Originally leaked online under the working title ‘Buried at Sea’, Burn it Down marks American alternative rock band Linkin Park’s triumphant return to radio (though the single is doing pretty well on digital download as well). Co-written and produced by the co-lead singer Mike Shinoda, Burn it Down is the longest song on the studio album Living Things, clocking in at almost 4 minutes.
Burn it Down is not a departure from Linkin Park’s trademark sound, featuring a solid electronic melody, a decent hook, and an explosive rhythm section backed by lead singer Chester Bennington’s distinctive voice, which seems to be paradoxically guttural and melodic at the same time. As expected, the song also features a rap interlude by Shinoda, before climaxing into their usual outros, with Bennington singing the chorus as a background to Shinoda’s rapping (or maybe it was the other way around, with Shinoda’s rap serving as the background to Bennington’s singing).
Burn it Down, which was chosen by the band as their first single because it represents what they want to sound like, is said to be open to numerous interpretations. Shinoda, for his part, claims that it can be about pop culture, which builds artists up as the next big thing, only to destroy said artists at the end of the day. Shinoda adds that the band has lived through it, making Burn it Down’s message a very personal one.