Linkin Park, What I’ve Done

Quality: 5

Clean: 5*

Genre: Rock/nu metal

Dooood! If you know Linkin Park you might be surprised to see them on this blog. But honestly, sometimes there are artists that strike right at the heart of existing, the very essence of life. This is one of those bands. I think sometimes they get caught up in their status as a rock-rap/metal band and sing about the usual topics, but here is a song that will rock your socks off if you listen closely to the words. I can’t say I’m surprised however. Read Ecclesiastes and then listen to In the End. Enough said.

Before I keep going, I want to make a shout-out to my professor from Bible college, Mr. Oliff, who pointed out this song on Facebook.

First lets talk about quality. I gave What I’ve Done a 5 maybe a bit unfairly. Its more a 5 for Linkin Park as a band overall. They have done some great quality rap-rock mashups, have fused electronica with their metal sounds and even use different vocalists and vocal styles depending on the song. That all to say that this particular song is more average for them. I am actually not a huge fan on Linkin Park. Usually they are too metal sounding for me but occasionally a song like this comes out that still contains their style but is more palatable for a non-matal listener.

Now as far as clean is concerned, I gave it a 5 with an asterisk. Minutes to Midnight, the album is rated explicit and this will put some people off. Even if you only buy What I’ve Done alone, it still comes with the rating of explicit attached to it. The song itself is not explicit, does not contain swears or innuendos. Linkin Park as a band however does not hesitate on a normal basis to throw around profanities or adult topics. I hesitated to even review What I’ve Done, because of the rating, but the words are amazing.

The reason I decided to review this song after all is because the purpose of the blog is to find quality and clean songs wherever they may be found. This song, found in an unexpected genre and album is no exception. It unequivocally sends a positive and thought provoking message. Also, this is an opportunity to point out that even though people don’t all agree on the same philosophy of life or religion or whatever, all of humanity still feel similar emotions about guilt, redemtpion and purpose. The song is about what we as individuals and even collectively as humanity have done, all the atrocities, war, pollution and abuses. The song begs if we can ever make up for or erase all these things? The answer in the song I believe is no we can’t– but we can find mercy and forgiveness. We can start over. The song says that the forgiveness comes from ourselves (or self). I agree that this is true in a sense. When I hurt someone, they can forgive me but I can’t move on until I also forgive myself. (I also would add that absolute forgiveness and mercy come from the Lord). The words also indicate that even though mercy and forgiveness come, pain and heartache don’t automatically disapear.

What I’ve Done helps me argue that there isn’t a clear line between “Christian” songs and “secular” songs. Certain topics are universal and not exclusive of “Christian” art. My husband used to listen to Tupac and he says there are some songs where he would think, “what…is Tupac a Christian?” Truly talented artists have a way of cutting through all the drivel and showing the rest of us what reality is. They cry out and express universal pains and joys that strike everyone. Ok that lecture was long enough. Check out the lyrics and song below. I’d say the video adds to the interpretation.

In this farewell
There’s no blood
There’s no alibi
Cause I’ve drawn regret
From the truth
Of a thousand lies

So let mercy come
And wash away
What I’ve done

I’ll face myself
To cross out what i’ve become
Erase myself
And let go of what i’ve done

Put to rest
What you thought of me
While I clean this slate
With the hands of uncertainty

For what I’ve done
I start again
And whatever pain may come
Today this ends
I’m forgiving what I’ve done!

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