Living Things Reviews


#1

I have read many bad and even horrible reviews of living things. I have seen few reputable good reviews, which really bothers me, but also hits home a bit. This review that I am posting matches about how I feel with there changes from HT and Meteora to now, and I have been around since 1999 with LP. I like something off all the albums, but love every song on there first 3 albums, HT, METEORA and REANIMATION, the rest have fell short for me with some good songs, but I really do like this Living Things album, but agree mostly with this well known album reviewer and review that I am posting. It isnt biased, doesnt just smash LP or not from fanboys and is quite honest and seems spot on. What do you think???

Almost two years ago I took on the painful task of reviewing Linkin Park’s A Thousand Suns. I wrote the review as a eulogy simply because the band that I enjoyed so much was basically dead and gone. To me, A Thousand Suns was nothing more than a lifeless shell of what I considered to be one of the most infectious and mesmerizing nu metal acts ever conceived. Well, these California natives have resurfaced with their new record Living Things, and much to my surprise, the band that I had all but buried might still have a heartbeat after all.

After two fantastic endeavors (Hybrid Theory and Meteora), one ho-hum romp into we’ve-already-done-that-so-let’s-change-it-up-land (Minutes To Midnight), and one colossally bad lapse in artistic judgment (A Thousand Suns), Linkin Park seem to have righted the ship and might—just might—have actually found their way back home with Living Things.

Let’s go ahead and get this out of the way. If you were like me and hoped to God that they would ditch the terrible overly eccentric club music feel of A Thousand Suns, you can breathe somewhat easy knowing that that nonsense has been toned down quite a bit. While they haven’t totally abandoned it, that aspect has been retooled and doesn’t lack the focus that it did before. For those who were holding on to hope that Living Things would see the return of Linkin Park’s meaty and metallic roots, they will surely walk away disappointed. Once again (just like with Minutes To Midnight and A Thousand Suns), the band hit the studio with the legendary Rick Rubin (Slayer, System Of A Down, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Beastie Boys, Metallica, etc.), and I think that Rubin’s characteristic natural sounding production may leave some fans desperately wanting to bring back Linkin Park’s more aggressive tones. I do find it completely disheartening that they have taken Brad Delson’s once thick, vibrant, and rich guitar tone and either reduced it down to nothing, or hid it behind walls and walls of Joe “Mr.” Hahn’s swirling electronics to the point that it basically can’t even be heard. Tsk, tsk.

Even though the band’s proverbial nu metal punch isn’t even close to what it used to be, the songwriting (for the most part) on Living Things is extremely solid and definitely on par with their earlier works. Unlike their two previous efforts, this album has Chester Bennington and Mike Shinoda providing plenty of memorable moments and it’s obvious that the duo have once again found their songwriting zone. This is most evident with tracks like “Lost In The Echo”, “In My Remains”, “Burn It Down”, “I’ll Be Gone”, “Castle Of Glass”, “Roads Untraveled”, and “Powerless”. From the cavernous and haunting melodies of “Lost In The Echo”, “Castle Of Glass”, “Roads Untraveled” and “Powerless”, to the winding and incredibly contagious “In My Remains”, Burn It Down” and “I’ll Be Gone”, you can’t deny how virulent and hypnotic these songs are.

While there are a number of things that I like about this record, there are also aspects that I can’t stand about it. First of all, what happened to their aggression?! Sure, Chester adds some screams here and there, but musically, the band has entirely lost their edge. And when they do try to ratchet things up, it comes off awkward and misguided. “Victimized” is a perfect example of this. For a minute and fifty seconds you are tortured with pathetic execution on all fronts. It’s blatantly obvious that LP’s heavier days are far, far behind them. Next, tracks like “Lies Greed Misery”, “Until It Breaks”, ‘Skin To Bone”, and “Tinfoil” are complete wastes of time and space. They all sound like b-sides from that abomination A Thousand Suns and should’ve found their way to the recycle bin rather than the final tracklist.

If taken at face value and listened to with an open mind, casual and hardcore fans alike should find quite a bit of charm and replay value within the disc’s almost thirty-seven minute lifespan. And while Living Things may not be exactly what most fans were desperately hoping and waiting for, it’s much better than their last two releases and most definitely a step in the right direction.


#2

Couldn’t have put it better myself:
"tracks like “Lies Greed Misery”, “Until It Breaks”, ‘Skin To Bone”, and “Tinfoil” are complete wastes of time and space. They all sound like b-sides from that abomination A Thousand Suns and should’ve found their way to the recycle bin rather than the final tracklist. "

I actually think LGM sounds better live though. But UIB, like I have said elsewhere, is by far the worst Linkin Park song ever.


#3

I enjoyed reading your review, it was very well written. However, I disagree with some of your points. Starting with this: Nu Metal is dead. It’s been dead. It will never come back. LP were late-comers to that scene. By the time they put out Meteora, most Nu Metal acts had already disappeared. This is why they needed to re-invent their sound for MTM. Just as Mike has stated in interviews, yes LP can continue to put out albums like HT and Meteora, but if they continually rewrite songs with that similar vibe, they are becoming lazy. This is why they need to push themselves creatively in the studio.

I’m one of those people who loved ATS so I have to defend it. You must to listen to that album as a concept album, not as if you are looking for the 2 1/2 minute long radio-rock friendly songs typical of LP’s previous work. That is why they released a version of the album on iTunes as a single, 47 min 56 second track. Listen to it as if you are watching a movie or reading a book and follow the story. Feel the emotion tied up in the songs such as with Robot Boy or Iridescent. There are some real gems on that record, but you have to do LP a favor and actively listen to the songs.

I agree LIVING THINGS returns to the energy and feel of LP’s first two albums. The first 5 tracks have huge sound. Things mellow down for the second half of the album at the start of more experimental tracks like CASTLE OF GLASS, ROADS UNTRAVELED, and SKIN TO BONE. Before you bash on UNTIL IT BREAKS, you must listen to that song with the bass cranked up. It has some killer beats and I love Mike’s rap verses and how the vocals sound dirty and full of attitude. I’m convinced that LIVING THINGS will earn LP more respect and acceptance from the fans who have not enjoyed LP’s last few records.


#4

I agree with you about Brad. I want his guitar to be very loud because it gives a great taste to the songs. The sound of a guitar makes a song very interesting and more powerful.
However, I have to disagree with you about Victimized. I loved this track. It was a good experimental track. I wish LP do more of this metallic sound and add solos to their tracks to make them longer


#5

Hmm I disagree with this review pretty strongly. But I am glad it is more intelligently written than most of the I want another HT crowd. You don’t need another HT or Meteora. If you want that sound, listen to those albums. If they released any more songs that sounded like that everyone would be bored of them and the band would be dead.

One thing that bothers me about most reviews is that all the reviewers seem to think all this electronic programing is done by Joe. Like they are researching the band from Wikipedia or something and trying to put them in a box. Brad does Guitar, Mike does rapping, Joe does programming etc Forgive me if I am wrong, but I’m sure it’s mostly Mike that these sounds are coming from. Joe’s presence in the band hasn’t suddenly increased with ATS and LIVING THINGS. It’s still there, but these reviews seem to suggest that Mr Hanh is suddenly the main guy behind the sound, much to the cost of Mr Delson. Which from what I have seen and heard is simply not true.

But then again, I am just another outsider trying to label everything with my views.

Really critics are a waste of time. I like what I like. What matters to me means something, I don’t really care what others have to say about it. I just hope LP keep making music. Because i simply cannot get enough of it and I love it!