I have been a Linkin Park since its early Hybrid Theory days; few wouldn’t know the feats achieved by the album. I remember listening to all the songs day in and day out memorising the lyrics. Who cares if I sounded like a baboon, it wasn’t going to stop me from trying to imitate Chester Screaming! Since Then several albums have come out each facing an uphill task. Meteora was too similar to Hybrid Theory, then on they have joined forces with Rick Rubin and released Minutes to Midnight, which was too big a deviation and ‘not Linkin Park’, A Thousand Suns was too experimental and now we haveLiving Things.
Living Things is a product of all they have learnt through the years, from Hybrid Theory to A Thousand Suns and is an effort to go back to their origins using the new age music they have been discovering over the years. While Minutes to midnight and A Thousand Suns were very political, Living Things, as it is named, relates to people and personal interactions. and is more personal similar to the lines of Hybrid Theory and Meteora. Living Things clocks only 36 minutes including four tracks that clock in under three minutes, and nothing that makes it to the four-minute mark. It might seem unfinished, and with the gorgeous production value leaves the audience begging for more. May be that’s something Linkin Park were going for?
Living things art work
The Lyrics is something that has connected me to Linkin Park all these years and they have done it again heartfelt and easily relatable, the music is something I let to grow on me and it does. The music in this album, technically, is similar to A Thousand Suns but with more generic sounds. A lot of the computer generated beats and effects that dominated A Thousand Suns have been toned down and the guitars and drums are more apparent in most of the songs. Other songs can be said, are heavier versions of A Thousand Suns.
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. – Mike Shinoda
01 – Lost In The Echo
02 – In My Remains
03 – Burn It Down
04 – Lies Greed Misery
05 – I’ll Be Gone
06 – Castle Of Glass
07 – Victimized
08 – Roads Untraveled
09 – Skin To Bone
10 – Until It Breaks
11 – Tinfoil
12 – Powerless
There is great versatility shown by the band in Living Things. The first song ‘Lost in the Echo’ is the genuine Linkin Park Style Rap-Rock inclusive of Chester’s signature scream, reminded me of ‘From the Inside’ from Meteora. ‘Lies Greed Misery’ and ‘Victimized’ also gave the old school Linkin Park Rock feel with a modern twist and expressed anger and rage. ‘Burn it Down’ and ‘In My Remains’ are reminiscent of A Thousand Suns, heavy riffs with of lots of electronic influence while ‘Castle of Glass’ has a modernised folk vibe, its quiet soothing and expresses regret.
First Single 'Burn it Down' from Living Things
‘Roads Untraveled’ reminds me of Minutes of Midnight, simple and slow. The song stretches Mike Shinoda’s vocal chords as well, something what we saw him try in the song ‘In Between‘ from Minutes to Midnight and then again in ‘No Roads Left’ from one of many Linkin Park EPs. The song provides a transition into a dominant hip hop style in ‘Skin to Bone’ and ‘Until it Breaks’. ‘Until it Breaks’ contains numerous style, mood, and tempo shifts a weird, gleeful train wreck of a rock hymn and joins into the instrumental ‘Tinfoil’ which in turn leads into guitar heavy ‘Powerless’ the final song in the album which also featured in the Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter Trailer. I’m not a big fan of Hip Hop Music and am still not well accustomed to it, but will let it grow on me though.. As again Lyrics are extremely good.
We basically sit down with instruments and try to pull it down out of the air. You go into it without thinking, and then you see what comes out. – Mike Shinoda
Overall, I am extremely happy with what Living things has to offer. After the experimentations with Minutes to Midnight and A Thousand Suns it was also good to see the assurances in the Band’s voice that they have finally figured out which direction they want to go. By no means am I implying that Minutes to Midnight and A Thousand Suns weren’t good, in fact I loved the concept of A Thousand Suns but the impact that was generated by Hybrid Theory has been missing. With the band finally comfortable under their skin and a promise to things to come, dare I say it…? Living things could well be Linkin Park’s best since Hybrid Theory.
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