Linkin Park, 'A Thousand Suns' (Machine Shop/Warner Bros.)

A Thousand Suns
Critical Mass
Release Date: September 14, 2010
Label: Warner Bros./ Machine Shop

by Mikael Wood

Linkin Park's fourth studio album (and second collaboration with producer Rick Rubin) contains plenty of aggressively arty material that might surprise fans of the megapopular rap-rock outfit: "Wretches and Kings," for instance, chops up spoken-word sound bites in a Bomb Squad style, while "When They Come for Me" layers post-NIN dance-punk synths over a tribal drum groove. Still, the most unexpected track on the boldly conceived A Thousand Suns might be the disc's acoustic closer, "The Messenger," in which Chester Bennington flexes a tender camp-counselor croon.

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