This past September, effusively adored (and often reviled) Linkin Park released A Thousand Suns, a sprawling studio experiment that challenged the band's oft-constrained standards as well as those of the pop-rock world at large. Has there ever been a moment before when Village Voice would dare assert "Linkin Park Made Their OK Computer"? Absolutely not.
The seeds of change were planted a few years ago, however, when Linkin Park first enlisted wild-bearded producer and cred-booster Rick Rubin. That go-around with Rubin, 2007's Minutes to Midnight, hints at the transformation at times. But it never pushes into full art-rock territory the way A Thousand Suns undoubtedly does. Exemplified by piano ballad "Robot Boy" and lead single "The Catalyst," this is an album that's actually converting critics.
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Now, after spending the fall honing this new material in a string of live shows overseas, Linkin Park is ready to unleash its experiment on North America, and the first test audience will be right here in South Florida.