Life feeds on hope.

Hope. That’s the language that the latest Linkin Park record speaks in. Listening to it for the first time last night, I couldn’t help but feel a strong sense of optimism by the time the tenth song finished playing.

Now, I’ve never really written a review for anything before, so I don’t really know how to go about this. But after the first listen of One More Light, I knew that I had to write something about it.

It all started with the first single, Heavy. Of all Linkin Park songs, this one, with its simple, straightforward lyrics, got to me somehow. It made me realise what was bringing me down—what I was dragging around with me. It has played a huge role in getting my life — and my writing — back on track; it’s still not perfect, but I’m getting there. This is a track I’ll always be grateful for, so thank you for that one, Linkin Park!

Songs like Battle Symphony, Nobody Can Save Me, and Sharp Edges all scream an optimism that’s invigorating. They make you look forward to the future, acknowledging, along with Talking to Myself and Halfway Right, the mistakes and misfortunes of the past, but at the same time remaining hopeful for what’s to come. They talk about those answers out of reach; though the fruit we seek might be high up, it is only up to us to start climbing the tree. The fear of falling shouldn’t stop us from trying in the first place.

There are many places in the album where the message is to clean out your closet and move on to better things, and Good Goodbye is a cool way to say farewell to your demons.

The most raw song of all, One More Light, is heart-rending and sure to leave one’s eyes moist, while Invisible and Sorry for Now are beautifully written songs from a parent’s perspective. They showcase the band’s maturity not just as artists but as people as well, adding to the very personal feel of the whole album.

The reason Linkin Park is so special to me is because each one of their albums has its own personality. There is a sense of a familyhood around it all. It is like the seven albums so far are the kids and Brad, Chester, Dave, Joe, Mike, and Rob are the parents. And we, the ones outside the band, are everyone else: friends, relatives, teachers, neighbours.

And while parents never really have the one favourite child, each of us like each kid in a different way. I, for one, like the middle child, A Thousand Suns, the best because it showed how much all six of them had grown together as artists. And some of you might not take a liking to the newest kid. And that’s fine. But that doesn’t mean that it’s a bad kid. This here is one that can move you deeply — you just have to give that kid a chance.

So thank you, Linkin Park, for One More Light. It has instilled me with optimism, and hope is something that everyone needs to have. I’m already excited for your eighth kid.

Thank you for telling me it’s all right, and for helping me chase out the darkness.

P.S.: Credit for the title goes to my dad, Lakshmanan Krishna Iyer.