Many around the world continue to mourn the untimely and tragic passing of Chester Bennington, but fans of his have been given a new album of music (of sorts) to get stuck into.
Before tragedy struck, Bennington was due to reunite with his pre-Linkin Park outfit, Grey Daze, whose catalogue has been compiled and reworked for a full-length release, ‘Amends’.
And what’s apparent in ‘Sickness’, and many others, is the way that Bennington‘s powerful ability to use a melody to transcend a mediocre song into something powerful and far more rewarding was immediately on show from the early days.
‘Sometimes’ is another emotionally charged lament, and is just one of many soaring choruses that was always guaranteed with Bennington. With grunge very much being the dominant force of nature that it was at the time of the creation of these songs, the Pearl Jam influence is very strong indeed.
But sometimes you wonder if the instrumentation and production sounds a little too contemporary at times. Whilst you want to make songs written more than two decades ago appeal to the younger listeners of today, it’s sometimes a little unnecessary and incongruous.
However, with ‘She Shines’, this song is an example of the more modern production techniques working, and this re-working is the closest cut on here that sounds like Linkin Park, specifically with the more firmly electronic leanings, particularly in its intro.
‘In Time’ also showcases Bennington‘s personal lyrical narratives that would remain prevalent throughout his career. ‘What’s In The Eye’ has another memorable chorus, and one of a number of fraught vocals which end some songs on here.
‘B12’ is the only clear weak point, bearing unfortunate similarities to Billy Joel‘s ‘We Didn’t Start The Fire’, and the stripping away of the song’s grunge-punk origins in exchange for a stereotypical stadium-ready sound falls a little flat. Whatever route these songs take, you are guaranteed to have plenty of ear worms from the many vocal hooks on this record.
Due to the compilation nature of this album, and the fact that some songs have been significantly re-worked, not every aspect of ‘Amends’ was going to land, but that’s not to say that there aren’t plenty of highlights. Plus, given the circumstances that this album has arrived in, you feel that some things are more important.
All things considered, ‘Amends’ serves as a great treasure trove for fans, and serves as a way of honouring the voice of a generation for many.