Sound — 8
The album is LP's nod to the fans who wanted the band's "old version". But, they couldn't convince themselves that "A Thousand Suns" and the experimentations were all that bad. And, so this album is their attempt to bring the best of the elements together. Still, I doubt if the fans will get the actual feel of the past due to a lot of digital editing.
Lyrics — 8
The album is full of surprises-the world is yet to decide if the surprise in the good or bad sense. There are rock tracks, slower ones, and hard core raps. And to be fair, I've produced here the first impressions, along with a few later ones. 01. "Burn It Down": You listen to all the other songs and realise that it definitely has something that most others in the album don't-some feature to makes it worthy to be a single. 02. "Lies Greed And Misery" ("LGM"): A dark song, with respect to the lyrics. But the tune is in total sync with the theme, venting out anger. And that made me listen to the song over and over again. The way the song slows down and screeches again, the way the rap is continued with the screaming joined by the perfect line, "Now let me show ya exactly how the breaking point sounds" are pretty good. 03. "Road Untraveled": The song starts with a weird sound of something whirling, no idea of its role. Then the song sounds like some 80s rock song - not even rock - some song that doesn't belong to 2012. Mike's voice is surprisingly so apt for the above fact. Song proceeds in quite a rhythmic beat until the last instrumental part of the song where the song gets a hike in the pitch- A surprise. The lyrics are poetic-best of all songs, in terms of the verses. 04. "Castle Of Glass": A track of contrast-medium paced music with rather low pitched voices. "I'm only a crack in this castle of glass Hardly anything there for you to see." - beautiful! Sadly, only that line is. The other paragraphs don't seem to be captivating, in terms of the lyrics, probably because of a few lines. Otherwise, it achieves in giving some lines for a "craving in a child's dream" kinda theme. Has got a good welcome from fans. The music seems to stay in the head for a while. 05. "Lost In The Echo": It has a lot of creative elements. But somehow it sounds a little incoherent; especially the place where Chester's screaming is processed. Mike's skill as a rapper is showcased in the lyrics though the same could not be said about Chester's part. But I like it how they've made the "go, go, go" part: it's made simple the first time, edited second and mixed in the third: really nice. Somehow, I have a feeling that I might develop a liking for this song on the go. "I can't sing flat, it aint my tone", Shinoda would have smirked when he sang that line. 06. "Powerless": A slower track. Even the places where you expect a high pitched voice of Chester is subdued to suit the tag of a "melody". Music has a small resemblance to "Burning In The Skies" but this is overcome by the difference in singing. Lyrics are different, but give you a feel that the words were somehow inserted and thus tend to swallow the theme. Specially, the word "devil", "evidence" were not exactly on the hole. "You'll never know what I became because of you". The team definitely had better ways of putting it; they are capable of more than this! 07. "Skin To Bone": A different song: not totally pathos in the tune. But I'm having a feeling that the fans will not be in favour of this song because it basically has none of their trademark stuff: no rap, no rock base. The lyrics start good, but you're disappointed seeing "Right to left, left to right Night to day and day to night". Also the word "disgust" though rhymes, doesn't suit the mood-should have been in "LGM". 08. "Victimized": A totally different, creative try by the band. It's got rap, singing, screaming, with every kind of music mixed. Comments from fans in various sites say that they were disappointed-by the length of the song. But seeing LP over the years, if the fans are only disappointed only because the song ends soon, they won't mind given an elaborate version. The lyrics are creative; couldn't help but enjoy "I ain't scared of your teeth, I admire what's in em... Wanna talk about a victim, I'mma put you there with 'em". The starting music unfortunately appears so unoriginal, though nice to hear. 09. "Tinfoil": LP has a pure/close to pure instrumental track in some of their previous albums: "Foreword" in "Meteora", "Requiem" in "A Thousand Suns". Following it is "Tinfoil" - more like a sample of "Powerless", of course with some editing. Wait... it reminds me of something else... I don't know if I'm dreaming, but it sounds like one of the bgm track of "Twilight". 10. "I'll Be Gone": A track without Mike's solo-that's the only reason you could think of, for it to be not the first single. The song starts off really good. Somewhere in the middle, you get a slight feeling that that part could have been better ("And tell them I couldn't help myself... And tell them I was alone... Oh, tell me I am the only one... And there's nothing left to stop me.") Music is beautiful. (Actually, the starting is super good to be my ringtone. It starts with a sound that's similar to a phone ringing; it slowly increases in volume; it's perfect. Lyrics is great; specially "Let the sun fade out And another one rise, Climbing through tomorrow I'll be gone. I'll be gone. This in between us Is getting thinner now Into winter now, Bittersweet." In these two verses, they've nailed it. (If what I interpreted is what they meant!) I actually have started to like this song much that I'm thinking that it'll make a perfect OST for some movie, probably some intense, super hero themed. 11. "Until It Breaks": Again a potpourri of different styles. It starts with a rap similar to that in "Lies Greed Misery" - a down core one. The lyrics are actually witty, specially the usage if "It goes a one Two, three". "Like that". But somehow makes you sceptical to call it "awesome". A song with a tinge of devotion. 12. "In My Remains": This is the "Catalyst" equivalent in "Living Things". Not in the music probably, but in the theme and the way they've tried to recreate the scintillating effect of "Lift me up, let me go" in "Like an army falling one by one by one". But sadly it's not as powerful as the former. Though the lyrics are pretty good; the part "So that's violence way, to wash away the worst of me" gives the singing an incomplete feeling. A good song though.
Overall Impression — 7
Personal Favourites: Songs: 1. I'll Be Gone 2. Burn It Down 3. Lies Greed Misery Lyrics: 1. Roads Untraveled 2. Victimised 3. I'll Be Gone / Until it breaks On the whole, a promising package with some really unique songs. Awaiting their "video power", that can add another dimension to the songs.