Living Things, Linkin Park’s fifth studio album, pulls in all the elements that made millions of fans love the Los Angeles band since their first album release. It’s a return to the essence of what made them join the rock/rap major league, without being stuck in the past, without forgetting they still have to evolve through fresh and surprising ways.
A regrouped Linkin Park bucked the musical conventions that had made them a multi-platinum act and released a studio effort that is more than everyone expected. Not even the critics expected such success from the band and even fewer expected something as qualitative as Living Things. What more could they have to prove? Well, for all the skeptics out there, Linkin Park is not going anywhere, it’s here and it’s more decisive than ever to conquer the world as it did with 2007’s Minutes To Midnight and 2010’s A Thousand Suns.
The album’s lead single “Burn It Down“, which was used as the anthem of this year’s playoffs in NBA, is full of inviting synth lines that bear Bennington’s signature with intensity. It’s one of the strongest points of the album, along with “Powerless”, the 12th and final track featuring harmonies, lock-step beats and synthesizer whispers.
The deluxe Linkin Park package also includes powerful songs like “Castle of Glass“, a song in which folk and rock go hand in hand, with extended metaphors and a simple arrangement to make it one of the album’s most intriguing tracks, and “Victimized.” The latter is under three minutes and mixes Shinoda’s lullaby with Bennington’s heady thrashing until the listener feel that he or she can no longer grasp for air. It’s a thrilling song followed in the same note by “Lies Greed Misery” soaked with bass wobbles and programmed drums that make you think of Erasure, Kanye West, Skrillex and M.I.A. right before Bennington screams “You did it to yourself.”
“Lost In The Echo,” “In My Remains,” “I’ll Be Gone,” “Skin To Bone,” “Tinfoil” and “Road Untravel” are not only successful experiments, but classic examples of why this band is still functioning whilst its nu-metal compatriots have more or less fallen into oblivion.
Just as Mike Shinoda said in an interview for Billboard magazine, the album seems to be flawless. Carefully crafted, Living Things can only gather praises and not one single bad critique. “If you can cut down on the number of pieces of gear, you can create a signature sound for the record. As we were working on it, it was a goal to only use the important sounds. Anything that wasn’t playing a role in a song we got rid of.”
In other words, this album was made in Linkin Park’s way of doing things: the producers worked together with the rap rock outfit and each member brought in his part in order to Frankenstein the songs together. Rob Bourdon’s drumming could not miss from the sings, so brought his military-like rat-a-tat to “In My Remains” or “Until It Breaks,” which is more than a cohesive entertaining effort, it’s a rock hymn. Shinoda busts his rhymes over, right before Bennington orders, “Bring me to kingdom come!”
Linkin Park - Living Things Album Cover
Chris Brown - Fortune Album Track Listing
1. “Lost in the Echo” - 3:25
2. “In My Remains” - 3:20
3. “Burn It Down” - 3:50
4. “Lies Greed Misery” - 2:27
5. “I’ll Be Gone” - 3:31
6. “Castle of Glass” - 3:25
7. “Victimized” - 1:46
8. “Roads Untraveled” - 3:49
9. “Skin to Bone” - 2:48
10. “Until It Breaks” - 3:43
11. “Tinfoil” - 1:11
12. “Powerless” - 3:44
Japanese edition bonus tracks
13. “What I’ve Done” (live) - 4:04
Released June 20, 2012
Recorded 2011-2012 at NRG Recording Studios, (North Hollywood, California)
Genre Alternative rock, electronic rock, rap rock
Label Warner Bros., Machine Shop
Producer Rick Rubin, Mike Shinoda