It’s been a while since I’ve done a Music Monday post. I’m going to keep the main part of it fairly short (who am I kidding, this is me).

On Friday of last week, Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park put out a solo album, Post Traumatic. A while back, he did a rap album as Fort Minor, (with the amazing Remember The Name). This one is a bit different.

It’s about grief.

I’m sure at least some of my followers are aware that Chester Bennington of Linkin Park took his own life last year. It… devastated me. I love Linkin Park, have been a fan of their music for ages. But more than losing an amazing musician, it was why.

Because, let’s be honest, we’ll never know exactly why. Chester had demons in his head he battled—likely every day—and we can only guess what was going through his mind that pushed him that little bit too far. Depression is a bitch who doesn’t give a fuck who she hurts. She will lie, steal every happy thought and memory, attack self-worth… the list goes on. I’m well familiar with her, myself. I fight her constantly. Right now, I’m on the tail end of a depressive episode that I’ve been fighting for a while. So I have an inkling, but even that isn’t enough to truly understand what Chester was going through when he died.

He left behind a lot of questions, a lot of pain, and a lot of grief.

I grieved. I grieved for anyone as amazing as Chester to feel there was no way out. I grieved for the lost music and beautiful words and voice. I couldn’t watch the concert they did to celebrate Chester’s life until this month (and I probably should have waited a little more). I grieved, more than I ever had for any celebrity. His death hit me hard.

And I’m sure it was only a fraction of what his fellow band members, family, and friends went through. I’ve been through that, too, so I get it to a point.

Mike Shinoda took that grief and poured it out onto the page and into this album. Post Traumatic is a compilation of the struggles Mike went through in the wake of Chester’s death. His words ring so true in the lyrics, I feel some of my own losses keenly all over again. I can feel his pain.

I don’t do content warnings as a rule, but I will warn: there is serious grief in this album. If it’s not something you can handle, you’ll want to pass it by. The worst songs are “Place To Start”, “Over Again”, and “Nothing Makes Sense Anymore.” They’re amazing, but very hard.

It’s a mix of rap and alternative, so if rap isn’t your thing, you’ll want to listen to the samples before buying. Still, I highly recommend it. It’s amazing work. I don’t usually buy physical CDs, but I did with this one. He deserved it.

One of the best from the album, despite how hard it is, is “Nothing Makes Sense Anymore”:

I could go on about depression. I’ve written about it before and in the middle of one of the most hellish episodes I’d ever had, it spawned my longest book, No Sacrifice. I feel like Mike’s version of this is Post Traumatic. It’s amazing and well worth the listen (and buy).

Get Post Traumatic on Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, and Spotify.

Mike on YouTube.

And if you’re feeling especially brave, the concert to honor Chester. (Brace yourself at the twelve minute mark, though.)