Now before we get into this, I would like to point out that I am a long-standing Linkin Park fan, that dates back since Hybrid Theory days, so there will be pieces were it sounds like I am fan-girling hard. So, forgive that. But I will attempt to do a proper review.
Now, after a wait of 2 years, Linkin Park followed their 2010 album, A Thousand Suns, with the much more familiar but interesting sounding, Living Things. Now right out, we see that the album much more resembles that of Minutes To Midnight and A Thousand Suns, with respect to the cover art. However, this may be me fan-girling of course, but the image of what I assume to be Chester, is what I believe to be a throw back to the days of Hybrid Theory meets Meteora, where we had the Hybrid Solider and then the skateboarder. Could just be me.
Now the actual sound of the album is by far one of the best I have heard all year. While I must agree with most reviewers when they say that the lead single, ‘Burn It Down’, sounds like it was Depeche Mode, I can see where some parts do sound similar. Although it was not my first comparison. ‘Burn It Down’, was followed by ‘Lost In The Echo’, which is set for official release on July 23rd, 2012.
Now having actually purchased the album, which almost never happens. I must commend the sound it self. While some may argue that it sounds like an overdone electro-pop sound, I must disagree. While the album does effectively make use of many electronic sounds, the entire, for a lack of a better word, ‘rock’ sound is there. The album’s heavier songs sound like it does draw influence from their earlier work, but it doesn’t overshadow any of the sounds. It balances off with each other quite well. You can indeed hear the guitars of the past, being overdriven, mind the pun, however without the heavy power chord progression in the back. However songs like ‘Victimized’ which doesn’t even follow this, is brilliant use of the guitars being combined with electronic elements. This song, doesn’t follow any typical song structure, and the guitars aren’t what you have heard before, at least from Linkin Park. Songs like ‘Castle Of Glass’ sounds very melodic and soft, although there is very heavy passages. The passages found throughout the album vary with hints of their previous albums, with the addition of new phases. Of course there is still the hip-hop influence that we have grown to love thanks to Mike. The passages where very well incorporated and very well tailored to the feel of the each of the songs. While it contained the structure of how you would use many hip-hop beats, the sounds of Linkin Park still come through.
As I write, I realize that I may be speaking in weird references or something. Now, I must speak about the vocals. Both Mike And Chester did some freakishly awesome stuff with the vocals. I know for a fact that Chester wrecked it, even when he was sick. I felt as though the vocals were brillant, the reason for saying such is that when the sound it self wasn’t prominent, the vocals took over, and usually very powerful. There were times, such as in ‘Skin To Bone’ where I felt as though Chester the harmonizing wasn’t right. Although as the song progressed you felt it, and it eventually felt, right. Tracks like ‘Victimized’ and ‘Until It Breaks’ showed off Mike’s rapping prowess. I must say the rapping was quite raw and it was amazing. Even the lines were brilliant. I had grown to expect words with some serious thought attached to it, as in I had to really pay attention, and go read a thesaurus a couple of times. That is still there in some cases, but the rapping is quite well done, and it is something you can call amazing! Chester’s insane raw vocals which was evident on ‘Lies Greed Misery’ and ‘Victimized’ was just jaw-dropping. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing in these cases. Really a sound worth remembering. Again like Hybrid Theory and Meteora did, which the intertwining rapping and singing, it is also found here.
Now I can’t really truly describe this record. It is something you must experience for your selves. Now it goes without saying that the Drums and the guitars really did their parts here, and by that I mean, Brad Delson and Rob Bourdon, really went out of their ways for this. I can feel the drums, and even the guitar can speak. Everything was amazing coherent and is a true fest for the ears.
I encourage anyone who feels as though they shouldn’t purchase the album, to buy it. It is an amazing album that truly has Linkin Park written all over it.
- Linkin Park: LIVING THINGS (sightsandsoundz.com)
- Linkin Park Debut Atop Billboard 200, Beat Maroon 5 (aceshowbiz.com)
- Teen-hood Memories: Linkin Park (asparkofmoonlight.wordpress.com)
- Living Things by Linkin Park – Album Review (ryankantor.com)
- Mike Shinoda On The Evolution Of Linkin Park (wzlx.cbslocal.com)
- Linkin Park – Living Things (thenewreview.net)