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It has been a little while since Linkin Park released a remix album. They nearly missed the whole dub-step thing, so they have chosen to grip onto the tail end of it with ‘Recharged’, reworks of their latest release ‘Living Things.’
The record kicks off with a completely new song however, a collaboration with electro house king Steve Aoki titled ‘A Light That Never Comes’, which bookends the record with an extra remix by Rick Rubin, the producer of the original album. The track is exactly what you would expect from an LP/Aoki collaboration, hard dance beats, plenty of synth lines, raps from Mike Shinoda in the verses and soaring chorus lines from Chester Bennington that sound like they were pulled from any of the band’s Transformers soundtrack numbers. Rubin‘s remix is far more exciting, it uses a groove heavy bass line, percussive beats and an uplifting piano line that sounds like it was stolen from Fatboy Slim, surprisingly giving new light to Shinoda‘s vocal parts.
‘Living Things’ is surprisingly a track that offers insights through the remix, lending itself to more exciting, atmospheric and experimental remixes as opposed to the hip-hop focused vibe of the band’s last remix record, 2002’s ‘Reanimation.’
That is not to say this record is devoid of hip-hop by any means, Vice’s stuttered remix of ‘I’ll Be Gone’ features a back and forth rap effort between Shinoda and Pusha T set against bleeping synth lines, while Rad Omen’s re-work of ‘Roads Untraveled’ scores a lo-fi verse from Bun B despite the club style nature of the remix.
It’s not just the guest rappers that bring the hip-hop vibe, legendary producer ‘Money Mark’ offers up a record highlight with his beat heavy ‘Until It Breaks’, which brings in a little underground sound mixed with random samples as per his signature style.
Kill Sonik is the first to bring the dubstep with his ‘Lost In The Ech’o version quickly followed by Dirthphonics who tone down the bass drops more so than their predecessor for a version that actually uses points of the annoying genre in an effective way. The remaining standouts belong to Shinoda himself though, with his driving remix of ‘Castle Of Glass’ and the album standout, the thrash beat heavy ‘Victimised’.
Remix albums are something to be wary of, unless of course they are by Nine Inch Nails. As a general statement, every Nine Inch Nails remix album is amazing and probably always will be. Linkin Park manage to offer up something worth hearing as well though and ‘Recharged’ is diverse enough with some very unique takes that differ greatly from their originals.
1. A Light That Never Comes (with Steve Aoki)
2. Castle of Glass (M. Shinoda Remix)
3. Lost in the Echo (KillSonik Remix)
4. Victimized (M. Shinoda Remix)
5. I’ll Be Gone (Vice Remix) (featuring Pusha T)
6. Lies Greed Misery (Dirtyphonics Remix)
7. Roads Untraveled (Rad Omen Remix) (featuring Bun B)
8. Powerless (Enferno Remix)
9. Burn It Down (Tom Swoon Remix)
10. Until It Breaks (Datsik Remix)
11. Skin to Bone (Nick Catchdubs Remix) (featuring Cody B. Ware and Ryu)
12. I’ll Be Gone (Schoolboy Remix)
13. Until It Breaks (Money Mark Headphone Remix)
14. A Light That Never Comes (Rick Rubin Reboot)