Whenever a band or artist publishes a posthumous release, it’s almost always bittersweet. Despite our collective desire to hear more from the musicians that inspire us, it oftentimes feels as though we don’t have the right to experience these previously unreleased works.
The lack of personal involvement from the artists is typically glaring, especially when it comes to those with deep or storied catalogs like Prince and Michael Jackson. Such releases rarely seem to add to the artist’s legacy, instead serving more as a reminder of careers cut far too short than a celebration of the successes within them.
The recent release of “Lost” feels wholly different, however, seemingly thanks in large part to the guidance of the remaining members of Linkin Park.
More than five years since the passing of the band’s lead singer Chester Bennington, this new song is a fully completed track cut during the sessions for the band’s 2003 album, “Meteora.” Linkin Park released the long-rumored single to promote an upcoming 20th anniversary box set for the album.
“The philosophy was – don’t really touch it. Present it the way it would have been presented back then. If you don’t have to mix it, if you don’t have to master it, don’t do it,” Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda said of the song’s release in a recent interview with KROQ, according to fellow station KLAQ.
That ideology shines through in “Lost.” The single feels much more like discovering a fan-favorite deep cut than something taped together for promotional purposes or a song that was likely never meant to see the light of day.
Led by a showcase of Bennington’s signature vocal range, it’s the kind of song that reminds you why Linkin Park soared to heights far beyond the majority of its nu metal counterparts.
An exceptional electric beat carries the song which has an overall feel not dissimilar to “Numb,” a fact that Shinoda referenced in the aforementioned interview as a central reason behind its omission from “Meteora.”
It’s the sharp chorus from Bennington though, the kind that makes you viscerally feel his emotions through your earbuds, that truly propels “Lost” to greatness.
“I’m lost – in these memories/Living behind my own illusions,” Bennington sings. They’re lyrics somewhat appropriate for a release like this, even if the memories referenced in the song feel far different than the joyous ones that fans of Linkin Park have regarding the band.
Accompanied by a richly designed anime-inspired music video, “Lost” is a complete package. Appropriate to its 2003 roots, the song should dominate rock radio this year much like the band did in its prime.
Instead of feeling like an unnecessary add on to a band’s catalog cut tragically short, “Lost” feels right at home with the rest of Linkin Park’s hits. It stands as nothing short of an exceptional reminder of Chester Bennington and the rest of the band’s talent and success.
Spotlight Score: 9/10