In 2001, Linkin Park appeared on the scene and set the world on fire. The band’s debut album Hybrid Theory went platinum and they proceeded to dominate radio and sales charts for a solid two years after that. Towards the end of the record cycle the group injected new life into their band and released a remix album in Reanimation. The band had certainly made a name for themselves by releasing great music, but Reanimation gave kids another reason to think that they were cool. It also heightened the anticipation for the band’s sophomore record Meteora, which in turn led Linkin park to become one of the biggest bands in the world for the decade that it has.
Now, it’s 2013 and Linkin Park’s situation is different for their next remix album, Recharged. They’re coming off an album cycle in Living Things that wasn’t received negatively but did get a tempered response in comparison to their previous two records. Now the group is getting ready to launch another album cycle in 2014, but before they do that, they have Recharged to work with. The new record is led by “A Light That Never Comes” a song that features Steve Aoki. The song is a cool dance track and it has a chorus that would be one of the better songs on Living Things if it was recorded with that album. The other remix songs on the album are all hit or miss. Some of them miss the work with too much noise drowning out the legitimate structures of the songs, but others build on what made the song great in the first place. They don’t necessarily make the song better, just different. “Roads Untraveled”, “Powerless”, and “Burn It Down” are all terrific examples of this in the middle of the album and probably the biggest highlights on the album along with “A Light That Never Comes” and Rick Rubin’s reboot of the track at the end of the record.
From the business perspective, I don’t think that Recharged is going to give the band the shot in the arm that they need after Living Things. From the music perspective, Recharged is a decent remix album. There are some good material here but there’s also some dreadful stuff too. Diehard fans have it already and the super diehards have it with a crazy sculpture. For the rest of us it’s worthy of being on Spotify playlists for a while and then a revisit every couple of years.