Linkin Park – Living Things
Linkin Park are one group who probably have surprised everybody, let’s be honest, no one thought their career would survive the death of the nu-metal genre, but to their credit, they have evolved and managed to stay fairly relevant. If anything they have matured and improved their sound with each release, melding electronica, rock and hip-hop, as they always have, in a way that keeps up with modern musical trends. So what next for the group? Surely they will include some dubstep on the new album right?
Luckily, they have dodged that bullet, although there are a few electro whirls in opener Lost In The Echo which come pretty close perhaps this slight inclusion is LP’s way of saying “We know where it’s at, but this is how we do.” Whilst the jump in style from 2003’s Meteora to 2007’s Minutes to Midnight was quite a drastic one, with the band shedding their skin so to speak, the last couple of outings have settled into the style that currently is Linkin Park, and Living Things is no exception.
One thing you know you can always get from a Linkin Park record is quality sound; the beats are big and clear, the electronics sit within the music as if they were born there, and the guitars can move from the heavy distorted noise reminiscent of the band’s One Step Closer days, to beautiful, atmospheric and delayed clean tones at the flick of a switch. An instant stand out is the bright and fidgety Lies Greed Misery, which is full of attitude and driven by a punchy, groove heavy rhythm. The song sounds like a summer anthem in its big, fuzzed out chorus with both vocalists performing their allocated styles well.
At this point in the group’s career both Chester Bennington and Mike Shinoda know what they are capable of, Bennington is the singer, the chorus man, and Shinoda (kind of) raps for verses. The times in which the two tried to swap these roles were low points in the past however there is a clear definition between positions on this record. Despite their obvious mainstream turn, the band aren’t scared of getting a little heavy, especially on Victimized, a song that blends thrash punk like drumming with the heaviest chorus lines on the record, breaking into some straight up hip-hop verse sections leading into the piano break down beginning of Roads Untravelled. These two tracks include literally everything the band has ever attempted in one-two song punch, sewn together perfectly well.
Shinoda’s Fort Minor style production rears its head in Skin And Bones and the gritty Until It Breaks before the mellowed out electronic ender, Powerless. If you ever wondered when Linkin Park’s run was coming to an end, Living Things is here to let you know that it won’t be any time soon.