LP fans are very much entitled to approach this record with a little skepticism before even listening. Recharged only exists because ‘Living Things’ sold well, thus it can be perceived that Warner Bros. may jus be squeezing this wet cloth for every last drip, arguably downscaling the integrity of the band in the process. On the other hand, ‘Reanimation’ (LP’s last remix album) was surprisingly tasteful and even stood up to regular releases in its own right, so I was compelled give Recharged a go.
However, within a few minutes of listening it becames obvious that ‘Recharged’ is easily one of Linkin Park’s more forgettable releases.
It’s fair to say that this record has a couple of good moments, but on the whole it feels like an awkward clusterfuck of trashy EDM has just been stapled on top of ‘Living Things’ and given a new cover. Just about all the popularized incarnations of dubstep, drum n bass and electro make an appearance here. The new mixes are overtly loud and unmistakably commercial. There is not a moment of subtlety on this album.
The worst offender is probably ‘Victimized’. It wasn’t a particularly great song to begin with, but Shinoda’s remix somehow manages to make it even more repetitive and irritating than it was before. The song is just a total mess. A monotonous, trance-like beat permeates almost the whole track as Chester’s vocals are endlessly looped in the background, the whole thing is rushed and the mixing is just awful. It’s hard not to ask yourself why such an abomination even exists.
Other tracks like ‘Lies, Greed and Misery’ and ‘Until It Breaks’ are also very underwhelming for similar reasons, but it’s not all bad. Rick Rubin’s take on ‘A Light That Never Comes’ is listenable, and a few other tracks were given a more care in production than others. Tom Swoon’s electro/house version of ‘Burn It Down’ came out really well because the synth melody sounds really powerful in this kind of musical context. Shinoda’s new rendition of ‘Castle of Glass’ is ok too.
Unfortunately, the few good tracks get severely overshadowed by the tasteless arrangements found on just about every other track. And for that reason I’d strictly recommend ‘Recharged’ to hardcore Linkin Park fans only. Even you guys will find it hard to like though.