Song of the Week: Linkin Park’s “Lost” Is an Emotional Reminder of What We Once Had

Barrie, Pile, and Boys World also dropped essential tracks

linkin park lost
Linkin Park, photo by James Minchin

    Song of the Week breaks down and talks about the song we just can’t get out of our head each week. Find these songs and more on our Spotify Top Songs playlist. For our favorite new songs from emerging artists, check out our Spotify New Sounds playlist. This week, Linkin Park unearths a rousing cut from Meteora for its upcoming 20th anniversary.

    When Linkin Park reissued their seminal debut album Hybrid Theory for its 20th anniversary in 2020, it was baffling to accept how much has changed for the band and for the rock world itself since the album was released. Amidst demos, rarities, live versions, and the original standout selection of tracks, there were dozens of illuminating moments that shed light on the band’s legendary-but-tragic history. Not only were they ascending to the apex of nu-metal and rap-rock, they also happened to possess one of the greatest rock vocalists we’ve seen this century.

    Chester Bennington’s untimely death in 2017 — as well as a newfound cultural nostalgia for a style of music that hasn’t been fashionable in 15 years — has allowed us to revisit Linkin Park’s seething, emotional output with an added layer of context and weight. This was a band that had honed in on universal feelings of rage and alienation, but when you hear Bennington sing of these topics after his suicide, it’s deeply affecting to consider the vulnerability of those statements both then and now.


    2023 marks yet another important anniversary for Linkin Park: Meteora, the band’s stratospheric second album, turns 20 years old. Along with a deluxe reissue announcement, the band has unearthed “Lost,” a previously-unheard Meteora-era cut that features Bennington’s cathartic vocals in full glory.

    Sonically, “Lost” fits right in with the seismic, electronic-aided majesty of fellow Meteora tracks “Breaking the Habit” and “Numb” — though the chord structure is relatively simple, there’s a flurry of keyboard and programming activity from Joe Hahn and Mike Shinoda, incorporating skittering drum machines and a memorable synth line.

    The song is also a clear example of where their songwriting impulses were after the success of Hybrid Theory — rather than double down on the harder edges of their nu-metal concoction, they sought an even more universal sound, becoming the arena-filling, hook-heavy rock stars we know them as today. Even though Meteora and “Lost” takes on a more accessible approach than, say, “One Step Closer,” there wasn’t necessarily an exhale from the band. “Lost” is still teeming with the same agitation that made “Crawling” and Meteora’s “Breaking the Habit” so urgent, and it’s a rousing reminder of why this band had captivated so many angsty listeners 20 years ago.


    But a deeper listen illuminates Bennington’s harsh lyrics: “I will never break away,” sings Bennington, completely certain about the absolute nature of his fate, “‘Cause when I’m alone/ I’m lost in these memories/ Living behind my own illusion.” Though Bennington, and his signature gritty tenor, sounds humongous, he sings of feeling infinitely small, of having a complete lack of agency in his own life, shrouded in doubt and nearly numb to the anguish. That juxtaposition has always been a part of Linkin Park’s identity expressing the pain gives way to freedom and release.

    Hearing these sentiments in a new (old) Linkin Park song is certainly fraught, and it reminds us of the power that Chester Bennington wielded in the band. His soaring voice has the capacity to reach us with crushing immediacy, and it’s incredibly easy to be bewildered by his singular tone and vulnerable artistry. “Lost” may not be the experimental rebrand that could have changed the artistic trajectory of Linkin Park forever, but it is a beautiful reminder of what we once had — a transcendent vocalist, wounded by life’s slings and arrows, completely determined to unite those who listened in anguish, and say, “I am still here, and you are seen.”

    — Paolo Ragusa
    Editorial Coordinator

    Honorable Mentions

    Barrie – “Races”

    Atop a warm 12/8 groove, Barrie is galloping toward the finish line. Her newly-announced EP 5K is inspired by the common five kilometer race, intended to be “your running partner for whatever 5K you’re doing.” The lead single “Races” takes after the dreamy glow of her recent track “Unholy Appetite” with the lyrical precision of Barrie’s stunning 2022 LP, Barbara. “I’m a ghost, I’m a toddler/ let me pretend not to hear/ I’m a Napoleon/ starting a war again,” she sings in the first verse, depicting the tunnel vision brought on by the intense physical and mental requirements of a race. Both literally and metaphorically, there’s a lot on the line when we’re running but luckily, Barrie’s emotionally vivid pop songs make that run much more energizing and rewarding. — P.R.


    Kendall Lujan – “Forget Me Knots”

    Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Americana artist Kendall Lujan has shared the cleverly titled “Forget Me Knots.” Sweet without being over-sentimental, breezy but still memorable, the track is the perfect introduction to the artist for any new listeners. According to producer Dominik Schmidt, the final recording uses the very first cut of “Forget Me Knots,” which Lujan played and sang through in a single take. That’s the kind of artist to keep an eye on. — Mary Siroky

    bdrmm – “It’s Just A Bit Of Blood”

    English shoegazers bdrmm have a knack for creating songs you want to crawl into and live inside of, and “It’s Just A Bit Of Blood” is one of their most enticing successes yet. Awash with freaked-out guitar tones and delay-ridden feedback, with gentle vocals laid overtop, the tune is a rich sonic world that totally and completely envelopes the listener. Now a signee of the Mogwai-founded label Rock Action, and with a new LP on the way, the excitement around bdrmm couldn’t be higher nor more warranted. — Jonah Kreuger

    Eddie Benjamin – “All For Nothing”

    Australian singer-songwriter Eddie Benjamin is diving into the experience of a first heartbreak — and not the kind that arrives after a young romance, but from being deeply in love. Betrayal makes for great musical fodder, though, and Benjamin makes the most of it with a piano hook and dramatic, impressive guitar solo. There’s almost a Billy Joel kind of flair to the track, seeing the artist embracing an instrument-forward approach for the story being told. — M. Siroky


    Boyish – “Girls Are Mean”

    There’s something deeply hypnotic about “Girls Are Mean,” the new single from LA duo Boyish. “Saccharine, you hate the feel of your teeth in your mouth,” they sing over layers of guitars and harmonies. Feeling in step with the intimacy of a song from Clairo and the sonic landscape of a Phoebe Bridgers track, “Girls Are Mean” is ready to be added to the playlist reserved for when nothing quite feels real. — M. Siroky

    Pile – “Lowered Rainbow”

    Just a week out from dropping their latest album, All Fiction, Pile have seen fit to share yet another genre-fusing tune, “Lowered Rainbow.” The track features skittering, irregular drum grooves, arpeggiated synth chords, and highly-affected vocals, fostering a somewhat eerie yet relaxed vibe. Over it all, Rick Maguire manages to fit in a melodic, entrancing lead vocal, offering a glimpse of humanity and light within the song’s otherwise cold and calculated sound palette. It comes together beautifully, only increasing the anticipation for the release of All Fiction— J.K.

    BENEE – “Green Honda”

    Sometimes, all you need is an infectious one-liner pop hook. “And now I pull up in my green Honda/ To tell you that I don’t want ya,” proclaims New Zealand pop star BENEE on the catchy and addictive “Green Honda.” Described as a “fuck you” anthem full of the things you wish you’d said to a crappy ex — “That was a waste of fucking time/ You were a waste of fucking time/ Since I left you I’ve been great/ You were my biggest mistake” — it’s an over-the-top, devilishly cathartic heartbreak banger that arrives just in time for Valentine’s Day. Boasting the kind of diabolical charm of Charli XCX’s “Vroom Vroom” (with similar car motifs to match) and an unapologetic lack of sugar-coating, “Green Honda” is a bona fide pop banger. — Cady Siregar


    Harrison – “A View From The Sky”

    As winter thaws into spring, there is no better time to listen to this new track from Harrison, the JUNO and Polaris-nominated R&B producer, composer, and musician out of Toronto. Bottling the fresh, warm energy that comes with the turn of the season, “A View From The Sky” soars through sonically rich, ambient soundscapes on a buoyant jazz rhythm that feels akin to taking an afternoon walk through the park. Upbeat yet meditative, complex yet breezy, the track is emblematic of Harrison’s range, and undoubtedly confirms him as an innovative artist to watch. — Maura Fallon

    Boys World – “Mantrum”

    Rising act Boys World are here to tap into the energy we are missing right now when it comes to girl groups from English-speaking countries. The genre-bending Gen Z pop artists offer memorable hooks, amazing chemistry, and all-around great energy, all while self-producing their own vocals and covering responsibilities on drums, guitar, piano, and songwriting. “Mantrum” is a perfect example of why Boys World should be on your radar — the track has the kind of chorus that sticks around long after the song is over, and the visual gives us slick styling and some truly great choreography. — M. Siroky

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