Official LIVING THINGS Review Thread

Discussion in 'Linkin Park Chat' started by Ben, Jun 15, 2012.

  1. Vriska

    Vriska Wiki Staff LPA VIP

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2007
    Messages:
    1,777
    Likes Received:
    0



    Hmm.
    Knowing from the leading interviews up to this release that the band was aiming for a simple, short album of singles, I immediately dropped my expectations from experimental journeys like A Thousand Suns. So instead of originality and deepness, I looked forward to have a nice, fun album with a bunch of radio friendly songs. In a sense like Meteora, which basically had the same goals as this album. I figured that with simple expectations I could enjoy pretty much anything.

    And even then, I was disappointed.

    Interestingly, Living Things has the opposite problem that Minutes to Midnight had. MTM was an album that sounded like a compilation album that ripped off from a bunch of totally different artists that don't have anything to do with each other, like U2. Living Things feels like an album where most of the songs are pretty much the same. I'm not even going to post a song-by-song analysis because several of them are basically glued together in my mind and I don't remember what distinguishes them from each other.

    I almost want to say that the band just likes writing the same songs over and over again. What I've Done (not a song I found exciting to listen to in the beginning) was reincarnated into New Divide and then reincarnated again into several of the tracks on this album, characterized by choruses with long notes and really uninspired melodies and really similar chord progressions. Any time I got excited was because there was something other than Chester going on. That guy is really not carrying his weight.

    The start of In My Remains sounds almost exactly like the song following, Burn it Down. If they were on opposite ends of the album I would have taken them for bookends or a deliberate reprise. But with the songs next to each other, it makes me suspect that the band were trying to sell them as separate ideas and not the same idea repeated on purpose. It makes it look like a mistake.

    Victimized is fantastic pretty much because it's so different than the tracks surrounding it. And also because it's one of the only tracks (alongside Lost in the Echo) that sounds fresh and not part of a rehash of older ideas that were already used in LP songs.

    Tinfoil/Powerless caught my attention for building up an atmosphere. It would have been an excellent end to a really fun album, except that the album wasn't really that fun, and so they don't really stick out against the other tracks. They are decent by themselves though.

    So basically, Living Things is an album that wanted to be a bunch of fun singles but didn't have any interesting melodies or hooks to grab my attention. The reason i'm not rating it the absolute bottom is because it at least tried to be Linkin Park. Whereas MTM was ripping off overused, tired chords (Given Up), ripping off U2 (Shadow of the Day), or basically being really really boring. Living Things is at least not boring.

    Ranking: ATS > HT > M > LT > MTM
     
  2. Susy

    Susy god break down the door LPA Contributor

    Joined:
    May 23, 2012
    Messages:
    10,879
    Likes Received:
    630



    I don't understand why people don't like IMR or IBG that much. Those are nice, rock influenced tracks. Not my favourite, but I don't have any complains.
     
  3. AnTeC

    AnTeC Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2010
    Messages:
    69
    Likes Received:
    0



    The mlb network just had lost in the echo playing along with their highlight reel:)
     
  4. Storm

    Storm Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2010
    Messages:
    538
    Likes Received:
    0



    Here are my 2 cents.

    LOST IN THE ECHO_
    positive: rap by Mike in a different shape from his LPish-usual, as flow and lenght; inventive instrumental; powerful; wicked bridge. Decent mix.
    negative: nothing to mark here yet.
    vote:10/10

    IN MY REMAINS_
    positive: love the phrasings of Chester, all the melody in general; the "switch" of the drum roll when going toward the end was surprising and unexpected; has gothic vibe to it.
    negative: not a really "unique" sound, but mixes well old power with new melody.
    vote:8.5/10

    BURN IT DOWN_
    positive: catchy; some amusing sounds within (outro, or bridge drums build-up).
    negative: poor overall beat, specially the last chorus after the build up of the bridge they were VERY anticlimatic.
    vote:7.5/10
    side note: can't understand the hate toward this song. Might not be complex to hell, but is interesting nonetheless. I guess the first song is always sentenced to be the "martyr" of the album, simply because people can't make up their own mind about something, but fear what other thinks eventually, and they know those people will say "the first song has to be commercial or weak" and so it automatically is even before being released. AKA The Catalyst accused of being techno.

    LIES GREED MISERY_
    positive: good lyrics in the verses; powerful if you can actually relate to it. (LYRICS ARE ALL GOOD TO ME ON THIS ALBUM, I REMARK IT ON HERE BECAUSE IS THE ONLY POSITIVE ASPECT OF LGM).
    negative: horrible kick-reverb effect, sounds like being made by an amateur unable to use a decent reverb; unevolving song, arid; mix is overwhelming some good background sounds, definitely this song was ruined by the mixer, I'd give him 90% fault on this one.
    vote: 4/10 real, 6/10 if you can relate to it and vent a bit.
    side note: people with no experience in music engineering might not be able to capture mixing mistakes, but I assure this is an awful work.

    I'LL BE GONE_
    positive: guitar is a bit different sounding from IMR which is good; once again, amazing rythm specially on the chorus.
    negative: over-hyped strings section, not loud enough and surely not THAT much present really, I smell also another mistake by the mixer with them, I think he ruined them.
    vote: 8/10

    CASTLE OF GLASS_
    positive: everything! Mike's voice and Chester fading within later; intro is kinda like a soundtrack, love it. LP here are really original, experimenting and having success in doing so.
    negative: nope.
    vote: 10/10

    VICTIMIZED_
    positive: energic, sick rap over a sicker instrumental, mad screams, a violent beast; supposed to be listened for having fun, for the sake of randomness and beauty of instinctive music.
    negative: wish the outro would have had a different riff.
    vote: 7/10

    ROADS UNTRAVELED_
    positive: easily the first song of LP that touches me intimately, FINALLY after 11 years I got what I was waiting for by this band. Inutil to continue on other good sides, everything is perfect: rythm, chimes, lyrics, build up, guitar tone, dark and yet there is light.......
    negative: people who thinks this is the worst song.
    vote: 10/10

    SKIN TO BONE_
    positive: experimentation; has something from "Muse" but yet is unique which yes shall be positive; nice beat; good effects on the voices (what a difference from the crap work on LGM!!!)
    negative: nothing, unless you see the fact of needing time to get used to something unusual as a flaw, me I certainly don't.
    vote: 9/10

    UNTIL IT BREAKS_
    positive: MIKE. and basses. and awkward sounds. and constant changing beat-patterns. and that lead in the second verse!
    negative: BRAD. Explanation: he has a soothing voice, almost beautiful and somehow reminded me on someone singing on Reanimation... BUT! his part is far too long and kinda messes with the amazing first 2 minutes and a half. Wish his singing was half its time or simply replaced his part with some crazy instrumental for a minute.
    vote: 10/10

    TINFOIL_
    positive: touchy, melancholy.
    negative: not really, since is a well done interlude and as that does its job very well.
    vote: 9.5/10

    POWERLESS_
    positive: love the piano, the chorus, an epic outro, the bass slides at 2:50 the last chorus in and reminds me a bit of the passage of Paradise of Coldplay, which is exceptional. Emotional.
    negative: the drum fx is too much Burning in the Skies reminishent.
    vote: 9/10

    CONCLUSION: This album has high and lows and somehow I even like LGM because I know LP can't do worse than that to me (lol). As an album built with the single-song concept this is their best to me. Maybe because I grew and I find here more answers than I do in HT.
    I do think the first 2 minutes of UNTIL IT BREAKS are my favorite Linkin Park moments in history. Period. As a full song, my favorite would be COG or RU.

    LIVING THINGS_
    positive: back to energy but used wisely, with maturity too; daring; more consistent mix between Mike and Chester. Needed only one year and a half.
    negative: still I think the titles are horrible, aside a few. And some repetitions in the lyrics are maybe a sign of a lack of inventive (promises promises promises and the by now famous LET GO).
    Vote: 9/10

    P.S. As I never revealed my album preferences in order, I'd say:
    LT=HT=ATS>MTM>R>M
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2012
  5. Susy

    Susy god break down the door LPA Contributor

    Joined:
    May 23, 2012
    Messages:
    10,879
    Likes Received:
    630



    Horrible titles? Awesome titles!
     
  6. Storm

    Storm Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2010
    Messages:
    538
    Likes Received:
    0



    lol might be. I certainly won't change my mind just because they dedicate a LPTV episode to this.
     
  7. Denny

    Denny @Jackethx

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2010
    Messages:
    229
    Likes Received:
    2



    Linkin Park are, and probably will always be my favorite band.

    Ever since I heard ‘Breaking The Habit’ on a Yahoo! internet radio when I was merely ten years old, I fell in love with their experimental music and their emotional lyrics.

    After 2010’s A Thousand Suns split the Linkin Park fan base with a concept album telling ‘a uniquely human story’, Mike, Chester, Brad, Rob, Joe and Phoenix made the conscious decision to make a ‘firecracker’ album full of short and snappy songs about personal issues - hence the name ‘LIVING THINGS’.

    Being a dedicated fan, I always purchase the albums and do not listen to any leaks, savoring the full experience for when I have the physical copy of the album in my hands - staying true to Mike Shinoda’s ‘Release Day Challenge’. However, I received my album two days before the official release date.

    Interestingly, my album has the words ‘Linkin Park - LIVING THINGS’ on the left hand side of the album, not on the right unlike everyone else’s, which kinda makes me the only person with an alternate cover!

    So, duly I inserted the CD (beautifully matte black with the words ‘Linkin Par’ and ‘Living Things’ in shiny black) into my PC, plugged in my headphones and listened to what is easily the album of the year…

    LOST IN THE ECHO(10) kicks off the album in an incredible way, with a catchy synthesizer riff and heavy guitars and drums. It sounds similar to tracks off Meteora, but with more electronic sounds in it. Shinoda shows he is in his prime, rapping about being resilient to those who oppose or do not believe in him in his life, with powerful and inspiring lyrics such as:

    No, you can tell ‘em all now; I don’t back up, I don’t back down,
    I don’t fold up and I don’t bow. I don’t roll over, don’t know how


    Chester sings the catchy chorus with emotion rather delicately, then persists to scream. It is incredible that he can sing so beautifully, then scream so brutally. What an opening track. This will go down so well with any fan of rock music.

    IN MY REMAINS 7) continues the guitar heavy melody of the first track, and is very catchy, albeit a little too slow. The sound, with just Chester singing, is similar to Dead By Sunrise, with Chester’s metallic vocals stating:

    Now in my remains are promises that never came,
    Set the silence free to wash away the worst of me


    The song gets more interesting when Rob lays down a marching-band style drum rudiment, as Shinoda enters with the line, which is repeated then with Chester:

    Like an army falling, one by one by one

    And then returning to the catchy chorus. A decent song, but not as good as LOST IN THE ECHO.

    BURN IT DOWN (7), the lead single off the album, is similar to IN MY REMAINS, but includes a catchy melody by Sensei Hahn. You have probably heard this song a lot (I know I have…) so have probably got a bit sick of it (I know I have…), and whilst it is the most mainstream song on the album, it has a big chorus that will blow the roof off any arena Linkin Park perform at!

    Following in the trend of commercialization, LIES GREED MISERY (8) worried me a little bit when I first heard it - being the most electronic song that Linkin Park have ever release before. Despite its over-electronic music, Shinoda and Bennington salvage the song making it a fun, angry anthem.

    The highlight of the song is when Chester screams the last chorus,

    I wanna see you choke on your lies,
    Swallow up your greed,
    Suffer all alone in your misery,
    Choke on your lies,
    Swallow up your greed,
    Suffer all alone in your misery


    bringing a much needed element of anger and depth to the chorus after the heavy screaming before it.

    Moving on, I’LL BE GONE(9) falls into the category Dead By Sunrise-ey formula of I’LL BE GONE but Chester’s beautiful lyrics and vocal delivery makes this one of the most emotional and catchy songs on the entire album.

    Singing of making a choice of whether to leave or stay in a situation,

    Let the sun fade out and another one rise,
    Climbing through tomorrow, I’ll be gone
    I’ll be gone

    this emotional hard rock song features string-work by Owen Pallet which unfortunately are not very prominent due to the mixing.

    Track 6, CASTLE OF GLASS(10), is the biggest game-changer of the album so far, with it’s poignant, metaphorical lyrics and it’s folky melody. Mike and Chester harmonize beautifully on this catchy track which includes one of Linkin Park’s most ingenious choruses yet:

    ‘Cause I’m only a crack in this ‘Castle of Glass’
    Hardly anything new for you to see


    The experimental instrumentation, beautiful harmony and gorgeous lyrics makes this not only an album high-point, but a Linkin Park classic.

    “This song is about, being victimized and stuff…” eloquently said Chester Bennington, talking about the heaviest track Linkin Park have written in five years - VICTIMIZED (8). Lasting just under two minutes, VICTIMIZEDpacks a brutal punch. Whilst Chester screams the same words over and over again in the two choruses, Mike Shinoda shows us why he is one of the most talented rappers in the business with a slick rap over Rob Bourdon’s superb tribal drum beat:

    They’re acting like they want a riot, it’s a riot I’ll give ‘em,
    As a siren climbs higher on this violent rhythm,
    Threw your snakes in the grass, supplying the venom,
    I ain’t scared of your teeth, I admire what’s in ‘em


    Is it pretty? No. Is it the best track on the album? No. Is it the heaviest song they’ve ever written? No - but it will blow your mind in under two minutes.

    After being shaken by VICTIMIZED, a soothing Linkin Park ballad is just what you need - and it comes in the form of ROADS UNTRAVELED (10), the first of the two ballads on the album, and arguably the best song on LIVING THINGS.

    The song begins with a chime melody, with deep piano chords layered on top. Shinoda delivers his most emotional lyrics yet in the form of:

    Weep not for roads untraveled, weep not for paths left alone,
    Because beyond every bend is a long blinding end,
    It’s the worse kind of pain I’ve known


    Clearly singing about not regretting the things you haven’t done in your life. truly inspiring words. Bennington also chips in with equally invaluable advice:

    Weep not for roads untraveled, weep not for sights unseen,
    May your love never end and if you need a friend:
    There’s a seat here along side me


    This song genuinely sent shivers down my spine as I instantly connected to the situation. Beautiful.

    The insanely addictive electronic beat of SKIN TO BONE (7) pounds your eardrums next, with repeated call-and-response lyrics from Shinoda and Bennington. It is catchy, but is a little too hip-hop for my taste. It is more funky than deep, but is still a fun song to listen too. Imagine When They Come For Me mixed with Nobody’s Listening and that is what it is like.

    The next track, UNTIL IT BREAKS (7), is similar to Blackout in its crazy structure. Here, Shinoda goes crazy - spitting out angry (and often crazy) rhymes such as:

    It ain’t over ‘cause the shark’s on the left side, the snake’s on the right.
    And anything you do, they wanna get a little bite.
    It really doesn’t matter if you’re wrong or if you’re right.
    Cause once you get the teeth in, nothing really fights.


    over a disjointed hip-hop beat. It seams Linkin Park have a third lead singer in the form of guitarist Brad Delson, offering his angelic vocals to the end of the track:

    So rest your head, it’s time to sleep and dream of what’s in store.
    The body bends until it breaks, then sings again no more.


    This song took a few listens to really get into it, but it is a great song - very creative and crazy!

    Who named track 11 TINFOIL(8)? I could only be from the wacky mind of Sensei Hahn, I reckon. This interlude consists of a fragile and beautiful piano melody, similar to that of post-rock band The Album Leaf, over a dissonant drum machine that leads effortlessly into the albums closing track, and second ballad, POWERLESS (10).

    Keeping the same piano melody, Bennington angelically sings of a failed relationship with a big chorus:

    And you held it all but you were careless to let it fall,
    You held it all and I was by your side, powerless


    This song is beautiful and inspired and is the perfect ending track to this inspirational and uplifting album.

    In conclusion, LIVING THINGS merges the sound of every Linkin Park album before hand, from their mega-hit 2000 debut Hybrid Theory 2003’s nu-metal masterpiece Meteora, 2007’s hard-rocking release Minutes To Midnight and 2010’s industrial concept album A Thousand Suns, whilst recognizing the achievements of Mike Shinoda’s hip-hop side project Fort Minor and Chester Bennington’s alternative rock band Dead By Sunrise.

    Each release had it’s own unique style and feel, showing Linkin Park are far from predictable. By merging everything they have done over twelve years, the band have successfully made an album hat showcases each of their many creative styles; from beat-blasting hip-hop, to emotional ballads, to swaggering rap-rock to alternative rock anthems, whilst adding new elements such as folk melodies and creative instrumentation.

    Linkin Park have not only made the album of the year, but have firmly secured themselves as one of the most emotional, creative, unpredictable and important bands of the 21st century - and for that I can only say thank you.

    I would rate this album 10/10, and would recommend it to anyone who is a fan of rock, hip-hop, folk or post-rock.

    The best songs on the album are: LOST IN THE ECHO, CASTLE OF GLASS, ROADS UNTRAVELED & POWERLESShowever, the album as a whole is so good, you should listen to it all.

    Thank you, Linkin Park. LIVING THINGS is your best album yet.
     
  8. Susy

    Susy god break down the door LPA Contributor

    Joined:
    May 23, 2012
    Messages:
    10,879
    Likes Received:
    630



    Nice review! But you rated a couple of songs 7, 8, 9, how can the final rate be 10?
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2012
  9. Denny

    Denny @Jackethx

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2010
    Messages:
    229
    Likes Received:
    2



    Thanks!

    TL;DR - It is awesome.
     
  10. jare0674

    jare0674 There's a seat here along side me...

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2010
    Messages:
    409
    Likes Received:
    0



    Thanks for introducing me to The Album Leaf! I'd never heard of them before so I searched them on youtube and came up with On Your Way and was just blown away.
     
  11. Adam.

    Adam. Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2010
    Messages:
    187
    Likes Received:
    0



    The whole can be more than the sum of the parts. That said, OP should learn to use paragraphs.
     
  12. Denny

    Denny @Jackethx

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2010
    Messages:
    229
    Likes Received:
    2



    This album, in my opinion, is so brilliant, even the songs rated 7 are still incredible. Also, this was copied and pasted from my blog, where it had indents and all sorts, so looks a little disjointed on forums - sorry!
     
  13. Denny

    Denny @Jackethx

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2010
    Messages:
    229
    Likes Received:
    2



    I'm really glad I have made a relatively unknown band a new fan! I can only suggest you listen to Explosions In The Sky and Sigur Ros too - two other beautiful post rock bands!
     
  14. Calvin

    Calvin The rhythm projects 'round the next sound... LPA VIP

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2012
    Messages:
    279
    Likes Received:
    0



    Great review! Chester Bennington - singing beautifully, screaming brutally. :)
     
  15. Elaine

    Elaine The One They Call Elaine. LPA VIP

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Messages:
    1,919
    Likes Received:
    210


  16. Denny

    Denny @Jackethx

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2010
    Messages:
    229
    Likes Received:
    2



    Gee-wizz, thanks
     
  17. insanefanboy

    insanefanboy RIP Chester Bennington

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2011
    Messages:
    206
    Likes Received:
    21



    WOW just listened to the album!

    My review:

    Lost in the Echo - a damn good song. No complaints. 10/10

    In My Remains - Slightly unclear vocals, beginning feels unfocused to me. Good vocals, decent lyrics. The actual way "In My Remains" is sung doesn't sound like what he's actually saying, but once Mike starts singing and then Chester joins in, the song becomes great. 7.5/10

    Burn It Down - Unusually weak lyrics, but a catchy tune. Structure wise reminds me of Black-Birds, meaning Chester sings loads, the about half-way through, Mike starts. Just okay. 7.5/10

    Lies Greed Misery - Good, but slightly jarring editing the beginning. Catchy enough. 8/10

    I'll be Gone - Is strange, and fun at the same time. Good enough lyrics. Could've used more Mike. 5/10

    Castle of Glass - Sounds like a single, Chester sounds different, and that takes a lot of getting used to. Mike's part is as good as Chester's, that's cool. 9/10

    Victimized - Bad song. Feels like pure filler. Needs a LOT more Chester, but Mike's rap is very good. 4/10

    Roads Untraveled - Good, I feel it would've been MUCH better if the part where Chester sung properly instead of "Whoa" came first. But VERY good lyrics, and smooth vocals. The "Whoa" feels like filler a little bit though. 7.5/10

    Skin To Bone - Hmmmm what to make of this song, good but odd, I would've added more cool gang vocals personally. Just okay lyrics, and I would balance out the Chester and Mike parts a little bit, and made it a bit less repetitive lyric wise. 6/10

    Until it Breaks - 100% sure Chester should have contributed to it sooner and more. MUCH more. Brad sings on this one, which threw me. Again this song seems prime opportunity for gang vocals, but during and after Brad's part, it's a good song. 7/10

    Tinfoil - Meh. Instrumental tracks never do anything for me. N/A

    Powerless - Hit and Miss. Could use more Mike, but Chester's voice on this one is awesome. Wish it was longer. Good lyrics. 7.5/10

    So in summary a good album, but underwhelming. Most people said upon listening to MTM "Where's Mike?" and people might say on this one (on some songs) "Where's Chester?" I never. But my friend did.

    All in all, I give the album 7.9/10 A Thousand Suns is better in my opinion, and always felt closer to Hybrid Theory to me. It still does even after this album.

    EDIT: It just doesn't feel like every album combined, but it comes close.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2012
  18. obiwanws2

    obiwanws2 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2003
    Messages:
    195
    Likes Received:
    0



    Ha, copy came a day early, let's pop this sucker in.
     
  19. hazuki

    hazuki Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2006
    Messages:
    142
    Likes Received:
    0



    How come there is no metactric score yet?
     
  20. Denny

    Denny @Jackethx

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2010
    Messages:
    229
    Likes Received:
    2



    I heard there was, and it is currently '61'.
     

Share This Page