A music review: 'Living Things' by Linkin Park

Oleh / By: Iki.Ali

Genre: Alternative Rock / Electronic Rock / Rap Rock  
Artist: Linkin Park
Producer: Mike Shinoda, Rick Rubin
Release: June 26, 2012 
Label: Warner Bros.
Seeing the image over here, you could say that you have never seen that before inside of Linkin Park's vast discography (at least before Mike Shinoda announced it, of course). Please say hello to a brand-new crack from these Californian rockstars; their fifth studio album cleverly called Living Things. And I must say that they are back... kind of!

In this album, musically, they are somewhat making a return to the Rap Rock game (not Nu Metal though, quoting Chester in an interview saying "...it has been gross to us") and while the Electronic elements have always been part of their music, it sounds much heavier here than in Hybrid Theory, Meteora and A Thousand Suns combined. The good news is, they still managed to tell people that they never really shy away from their HT and Meteora fans who thought that they were totally forgotten and neglected for years (yet some of them are still bitching about them 'forgetting their roots' or 'sounding even faggier' than they have ever been) despite having some of the ATS-esque Electronic vibes throughout this record. They have been on a journey indeed... by "take bits and pieces" of their musical adventures and "smash them all together" in Living Things.

Lyrically, LT has yet again captured what is the band is best known for in their previous albums and roll them out together into one solid package but this time by also surrounding them with some sense of maturity (albeit still having some awkward and bland wordings) since they are now grown men. However, unlike the conceptual ATS which covered very specific topics like nuclear warfare and human fears, they opted to make this a traditional album with the more abstract themes of human emotions, experiences, and relationship problems that everyone is facing, much like HT and Meteora.

Although mainly labeled by many as a Rock band, because of LP's decision to crank up the volume of the accompanying Electronic sounds even higher than all of their previous records combined, this has made them produced songs that are awkward to dance to thanks to the presence of their signature angst/emotion-ridden lyrics with a hint of philosophy and world views (this has been played off ever since their Minutes to Midnight album). I'm talking about songs like the very mysterious, seemingly happy-sounding Lies Greed Misery (I'm thinking of people having a stereo blast over at a frat boy party or something whenever I listen to it... but the lyrics tells otherwise though), the eerie supposedly Folk-influenced Skin to Bone (the electronics are very heavy on this one... whenever I listen to it, I thought of this bleak concept of an undead prom ceremony in the middle of a still-active war ground/graveyard for its music video... should they make one... and I hope they do!), and of course the pretty decent lead single Burn It Down which has that almost disco-sounding synth thing to it... and the drums too makes it 60's disco-worthy.

If you are able to look past all of the awkwardness, I guess you could really say that LT is a home for high quality music. This can be heard in Burn It Down and the very impressive opening track and second single Lost in the Echo in vintage Chester/Mike fashion in which their signature rap/sing vocals interplay making a comeback, and the more melodic side of the band in tracks In My Remains and I'll Be Gone. Of course, what would LP be without having those guts to make risque efforts such as the very shocking, short, yet aggressive Punk-influenced Victimized, the beautifully melodramatic Rock ballads Roads Untraveled and Powerless (preceded by the not-so-good instrumental Tinfoil which serves as the former's intro), the emotional Western Rock/Country-influenced Castle of Glass, the aforementioned Skin to Bone, and Until It Breaks, a laid-back Hip-Hop track with heavy electronic beats.

Now, to end this review. It's easy to summarise Living Things in one word; MIND-BLOWING (Was I cheating with this? It's two words, you know...). If you've been paying close attention to their music, you can indeed feel all of their previous albums vibes crammed together in this record. Sure, I admit it's kinda chaotic when you're too involved in what they have to say about human emotions in this record, but that's just it; humans ARE chaotic. This album is simply a missing piece for everyone who's been chaotically searching for inner peace. They are just feeding us exactly what we wanted (or what I wanted at least). All in all, this is indeed a masterful piece of art created by the pack of six I call Linkin Park. It is highly recommended that you seek refuge in this album to protect yourself from a barrage of crappy Top 40 songs from busting your brain.

2 ulasan:

Soren Mohd Noor berkata...

Linkin Park has a new album? Sooo gonna check it out! Thanks! XD

Muhammad Ikhwan Radzali berkata...

yes, dear. it's been out for a while now. and you're welcome! :)

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