s have caused their last three albums to fail at reaching 1 million copies sold in the US.

When Living Things encountered disappointing album sales, Linkin Park decided to return to their nu-metal style of Hybrid Theory and Meteora with The Hunting Party. The 2015 album peaked at #3 on the BB200 and became their least commercially successful album worldwide. The singles never took off and became mainstream hits like Breaking The Habit and New Divide.

To a band, these are warning signs you have either overstayed your welcome or peaked years back. Heavy (feat. Kiiara) is their response to this decline in interest, and man, it’s a masterful play. Co-written by upcoming hit makers Julia Michaels (Her hit Issues, Kygo’s Carry Me) and Justin Tranter (DNCE’s Cake By The Ocean, Selena Gomez’s Good for You) and featuring rising pop star Kiiara (Gold), Heavy was engineered for pop radio. The track combines Linkin Park’s lead vocalist Chester Bennington and Kiiara’s wispy, vulnerable vocals with a building synth beat that explodes near the end.

Similar to what Coldplay has gradually done over the course of their seven albums, Linkin Park has jumped from their rock status and landed feet first in the pop landscape. Coldplay did this with hits like A Sky Full of Stars, Hymn for the Weekend, and Adventure of a Lifetime to great success.

Beyond the obvious commercial appeal of switching styles, Linkin Park’s new pop rock sound is instrumental to capturing the teen demo they had back in the Hybrid Theory and Meteora days. Bands like Imagine Dragons (Radioactive, Demons) and Twenty One Pilots (Stressed Out, Heathens) have proven that the pop rock demographic, which is usually dominated by the teen demo, can be extremely lucrative. Heavy has already impacted pop radio as of this writing according to Kworb and shows no signs of stopping. The single has also stayed put in the Top 20 of iTunes and is getting millions of streams via Spotify and Apple Music.

from www.linkinpark.com

What do you think about Linkin Park’s new sound? Were you hoping for another rock record or are you optimistic about the new album One More Light coming out May 19th this year? Drop a comment and share your thoughts.

 

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Why Linkin Park’s New Single “Heavy” is a Smart Change of Style