Sound — 6
"Living Things" is Linkin Park's attempt to get back to their sound established on "Meteora" and "Hybrid Theory", while keeping the sound used on "A Thousand Suns" intact. Honestly, I think they did a very poor job of accomplishing this. Most tracks have the lead guitarist playing synth, and usually that synth drowns out the guitar. Listening to "Lost In The Echo", "Lies Greed Misery", or "Burn It Down", you need to nearly dissect the audio to hear the (ONE) guitar. The sound however is impressive. It's obvious though that Linkin Park is sticking with the electronic sound. It's not exactly anywhere near their "roots" like they promised. Then again, for those of you that know of the days of Xero, isn't that what they started with? Still, I preferred "A Thousand Suns" more than this, because on "Living Things", not only is the lead guitarist not even playing guitar, but the guitar's most complicated riff on the album is right before the entire band kicks in on "Lost In The Echo".
Lyrics — 8
The singing and rapping of Mike Shinoda and Chester Bennington is once again at it's finest, with more singing by Shinoda being prevalent on the album. The rapping does remind us of the days of "Hybrid Theory" and "Meteora" although, and I'll say I was quite impressed with Mike there, and in the lyrics overall, but some songs were very questionable. "Until It Breaks" has no defined form to the lyrics whatsoever, and to me sounds thrown together at the last minute (and they can do a lot of good with last minute songs, as shown with "Numb"). "Skin To Bone" leaves me wondering what Linkin Park was thinking with the overly repetitive and uninspiring lyrics "Right to left, left to right", and so on. On the bright side, however, Linkin Park was able to deliver some pretty powerful and ingenious lyrics on the album, notably on "Lost In The Echo" and "Castle Of Glass".
Overall Impression — 6
I cannot compare this album to the likes of the preceding albums, as on each album I have had difficulty playing at least one song, but this one was just grossly easy. Power chords the entire time. A Thousand Suns at least produced a solo or two, on the tracks "Jornada Del Muerto" and "Burning In The Skies", but the guitar is almost gone here. "Lost In The Echo", "Lies Greed Misery" and "Castle Of Glass", although, have brought me to enjoy this album somewhat. While I cannot stand the lack of guitar on this album, the lyrics are awesome and I still have faith in this band. And if I lost this, I definitely would get it again. It's still pretty good.