Linkin Park have a lot to be proud of as a band, for a start they broke the existing mould that was almost fused and set in stone between understated yet loud rap and good accessible rock and continued to make records that developed the idea of personal anguish without going down some doom laden ego-trip.
However on the group’s new studio album, Living Things, it suddenly has become just a little stale. Not that the songs have suddenly becoming dull or repetitive, it’s just that the mould that was shattered by their arrival has now become firmly set and entrenched once more as the band try to experiment with a driven bass that in all honesty doesn’t suit them. Yes, the band was at one stage innovative and almost wonderfully carefree. Everything they touched worked and played into the hands of new generation of rock fans that needed a new voice, one that didn’t have the hang ups from a jaded outlook and tied to a 90’s attitude. They were fresh and exciting as the stunning album Meteora proved. It’s a real shame that now with this release; it feels as though the genuine heart that drove the band on has somehow been left to stutter and is in need of an injection.
That said, the album does has some genuine and likeable gems sprinkled throughout, the heart may not be in need of resuscitation just yet, the pacemaker is keeping it going – for now. Castle of Glass for example keeps the album’s head above a murky grave as the personal lyrics give it depth and the undertone of well-crafted music give it a polished moment that wouldn’t have been out of place on some of the classic albums of the 21st century, however the song bleeds straight into Victimized and the crossover is clumsy, almost painful in its awkwardness and doesn’t lend itself well to the overall structure of the album.
Linkin Park certainly have a future, they are too good to go down without a fight but unfortunately Living Things doesn’t give itself the chance to be anywhere as good as the band’s previous releases.
Ian D. Hall