“Living Things” is the album for which Linkin Park’s fans have waited for so long. The success behind this new record lies believe it or not in the band’s previous record, “A Thousand Suns.” That record was met to mixed reaction from both fans and critics alike. But to the band’s credit, while it may have been a gamble, the band should be commended for going out on a limb with that release and taking a chance. In crafting that album, the band learned from it and used it in the creation of this album. Where the band might have been uncertain of itself with “A Thousand Suns”, it’s obvious that it’s far surer of itself this time out.
“Living Things” kicks off with a familiar sound in ‘Lost in The Echo.’ This song will take long time fans back to the days of its 2000 debut, ‘Hybrid Theory.’ At the same time though, there is also more of ‘A Thousand Suns’ mixed in with this song, too, musically speaking. The keyboards and electronics mixed in with Mike Shinoda’s rapping and Chester Bennington’s powerhouse vocals show just how far the band has come during the course of its career. Set against the song’s story makes it that much more of a powerful opening. Bennington plays a supporting role to Shinoda here as Shinoda writes, “Cause I was there saying…No/You can’t tell ‘em all now/I don’t back up/I don’t’ back down/I don’t fold up and I don’t bow/I don’t roll over/Don’t know how/I don’t care where the enemies are/Can’t be stopped/All I know/Go hard/Won’t forget how I got this far/For every time saying…” The way Shinoda delivers these lines, there’s a certain energy that really captures the determination that he’s trying to get across. And Bennington’s declaration that, “This time I finally let you go” adds to that energy. It all comes together for a song that is a perfectly fitting re-introduction for the band.
Bennington shows that his vocal chops are as strong as ever in ‘Lost in The Echo.’ In the album’s lead single, ‘Burn It Down’, he shows that while he has powerhouse vocals, he also has quite the control of his instrument, too with the mix of gentility and power throughout this song. Again, the mix of keyboards shows an influence from the band’s more recent release than anything earlier. And yet again because of that, it shows how much the band has grown as a unit and how far it has come.
Linkin Park has shown how much it has grown as a unit on this new record. There’s also a sign of hope for fans of Fort Minor, too. ‘Until It Breaks’ is a solid piece that’s reminiscent of Shinoda’s work on “A Thousand Suns.” It’s also something that would easily fit into a new Fort Minor LP. Add in production by legendary producer Rick Rubin, and fans get one more great addition to an already solid record.
Linkin Park has come a long way from the “musical gold rush of 2000.” But with the release of this new record, the band has shown that while so many other bands have gone by the wayside since then, it is standing tall and proud. And if this new record is any indication, Linkin Park still has plenty left to offer its fans.
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