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Album Review: Linkin Park - Living Things

3 August 2012 | 10:40 am | Jake Dennis

The album seems short and unsatisfying, especially considering the band’s musical calibre and their catalogue of superb classics.

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Californian nu-metal/rap rock band Linkin Park's fifth studio release is a disappointment after their more conceptually and musically innovative previous album, A Thousand Suns. This 12-track album's soundscape is less polished and has a more industrial flavour, with the head-banging and over-before-it's-begun track, Victimized, just a few moves beyond a garage band songwriting effort, although it may appeal to some fans of Linkin Park's more metal sound. However, the album's highly personal songs, like I'll Be Gone and Roads Untravelled, are emotionally potent musical gems that do deserve replay.

The electric guitar is heavier on this album than any of their previous albums and the lyrical content avoids political and social issues and instead centres on relationships. The memorable piano openings of Linkin Park classics like In the End and What I've Done are, unfortunately, abandoned. More devastatingly, the effective interplay between lead vocalists Chester Bennington and Mike Shinoda seems much less successfully orchestrated on this album. The effect is that the songs are less catchy and so the overall album is unexceptional save a few memorable tracks. Lead single, Burn It Down, and follow-up single, In The Echo, are among the best tracks of the album. Until It Breaks, an attempt at an anthem, is the weakest but the final track, Powerful, creates a strong finish to the album.

Overall, the album seems short and unsatisfying, especially considering the band's musical calibre and their catalogue of superb classics. Nevertheless, Linkin Park fans will still appreciate this latest release, one that, if given the chance, will grow on them.