My teenage years were been 2000 and 2009, so you can imagine that Linkin Park was a huge part of my music collection at that time. But on top of that, they were an inspiration to me and helped me through the bullying and depression I felt during those years.
Their lyrics and music were (and are) a huge part of my life… So yesterday, when the news about Chester Bennington’s death came out, I was devasted. I had no idea what to say… My thoughts are still with his family and friends. It’s so sad.
This is even more true when you consider that my 2-year-old princess already adores their music. His voice and their instruments are something that she loves. And now, I’ll never be able to take her to see them when she’s older. But at least she and I will be able to rock out to them for years to come.
So, in memory of Chester, here are the top 7 Linkin Park tracks that my princess and I enjoy the most.
Somewhere I Belong
This is one for me, more than the princess. For years, I felt like I really didn’t know what I was supposed to do, where I was supposed to be or where I belonged. So the lyrics of the song resonated with me perfectly and completely. On top of that, the change between the soft and heavier guitar mirrored the ups and downs I was feeling at the time.
It’s a brilliant song to listen to when you are feeling down or stressed.
Leave Out All The Rest
Not exactly a stereotypical “rock out” song, but my God, this is powerful! In fact, I’m listening to it as I write this song and it’s almost bringing me to tears. The lyrics take on a whole new meaning now…
One of my biggest fears about death is that I’ll eventually be forgotten, and it will be as if I never really lived. Add to that the idea of not living up to people’s hopes, or letting my princess down, and you can see why this song connects with me as much as it does.
This was probably the third song I ever heard by Linkin Park, after One Step Closer and Papercut. It came out when I was deep in a depression that I kept from everyone apart from my closest friends. The feeling of this self-doubt, self-hate, and disappointment crawling through my veins, and the thought that the emotional wounds of being bullied wouldn’t heal were very prevalent. Of course, this all changed over the years, but at the time, that’s how it felt.
So, naturally, this song was utterly perfect. It was almost scary how much it described what I felt at the time.
Another slower song, but one that is utterly beautiful. The lyrics are so well written, and Chester’s voice portrays so much emotion through them. The feeling that you’ve missed “something” is such a common thing in life and Linkin Park were able to put that into words in such a perfect way.
I can sit and listen to this song for hours on end. On top of that, the princess finds it really soothing.
Ask my friends what effect this song had on me… Sometimes I would literally zone out when it was on, not even blinking. It was as if everything I wanted to say to the world had been taken out of my mind and put into this song. As I said earlier, I’ve always had a fear that I won’t be able to live up to people’s expectations… And the worst part of that fear is that I know I will never be what people want me to be.
This feeling of having to aspire to be something that I’m not ended up dragging me down so far, emotionally. Numb was the perfect expression of that. Now it’s an amazing song that my princess enjoys with me. And I can only hope she will learn that she doesn’t have to live up to anything in my eyes – she’s already perfect.
One of Linkin Park’s newer songs, New Divide came out at the time when my life was really starting to turn around. It was insanely perfect timing! The music itself actually made me feel uplifted, and the lyrics (once again) seemed to just fit. Especially the lines “So give me reason/To prove me wrong/To wash this memory clean”. I was at a point in my life where I was starting to think that I could actually be someone and do something positive. So to hear Chester singing about proving yourself wrong and washing away the memories was so on point.
Breaking The Habit
We’ll end on another one of their best songs… I was about to say “to date”… Man… I guess it’s now one of their best songs ever. This one helped me reflect on myself and the self-destructive habits that I had… From isolating myself to bottling everything up, I did nothing to help myself get out of the emotional state I was in. Not until this came out and I took a good long look at my reflection.
And That’s All Folks
That subheading seems oddly fitting this time… Chester, Mike and the rest of Linkin Park helped me through so much… They helped millions of people get through depression. As a friend of mine said following the news about Chester, “some of us wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for Linkin Park”, and that’s (sadly) the truth. So many people go through depression, and some never make it out of the other side. I was lucky to have great friends, and great music to resonate with… So thank you, Chester, Mike, and Linkin Park.
For those of you who are feeling depressed, please, talk to someone. Take this advice from a man who has been to the edge and found his way back. It helps. It really does.
- If you’re in the UK, and don’t know who to talk to, please call the Samaritans on 116 123
- If you’re in the US, and aren’t sure where to turn for help, please call 1-800-273-8255
Were you a fan of Linkin Park? Have you ever listened to them before? Are there any bands or musicians who resonate with you? Let me know in the comments below! I’d love to hear them!