Tuesday 26 June 2012

Linkin Park - Living Things

Having drifted from their nu metal beginnings, 'Living Things' was hyped to be a return to form for Linkin Park. In reality, the album does feature the anthemic choruses of their old material but expands upon the electronica of experimental previous album 'A Thousand Suns', thus offering a blend of old and new.

A handful of tracks, such as Lies Greed Misery and Victimized, do favour the thrashing guitars, pounding drums and screaming vocals of the band's debut 'Hybrid Theory', but these are notably the shortest tracks - a token effort. At the opposite end of the spectrum, tracks such as Skin To Bone and Until It Breaks border on hip-hop, emphasising rap and processed beats in a similar manner to the band's 'Reanimation' remix album. Meanwhile, opening track Lost In The Echo manages to merge glistening synths with weighty guitar riffs and mixes both rap and singing. It captures some old magic, making the familiar seem fresh again.

Elsewhere, the band shy away from the guitars in a series of mid-tempo rock ballads laced with electronica. They provide an equilibrium of styles, with big choruses, gentle piano and soaring vocals. Recent single Burn It Down is a prime example, as is Castle of Glass with its long melodic lines, chugging beat and chorus lyric "I'm only a crack in this castle of glass". The album ends with power ballad (and ironically titled) Powerless, its piano introduction building to an epic crescendo at the chorus's final line "I was by your side, powerless". Evidently, the band are still in emo territory with their lyrics, despite their musical progression, though these tracks never quite surpass their spiritual predecessors (In The End, Numb, What I've Done et al).

So, rather than a step backwards to their older style, the varying tracks of 'Living Things' encompass the whole catalogue of the band's material but in updated form - a consolidation if you will. Although not totally forgotten, it's clear that the band have left their nu metal roots behind. Whilst this may upset some fans, it represents a band who are maturing with the times and continue to remain relevant - a commendable feat.


Gizzle's Choice:
* Lost In The Echo
* Burn It Down
* Powerless

Listen: 'Living Things' is available now.

Watch: Linkin Park will be touring Europe over the summer. Lucky Americans can catch the band in August when they co-headline with Incubus.