‘Post Traumatic’ pays tribute to Bennington, sings of healing


Rochita Ghosh

[dropcap style=”flat”]N[/dropcap]ot many expected Linkin Park to put out music any time soon after the death of lead singer Chester Bennington, who took his own life in July 2017. The news hit the band members and fans hard, with fanmade memorials taking place days after the news worldwide. The band tended to stay radio silent, but surprised its fans with the announcement of a memorial concert in October 2017, and continued to with the release of a live concert album in December 2017.
Band member Mike Shinoda, who provides vocals and plays rhythm guitar, keyboard and synthesizer, unexpectedly announced the release of three songs Jan. 24 on his social media, though he made it apparent this was a personal project. The next day, he dropped a painfully raw and emotional extended play (EP), “Post Traumatic.” The EP includes “Place to Start,” “Over Again” and “Watching As I Fall,” with all songs centering on Bennington’s passing.
“Place to Start” is admittedly a stereotypical song about dealing with grief and coming face-to-face with life’s daunting questions, but Shinoda’s lyrics and recording choices put a personal touch on the subject. His staple fast raps are still present, but instead of past Linkin Park songs where he spit them with anger, the words drip with confusion. The way he sings rapidly beautifully echo the grieving, racing thoughts, swinging back and forth between what to do.
“Over Again” is the shining song of “Post Traumatic.” According to Shinoda’s twitter, he wrote the song the day of the memorial concert for Bennington, and it’s a painful, fresh look at coping with loss. The central theme of the song is having to “say goodbye over and over and over again” to the late person when being reminded of them, especially prevalent to Shinoda while getting ready for the concert. While the song is extremely personal, the chorus makes the song relatable to those who have lost someone, as many say that even after years, seeing something that reminds them of whom they lost sends them back to that time.
The song especially answers the questions of those who wondered how Linkin Park managed to play a three-hour long concert and talk about Bennington without breaking down. “Over Again” highlights well just how difficult that was, especially with the verse “The grief tackles me at times that I would least expect.”
The EP wraps up with “Watching As I Fall,” a song about trying to keep yourself together as a guise while your life around you falls, lest someone realize you’re hurting. While the song sounds sorrowful, it’s hopeful in its own way, which is a good message to send to Linkin Park fans. Shinoda writes about how he doesn’t know how he’s going to build back up from Bennington’s death, but he’ll try regardless.Listen to “Post Traumatic” here.[vc_raw_html]JTNDaWZyYW1lJTIwc3JjJTNEJTIyaHR0cHMlM0ElMkYlMkZvcGVuLnNwb3RpZnkuY29tJTJGZW1iZWQlMkZhbGJ1bSUyRjNXMzF1YjAwZmxHVVJpUzhYaWY0bGglMjIlMjB3aWR0aCUzRCUyMjMwMCUyMiUyMGhlaWdodCUzRCUyMjM4MCUyMiUyMGZyYW1lYm9yZGVyJTNEJTIyMCUyMiUyMGFsbG93dHJhbnNwYXJlbmN5JTNEJTIydHJ1ZSUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRmlmcmFtZSUzRQ==[/vc_raw_html]While it’s fairly common to sample recordings in songs, Shinoda chose to go an extremely personal, heartwrenching route on this EP, including recordings of people who left messages after Bennington’s death. On “Over Again,” the song opens with a car alarm going off and Shinoda yelling “Come on!” With these snippets, the EP becomes that much more intimate. It’s clear “Post Traumatic” is meant as some form of catharsis, for both Shinoda, Linkin Park and the fans.
Overall, “Post Traumatic” is a beautiful tribute to the late Linkin Park singer. Shinoda clearly poured his heart and soul into this EP, and while the emotions got the best of him in some parts of the songs, he never lost sight of what he was trying to communicate: what he went through.
The EP is a sign that Linkin Park will, at least, do their best to continue and preserve Bennington’s legacy. The name itself is a reference to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, likely symbolizing that the band and Shinoda are trying to recover, but not without stumbling along the way. Regardless, I’m sure that wherever Bennington is now, he’s proud of Shinoda.
What do you think of “Post Traumatic”? Let us know in the comments.