Category: Uncategorized

A Thousand Suns (ATS)

A Thousand Suns has become a target to shoot for many; critics and fans. Many are criticizing the whole album or its tracks so harshly bringing different reasons to prove that LP has lost its validity and popularity among fans since it’s not as powerful as before anymore. Many are so mad at the new music style, which is way different from the rock and that it’s so soft (“The collection’s 15 tracks mark the band’s accelerating drift away from its original, hit-making collision of metal and hip-hop to a sound more amorphous, layered and provocative“)!

This was too tough for me. I have friends on and I saw most of them starting to show their dissatisfaction with the album once they listened to it (no surprise, because it is so controversial). I tried so hard to make them understand that they should change their viewpoint a little bit to understand the message of the album, which is a real work of art to me, but they rejected and are stubbornly repeating the same bleak idea.

The last chance that I can stand is to have a thorough interpretation on the whole album, so in-depth. I know I’m not a critic and my ideas are not that professional, but I try to do my best, cause I do love this masterpiece.

The Title

The Requiem, The Radiance, Burning In The Skies, Empty Spaces

When They Come For Me, Robot Boy, Jornada Del Muerto

Waiting For The End, Blackout, Wretches And Kings

Wisdom, Justice, And Love

Iridescent, Fallout

The Catalyst, The Messenger

The General Review


Thinking about the question “why this album is entitled A thousand Suns”, I did some researches and I got to this:

Since the second track contains some of J. Robert Oppenheimer’s words (who is the father of the Atomic Bomb_1904-1967) let’s start from him. He was an American theoretical physicist and professor of physics. He played a role as the scientist director of the Manhattan Project, the World War II project that developed the first nuclear weapons.

In reference to the Trinity test in New Mexico, where the first atomic bomb was detonated, Oppenheimer famously recalled the Bhagavad-Gita: “If the radiance of a thousand suns were to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendor of the mighty one.” and “Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.”

(I was stunned seeing the album’s title in his speech! I’ll explain more)

Now let’s go thru more details:

What’s the Trinity Test? Trinity Test in New Mexico (where the first atomic bomb was detonated):

It’s the code name of the first nuclear weapon test of an atomic bomb, conducted by the US Army. Its informal nickname is The Gadget. So, with using the same conceptual design as The Gadget, the Fat Man device was detonated over Nagasaki on Aug 9, 1945! This date is considered as the beginning of the Atomic Age.

MORE INFO FOR TRINITY TEST ORIGIN>> The exact origin of the name is unknown, but it is often attributed to laboratory leader J. Robert Oppenheimer as a reference to the poetry of John Donne. In 1962, General Groves wrote to Oppenheimer about the origin of the name, asking if he had chosen it because it was a name common to rivers and peaks in the West and would not attract attention, and elicited this reply:

“I did suggest it, but not on that ground… Why I chose the name is not clear, but I know what thoughts were in my mind. There is a poem of John Donne, written just before his death, which I know and love. From it a quotation: “As West and East / In all flatt Maps—and I am one—are one, / So death doth touch the Resurrection.” That still does not make a Trinity, but in another, better known devotional poem Donne opens, “Batter my heart, three person’d God;—.”

The Trinity explosion produced an explosive power equivalent to the explosion of about 20 kilotons of TNT!

Just a few weeks after the Trinity Test: Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

FOR MORE INFO READ THIS>> The rise of Fascist governments in Europe, new discoveries about the nature of atoms and the fear that Nazi Germany was working on developing atomic bombs, converged in the plans of the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada to develop powerful weapons using nuclear fission as their primary source of energy.

While U.S. and British attempts to investigate the feasibility of nuclear weapons began as early as 1939, practical development began in earnest in 1942 when these efforts were transferred to the authority of the U.S. Army and became the “Manhattan Project”.

          Now, as one of my Hindu friends helped me out, J. R. Oppenheimer was also a scholar of Sanskrit. If you’re interested, look at this part to get more about the fact of Hinduism which Oppenheimer used in his words:

Bhagavad-Gita is 1 of the most important holy books of Hindus. They actually believe in Trinity: it means 3 gods and 1 of them is called “Vishnu” (the Supreme Being).

Vishnu has 10 avatars (manifestations) of which 9 of them walked on earth to destroy evil. Here are the manifestations:

1.Matsya: the fish-avatar

2.Kurma: the tortoise-avatar

3. Varaha: the boar-avatar

4. Narasimha: the half man-half lion avatar

5. Vamana: the dwarf-avatar

6. Parashuram: sage with the axe (killed the thousand-armed king)

7. Rama: the king of Ayodhya, the hero of the Hindu epic Ramayana

8. Krishna: the king of Dwarka

9. Gautama Buddha

10. Kalki (“Eternity”, “Time”, “The Destroyer of foulness”)


The “Prince” that Oppenheimer mentioned is called Arjuna. Prince Arjuna hesitates to attack the enemy with his army; Vishnu encourages him, and motivates him by explaining how the world works. Arjuna asks to see Vishnu in his real form:

“Arjuna asks: Tell me who are You in such a fierce form? My salutations to You, O best of gods, be merciful! I wish to understand You, the primal Being, because I do not know Your mission.

The Supreme Lord said: I am death, the mighty destroyer of the world, out to destroy. Even without your participation all the warriors standing arrayed in the opposing armies shall cease to exist. “

So “Now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds”, it means that Vishnu shows his power to the prince, the power which is so much and means that Vishnu can even destroy the 3 worlds; in Hindu belief (Earth, Heaven and Hell).

In the end, Oppenheimer says: “I suppose we all thought that, one way or another”. It’s as a justification for inventing the Atomic Bomb! And it’s good to know that:

“””>According to his brother, at the time Oppenheimer simply exclaimed, “It worked.” A contemporary account by Brigadier General Thomas Farrell, who was present in the control bunker at the site with Oppenheimer, summarized his reaction as follows:

“Dr. Oppenheimer, on whom had rested a very heavy burden, grew tenser as the last seconds ticked off. He scarcely breathed. He held on to a post to steady himself. For the last few seconds, he stared directly ahead and then when the announcer shouted “Now!” and there came this tremendous burst of light followed shortly thereafter by the deep growling roar of the explosion, his face relaxed into an expression of tremendous relief”

>Frank Oppenheimer was the brother of J. Robert, was involved too in the Manhattan project, and was on location in Trinity

The reaction of Oppenheimer, as described by Brigadier General Thomas F. Farrell.

“And I wish I would remember what my brother said, but I can’t – but I think we just said, “It worked.” I think that’s what we said, both of us. “It worked”. “””

Ok, let’s get back to the Album’s Title: A Thousand Suns, which now we now is a part of Bhagavad-Gita chapter 11, verse 12 (Sivananda):

> “If the radiance of a thousand suns were to burst at once(simultaneously) into the sky, that would be like the splendor of the mighty one(great soul).”<


Let’s look at the each track:

The Requiem:

If we look the title up in a dictionary, we’ll find something like this: “a Christian ceremony in which prayers are said for someone who has died / a piece of music written for a requiem”

So it’s too sad for the opening part of an album, as the Intro. But the sense I could get listening to the whole album, is “a massage which talks about the end of the world, which is trying to display the bitter facts around the world, which is beyond self awareness, self restraint, self criticism, self pity, self help, self respect, and shows a more important subject to think about.”

As u play this track, at first there’s silence, goes up, you hear the music then, which sounds more spiritual. On the 00:52 we have this part added to the music, which definitely has a sad impact, and can transfer the feeling of death. Then on the 1:16 it’s an extract of the Catalyst lyrics (God save us everyone, will we…) by a female voice which is unique I guess in the whole LP history!  The reason I could bring is that a female voice is smoother and can transfer the pure feeling more successfully. Also, considering this track the Intro of the whole album, it fits the album title, or considering it the Intro of the next 2 tracks, it gives the best meaning to them.

Then we have the second track.

The Radiance:

Again the definition of this word will be something like: “great happiness that shows in someone’s face and makes them look attractive”. It’s true that it refers to that part of Bhagavad-Gita, but looking at this definition raised this question in my head that “why after The Requiem we should see such diverse title?!” the first track so painful and pathetic, but the next one, which is even connected by music to the former, has got such different idea, carried upon its title.

It can refer to God’s might and his radiance as to show the very first upper hand. But the first thing I could get by thinking about this track was the fact that “there is another life after death”. It may sound absurd to some, but in my opinion, this earthly life is so painful and tough, while the next will be much more beautiful which will give you the radiance and will cheer you up, of course, under some conditions. 

in my book, it’s the second Intro to the track 3. The music we have as a background to Oppenheimer’s voice, is so strange and exciting. It’s so high from the beginning and goes on ‘til the 45th second, then we have silence and just his voice (adds more power to this instant). After that the music is more like heartbeat! Still makes your heart thump. Less than 1 minute but still so effective.

Burning In The Skies:

Again this track continues the previous 1 and goes on, like there is no gap between. Music, lyrics, sense and the meaning of this song… it’s so relaxing, Mike and Chester both sing in a nice calm way. you can feel almost the whole band in this song, yet I’m not sure about Mr Hahn. I feel regret in its verses, a guilt pounding upon the heart, a confession of sins committed. But the music itself is not sad and the way of singing, is not with that much sorrow. It’s so relaxed and it’s interesting that the first time you listen to it you feel more motivated and you feel like, a kind healing touch!

The ending part is also connected to the next track, along with the sounds of crickets, which simply recalls the night.

The fourth track:

Empty Spaces:

We’re not gonna call it a song, but an 18-second Intro to the track after. “Empty Spaces”… is it going to point to the loss of something or some people?

 It reminds the war zone, more like the front line. There we have the sound of guns being fired and grenades or bombs. How will u answer to this question that “Why should we have a war scene on this part of the album?” anyways, wars are the bare facts of today’s world.

In the other hand, from a different viewpoint, it can be considered the last piece of a 4-piece puzzle, it means considering the first 4 tracks as a single track, and Empty Spaces will be the end of it, because you cannot find much relevance to the track 5 but… (go to the review of the next track to find out what!).

When They Come For Me:

It’s like a dramatic change in the album! With a completely different mood. And we have Mike rapping in a, we can say, revolutionary way. It seems more like black rappers and using more slang which unconsciously brings the Fort Minor memory into your mind. The lyrics pour complexity in me and I can’t say that I’m sure about what LP is gonna construct in front of our eyes, but to me, it more sounds rebellious (in a good way), protesting against some old fixed untrue rules.

There’s something really drawing my attention, a part of the lyrics in which we hear “forfeit the game” which obviously brings the opening part of Points Of Authority of the album HT in mind. Comparing Mike in that song and this one, easily shows the difference.

There are so many “I’m not”s as a sign of opposition or refusal. It’s like an individual is saying “no” to many things in order to turn people on to have a battle against nasty unpleasant facts and make a change.

Yes, it sounds more African than rock, but still, it is energetic.

On the 3:08, Chester steps on the stage and for almost 20 seconds calms everybody down and then the same beat’s up. Afterwards, it’s on 4:06 which we hear a part of the previous track (so they are related!). Until here we had a sort of calmness back, but on the 4:20 a kind of anger flows in the rhythm ‘til the end.

As we go thru the next track:

Robot Boy:

Why is it called Robot Boy? What are the characteristics of a robot? Strength? Emotionlessness?

Here, the word “fight” comes in, it’s easy to see; in the very beginning of the lyrics.

It’s a separate track, I dare say. With another sense, we hear the piano, it’s not anger, violence, revenge, combat, no! it’s talking to one who is disappointed of the war, has given up, waving the white flag. What we have is understanding, understanding, understanding and consoling ‘til 2:50. Then a ray of hope and motivation is what u see.  Minute 3 the song changes the form. From this point on we’re being asked for patience, patience, patience. Soon, things will fall into place.

Following the Robot Boy ‘til the end, we’ll find:

Jornada Del Muerto:

which means  “Journey of  Death”. It’s another smooth short one that is trying to forget about the words and sends feelings thru the rhythm.  I’m not able to put the feeling I get from it, exactly into words, but it’s a nice one, and the whispering part in the beginning, still along with that heartbeat part… I feel it takes me to the sky for some seconds. But no, this song doesn’t give me the feeling of death!

It can be considered as an Intro to the next one.

Waiting For The End:

As the title points, talking about “end” is on again.

Once again we have Mike rapping in his new style. It’s not as energetic as “When They Come For Me”, but it effortlessly shows the change.

To me this song seems like 2 different chapters which r mixed! It’s true that when LP has Mike and Chester as vocalists, each of them will play a different role in the band, one mostly with the rock style, the other rapping. But this one differs. I can call them 2 different worlds combined, but still with some boundaries among. It feels more like the feeling of the first experience of drinking pineapple juice with its pieces in!

And here, Chester shows off his ability once again, controlling the way he uses his larynx so professionally, while not shouting really.

The 3:32 part is where these 2 different worlds merge together ‘til the end of the song where we go in a silence.

What it is talking about, more recalls the track Robot Boy: that feeling of disappointment and still trying to stand up and let go of the pain. We have this “The hardest part of ending is starting again!” and it shows the fact.

Next is


By listening to the first 12 seconds, you will have no idea how the song is gonna be! Not even ‘til the 28th second! But after that, the song turns out to have an amount of excitement, a little stress, and you expect a blast to happen so soon! So while you’re counting down the seconds, another part comes added to the song, which is so soft and opposite to the former! Also u can hear Chester’s screams from this point on. The blast is right when Chester comes. When I heard it I was like “phew! Again Chester’s screams” and it’s unique as usual. But after a little while again that soft part is added (a real paradox!). 2:50 is the end of excitement and then Mike comes so calm and relaxed. The minute 4 is the combination of anger and calm ‘til the end.

By listening to this song… no, I can’t say that I can have the same feeling as in the first tracks. It’s more having the subjects which we could see in HT or Meteora. But still no gap between.

Now looking at all these tracks wholly, u can easily notice the fact that if someone listens to ATS as a first experience of listening to LP, that person will simply think that there are 3-4 vocalists! Chester’s voice already has 2 different versions! And Mike has added his new version to the list!

Going to the rest:

Wretches And Kings:

The title shows 2 so different classes in the society: the weak under-pressured people and the power owners.

Mario Savio (an American political activist and a key member in the Berkeley Free Speech Movement who is most famous for his passionate speeches, especially his “put your bodies upon the gears” address given at Sproul Hall, University of California, Berkeley on December 2, 1964) starts this track: a short extract of his speech, but so influential as he shouts with the rage in his voice, the power is noticeable.

The metaphorical meaning of “machine” here adds more beauty. Moreover the way Savio talks is Strategic since he’s not there talking to people like: ok everybody! Let’s change our conditions and we need a new true system blah blah!… instead he comes, using the present tense (rather than the imperative), uttering people’s present condition frankly, so this way, when he talks about the existing pain, people will pay more attention and will feel more accord between. And in the end he reaches to this point that this machine can be stopped if all become one!

The opening part of the music contains so much energy and Mike start rapping, I feel he tries to lead his voice close to Savio’s (with anger and strictness). Even though Mike’s recently put himself into his new style, he indicates his talent in mastering a new rapping style.

Chester comes in with his furious screams as for awakening the listener.

The diagram we can possibly have, would be something like: Savio’s quote + LP part + Savio’s (plus the last part of his quote as to clarify the aim).

Wisdom, Justice, And Love:

This 1:38 track is more an Intro to the next track and for the third time in this album, an extract of an important politician’s revolutionary speech. This is a Martin Luther King’s speech (Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence) on April 4, 1967 at the Riverside Church in New York City. A year after this, he was assassinated (on Apr 4, 1968). M. L. King (1929-1968) was an American clergyman, an activist and prominent leader in the African American civil rights movement (following the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi), often considered representative in the history of modern American liberalism, established his reputation as one of the greatest orators in American history.

>Starting in 1965, King began to express doubts about the United States’ role in the Vietnam War. In an April 4, 1967 appearance at the New York City Riverside Church—exactly one year before his death—King delivered a speech titled “Beyond Vietnam”. In the speech, he spoke strongly against the U.S.’s role in the war, insisting that the U.S. was in Vietnam “to occupy it as an American colony” and calling the U.S. government “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today”. He also argued that the country needed larger and broader moral changes.

FOR MORE INFO READ THIS>> King also was opposed to the Vietnam War on the grounds that the war took money and resources that could have been spent on social welfare services like the War on Poverty. The United States Congress was spending more and more on the military and less and less on anti-poverty programs at the same time. King also criticized the United States’ resistance to North Vietnam’s land reforms. He accused the United States of having killed a million Vietnamese, “mostly children.” King also stated in his “Beyond Vietnam” speech that “true compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar….it comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring”. King quoted a United States official, who said that, from Vietnam to South America to Latin America, the country was “on the wrong side of a world revolution.” King condemned America’s “alliance with the landed gentry of Latin America,” and said that the United States should support “the shirtless and barefoot people” in the Third World rather than suppressing their attempts at revolution.

Posthumously, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977.

Martin Luther King’s Day: as a US national holiday.

HERE IS SOME NOTICEABLE PARTS OF HIS SPEECH>> “I come to this magnificent house of worship tonight because my conscience leaves me no other choice. I join with you in this meeting because I am in deepest agreement with the aims and work of the organization which has brought us together: Clergy and Laymen Concerned about Vietnam. The recent statement of your executive committee are the sentiments of my own heart and I found myself in full accord when I read its opening lines: ‘A time comes when silence is betrayal.’ That time has come for us in relation to Vietnam….  And some of us who have already begun to break the silence of the night have found that the calling to speak is often a vocation of agony, but we must speak…. Over the past two years, as I have moved to break the betrayal of my own silences and to speak from the burnings of my own heart, as I have called for radical departures from the destruction of Vietnam, many persons have questioned me about the wisdom of my path. At the heart of their concerns this query has often loomed large and loud: “Why are you speaking about the war, Dr. King?” “Why are you joining the voices of dissent?” “Peace and civil rights don’t mix,” they say. “Aren’t you hurting the cause of your people,” they ask? And when I hear them, though I often understand the source of their concern, I am nevertheless greatly saddened, for such questions mean that the inquirers have not really known me, my commitment or my calling. Indeed, their questions suggest that they do not know the world in which they live.”

(to me the bold parts seemed so interesting, recalling what LP is gonna talk about!)

HERE, BRIEFLY ABOUT VIETNAM WAR>> Vietnam War was a Cold War military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia, from 1955 to 1975 (fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies and the government of South Vietnam, supported by the US and other anti-communist nations). The war exacted a huge human cost in terms of fatalities (See: Vietnam War casualties), including 3 to 4 million Vietnamese from both sides, between 1.5 to 2 million Laotians and Cambodians, and 58,159 U.S. soldiers.

Now, noticing the music at the background, it makes u feel like in church. From the 36th second on, Dr. King’s voice starts to get freaky (more like a robot or an alien). To me, it’s gonna show the result of the transmission of his idea! That now his ideas seem more artificial and heartless in comparison to 3 decades before, under the influence of modernity and policy! What LP is doing is to reanimate the fact, which is not something to be forgotten this easily.

Also in the end we have “Cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice and love” 6 times repeated. The reason? Well, emphasis? Asking you to think more? To go deeper thru it?… after 33 years of this speech, what made LP to bring up the fact?



Thinking about the possible reasons why this song is called “iridescent”, I couldn’t find any logical answer. All I can recollect is the sweet memories of childhood, when I loved any iridescent object, it was multicolored and reminding me of rainbow! Maybe that’s for adding happiness to some people’s life…

It starts with that kind of piano again. I feel pain in its verses. Mike comes having sympathy in his words and voice, saying that the gravity of the situation is known, then Chester, comes to bring hope and asks for starting from scratch and not giving up.  As we notice, the more we approach the end, more energy is added to the song and we no more feel the same sadness of the beginning (the end is calm but not sad). And also we’re invited to the next track with the last seconds…

(Also we have “empty space” in Mike’s part! Simply connects this one also with the “Empty Spaces” track!)


Definition: “the dangerous radioactive dust which is left in the air after a nuclear explosion and which slowly falls to earth”. (I’m stunned even by titles!)

So this track is still connected with the 2 previous ones. It gives me more the feeling I got from Wisdom, Justice, and Love because of the music and the way that we have the vocalist singing (a digital robotic way). The lyrics are so familiar (just from Burning In The Skies) and it simply shows the significant connection between tracks (here, between the third and thirteenth).

I’m not sure who is singing, it more sounds like Mike (although in the third track Chester was singing) but sometimes I doubt if it’s Chester or Mike… anyway, the end of this track will join to the next: The Catalyst.

>Another fascinating fact that I’ve come across is that, Iridescent is somehow surrounded by Wisdom, Justice and Love and Fallout (because of similarities we can find between these 2 tracks, one can be the Into and the other the conclusion)! We can consider these 3 as one track.

At this point I got another general result: “it is a revolution in the art of music. Because, not only we can find more Intros in an album allocated to some certain main tracks, almost all of these tracks are connected with each other in different points of time and rhyme! This idea pushes me more toward this theory that this album contains only a single huge track!”

And the first single we heard from the album

The Catalyst:

Definition: “a substance that makes a chemical reaction happen more quickly without being changed itself/ something or someone that causes an important change or event to happen”. So what is that change, who is accelerating the process?

Closer to the end of album, we logically should be closer to the fulfillment of what LP has aimed for. After 14 tracks, the connection can still be felt (here, between this track and the first one). This track (as the longest one in this album) can be considered as the solid confession of all the big sins committed and then begging for God’s forgiveness. It’s more like a done deal, asking governments not to make the same mistakes in the future of human life.

After also watching its music video, more covert ideas are revealed. And this is one of those which you can feel the whole band together (although to me Brad is not shining here).

The “Lift me up, let me go” part seems to be the climax, expressing so much pain and the wish to be freed from dark.

And the last, but not the least

The Messenger:

A different tune (if I’m not wrong, by acoustic guitar and piano) combined with the way Chester sings, almost having an accent distinguishable from what he almost has, comes as a still-concerned End in a disguise of calm!

Mentioning “this cruel world” in the beginning, shows that, this idea still exists as a belief of today’s world; and then adding “love” as the solution, which is now simply replaced with greed and rage.

Immersing yourself in the rhythm, u would feel dusk, a fiery sky and the nature in piece, waiting for the next day to come, knowing nothing about what is gonna happen.

The innovation and creativity of this last LP album can be the main cause of some fan’s and newly-became-fans’ confusion and shock. There should have been a noticeable concern for LP for making such a big hard-to-believe change. However, after considering all the tracks even a little bit, the purpose will easily unfold.

Now, if I say A Thousand Suns is overwhelming that’s because I’ve found it more than an ordinary album up to the year 2010. Another fact about the album is that “it is a History Book”! look at here:

There are 3 extracts of 3 important persons’ speeches, talking about political stuff. First one is “The Radiance”, which is for the year 1945 by J. R. Oppenheimer (about the first A-bomb and the World War II). Second, we have “Wretches And Kings” with an extract of Mario Savio’s speech (1964). And the last one is “Wisdom, Justice, And Love” which is an extract of Dr. King’s memorable speech at the Riverside Church (1967). So as you see (1945 > 1964 > 1967), there is a chronological order, exactly narrating the stories we have in History! And the last track is the Present time!

Moreover, this African beats should have a bigger purpose behind, not only for making the album sounds different or make you dance. Black people, obviously, have passed so many hard days up to now, either in wars, biased, or as a matter of poverty… also the way Mike raps in some tracks reminds more a black rapper. And even in the track “Empty Spaces” we can hear a guy’s talking, and his voice sounds more like a black.

At a glance:

There are 3 extracts; we can say, 6 Intros; 3 tracks in which Mike raps in his new style; 3 tracks in which Chester screams; if I’m not wrong 2 tracks that Chester has the solo (The Messenger, doubtful about Robot Boy); for the rest Chester and Mike are singing both; and almost half of the tracks have a title with a negative or bitter fact to show (e.g. Blackout, Jornada Del Moerto etc).

>Special Thanks To: Sai Siddharth, Nima, and Ali.