Sound — 10
Linkin Park's music and sound has evolved greatly from when they started off as "Hybrid Theory", but now with this new record I think they have mixed "Hybrid Theory"/"Meteora" and "Minutes To Midnight"/"A Thousand Suns", and it works amazingly all throughout the record.
Lyrics — 8
The lyrics were great and stand out a lot in some tracks. For "Hybrid Theory" and "Meteora" a lot of the themes seemed to get similar and they started to get recycled. I like how they varied the theme a bit in "Minutes To Midnight" and maybe it was a bit too excessive in "A Thousand Suns". But in "Living Things" they had a mix of the personal stories and also a few political themes. In my opinion, "Roads Untraveled" and "I'll Be Gone" have the best lyrics on the record. The lyrics has always gone very well with the music since "Hybrid Theory" but in this album they seemed to go especially well. In "Living Things", there was a lot of Mike and there was a lot of harmonizing between Chester and Mike and it worked very well. Mike's rapping was spot on with the mood even though I miss the low charismatic short interludes of rap like in "From The Inside" or "Numb". Chester's vocals in this one in my opinion are the best, his vocals have gotten better and better since "Hybrid Theory", he can sing great clear choruses like in "Roads Untraveled", add the perfect amount of rust like in "I'll Be Gone" or "Lost In The Echo" or just full out scream like in "Victimized". And when they harmonized the lyrics, it added a depth that wasn't captured in "A Thousand Suns".
Overall Impression — 9
In my opinion it is a very solid record that had a perfect mix between the old and the new. However I think you will only really love this record if you have learned to accept the changes from "Minutes To Midnight" and "A Thousand Suns". There were a few songs that were really great from the start like "I'll Be Gone", "Lost In The Echo", "In My Remains", "Until It Breaks", "Roads Untraveled". And there a few that had to grow on me like "Victimized". But now "Victimized" has become one of my favourites on the record. I loved the rap in "Victimized", the scream with the electronics in "Lost In The Echo", and the mellowness of "Roads Untraveled". I also loved how they mixed the feel of "A Thousand Suns" but kept the style of "Meteora"/"Minutes To Midnight". I hate how short it is however. 38 minutes? -_-. If it was stolen I'd cry and get a new one.