Mike Shinoda Post Traumatic Album Review
When news of Chester Bennington’s death broke the world got a little darker. Everyone grieved in their own way and felt to degrees how other felt. However, no one truly felt or understood exactly how those close to Chester felt. Until now. Mike Shinoda’s new solo album Post Traumatic delves into own post-traumatic experiences and details a man still grieving.
The album opens with Place To Start, a fittingly titled track. The lyrics are beautiful a snapshot into the inner emotional turmoil Mike goes through. Shinoda emotionally prepares himself and the listener for the journey ahead in the next 15 tracks.
Following that with Over Again, a lyrical diary of the aftermath of Bennington’s death and how Shinoda coped. Mike doesn’t play with metaphors here; the lyrics are straight-forward giving the listener clear impressions of how hard it was to pick himself up.
The anger he holds is let go on Over Again but also in, Watching As I Fall. The first three tracks on Post Traumatic are the most put together and strongest. They also feature on the already released Post Traumatic EP.
Nothing Makes Sense Anymore, is a brilliantly constructed track about the despair of losing someone close. Shinoda perfectly taps into his own experience while remaining relatable to people who’ve gone through the same. Something you can properly do in the first three tracks.
While the first four tracks relate to Chester Bennington’s passing, track five About You begins a new chapter. Breaking the fourth wall singing to the listener that not every song he releases in the future will be about Bennington. It’s a hard-hitting realization that lyrics will be interpreted and misinterpreted no matter if the true meaning is known. The Guest Vocals by Blackbear are great.
Before Promises I Can’t Keep, Post Traumatic takes an instrumental interlude with Brooding. A moment to just reflect and well Brood. Promises I Can’t Keep and Crossing the Line are the perfect combination as while one describes the feeling of uncertainty the other marks the moment to enter the unknown and embrace that uncertainty.
Halfway Through Post Traumatic
Post Traumatic is an album of two halves the first dealing with the emotional turmoil of losing someone close. The other is a raw but hopeful and optimistic view of the world.
Hold it Together, is the first sign of that an upbeat track with an important emotional depth. For me, this is the stand out track on the album. Ghosts is where Mike just let’s go and has a bit of fun with an uplifting tune.
Post Traumatic features some incredible guests. Make It Up As I Go features guest vocals from K.Flay. Her voice has a unique sound that complements Shinoda’s rough vocals. Lift off has a clash of styles from a soulful piano with guest vocals from Chino Moreno to Shinoda’s rapping with Machine Gun Kelly. The clash is one that works surprisingly well to become the most transcending on the album.
IOU is the roughest and Mike at his rawest. Lyrically IOU displays Shinoda’s skills as a lyricist, however, for me, it’s the weakest track on the album. This is due to basic beat which lacks teeth. Running From My Shadow, however, has a fantastic beat. The track has meat but it’s Grandsons guest verse that adds an extra level of spice.
World’s On Fire is an incredible track with a motivational message about the people we go to for support and thanking them for being there.
Album closure Can’t Hear You Now is a beautiful ending to this section in Mike Shinoda’s journey. The lyrics hint at a state of empowerment that the uncertainty is over. While he claims he’s ‘feeling fucking fantastic’ he hints that the grieving isn’t over yet but it’s not as crippling at it was at the start of Post Traumatic.
Post Traumatic is a journey that beautifully delves into a man grieving. This album does have one weakness at that’s the music side to the lyrics. Some of the tracks lack an oomph due to the music, relying on the weight of the lyrics to carry the tracks which they do. Post Traumatic is, however, an album everyone should listen to no matter your taste in music. Mike Shinoda’s journey’s just beginning and Post Traumatic was the start.