Review Summary: Unfortunately too many conflicting styles prevent this from being the return to form that many fans were promised by lead single Burn It Down
It would not be an entirely unfounded opinion to be expecting a huge step up from Linkin Park following the release of their hit single Burn It Down. This was a song that sounded somewhat akin to the softer material from their earliest two albums, the hugely succesful Hybrid Theory and Meteora, although still carried over a little of the electronic experimentation found on the heavily criticized A Thousand Suns. Once the intro was passed, one was treated to a catchy enough piece of instrumental work and Chester Bennington's instantly recognizable singing, before moving into an angst-filled soaring chorus, and towards the end Mike Shinoda rapping. One was expecting something of a return to form, or at least a step in the right direction but come June 2012 they were proven to be wrong for the most part.
The sound that is displayed on Linkin Park's fifth studio album Living Colors is an amalgamation of each of their previous four releases, being combined to form a different breed of animal altogether. The nu-metal styling of their first two is present in the form of Victimized and the opening song Lost In The Echo, the radio rock sound of Minutes To Midnight being present on In My Remains and an incessant use of electronic sounds and various effects added to each instrument and both vocalists throughout the thirty seven minute duration. However, it is in this that the album's real weakness is found due to the album not exactly having one individual styling for other songs to build off or deviate away from with experimentation as Meteora and Minutes To Midnight at least had. This is truly just a jumble of noises pressed together and given the title of an album, with Lies Greed Misery having something of an early Linkin Park feel to it that is all to often interrupted by the irritating distortions added to the vocals. Also caught in an identity crisis is the closing song Powerless, which feels like a Snow Patrol on the surface but has some ridiculous sounding electronic effects dancing around with the cymbals in the background that detract too much from the song, which is bland enough on its own although boasting on of Chester's best ever vocal performances.
When the band is firing on all cylinders here they are more than listenable as is evidenced by opening song Lost In The Echo, beginning with the electronic sounds of the previous release A Thousand Suns before becoming a more fully fledged song that would have fit in nicely among songs such as In The End. All the features that make for an entertaining listen from this band are here including Shinoda rapping his vocals, angst-filled singing during the chorus from Bennington and a return to the screaming that was used to such effect during Meteora and Hybrid Theory. This song reminds me somewhat of Faint from their sophomore release in structure with both being throwaway moments of fun that have a catchy nature to them and relatable enough lyrics. However, the difference is found in that once again this song spends too much of its time messing around with the electronic effects in the background that prevent even this, the best song on the album, from being truly good.
This album is just too much of a disjointed one to ever really feel like the band are trying to get back to their roots despite the fact that two or three songs actually flirt with their earlier material. This release was a huge let down for those expecting a return to form following the popular but half-formed lead single, and feels too long despite clocking in at less than forty minutes. Unfortunately, folks, this is nothing close to a return to form and is at times in fact a regression from A Thousand Suns.