Linkin Park’s Reanimation is one step closer to coming to life.
The album, consisting mainly of new versions of tracks from the group’smultiplatinum 2000 debut, Hybrid Theory, has gone through the mastering stage, and a final track list has been settled upon, according to the band’s manager. The 20-track LP is due July 30.
Linkin Park are the prototypical rap-rock hybrid (in fact, the group’s original name was Hybrid Theory), and Reanimation doesn’t do anything to change their stance on crossbreeding genres. While Hybrid Theory employed looped beats, scratching and other DJ techniques, courtesy of Joseph Hahn, Reanimation puts a heavier emphasis on the hip-hop, with contributions from Jurassic 5’s Chali 2na, the Roots’ Black Thought, Pharoahe Monch, and Dilated Peoples’ Evidence and DJ Babu, among others.
That’s not to say Linkin Park have dropped the rock completely, however – Taproot’s Stephen Richards, Deftones’ Stephen Carpenter, Korn’s Jonathan Davis and Staind’s Aaron Lewis see to that.
“There’s a lot of strong hip-hop elements, but there’s also rock elements and there’s also different electronic elements too,” guitarist Brad Delson explained. “Everything we do we want to try to make the whole thing as seamless and cohesive as possible…. Even with groups being as experimental as they are today, people still try to categorize everything. We want to just keep breaking down those walls with everything we do.”
The band prefers to call the tracks that comprise Reanimation reinterpretations rather than remixes, since it’s not just the backbeat that gets a makeover. Changed melodies, guest singers and even new lyrics to some songs combine to give Linkin Park’s tried and true tunes a new spin, not to mention an innovative spelling.
The reworked “Crawling,” re-titled “KRWLING,” replaces the emotional roller coaster of the original with a more straightforward trajectory.
“I usually like to make really dramatic songs [that are] dynamic from part to part – a lot of jumping from really quiet to really loud,” MC Mike Shinoda said. “And this song is pretty much a five-minute build to a crescendo and then it ends. It’s really smooth. There’s a lot of dark soundscapes created by the samples and the strings together.”
Staind’s Lewis, judging by his own band’s emotionally wrought songs, had no problem relating to “Crawling”‘s anguished theme. But when it came to recording his vocal parts, which he did in the back of Linkin Park’s tour bus on last year’s Family Values tour, the swiftness with which the tracking was done surprised even Shinoda.
“It was ridiculously easy because he liked the vibe,” Shinoda said. “His voice is just amazing. Aaron came in and heard it and sat down and recorded his vocals in probably a half-hour. He comes to our bus, records it and leaves. I felt like it should have taken longer. I’m like, ‘Aaron, come back…’ ”
Another track, “1STP KLOSR” a retooled version of the group’s breakthrough single, was remixed by the Humble Brothers, a relatively unknown production duo who have remixed tracks by Deftones (“My Own Summer [Shove It]”), Filter (“Best Things”) and Static-X (“Black and White”).
“[The Humble Brothers] are from Canada, and they’re these amazing guys,” Delson enthused. “We heard a remix they did of a Deftones song and we were like, ‘This is the sickest thing we’ve ever heard.’ They’re just one of those groups people haven’t found out about yet.”
And as if the original version of “One Step Closer” wasn’t disturbed enough, bolstered with a new verse by Korn’s Davis, “1STP KLOSR” has an even darker, more morose vibe to it, Shinoda said.
Not all the songs on Reanimation will be familiar to fans who only know Hybrid Theory. Those privy to last year’s “Frat Party at the Pankake Festival” home video will recognize “X-ECUTIONER STYLE,” “MY Reanimation Track List, According To Linkin Park’s Manager:
“PTS.OF.ATHRTY” Jay Gordon remix
“ENTH E ND” Kutmasta Kurt remix f/ Motion Man
“FRGT/10” Alchemist remix f/ Chali 2na
“P5HNG ME A*WY” Mike Shinoda remix f/ Stephen Richards
“PLC.4 MIE HAED” Amp Live remix f/ Zion
“X-ECUTIONER STYLE” f/ Black Thought
“H! VLTG3” Evidence remix f/ Pharoahe Monch and DJ Babu
“WTH> YOU” Chairman Hahn remix f/ Aceyalone
“PPR:KUT” Cheapshot and Jubacca remix f/ Rasco and Planet Asia
“RNW@Y” Backyard Bangers remix f/ Phoenix Orion
“BY_MYSLF” Josh Abraham and Mike Shinoda remix f/ Stephen Carpenter
“KYUR4 TH ICH” Chairman Hahn remix
“1STP KLOSR” Humble Brothers remix f/ Jonathan Davis