Linkin Park
Living Things


2.5
average

Review

by Raul Stanciu STAFF
June 19th, 2012 | 23 replies | 2,563 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Right now, Linkin Park should just stick to whatever direction they want to pursue and come back when they are completely in control of their own material.

Linkin Park are a band that have never been known for their depth. Also, their cynical view on everything surrounding them pretty much started to wear off in the past couple of years, leading to a creative stagnancy. Their last two albums hinted at a crisis within the group and the constant change along with an almost lack of direction of these works only strengthening the idea. Reportedly, with Living Things the guys finally feel comfortable in their own skin. Still, the result is again disorienting.

Musically, the sextet continue the electronic path they've undergone starting Minutes To Midnight and flourished on their previous album, A Thousand Suns, while also wanting to include some past influences, creating one general mess. This way some of the tracks work and sound interesting at the very least, while others barely feel like the Linkin Park we know or used to know. However, the odd thing is the better tracks here are the electro-pop ones and all the attempts to bring back the rage fail horribly. What's worse is the fact that Mike Shinoda's melancholic piano lines and Joe Hahn's synthesizers have completely monopolized LP's sound. Brad Delson's guitars are barely audible and when they are everything is heavily filtered through effects. There's no power guiding these tunes, Linkin Park sounding at their tamest yet. Also, the album feels overall unfinished and not because of its relatively short length (it spans at 36 minutes), but the fact that some songs are really sketchy, such as the aggro-electro rant that is "Victimized" or the short, unnecessary interlude,"Tinfoil".

"Lies Greed Misery" tries to connect the Hybrid Theory era (maybe channeling the energy of their debut single, "One Step Closer") with the current electronic washes, further empowering the fact that Linkin Park are stuck at a crossroad between their earlier and recent output. They want to bring back the alienated fans and continue, at the same time, with their current musical path. Unfortunately, "Lies Greed Misery" doesn't succeed no matter what these guys might have tried. But, the worst Living Things gives must be "Skin To Bone", where the guys devote an entire track to what might be one of the most used phrase in music "Ashes to ashes/Dust to dust", repeating it several times, along another non-sense line "Skin to bone/Steel to rust", over an electro-industrial background that doesn't suit them at all. This one doesn't tell anything lyrically, the song goes nowhere and is yet another useless addition to an already short record.

Still, Living Things has some better moments to offer and those come at the very beginning only. The first string of tracks, "Lost In The Echo", "In My Remains" and "Burn It Down" all sport big arena choruses and sorrowful melodies, but Chester's tuneful voice fill nicely these bland numbers. The former might be their hardest hitting tune in a while, with audible guitars and some screaming vocals scattered around, while the latter two have similar drum beats and vocal melodies and Chester Bennington sounds as if he's been influenced a lot by Adele's live covered hit "Rolling In The Deep"(I always feel he's gonna sing at some point the chorus of Adele's track), along other mainstream artists, for instance Jared Leto. When put next to their earlier stuff, this pales in comparison, but taken into account their recent output, these cuts are some of their most interesting yet since Minutes To Midnight.

As far as the lyrics go, the two vocalists are some of the most predictable lyricists on the market. Shinoda and Bennington deliver the same old shtick they've been ranting about for years now. The former's rapping is still ineffective and uninteresting, while the latter's whining (it can't be called raging anymore) ranges from the constant impending doom in his soul, such as: "We're building it up/To break it back down/We're building it up/To burn it down/We can't wait/To burn it to the ground.", to idiotic non-sense: "Right to left, left to right/Night to day and day to night/As the starlight fades to gray/I'll be watching far away/Right to left and left to right". This stagnation leaves the listener with the music only, which doesn't make up for their lack of lyrical creativity.

Right now, Linkin Park should just stick to whatever direction they want to pursue and come back when they are completely in control of their own material. They can't yet put their own ideas into an album and make something worthy out of everything they have tried along the years. Instead, they should step aside, take some time for their experiments to sink in because all of a sudden A Thousand Suns doesn't sound that bad anymore.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
June 19th 2012



3369 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

This is a 2.5 because I enjoy the first tracks, but the rest is cringe worthy. Any constructive criticism is appreciated.

KILL
June 19th 2012



71482 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

m/

Digging: Invisible - El jardin de los presentes

Funeralopolis
June 19th 2012



11230 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

"Also, the album feels overall unfinished and not because of its relatively short length (it spans at 36 minutes), but because of some songs are sketchy"

lolwut

Digging: Banks - Goddess

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
June 19th 2012



3369 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Oh crap. I missed that mistake, goddamn the editing section. Thanks Funeralopolis.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
June 19th 2012



31094 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

Review could do with a bit of a proofread but it's the best of the bunch so far

Pickin's is slim atm

Digging: Banks - Goddess

Gyromania
June 19th 2012



15503 Comments


Going to post one either tomorrow or the day after.

Pos.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
June 19th 2012



3369 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Thanks Dev! If there's any mistake please tell me because the editing section is finally working

Thanks Gyro! I'm looking forward to reading your ideas on the album.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
June 19th 2012



31094 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

Summary should read "in control" not "under control" because that would imply that there isn't a degree of control

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
June 19th 2012



3369 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Thanks. If there's anything else just tell me. I read the review a lot of times and at some point I don't see any mistakes anymore.

SCREAMorphine
June 19th 2012



1752 Comments


Nice detailed review man, Pos.


Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
June 19th 2012



31094 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

Just a lot of the sentences read really awkwardly. It's more your choice of words than anything else. For example:

They've been on a constant change for their last two albums showing signs of a crisis because of their lack of direction,


I get what you're saying here, but it reads really awkwardly. Something like: "their last two albums have hinted at a crisis within the group, the change and almost lack of direction of these works only strengthening that idea" would work a lot better

Storm In A Teacup
June 19th 2012



12708 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

Good review, our main difference of opinion is that I don't find the first few tracks any better than the rest of the album.

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
June 19th 2012



4412 Comments


Good review, Insomniac. You put up a great case and describe the songs well. POS'd

As odd as this may sound, Ive never really been into Linkin Park. I know everyone in their teen years goes through a phase were they end up loving this band, I liked a few songs but I guess they were never my bag.

Digging: Shabazz Palaces - Lese Majesty

Acanthus
June 19th 2012



9537 Comments


Nice review sir!

Tyrael
June 19th 2012



20825 Comments


Nvm

decent review

Havey
June 19th 2012



9653 Comments


best review for this yet

Storm In A Teacup
June 19th 2012



12708 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

Along with ten other peeps

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
June 19th 2012



3369 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Thanks guys! I'll work on that Dev, thanks for mentioning.


Irving
Staff Reviewer
June 19th 2012



7177 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Musically, the quintet

ANGGGGGGGGG!!!!!!! Check your facts, buddy.

Digging: Ty Segall - Manipulator

Gyromania
June 19th 2012



15503 Comments


Raul: Forgot to point this out earlier, but that first sentence reads a little awkwardly.



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