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.