Originally Published: 26th of June 2012, 18:25.
Linkin Park: Living Things – Review
Let’s start with the complete list of songs on the Album:
1. LOST IN THE ECHO
2. IN MY REMAINS
3. BURN IT DOWN
4. LIES GREED MISERY
5. I’LL BE GONE
6. CASTLE OF GLASS
8. ROADS UNTRAVELLED
9. SKIN TO BONE
10. UNTIL IT BREAKS
Now, I’ve been a fan of Linkin Park ever since Hybrid Theory. It blew my mind, and since then they’ve evolved. Granted not all fans believe they’ve gotten better, and perhaps they haven’t, but that’s not the point. How do you follow two albums that were almost perfect? You simply can’t. Linkin Park had to evolve following two albums that were the closest thing to be perfect that I think any band has made within the last 12 years. Hybrid Theory and Meteora were simply magnificent. Never have I heard any album as good as they were. So, how did Linkin Park return?
They made a ton of extra projects. We had the Jay-Z mash-up, for one. But what I remember very well was the side running projects that, still to this day, remain memorable. The two most well-known side projects being Mike Shinoda’s Fort Minor & Chester Bennington’s Dead by Sunrise. Now I see these projects as being a part of Linkin Park, even though they may not be. I’ve enjoyed those projects, and I still do.
Then came the Transformer-years. We had the album Minutes to Midnight that really changed the style. It was different, and some fans were outraged. This was apparently not what they saw Linkin Park as being. Still, I loved this album and I still do. It’s an album that I find very pleasing, when looking back. After Minutes to Midnight another ‘Transformer’ album came. It was an album with an obvious theme. It told a story, even more so than any other album they’ve made. It was refreshing for me to, once again, get something very different from what they’d done before.
Still, some fans became angry. They were not the same band that they’d heard in the beginning of the 21st Century. And thus started a whole new discussion; when are you a fan? I’m not gonna answer that, however, I’ve never hated the Evolution of Linkin Park. I’ve loved that they proved they could evolve. Something other bands can only dream of doing.
Now, we have a new album, and Living Things is not Hybrid Theory or Meteora. However, I feel this album shows us just how versatile these guys can be. Through the years we’ve listened to a lot of different versions of Linkin Park. Different stages of the Evolution. I applaud this Evolution, but, it seems as though they’ve now shown that they can still make every kind of music. On this album we have songs that remind me of every album. I love Linkin Park, I love their albums – but now, I’m gonna try not to be biased; even though that may be impossible. I’m gonna go through the album slowly, taking each song into account.
First up is “LOST IN THE ECHO”. It sets the tone for an amazing album. With Mike showing his skills with the mike during the different verses, and Chester taking the chorus on. I simply love this song, and the chorus in particular. This song shows something that is essential on the entire album, I’ll get to this later. Grade: 10.
2. IN MY REMAINS: We move on to a song that I, at first, didn’t really like. Perhaps I wasn’t really paying attention; because, now, after I’ve listened to the entire album around 6 or 7 times – I really dig it. This time we have Chester taking on almost the entire song on his own. A marvellous display of how Chester is not just a chorus-singer. I really really like when Mike then shows up with: “Like an army, falling one by one by one.” – Which sets the tone for another awesome Chester chorus. Grade: 7.
3. BURN IT DOWN: We’ve known about this song for a very long time, us Linkin Park fans, but still, I’d like to say a few things about it. I think it once again follows a very recognizable code, that is Linkin Park – which is nice. However, at times I feel the song becomes to Pop’y – but, maybe that’s just because I’ve listened to it too many times. Still a great anthem in its own right, BURN IT DOWN is a great first single from a band that isn’t afraid of breaking boundaries. Grade: 7.
4. LIES GREED MISERY: I’ve seen some reviews stating that this song, featured in the new Medal of Honor-game, falls flat. However, I don’t agree. Not really. Though I don’t feel this is the strongest of all the songs, I do feel that they’re too harsh. The song once again has a lot of Mike Shinoda in it, which is great. When he’s not rapping we have Chester either punishing the chorus or softly singing our ears to calmness. Not an atypical composition for Linkin Park. Grade: 7.
5. I’LL BE GONE: I think this song somehow calms me down more, than before on this album. I love the first verse, and generally this song shows how great Chester is on this album. I find this song to be one of the strongest on this album, but, still we have a typical Linkin Park song. Not that I find that bad. This is a great song, and one I really like. Though it isn’t similar to “What I’ve Done”, I can’t help but think of that song when reading the lyrics. The same can be said for another classic song “Leave out all the rest”. Very pleased with this song. Grade: 10.
6. CASTLE OF GLASS: This song is different, and I find that this is one of the songs on this album that is different from what we’re used to. They’ve evolved, and this is one of two songs that I believe show that fact a whole lot. I love the lyrics, and as another reviewer has said, the line “I’m only a crack in this Castle of Glass” is very meaningful and poignant. Great song, I enjoyed this a lot when first getting the album. Grade: 7.
7. VICTIMIZED: A short song that I feel is too rough. Though I often find myself completely flabbergasted by Chester, this is a song that I find him not as great as usual. On the other hand Mike is awesome in this song. On another note the band performs on this song. I can see this being an amazing song at a concert. When grading this I have to remember the length of the song, and grade it thereafter. Grade: 7.
8. ROADS UNTRAVELLED: One of my favourite songs on this album. It definitely softens my ears, after listening to VICTIMIZED. I find this song to be very deep, and sad. Still, it’s an amazing show of the depth of this band. I can listen to this song all day, and I’d advise you to do the same. Some songs are meant to be sad. Grade: 10.
9. SKIN TO BONE: The ultimate show of Evolution on this album is SKIN TO BONE. A song that I’ve heard has been compared to Bob Dylan-style songs. When the song starts I immediately thought of another band like Muse. But, this is another sign of how Linkin Park can do everything that they set their mind to. Mike is awesome in this song. Grade: 10.
10. UNTIL IT BREAKS: This song was gonna be great, or so I thought. I was disappointed when I first heard this song. Mike is going a place that he should stay away from, at least in my opinion. This is not my favourite song on this album; not at all. I think the biggest problem with this song is that it feels like a mixture of three songs; a Shinoda Rap-song, a Chester-masterpiece and a song that feels like an Evolution. They fail to impress me here, and that’s me being honest. You can’t love everything. Grade: 4.
11. TINFOIL: This is not what I wanted it to be. I had hoped it’d be a Joe Hahn song, like we had on Hybrid Theory and Meteora for example. In stead it’s something that troubled a lot of fans on A Thousand Suns. These songs are just filling room, if you’re very critical. I feel like they should’ve added this to either UNTIL IT BREAKS or POWERLESS. Not enough Techno in this song, in my opinion. But it serves its purpose, of introducing us to a new song, which is why it gets the following grade. Grade: 7.
12. POWERLESS: My favourite song on the entire album. Enough said! Just kidding. This song calms me, and reminds me of how they’ve left us on Minutes to Midnight & A Thousand Suns; farewells that I loved. This song makes up for the two songs before it. I love the lyrics, and the video in which we are shown scenes from Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, among other things. Grade: 12.
When looking at the album in its entirety, I find that they’ve not evolved as much as where used to them doing. With that being said, this album goes back to the band’s roots, just like the band promised. I simply love the album. If you’ve loved Linkin Park you should love it, and if you still love them, like me, then it’s a must-have.
Average grade: 8,16.
Explaining the meaning of the different grades:
12 – Acceptable, Amazing performance that demonstrates the closest to perfection.
10 – Acceptable, Great performance that has very few mistakes, which are not outrageous.
7 – Acceptable, Good performance; average song, a lot of flaws.
4 – Acceptable, below average, not good enough.
02 – Acceptable. Just acceptable performance with an amazingly high amount of flaws.
00 – Unacceptable, Doesn’t demonstrate anything of value.
-3 – Unacceptable. Horrible performance, inexcusable.