My sleep cycle has been massively screwed for the past few days. I sleep after having breakfast in the morning at 7am, then wake up around 4pm-ish…and eat an early dinner at 7pm. It doesn’t help that both my roommates – who are on exchange here from Scotland – are also locked on to British Standard Time for their daily routines. (One of them is ‘legally’ squatting in our room. There’s even an official application form here, in case you want to squat in a friend’s room.)
This screwed up schedule started off when I started on a project right now, on research into speech recognition technologies. I have a germ of an idea right now that I’m working on but I need to research deeper into speech recognition and linguistics. It will definitely need time to work on – probably many months.
Anyway, staying awake when everything else is so quiet is quite a task! I can’t get any coffee so I need to keep myself awake with music. And no band is better at stay-awake music than Linkin Park. When you’re dropping dead out of exhaustion at 3.38am nothing perks up your concentration as listening to Faint does. (You need to watch the music video than just listen to the song for full effect.) Seriously, the energy in that song is insane.
A lot of mockery directed at Linkin Park for their first few albums has hinged around their ‘screamo rock’ style. And yet I see a number of friends who turned up their noses earlier at Linkin Park now “wishing for the old Linkin Park back” after Minutes To Midnight and A Thousand Suns. Much like the backlash Inception is facing after it became a blockbuster, Linkin Park became a ‘guilty pleasure’ for the same people who enjoyed their initial style.
Ironically now that Linkin Park has, you could say in a sense, heard the feedback and branched into a new direction making politically-loaded albums like A Thousand Suns you see more clamouring for them to go back to what they were! Unlike their albums so far that contained hit singles that could stand alone, A Thousand Suns works best when you here it in its entirety. In world where single-track downloads through iTunes is shaping the future of the music industry, it’s not hard to understand why many people “don’t like how LP sounds now”. It’s no longer about ‘the sound’, it’s about ‘the experience’.
I confess that when I first heard The Catalyst – premiering in the Medal of Honor trailer – I hated it. Over a period of replays and finally getting to hear the album in its entirety after it was released, I can say that as an album this is the best work Linkin Park has ever done. Vivek has written a better review of A Thousand Suns than I could ever have written, so if you fancy a review then check out his review.
And when I was watching the Faint music video for the n-th time tonight (tomorning?) trying to stay awake, it struck me how different it was from the music video for, say, The Catalyst.
Will a Linkin Park concert with their new songs be as frenetic? I’d sure love to attend one to find out! If only they go on tour and include Singapore as a leg – like Iron Maiden is, in the coming months.
What’s your favourite ‘stay-awake’ song / playlist?