For true music fans, there are very few things that compare to an album released by a band or artist that hasn’t produced much in a while. It’s not that these albums are necessarily always good – in fact, many of them can be disappointing but they are almost always intriguing. When an artist or band goes quiet for a while fans are normally very curious to hear what new sounds they come back with. Phrases such as “returning to their roots” and “evolving sound” are often thrown around in these circumstances. Nevertheless, it is still these albums that tend to get some of the most unique attention and reviews from critics and fans alike. So whether you’re a casual fan, a critic, or even a booking agent for someone like mn2s the chances are you’ll be interested in the response to Linkin Park’s brand new album, “Living Things.”
A couple of months ago when the expected release date of this album was released, iTunes and other musical sites excited fans by claiming that Linkin Park was returning to a sound that more closely represented their two biggest albums, “Hybrid Theory” and “Meteora.” In recent years, many Linkin Park fans had soured on the group due to the largely disappointing “Minutes to Midnight” album, as well as Mike Shinoda’s somewhat questionable sidestep into the group For Minor. When word got out that “Living Things” would be bringing back a more traditional Linkin Park sound, fans immediately got excited - but does the album deliver?
Initial reviews have been mixed with some fans claiming that “Living Things” is better than its immediate predecessor but not quite in the neighborhood of “Hybrid Theory” or “Meteora.” Others however, have immediately embraced the new album as something close enough to exactly what it was supposed to be. There is certainly no question that tracks like “Burn It Down” and “Lost In The Echo” show a bit more of the traditional Linkin Park sound. On the whole the album comes across more as a mix of everything that’s come before it than a return to any one style. There is a good deal of the trademark soul-shattering scream-singing from lead man Chester Bennington and plenty of good verses from Mike Shinoda, and it is these elements that will likely appease old school fans. However the album also has no shortage of electronic elements and softer, gentler verses, which really contributes to the feeling that this album, in itself, is something of a hybrid. Ultimately it may not be what hardcore Linkin Park fans were craving but on its own it’s certainly an entertaining album and most would agree it easily tops 2010’s “A Thousand Suns” and 2007’s “Minutes To Midnight.”