Linkin Park are seen as somewhat of a joke in the metal community, now I’m not sure if that’s because they spawned from a sub genre that became a joke or if it’s because the had the bravery to expand themselves beyond the parameters forced upon them by elitists and journalists alike, either way Linkin Park are anything but a joke.
Make no mistake about it, the bands fifth album “Living Things” is not a metal record, its barely even a rock record, what it is however is the sound of a band coming of age and shooting for the stars in an effort to finally break free of any and all shackles en route to being the band they were destined in many ways to be.
Following in the footsteps of its more electronic influenced predecessor “A Thousand Suns”, “Living Things” opens with synth heavy ‘Lost in the Echo’ which is a dreamy, dubstep infused track that shows how far removed from metal leanings the band has come, it is also the best album opener the band has that isn’t called ‘Papercut’.
‘In my remains’ and ‘Burn it down’ continue this trend, both expanding the bands sonic palette and lending themselves to being anthems in the future, ‘Castle of Glass’ turns the tempo down, before the heaviest track on the album ‘Victimised’ comes in and raises the pulse.
Upon listening to the album you can hear some of the subtle things the band are doing, there are influences from Nine Inch Nails, Depeche Mode, as well as more hip hop influenced hooks elsewhere on the album as well, which help to create probably the band’s most sonically pleasing album to date.
On “Living Things” Linkin Park appear to have not only thrown out the rule book, but also decided to learn from mistakes made on “A Thousand Suns” and created an album that not only expands up on that, but also improves on it in every conceivable way, this album also contains possibly the best song Linkin Park have ever written in the form of the albums closing track ‘Powerless’ which is a brilliant song that fully encapsulates the band that Linkin Park have become.
Overall, “Living Things” is both a bold and mature step forward for Linkin Park as a band, an album that will surely further alienate the old guard who want the band to stay nu metal, it will also act as a lightning rod for the bands many detractors, but for everyone else it will serve as a timely reminder just how far you can go when you open your mind and look to expand your horizons.