Linkin Park is a band that can really take anything and make it gold. It's been three years since they brought some harsher sounds back with 2014's The Hunting Party, and after a quiet year in 2016, they're finally back and ready to take over again. They've completely changed their sound once again, and have teamed up with pop singer Kiiara for their lead single from their upcoming album One More Light, 'Heavy.'
It's very easy to write this song off as a generic pop-track and leave it at that. There's so much more to it that makes it more than the generic music you hear on a daily basis, though. Yes, the similarities are there, but that's not taking a look at the big picture. 'Heavy' is a song with real emotion in every inch of its being. From the way Chester Bennington belts "Holding on" after the dejected melody first verse to the simple but honest words of Kiiara's verse, this song has actual emotion in the ways it channels them. Perhaps the most emotional moment is the final bar of the bridge, the percussion and harmonies coming together to release all of the sentiments the song channels with the relatable lines "And I drive myself crazy, thinking everything’s about me."
Melodically, this song is really great. Kiiara's parts are very suiting for her, with sweet and expressive lyrics backing them. The lyrics aren't anything particularly special, but thats's part of what makes it great. Sometimes things are much better left said in the simplest terms. Linkin Park drew heavily from personal experiences to create the stories behind the music on this record. When you talk about a personal situation, you're probably not explaining it in terms of some grand odyssey. You're being honest and sincere about the tale you're telling, and that's why 'Heavy' is so effective.
The only part I can really complain about in the track is the first verse. Chester's delivery here is a bit hard to swallow as a long-time fan of the band. It's not bad, but it doesn't quite flow as well as it could and is pretty strange to hear at first. Other than that, there's really nothing else that brings the track down at all. It could use a keyboard intro with the fantastic chord progression instead of directly entering the first verse, but that's nitpicking. The instrumental is really great, the live drums really sounding fresh atop the electronics of the song. The guitars are quiet, but they're there and they do add a nice taste to the track.
Linkin Park is a band that will never stay the same. From album to album, they've reinvented themselves time and time again. Linkin Park and Kiiara channel true emotions in their new song 'Heavy,' and in its simplicity it finds power. Maybe it's not the direction you wanted the band to take, but it's their musical journey. Evolution is what keeps life going, and that's why Linkin Park are still the world's biggest band.
Rating: 90 / 100
Buy or listen to 'Heavy' here: