Linkin Park
Living Things


2.5
average

Review

by SowingSeason STAFF
June 29th, 2012 | 320 replies | 48,847 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Lost in the echo of their glorified past.

The problem with Linkin Park in 2012 is quite simple. For all the fanfare that they were showered with early in their career, they have time and again proven themselves to be a one-trick pony. When nu-metal and rap-rock went the way of the dinosaur in the mid-2000’s, Bennington and company found themselves tangled in an identity crisis called Minutes to Midnight, which contained several half-hearted ballads, a few odes to U2, and even a laughable attempt at political commentary. In the end (ha), there was only a small trace of actual Linkin Park to speak of. A Thousand Suns was then the equivalent of the band taking a Green Day circa 21st Century Breakdown caliber leap in ill-advised grandiosity, aiming for the stars and falling amongst the forgotten. That brings us to Living Things, which, for all intents and purposes, seems like it should be the record that brings good ol’ Linkin Park back into the limelight. Even I’ll admit that their act is believable: more rap verses, more screaming, a better overall balance…but when all is said and done, this is still the new Linkin Park that nobody likes; they’re just trying harder to be who we all want them to be.

A degree of admiration is due, however, because they at least had the good sense to (partially) abandon the overwrought, superfluous direction taken on A Thousand Suns. Living Things feels more like Meteora than it does Danger Days: The True Lives of The Fabulous Killjoys, and that alone is deserving of a solemn nod of respect. ‘Lost In The Echo’ is just the opener this album needs, starting with an unforgettable rap verse from Mike Shinoda and then achieving equilibrium with Bennington’s somewhat-screamed-but-still-melodic chorus. It’s not overly catchy, and perhaps it feels a little like a Hybrid Theory filler track, but after ‘Shadow Of The Day’, we’ll take it. ‘In My Remains’ and ‘Burn It Down’ are samey tracks, and their adjacent slots in the track listing don’t do either any favors. With that said, they both still contain memorable mid-tempo beats, with ‘Burn It Down’ in particular presenting Shinoda’s best effort from the album. So as we stand - three tracks in – we have a feeling of nostalgia, but nothing groundbreaking to speak of. It’s still a step up from anything they’ve done lately though, so listeners should feel inclined to trek on.

What you’ll find after that is a mess – sometimes it’s beautiful (the sprawling, gorgeous ‘Until It Breaks’) and other times it’s just a complete *** show (the lazy, haphazardly constructed ‘Victimized’). The band deserves some accolades for Living Things’ latter half, which adopts more of an experimental personality while still containing two of the record’s standout ballads (closer ‘Powerless’ is breathtaking), but whatever enthusiasm is born from that is tempered, if not fully extinguished, by the mind-numbingly weak middle that you have to trudge through just to get to the interesting parts. ‘Lies Greed Misery’ might be the worst thing any nu-metal band has ever done. That’s saying a lot. ‘I’ll Be Gone’ lacks anything discernable to make it stand out, ‘Castle of Glass’ would have been better if it wasn’t inferior to the similar sounding final track ‘Powerless’, and the teen-angst ridden lyrics to ‘Victimized’ are so redundant that they make you want to bash your head in on the nearest hard surface every time Bennington shouts the song’s title. As for ‘Roads Untraveled’, it is still a mystery to me as to why anyone would think it’s a good idea for him to sing his own song. Don’t get me wrong - he doesn’t have a bad voice, but he always sounds subdued and emotionless, as if his neck was freshly pierced by a potent tranquilizer dart prior to him entering the studio. Plus, we all know that he is an excellent rapper and producer. It’s like taking the best salesman in the office and telling him to man the phones at the front desk. It’s just poor judgment – poor management – to put him in a situation he doesn’t belong in, and Living Things suffers for it at times. ‘Skin To Bone’ is one of the few hidden gems, coming at the back end of the forgettable middle and bringing with it one of the catchiest (if most cliché) choruses on the record, “ash to ashes, dust to dust.”

Overall, Living Things is a difficult album to digest because your perception of it will be influenced by your familiarity with Linkin Park’s first two records. It’s an attempted return to form, but it lacks the passion of ‘Papercut’ or the lyrics to ‘A Place For My Head.’ There are still traces of their recent, more mature outings, but those moments are predictably outshined by the ones that harken back to the band’s glory days. After five years of attending Linkin Park’s funeral, it’s nice to see them alive and kicking again, but we’re going to need to see quite a bit more before we can call it a comeback.



Recent reviews by this author
Astronauts Hollow PondsAnberlin Lowborn
Bleachers Strange DesireThe Afghan Whigs Do to the Beast
Matt Kivel Days of Being WildRun River North Run River North
user ratings (1116)
Chart.
2.8
good
other reviews of this album
1 of

Comments:Add a Comment 
SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
June 28th 2012



15303 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

First review in quite a while, so please excuse the rust

This album is alright...good upon the first few listens until you realize it's just LP trying to re-make Hybrid Theory or Meteora, but with their current mentality. It doesn't work too well IMO.

Digging: Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds - Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus

DanggitBobbeh
June 28th 2012



33 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Good review. Happy to see a more critical take on the album that wasn't just "Lol this is so faggy".

Irving
Staff Reviewer
June 28th 2012



7135 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

In the end (ha)

I lol-ed.

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
June 28th 2012



15303 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

don't read this, your review is better

Storm In A Teacup
June 28th 2012



12687 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

Your avatar makes anything from you platinum status and it gives me stratusfaction.

BassDemon333
June 28th 2012



3349 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Best review of this album, I pretty much agree with everything you mentioned. Glad to see I'm not the only one who thinks
Powerless is an awesome track.

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
June 28th 2012



15303 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Thanks Bass, and yeah Powerless is great. It's not as good as Numb, but I'd say it's on par with "The Little Things Give You Away"

BassDemon333
June 28th 2012



3349 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Yeah it can't touch Pushing Me Away or Numb but its still pretty damn good. I agree with you about Lost In The Echo too, they needed a powerful track like that to open the album and its one of my favorites here

BlackFugazi
June 28th 2012



19 Comments


I love how people act like the first two Linkin Park albums were groundbreaking. They were catchy nu-metal albums. Nothing more. You'll enjoy their newer albums more with that mentality...

Irving
Staff Reviewer
June 28th 2012



7135 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Lol don't sell yourself short mate - the review is really good. Some impressions (especially on the later half) I kinda disagree with (e.g: "Victimized" rules) but the second paragraph is ace. And your thesis - "…but when all is said and done, this is still the new Linkin Park that nobody likes; they’re just trying harder to be who we all want them to be" is the kind of line which is such a simple but excellent observation that makes me wish I had included it in my review.

AtavanHalen
June 28th 2012



17927 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

LINKIN PARK IS A ROLLERCOASTER

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
June 28th 2012



15303 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Irving > A Rusty Sowing

Irving > Anyone

AtavanHalen
June 28th 2012



17927 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

rustry trombone

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
June 28th 2012



15303 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Irvatanseason

Irving
Staff Reviewer
June 28th 2012



7135 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

O wait.

What you’ll find after that is a mess – sometimes it’s beautiful (the sprawling, gorgeous ‘Until It Ends’)

NEG.

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
June 28th 2012



15303 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

shit.

get a life irving and stop going through my reviews with a fine toothed comb

AtavanHalen
June 28th 2012



17927 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

JEKYLL JEKYLL HYDE JEKYLL HYDE HYDE JEKYLL

Irving
Staff Reviewer
June 28th 2012



7135 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

You know what I'd like, SS? To go through your avatar with a fine-toothed comb.

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
June 28th 2012



15303 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Is that what you're calling your dick these days?

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
June 28th 2012



30863 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

I cannot wait for the day when you two finally fuck and get it over with

Digging: FaltyDL - In The Wild



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2013 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy