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.
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.