‘The Radiance of a Thousand Suns’ (new painting) + Thoughts on LP’s Latest Album

What you are about to read isn’t much of an essay or an album review. It’s simply a painting of mine and a few thoughts…

Change is rarely ever easily accepted. I’m sure you agree. Moving into a new house is hard, and it takes a while to call this new house your home. Switching schools is difficult for any kid. My grandfather still firmly believes that a broom is a more functional cleaning tool than a vacuum cleaner, only because he refuses to adapt to change. Heck, I still have trouble accepting 3-D.

The same can be said for artistic direction. You know, you acquaint a particular art style with a particular artist… and you might love this artist for that style. And then, when the artist decides to experiment a bit, to try out something different… you lose it. You condemn the artist for moving into new waters. You command the artist to return to his original style. You restrict him. Dear reader, when I say ‘you’, I do not necessarily mean you. You know who you are.

Changes in Superhero costumes between films or comics are always scorned upon. When movie directors dare to craft films of genres beyond those expected of them, you hear things like, ‘So-and-so should stick to so-and-so-genre’. If a horror author tries his hand at romance, well, you get the idea.

Katy Perry

Katy Perry. "I refuse to acknowledge some pop stars as artists. They refuse to grow. All their songs are the same, except for their lyrics. Now-a-days, even their lyrics are the same."

I believe an artist must be given room to change. To venture beyond his or her usual domains. Diversity is necessary for any artist. That’s why I refuse to acknowledge some pop stars as artists. They refuse to grow. All their songs are the same, except for their lyrics. Now-a-days, even their lyrics are the same.

Whoever you are, I’m sure you know of Linkin Park. You must know of their new album, ‘A Thousand Suns’. You might even know about how some fans hate their new style, criticizing their new sound, their new subject matter, their departure from their rock, nu-metal sound…

A quick mosey through some online blogs and forums showed me comments like ‘LP’s 1000 suns is diarrhea to my ears!!!’ and ‘R.I.P., LP!’ and ‘I don’t knoe if itz worth w8ing 4 3 more yrs for LPs next album!!!’. And a lot more. Boy.

I wasn’t a fan of LP before ‘A Thousand Suns’, so maybe I have no right to ask fans to accept LP’s new direction. I tried giving ‘Hybrid Theory’ a quick listen… I found it very I’m-a-pissed-off-teen-and-the-world-is-against-me-ish.

a thousand suns

'A Thousand Suns' Cover Art

A Thousand Suns’ inspires me. It creates bold, brilliant images in my head. It brought me to pages on the internet I wouldn’t normally read. It moved me. ‘A Thousand Suns’ isn’t just a collection of songs. It’s wholesome experience.

The album deals with themes of nuclear warfare, war in general, and uses quotes by various political personalities like Mario Savio, Martin Luther King Jr. and even Robert Oppenheimer.

Each song spins a different tale and tells a different story. The album doesn’t aim at dishing out catchy tunes and choruses for repeated radio play… it’s aim is evoking a mood, a sensation, in the listener. Linkin Park explains well in the booklet of the album, “We were not making an album… We asked ourselves: Were we all earnestly willing, more than ever before, to abandon the percepts of commercial ambition in pursuit of what we believe to be honest art?

I know the word of a seventeen year old movie buff isn’t much, but I’ll say they were willing. Or at least that’s what the end product shows.

This, here, is a painting I did, heavily inspired by ‘A Thousand Suns’.

A Thousand Suns Waiting for the end catalyst linkin park

'The Radiance of a Thousand Suns'; Heavily influenced and inspired by Linkin Park's 'A Thousand Suns'

Apart from ‘A Thousand Suns’, I was also inspired by the graphic novel and great film ‘Watchmen’. The towering blue Vishnu/Krishna in my painting reminds one of Watchmen’s Dr. Manhattan. Also, notice the doomsday clock on the hourglass. It might appear to be a ‘Minutes to Midnight reference, but it’s actually a prominent symbol from ‘Watchmen’.

Feel free to comment below, be it on the writing or the art.

Cinematic Jackass, signing off…

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4 responses to “‘The Radiance of a Thousand Suns’ (new painting) + Thoughts on LP’s Latest Album

  • LJ

    I actually liked a thousand suns. Like you said it is much more mature.

  • LJ

    Alright. Time for a real comment.
    One way of looking at LP is to think of them as Shakespeare =P When he was young, his storyline included mindless comedy, fun stuff. But as he matured, he started doing King Richard, Hamlet, Macbeth and what not!
    Yup, this is not an album review but this does touch upon one of the most important topics concerning Linkin Park, namely, have they lost it?
    In my opinion, their music is as good as ever, they have chosen to sing about something and they have stuck to it. In the past, it was mainly for the younger generation (teenagers), their attempt at ‘Minutes to Midnight’ was to please a much wider audience and not specifically the ‘Im-a-teen-the-world-hates-me’ category. And now they have come up with something they believe is music, that they believe is ‘art’. I was definitely not disappointed with this album at all, and like any other LP album, I felt this album had it’s good songs and it’s not so good songs.
    As for this article, I guess this was unbiased since you focused more on an artist’s ability to introduce a change in their art form. Although I do feel your quick perception of ‘Hybrid Theory’ was that it was aimed for teens. That album portrayed an array of feelings :P But that’s another story.
    Sorry if this is a very.. unorganized comment, I am actually in a hurry.
    Good Job on the writing, and LOVE the painting. It seems to include quite a many ‘symbols’ but I could be reading too much into the lines or not really thinking straight at all :P

  • Anusha

    Now I’ll admit it, I WAS stalking. But only because this painting is AMAZING!
    Seriously, it’s great. I love how you’ve just intertwined A Thousand Suns into it, it’s really meaningful.

    And and on Linkin Park: Listen to Minutes to Midnight, you maaay change your mind about the tone of their music. :)

  • Maliha

    ok so i will be honest, i have not be following any of your articles probably becuz i didn’t know about them. But the other day i read an article about u in a magazine n i saw your paintings so i said why not check it out?

    i’m not that much of a writer but i AM an artist n a linkin park fan ahem lol. I painted your ‘my beloved monster and i’ just so i can relate to it. I like it when people use their imagination and creativity in art rather than copying a still life, and that’s what i saw in your. In short your paintings r da reason why i’m here but tell ya what i love ur articles too :3

    keep writing and PAINTING!!!! :p

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