Living Things review by Linkin Park

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  • Released: Jun 26, 2012
  • Sound: 6
  • Lyrics: 6
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 6.3 Neat
  • Users' score: 6.5 (284 votes)
Linkin Park: Living Things
6

Sound — 6
2010 saw the release of Linkin Park's fourth full length studio album, the experimental, multi-concept album "A Thousand Suns". The album split fans down the middle. Some fans were fond of the new sound; however some, including me, were disappointed with the drastic change in direction for the band. After this somewhat risky release, followers of the band were left wondering if Linkin Park had changed their sound for good, or if they were to return to the gritty nu-metal sound which gave the band their place in the industry. The short answer to that question is no, they haven't gone back to their roots. However don't dismiss "Living Things" as another disappointing release, because it isn't. "living Things" combines musical elements from all of the bands previous albums; from the aggressive drop C guitars to the more recent electronic aspects of songs. "Living Things" is a truly unique album, and somewhat of a summary of what Linkin Park is capable of. If they hadn't have released "Hybrid Theory" or "A Thousand Suns", then there would be no "Living Things". It contains features on at least one song that will appeal to a Linkin Park fan, old or new.

Lyrics — 6
Tracks that stand out majorly for me are "Lost In The Echo", "Castle Of Glass", "Victimized" and "Until It Breaks". "Lost In The Echo", the album opener is one of the strongest songs that Linkin Park has released. The band has managed to capture the raw energy from "Hybrid Theory" whilst adding in fresh high energy electronic elements. Mike raps on the verse with aggression, reminiscent of "A Place For My Head", and Chester's clean vocals sweep the chorus in a very "Minutes To Midnight"-esque fashion. In my opinion, "Burn It Down" was a fairly average song; the song never really went anywhere. At first, I thought "Lost In The Echo" would repeat this, and the song wouldn't be taken anywhere interesting or more energetic. Luckily I was wrong; the screams burst out after the second chorus which instantly gives power to the song. The use of screams and electronic mixing is used very well here. I thought it would be similar to Blackout, a very toned down and somewhat powerless scream however with the pounding guitars in the background, it works perfectly. This song sets the tone for "Living Things" and it's a very strong album opener. "In My Remains" is quick to follow, which is a good track; an electronic track with big "Minutes To Midnight" sounding guitars and vocals. The third track and first single "Burn It Down" is next, and as I stated earlier, I wasn't a huge fan of the song. "Lies Greed Misery" comes bursting through afterwards. For me, this song is packed with energy. It's like "Meteora" meets "A Thousand Suns". It's a solid track; electronic beats and edgy hip hop in the verses with an aggressive chorus; "I wanna see you choke on your lies, swallow up your greed, suffer all alone in your misery". The song also shines at the end with attacking screams. It goes out with a bang. "I'll Be Gone" is track 5, and similar to "In My Remains". It sounds fairly similar to "Minutes To Midnight" and "New Divide". It isn't a bad song, but it doesn't capture your attention as much as "Lost In The Echo" and "Lies Greed Misery". Track 6 is "Castle Of Glass", and this song stood out for me. The song begins with a pounding electronic drum and it soon comes in with an interesting and catchy synth line. The verse is haunting, with the deep vocals. In the chorus, Mike and Chester's voices sound similar, but you can still hear the difference. Their voices complement each other well as they claim they're "only a crack, in this castle of glass". After the first chorus, the song builds up with pounding drums and the synth line again, which effortlessly sounds good. There's another round of the haunting verse and chorus, this time more upbeat. After a Chester takes a soft interlude, the song bursts back into the chorus, more lively and louder. "Castle Of Glass" is a simple song, yet one that catches the listener's attention. If you're feeling a bit mellow after listening to "Castle Of Glass", don't settle down just yet. "Victimized" doesn't wait to introduce its aggressive, lively sound. After a very short break, thunderous drums and intense electro/guitar break in to the song. After the storming introduction, more haunting vocals are sung by Mike, but this time it's building up to something huge. Before you know it, Chester's violent scream of "Victimized" is being thrown into your face. Straight after the chorus, the song takes another twist, as Mike starts to rap. However unlike previous rapping on the album, this song adopts an identical rhythm to the one in "When They Come For Me". This works perfectly; it's a bouncy verse yet you can hear the sarcastic, playful tone. After another round of being "Victimized", Chester prolongs the scream, and a "Given Up" effect is unleashed. Straight after that, it's over. This song is my favourite; it's a perfect example of how Linkin Park have combined elements of each album and mixed them all into a song. Shame it's only 1 minute 47 seconds long. "Roads Untraveled" follows, which is a break from the boisterous "Victimized". It starts with bells, before breaking into an introduction reminiscent of "Iridescent". Again, Mike sings the verses, and Chester takes the chorus. The lyrics in this song stand out for me; "Weep not for roads untraveled, weep not for paths left alone, cause beyond every bend, is a long blinding end, it's the worst kind of pain I've known". The song builds up and goes out in a true Linkin Park fashion. The song reminds of me of "In Between" crossed with "The Messenger". After the folk/electronic "Skin To Bone", "Until It Breaks" is unleashed. This song is very interesting. It starts with fairly heavy hip hop, and suddenly breaks out into a soft chorus. The song is soon back into the hip hop but then takes and unexpected turn. A hymn like melody is released, and it doesn't sound like Linkin Park. With lyrics such as "We swim against the rising waves, and crash against the shore, the body bends until it breaks, the early morning sings no more", we're taken by surprise. From heavy hip hop to hymn like singing, this shows Linkin Park's experimentation. When you compare any song on "Hybrid Theory" to "Until It Breaks", it's truly shocking. I personally think Linkin Park experimented too much with the sound at the end of this song, and it takes the raw emotion that the song began with, from it. If the song had ended before the hymn like singing, a song like "Nobody's Listening" could've been created. The hymn singing could have been used as an interlude; it would've worked better in my opinion. Tinfoil is a short break, until "Powerless", the final track, is played. "Powerless" starts almost identical to "Burning In The Skies". It is a standard Linkin Park piano track. It is a good song, with good lyrics. It ends the album well; on a mellow note that builds up to an epic outro.

Overall Impression — 7
"Living Things" is a not a bad album. It's full of some great songs, and some disappointing. It's a big improvement from the "too experimental" album "A Thousand Suns". None of the songs really compare to the classic "Hybrid Theory"/"Meteora" tracks, however they are still good songs. I believe if you don't listen to this album with the mindset of wanting "Hybrid Theory", you will enjoy it. Yes, Linkin Park have changed, but whether there's loud distortion guitars, or pounding electronic beats, this album proves they can still write good music.

41 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Minivirus2
    Right now this is something working for Linkin Park as they are able to change things up a little bit, but still sound familiar enough not to alienate their fans.
    Except for the ones who liked the first two albums, right? LP continuously preach the "We changed to stay relevant" mantra, but we're going on two (potentially three) similar albums. They abandoned the heavy sound because they didn't want to do the same thing over and over. Well, when are they going to abandon the dull electronic sound and try something new again?
    danos1204
    I used to be a big fan of LP. I still listen to their music occasionally. I enjoyed 3 or 4 tracks off this album. Not a complete failure, but I think for a lot of people, it will collect dust on the shelf.
    henrihell
    As a big fan of the first 3 albums, especially the first 2, I don't think this sounds at all like the Linkin Park I know... Only the lyrics are the same; depressive and whiny.
    Ian Paul Gint
    It's nothing personal to LP guys, but my brain just dismissed the whole record. It went out of the speakers, into my ears and out of my mind into the eternal void. It didn't leave a single track to catch onto. I'll give it a 2nd try - damn it's gotta be tough.
    Minivirus2
    iCarebear wrote: BigSpence wrote: iCarebear wrote: How the hell is lp even relevant on a site like this ? From reading your music interests on your profile, I can see why you are ignorant enough to make that statement. Please tell me why lp is relevant on this site then
    Ultimate Guiatr: A website for guitar tabs, music news, music lessons, and forums to discuss various music realted topics. LP is a band, that makes music and, despite the raping of their old sound, DOES STILL include guitars in their music. Please tell me why they aren't relevant on UG anymore? Apart from simply stating they aren't. Opinion =/= fact.
    BigSpence
    iCarebear wrote: How the hell is lp even relevant on a site like this ?
    From reading your music interests on your profile, I can see why you are ignorant enough to make that statement.
    Alex0bertelli
    Hybrid Theory and Meteora were great albums. It seems from that point they slowly got worse and worse, incorporating more 'computer-generated' music, distancing themselves from the nu-metal genre, of which they helped create. RIP to the Linkin Park I used to love
    fenderfrenzy101
    I personally like this album. Its not as good as their old albums, but it definitely isn't as bad as A Thousand Suns. When showing my friend their new single Burn it Down, he said "why can't they make songs like this anymore?" They have brought back a few elements from their old material, and their song writing is good, they just mask it too much with the electronic music. Overall, an enjoyable album
    Jasonbts
    I love everything from Hybrid Theory to A Thousand Suns but this album.. I really wanted to like, and I tried, and I'll keep trying, but it all feels like ideas. No complete songs, just ideas. The album never hits the emotional peaks of the other albums. The rap felt like.. "Oh! They want rap? Ok!" and was just done because it "had" to be done. I'm sure with them that's not how it was, they do what they want, but that's sure how it felt. I finished the album and just thought "what?". It made no sense. There was nothing that grabbed me enough to listen again. There was no cohesion between songs. I didn't feel like an album. It felt like Linkin Park got indigestion from the first 4 albums and threw up a bunch of random ideas that had no relationship to one another.
    Patrijz
    Linkin Park have changed, but their roots are apparent on this album. It's not metal-ish in any way, the distorted guitar made place for a lot of electronic fills on the front-end. This album does feel like the most coherent and solid release since Meteroa, with the best of the new LP and the song-writing of the old.
    K!!LsWiTcH
    Alex0bertelli wrote: Hybrid Theory and Meteora were great albums. It seems from that point they slowly got worse and worse, incorporating more 'computer-generated' music, distancing themselves from the nu-metal genre, of which they helped create. RIP to the Linkin Park I used to love
    well hold on they didnt really help create nu metal at all really they were about as late to it as machine head. i never ever thought of them as nu metal. theres too much a distinction between the rapping and singing. its not kinda rapping or almost rapping or fast spoken shinoda straight up raps. and chester sings. always saw it as rap rock or rap metal whatever. either way burn it down didnt pique any interest and i havent heard anything since midnight that did really
    androovr
    Rands2113
    Hybrid & Meteora were both around the same legnth. I don't see why this is a problem.. if the quality of the songs are good enough then why not? Short 'n sweet is always best.. if you ask me!
    Dr.Billyb0b
    Rands2113 wrote: Wow who comes out with a cd under 37 minutes.... People who want to take your money and throw out a cd for financial gain. Shitty band anyway.
    Radiohead did it, and it was brilliant. Linkin Park, however... not so much.
    Hebriqui
    It's an improvement compared to ATS, I actually pretty much like this album.
    Raven_Flight
    [b]Alex0bertelli[/bfrom the nu-metal genre, of which they helped create.
    NNNNOT. I liked this album, not as much as ATS, but the tracks are good overall and there are a few outstanding ones. Thing is I got tired of it pretty quickly.
    Alex0bertelli
    What I would like to know is WHY they changed their sound? What made them trade distortion for electronic bullcrap?!
    Holoogamooga
    The length is a little disappointing, but it's still a good album. LP was my favorite band back in 2004, and while my tastes have certainly changed (nu metal and radio rock to symphonic metal and prog rock), I've stuck with them and really enjoyed most of their work. Not a favorite, but still fun.
    Kueller917
    Honestly, I enjoyed the album. I thought it was a lot more connected and with direction than A Thousand Suns which makes me a little more optimistic about the new direction they've been taking. Nothing nearly as over the top as ATS or pointlessly filled with... fillers. It's still quite weak to me, but the songs are probably their strongest and heaviest (although they were never very heavy to begin with) since Meteora. I don't know why everyone's been down their throats using synthesizers I'd take this album any day over MtM which was mainly guitar based but turned out horrible. Overall I don't think it's that bad. I think some of these songs have great potential live and as someone who left after Minutes to Midnight I was rather surprised at this one.
    pineaple expres
    i was very surprised by this album. i absolutely hated ATS with my entire being, but this album actually had some great songs on it. felt they could have used a little more guitar work on the album or at least kept it more towards the front of the song instead of wayyy wayyyy in the back. and they could've used more drumming instead of more drum machines. but overall a pretty decent album. has anybody ever tried to take all of the electronic instrumentation on the last 2 albums and just tried to see what it'd sound like with all guitars? i think it'd very very interesting. hmmmm...
    androovr
    Most triumphant, I thought it was god awful on my first listen.. defiently a grower, so all you whinny wieners forget about Hybrid & Meteora and accept the change (just for now), then give it another go! Hybrid > Meteroa > Living Things > A Thousand Suns > Minutes To Midnight..
    StackedTuna
    Hey, if you read my review, can you check out this blog: www.shavedtuna.wordpress.com Cheers
    eljono123
    I couldn't make it through 45 seconds of any song on this record. I'm not going to elaborate why b/c it looks like there are 15,000 diff opinions here already. Their first two and reanimate were good. This missed the mark completely. 2012 Linkin Park = Mike and a keyboard Feat. Chester Bennington
    OxMxGxTACOS
    I gave it an honest try, which is more than I can say about A Thousand Suns. I listened to 3 songs of that one and said "Fuck This" I listened to this one beginning to end.. and just as i suspected. False promises of "roots" and "bits of our old sound" The album is no better than a generic electronica album. It's total, utter, shit.
    BwareDWare94
    dakielster wrote: Nathy137 wrote: Whatever I really like this album, I've liked all of linkin parks albums, obviously the first 2 were better but this is still awesome, it's funny how putting a bit of electronics into a song and people on this site hate it so much, all of the songs feature guitars and are very easily audible but I'm not having ago at people that's just my opinion..... better prepare myself from the flaming I'll be getting soon ahaa It's easy to hate because it sucks.
    If this sucks, so do Hybrid Theory and Meteora. All of their albums are on the same level. The hatred for their past three is ENTIRELY rooted in their original work. Without HT and Meteora, we're talking about Minutes to Midnight, A Thousand Suns, and Living Things as great albums because our opinions wouldn't be so damn loyal to two mediocre nu metal albums. I'm sorry folks, but as a music fan who owns both of FLAW's albums, I have no issues pointing out just how bad HT and Meteora are compared to good nu metal.
    BwareDWare94
    If we must keep bringing up Hybrid Theory and Meteora, then I'll be the first to say that they're incredibly overrated records. They're whiny, simple, and sound incredibly similar. Do I like them? Yes, but they aren't masterpieces. Stop acting like they're sooooo good when in reality they're just good albums. Their last three albums are rather good if you just sit down and listen, something akin to a Hurt record. You must listen. It can't be background music.
    Nathy137
    Whatever I really like this album, I've liked all of linkin parks albums, obviously the first 2 were better but this is still awesome, it's funny how putting a bit of electronics into a song and people on this site hate it so much, all of the songs feature guitars and are very easily audible but I'm not having ago at people that's just my opinion..... better prepare myself from the flaming I'll be getting soon ahaa
    HaveSomeGlue
    Uhm you see the problem here is I think UG doesn't adapt well to change. Its all in all a pretty good album. Its definitely better than MtM I guess.
    shredder3386
    I actually liked this album. Its definitely more moody and introspective than Hybrid Theory but who cares? Sometimes its nice to put on something that isnt crazy techincal or has brutal vocals in every song. I wouldn't even say they "changed" because if you look closely, LP have been writing slow electronic songs on almost ALL their albums.
    threedaysgrace9
    Biased opinion here, I've loved pretty much everything LP has done. This album is great, as it's everything they've ever done mixed into one huge sound. Also, very glad to hear personal lyrics rather than preaching/b****ing about politics this time around. This is a very solid album from a band who hasn't been afraid to alienate fans for the sake of artistic integrity.
    JoshOnLama
    It's a good album, but i liked the concept behind ATS more. The album feels like it passes by too fast but there are some nice catchy songs and whereas other have to just grow on you. It has a heavier sound compared to ATS but it's not a type of album that the songs connect with each other from start to finish. Still good album nonetheless. And for those who tend to bitch about liking the first 2 albums are just close minded people who just can't accept change.
    thejay2
    This album is so dramatically different from other albums, even compared to A Thousand Suns (which is a great album), i have been a fan of Linkin Park since the beginning and they are just going from strength to strength. Each album stands out on it's own and i look forward to more from this band. I would like to see a couple more songs like Given Up and Points of Authority but still love songs like Wretches and Kings and Iridescent. Keep up the great work Linkin Park! :
    Radynj
    I actually sort of liked this album. It's closer to their first two albums than the later few. While more electronic it's definitely more aggressive than the last few yawn'er albums. "Lost in the Echo" would be my favourite song on this album and it definitely has the driven guitars (If a little too modified) and the classic mix of screaming and rap.
    Miyagi84
    Rands2113 wrote: Wow who comes out with a cd under 37 minutes.... People who want to take your money and throw out a cd for financial gain. Shitty band anyway. This type of logic is part of the reason why record companies are in the shit... labels would put out albums with 60,70, 80 minutes of crap and one or two hot singles... its all filler. If you don't like the album fine, but thats fuzzy logic for determining the quality of an slbum. The Human abstracts Digital Veil ( a metal album mind you) only was 37 minutes long and every song was great
    vppark2
    Minivirus2 wrote: iCarebear wrote: BigSpence wrote: iCarebear wrote: How the hell is lp even relevant on a site like this ? From reading your music interests on your profile, I can see why you are ignorant enough to make that statement. Please tell me why lp is relevant on this site then Ultimate Guiatr: A website for guitar tabs, music news, music lessons, and forums to discuss various music realted topics. LP is a band, that makes music and, despite the raping of their old sound, DOES STILL include guitars in their music. Please tell me why they aren't relevant on UG anymore? Apart from simply stating they aren't. Opinion =/= fact.
    THANK YOU. I was seriously about to flip out on this guy and swear my head off but at the same time i didnt want them mods comin after me -.- point is what makes your music more relevant to LP's? Just sayin...
    Miyagi84
    Good to see they are back to playing more to their old style instead of the melancholy depressing electronic baloney on thousand suns ( and terrible attempt at sounding like a regular rock band on Minutes)... come to think of it all their albums lyrics are pretty morose, even though chester has an amazing voice hes a terrible lyricist and the band is somewhat limited. I'm glad to hear they added heavy guitars again, even though its not as much as on their first two (and best) albums its their best effort in a decade. Hopefully they get rid of the faux dub-step electronic sound and just go back to the old style for good.
    iCarebear
    BigSpence wrote: iCarebear wrote: How the hell is lp even relevant on a site like this ? From reading your music interests on your profile, I can see why you are ignorant enough to make that statement.
    Please tell me why lp is relevant on this site then