I don’t want to know the end, all I want is a place to start – Mike Shinoda, “Place to Start” (“Post Traumatic”)

And this is a good place to start for Linkin Park member Mike Shinoda, who is releasing his debut solo album “Post Traumatic” on 15 June worldwide.
After almost a year since the passing of his close friend and LP frontman Chester Bennington, Mike is still processing through things, the grief, the sadness, the pain, feelings he poured out and bared all in his songs.
In January this year, Mike released “Post Traumatic” EP, containing three songs he wrote as a way of coping with Chester’s sudden death. 
All three songs are included in the new 16-track album, leading the way before making way for the newer tracks, which includes an instrumental (track 6, “Brooding”) – even without words, the musician was able to convey the darkness he’s felt since the passing of his friend.  
The instrumental track starts off slow, a beautiful guitar base serving as the intro, before transitioning into a darker beat. Fans who attended the album’s listening party at Warner Music Malaysia’s office recently commented that it is reminiscent of LP’s albums that always include powerful instrumental tracks.
We had the pleasure of listening to the whole album a full week before its worldwide release at the aforementioned party and here’s more of our thoughts on it.
But first, here’s the track list for “Post Traumatic”:
1) “Place to Start”
2) “Over Again”
3) “Watching as I Fall”
4) “Nothing Makes Sense Anymore”
5) “About You”
6) “Brooding”
7) “Promises I Can’t Keep”
8) “Crossing a Line”
9) “Hold It Together”
10) “Ghosts”
11) “Make It Up As I Go”
12) “Lift Off”
13) “I.O.U.”
14) “Running from My Shadow”
15) “World’s On Fire”
16) “Can’t Hear You Now”
Note that aside from the first three songs, some of the other songs have also been pre-released in March and April. 
The first three songs we are already familiar with since it’s been around for a while. Emotions will run high as you listen to them as you can feel the angst and sadness. By the time the fourth track rolls around, the feelings are intensified, now confusion takes hold as Mike questions the world around him, trying to make sense of things.
In track 5, there’s a tone of exasperation, “Even when it’s not about you, about you / All of a sudden it’s about you”, so the lyrics go. It encapsulates the feelings that Mike has to deal with following Chester’s death, when suddenly everything he does is viewed as related to the incident, even when it’s not.
Being an outlet for Mike to cope with the loss and pain, it is understandable that the overall feel of the album is of sadness, anger, bewilderment and mourning. The songs will resonate with LP fans, who undoubtedly would empathise and understand the feelings felt by Mike and the rest of the remaining LP members (Joe, Dave, Rob, Brad).
But hold your horses, before you start thinking the album will only be a dark and sad affair, Mike assures you it is not.
Sure there’s the dark part of it, but there’s also the light side, as evident by the release of the music video to “Ghosts” last week.
Mike Shinoda’s “Ghosts” MV features these two lovable sock puppets, Boris and Miss Oatmeal.

“I made a sock puppet video because it took me months to feel like I deserved to have fun.  So I celebrated it, and I have no regrets. I wanted to make you guys smile,” Mike posted on his Twitter.
“You deserve to smile. You deserve to have fun. You deserve to live.”
So, yeah, while the overall tone will be a little dark and heavy, there is also a lighter side of “Post Traumatic” that will prevent listeners from spiraling down quite a depressing rabbit hole.

If you feel like listening to these songs live, catch Mike Shinoda when he comes over to Bangkok and Singapore for his solo tours.

Sometimes, sometimes you don’t say goodbye once. You say goodbye over and over and over again. – Mike Shinoda, “Over Again” (“Post Traumatic”)
(Photo source: Rich Fury/Getty Images for iHeartMedia)