Mike Shinoda – Post Traumatic (Warner Bros)

Its hard to believe that next month will be the one-year anniversary of Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington’s passing, which makes Mike Shinoda’s debut solo EP, Post Traumatic just that little bit more poignant.

Just like the rest of the world, when that tragic news unfolded I reeled in shock and grief and perhaps selfishly thought about the inevitable forced disbandment of Linkin Park and their future in music. Well, with passing comes time and it wasn’t long before Mike Shinoda alluded to new material for a solo EP.

The sixteen track EP is everything you expect it to be, cathartic, uplifting, heavy and above all, emotionally raw and honest. This is Mike Shinoda unfiltered in a way that I hadn’t previously heard, aside from snippets I heard online (I refrained myself from finding and streaming the EP prior)

Apparently written in chronological order, opening track, Place to Start is a little over two minutes long of voice mail condolences Shinoda received from friends and acquaintances in the wake of Chester’s passing. It is heartfelt, real and ultimately very personal, and as the rest of the EP unfolds, you start to hear more of his journey and sharing that emotional rollercoaster with the rest of the world.

On tracks like Hold it Together I can’t help but thank Shinoda for writing about that struggle between normalcy, trying to get your life back on track in the wake of grief, while simultaneously having breakdowns on the days where it seems impossible. We can all relate to some degree, but when you hear someone like Shinoda and his very public, and I’m sure, scrutinized unfolding of these events, it makes you remember that we’re all just human, getting through one day at a time, and its also OK not to put on a front and not have your shit together.

There are some collaborations here that some may recognize, most notably Chino Moreno (Deftones) and hip-hop artists, Blackbear and Machine Gun Kelly, the latter joined Shinoda and the rest of Linkin Park onstage in the live stream tribute show, Linkin Park and friends celebrate life in honour of Chester, last year.

Lyrically and emotionally, Shinoda takes you on a journey you won’t forget anytime soon. If you felt, or still feel the loss of Chester and Linkin Park, this will also hit you in the feels, but will also make you feel appreciative that music will always be the grounding force that connects us all, no matter what life throws our way and can help heal.

Post Traumatic is a wonderful debut that inspires, and uplifts and I encourage anyone who hasn’t yet taken time to listen to do so, because no one should ever feel they’re alone in this world.

Kerry Monaghan