Papercuts (Singles Collection 2000-2023)

rating icon 10 / 10

Track listing:

01. Crawling
02. Faint
03. Numb/Encore
04. Papercut
05. Breaking The Habit
06. In The End
07. Bleed It Out
08. Somewhere I Belong
09. Waiting For The End
10. Castle Of Glass
11. One More Light
12. Burn It Down
13. What I've Done
15. One Step Closer
16. New Divide
17. Leave Out All The Rest
18. Lost
19. Numb
20. Friendly Fire

It's difficult to argue against LINKIN PARK being one of the most influential rock bands of the early 2000s. They popularized the nu-metal sound, bringing together rap and rock, and also were one of the pioneers of working electronic sounds into their guitar-driven music. Of course, what also drew in listeners and fans to LINKIN PARK's music was lead vocalist Chester Bennington and his relatable lyrics, which often communicated the struggles and frustrations facing adolescents in the new century. Yes, Bennington truly knew how to speak to the youth, and for that reason, LINKIN PARK's music will always find new audiences in teenagers who are just now discovering the band's music for the first time.

Bennington passed away on July 20, 2017, at the age of 41. It was a devastating blow to all who loved him, including his millions of fans. Since then, LINKIN PARK have dropped some unreleased, lost tracks. Last year, the band released "Lost Demos" a 14-track compilation of previously released songs from the "Meteora" era, as well as lost demos. They've also released 20th anniversary editions of "Hybrid Theory" and "Meteora".

Now, LINKIN PARK has another set out, and it's their first-ever greatest hits album, "Papercuts (Singles Collection 2000-2032)". Not only does the collection feature a bevy of LINKIN PARK hits, but it also has the never-before-released single "Friendly Fire", which recently shot to No. 1 on alternative radio.

The standout, of course, is "Friendly Fire". It's a hair-raising experience to hear Bennington's vocals on a newly released track years after he's passed. "Friendly Fire" is a yearning ballad, showcasing Bennginton's clear, smooth tenor, amid atmospheric instrumentals. As Bennington sings about how we hurt the ones we love, it's hard not to feel some kind of deeper emotion. As with most LINKIN PARK songs, this track has a distinct vibe, one that appeals to both pop and rock fans.

Another highlight is the inclusion of rarity "QWERTY", which the band recorded during their "Minutes to Midnight" sessions back in 2006. The song, which features a mix of screaming and Mike Shinoda's characteristic rapping, was initially released as part of the "LP Underground 6.0" set, so it's a treat for fans to get it here.

The rest of the album features pretty much every LINKIN PARK hit throughout the years. "Crawling", the second single off 2000's "Hybrid Theory", is the perfect track to start the album, because it's one of the band's most recognizable, if not their most. It sets the stage for this collection, which features everything from the band's first single, "One Step Closer" to "Numb/Encore" with JAY-Z to their last hit before Bennington's passing, "One More Light". One of the most chilling inclusions on the album is "Leave Out All the Rest", which isn't one of the band's biggest hits but has always been one of this writer's favorites. This song has Bennington singing about how he wants to be remembered after he passes away. He begs the listener to remember all the good things about him and "leave out all the rest." It's a heartbreaking foreshadowing of his lost life.

"Papercuts" features an interesting mix of singles. It's not just the early hits. What's unique about LINKIN PARK is that they had hits off every record, from "Hybrid Theory" to 2017's "One More Light". This greatest hits collection celebrates every era of LINKIN PARK, as any greatest hits set should, and it's also a reminder that there will never, ever be another LINKIN PARK.

Author: Anne Erickson
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