Linkin Park’s video for “What I’ve Done” is like most pop culture condemnations of America’s current foreign and domestic policies: vague, indirect, and backed by a montage of mildly disturbing imagery of today’s war-torn world. Perhaps Chester Bennington’s lyrics imagine the innermost thoughts of a lame duck president, pondering missteps that irrevocably altered history. “‘Cause I’ve drawn regret from the truth of a thousands lies,” Bennington wails, “So let mercy come and wash away what I’ve done.” Or maybe he’s talking about his 2005 divorce.
But Linkin Park always “try so hard,” and there’s something innately earnest about them that makes their semi-emo, frothy guitar paeans much easier to swallow than, say, Jared Leto’s Chinese fire drills with 30 Seconds to Mars or whatever drivel Incubus is serving these days. That endearing nature is bolstered by a confident sound on “What I’ve Done” that comes off like a heavier version of latter day Depeche Mode (with Bennington also mustering Gahan-like charisma in the vid). And while the visual backdrop and lyrical direction might contain murky messages, their sound is a clear statement, pushing Linkin Park light years away from their generic nu-metal origins. PETER GASTON
Now Watch This: Linkin Park, “What I’ve Done”
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