(Credit to owner of this image. Found on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Catalyst)
My Rank: 2.2 out of 5 <- mediocre and forgettable
This is a bit different for me to make this on my blog, but I wanted to review this song. This is done out of fun, because I am a huge music fan, not a professional critic.
The song is "The Catalyst by alternative rock band Linkin Park; and although it was released on August 2 of this month, I just heard it today after Facebook showed me an ad about it. As a [not very loyal] Linkin Park fan, I was very curious. Their last album Minutes to Midnight was, quite frankly, a joke, and no matter how many times I listened, my opinion didn't change much. Not even their singles saved themselves, even "New Divide," which regained some lost dignity, still wasn't worth a dollar on iTunes. With hope remaining, I wanted to give Linkin Park another chance. But once again, my reasonable expectations of wanting a decent song... wasn't met.
I am now seeing myself as an fan of a band that loves the old stuff. Sadly, these people can be seen as bitchy and ungrateful, but now I have more sympathy. Although I got into Linkin Park in 2007, I bought Hybrid Theory and Meteora, which still reigns as their best in my opinion. But even as a new fan, who still doesn't mind an occasional poppy new song by a band I like, why do I still think Linkin Park isn't even trying anymore?
"The Catalyst" isn't horrible by any means, but this song seems redundant. This can be seen as industrial or electronic rock; however, as a fairly avid listener of such music myself, I can see this song as a failed attempt in such a try at that genre. This sounds like a mix of U2 lyrics, the repetitiveness of a Depeche Mode song, dark elements of Eisbrecher, and an atmospheric intro that almost sounds like that of Type O Negative's "Bloody Kisses (A Death in the Family)". And the result is a song that tries to be like HIM's experimental "The Foreboding Sense of Happiness," but only more messy, repetitive, and forgettable (not to mention, LP's writers aren't Ville Valo).
The song does get better from 3:30 to the end, when the singing does get smoother, cleaner, and it's more memorable and kinda epic. But the rest of the song is sloppy and chaotic. If you thought Marilyn Manson or Rammstein be seen as "noise," Linkin Park's "The Catalyst" is exactly that, but just not as heavy and creepy. It's just an annoying almost-6-minute crowd anthem with clashing synths and beat. All that it's missing is catchiness and Mike Shinoda. When he's not rapping, I can't recognize him at all, but I realize that he doesn't rap with Linkin Park much anymore. What a shame, since I loved the rap-rock they did.
I wouldn't buy this song, but I recommend giving it a full listen on Youtube or Grooveshark if you consider a purchase.
Meanwhile, I'll be listening to electronic/industrial rock that actually knows what it's doing...