Single Review: Linkin Park “Faint”

Faint
Album: Meterora
Year: 2003

Lead singer Chester Bennington pleas with his parents not to belittle his depression and take him seriously in the unpersuasive “Faint.”

Panicked strings and drumming begin “Faint,” followed by blustering guitars. Mike Shinoda matter-of-factly raps that he’s by himself and self-absorbed at times. He gripes about everything but it’s to hide his emotional problems. He is still the same kid as before but he needs some help. However, his parents tell him to ‘snap out of it.’ His parents think this works but it’s only avoiding the issue. He’s the glue that holds his family together and soon they will see him as an adult. (“I am a little bit of loneliness a little bit of disregard/Handful of complaints but I can’t help the fact that everyone can see/these scars/I am what I want you to want what I want you to feel/But it’s like no matter what I do, I can’t convince you, to just believe/this is real/So I let go, watching you, turn your back like you always do/Face away and pretend that I’m not/
But I’ll be here ’cause you’re all that I got.”)

Chester Bennington, in an ear-splitting yell, says he’s not the same person and angrily tells them to listen. Time is going to make his sadness go away and he needs them. Now. (“I can’t feel the way I did before/Don’t turn you back on me/I won’t be ignored/Time won’t heal this damage anymore/Don’t turn your back on me/I won’t be ignored.”)

Shinoda raps that he can’t have faith in himself and has low self-esteem due to his parents not caring. He tries to be the perfect teenage but his parents won’t admit he’s not. He has attempted talking it through with him, showing the marks on his arms, etc. But nothing has worked. (“I am a little bit insecure a little unconfident/Cause you don’t understand/I do what I can but sometimes I don’t make sense/I am what you never wanna say but I’ve never had a doubt/It’s like no matter what I do I can’t convince you for once just to hear me out/
So I let go watching you turn your back like you always do…But I’ll be here ’cause you’re all that I’ve got.”)

Bennington then screams for his parents’ concern “no, hear me out now/you’re gonna listen to me, like it or not/right now/hear me out now/you’re gonna listen to me, like it or not/right now.”)

The chorus is shouted three times to end the single.

“Faint” goes in two directions but can’t find its point. Shinoda’s raps are laid-back and vanilla while Bennington equates angst with how loud he can yell. Grunge music perfected sadness in music by combining low, mumbling verses with pain-filled cries in the choruses. Bennington and Shinoda cannot decide what emotions they are feeling, let alone emote.

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