If you'd told me that I would soon tear up over a new Linkin Park song, I would have laughed, walked away, uttered some expletives and never spoken to you again.

But then Chris Cornell died and everything changed.

I really wanted to hate Linkin Park's new album. Truth be told, I already hated it before I'd listened to it. As a 90s kid who jumped around to Hybrid Theory, and angsted out to Meteora, I wanted to dump on One More Light's complete u-turn, one that sees Chester Bennington and co spending most of their seventh album pretending Katy Perry, Taylor Swift and Twenty One Pilots have always been their contemporaries.

I wanted to fire up over its cringeworthy lyrics on Heavy, a schmaltzy ballad that has zero sign of the snark or bite Linkin Park are known for. I wanted to write about how Invisible and Battle Symphony and Sorry For Now are full of stupid chirpy electronic samples and sound like something from that god-awful recent Chainsmokers album.


And I wanted to get mad about Pusha T - my alltime favourite rapper - deciding he wanted to be part of it, guesting with grime MC Stormzy on Good Goodbye, a song that's beautifully produced but unfortunately asks Mike Shinoda to spit several bars.

But then Chris Cornell died and everything changed. Linkin Park performed on Jimmy Kimmel Live just 24 hours later, deep in mourning. That footage shows the six-piece with their heads down, performing a show they probably don't want to, while struggling through the album's title song as a dedication to Cornell.

After a day spent covering the grunge icon's death, it got to me. It got to me because it felt real and raw. Sadly, that's something the rest of One More Light struggles with. But it's the one thing that saves this album from being a total disaster. Sometimes, one song is all it takes.

Linkin Park - One More Light
Label: Warner Bros
Stars: Three
Verdict: Rap-rockers go pop with one saving grace