Linkin Park released their 5th studio album, Living Things, on June 26. Filled with 12 riveting and experimental songs, Living Things is Linkin Park’s most mature album to date. Produced by Rick Rubin and Mike Shinoda, the 12 track album will most likely alienate long time fans but gain many others.
Fans disliked the previous two albums because they strayed from the “nu metal” sound that made them famous in the first place. Instead of rap (courtesy of Shinoda) and rock vocals by Chester Bennington, both Minutes to Midnight (2007) and A Thousand Suns (2010) featured a growing experimentation with electronics and vocals. Living Things is a progression of what started with Minutes to Midnight.
Fans of the old Linkin Park will enjoy Lost in the Echo and Victimized, tracks that could have come from Meteora (2003).
Tinfoil, the only instrumental on the album, sits perfectly as track 11, the second to the last song. It’s only a couple of minutes but it ties in to the last track “Powerless.”
The highlight of this album are Shinoda’s surprisingly haunting yet nostalgic vocals/harmonizing and his ever fluent raps. On “A Thousand Suns” Shinoda took a backseat to both rapping and singing. On “Living Things” he comes in revitalized on the first single, “Burn it Down.” On “In My Remains” and “Roads Untraveled” we see a softer side of him.
Another difference from previous albums, includes the background vocals of the other members. Delson, Bourdon, and Phoenix all contribute and it mixes in well.
“Living Things” provides a combination of experimental and rock solid songs, an album not for the old Linkin Park fans. It’s mature and it shows the evolution the band took to get to where they are now.
Linkin Park is currently on tour with Incubus on the Honda Civic Tour.