Roundtable Talk: “One More Light”

“Who cares if one more light goes out
In a sky of a million stars”

Artist: Linkin Park
Song:
“One More Light”
Album:
One More Light
Year:
2017

UPDATE 7/20/17: This post now seems all too premature. Chester Bennington, your passing will reverberate throughout the music industry and the millions of lives you touched at the expense of unimaginable pain. This was not the way to honor Chris Cornell – now there are two families left to pick up the pieces and six more fatherless children.

I wonder if all the family, friends and fans are thinking the same thing: How, after all this time, did your demons get you? Could we have saved you?

Song Meaning

Carrying on after a loved one passes away.

What’s Left Behind

There isn’t much to say when someone you love dies. While you grieve, the rest of the world turns. People die all the time. Get over it. Move on.

The beauty of the song is in the reconciliation of the worldly view versus the personal. There’s the pessimistic perspective of “Well, everyone dies,” but the band brushes that aside in favor of “But I’m honoring you anyway.”

“Who cares when someone’s time runs out
If a moment is all we are?
Or quicker, quicker
Who cares if one more light goes out?

Well I do”

Linkin Park wrote “One More Light” for a friend at their record label who passed away from cancer. But the song cries out for everyone who has ever had to bury a loved one or will inevitably do so in the future.

Life is all about to what and to whom we give value. It doesn’t matter if it’s David Bowie, your grandfather whose time was up, or a good friend who made bad mistakes. It doesn’t matter if the world or one person mourns. Tears fall. Hearts ache. Memories resurface. It’s all the dead have left.

Random Notes

  • Happy Memorial Day. And thank you.
  • I was on vacation when I learned about Chris Cornell’s untimely death and I will have to address his music on this blog at a future date. But seeing as Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington was the godfather to one of Cornell’s children and the album came out this past week, this song is all too relevant.

Unofficial Album Review

I am not doing an official review on One More Light but, being my favorite band and all, I have some thoughts.

  • As a lifelong Linkin Park fan of the truest sense, I appreciate the direction they went here. They followed their passions and made music they loved. But with the six-piece symbolism in the new band logo and album art, One More Light felt less like the sum of its parts. With six musicians who have had two decades to gel, they are capable of so much more.
  • Each album seems to have an underlying goal. One More Light perhaps tries to highlight Chester’s vocal range with true and heartfelt songs. Staying within those boundaries, I’d say they succeeded.
  • Mike Shinoda, almost an afterthought from a vocal perspective, has but a single rap verse. But his two lead-vocal tracks are among the best he’s ever sung.
  • People need to chill out about the musical direction. If history is any indication, the next album will sound nothing like this.
  • Another note about the complaints: Linkin Park can make any type of music, and pop would fall into the realm of “any type” of music. They’ve gone through the expired nu-metal phase, the underground rap phase, the more down-to-earth alternative rock phase, the divisive experimental soundscape phase, the indie-influenced phase, the thrash-metal-with-purpose phase and a bunch of other niches through side projects and B-sides. Poppy pop is just another piece of the pie.
  • Here is the last track on their sixth album (the 2:34 mark, specifically):

Here is the first song of their seventh album:

It’s almost impressive, really. They went from volcanic eruptions to playing hopscotch. Molotov cocktails to Hawaiian Punch. Bryan Cranston in “Breaking Bad” to Bryan Cranston in “Malcolm in the Middle.”

Still, I’m singing this in my car and I love it.

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