We don’t need to tell you much about this man. One of the most important vocalists of the century, Mike Shinoda’s been spending recent months getting used to life without the rest of Linkin Park at his side. Hopefully, everyone’s favourite nu-metallers will feel ready to reconvene at some point in the future, but for now we’re just thankful that their ringleader is still managing to share his life with us.
Seeing him without Chester is a little like having to get used to Bert without Ernie or Shaggy without Scooby-Doo. Impossible to imagine, right? And yet Shinoda is living through that kind of insane sense of separation. Listen to the lyrics of his beautiful Crossing A Line or the bitter Over Again and you can actually feel his life ‘hanging in the balance’. Just being on the other end of the headphones when that kind of stuff’s going down is an incredibly intense experience.
Sure, Shinoda’s electro solo material might not be the perfect musical fit for an old-school LP set, but his emotional delivery is as pinpoint as ever. And at a time when so many of us are still feeling dazed by the loss of Chester Bennington, we’re grateful that the man with the most to lose has found the strength to give us all of this new music.