LINKIN PARK – Living Things
Having come a long (and successful) route to where they're at today, Linkin Park spearheaded a new cross-over genre of the mild & intense, and seems to have found their comfortable niche as musicians and entertainers.
Teaming up with Rick Rubin (co-producing alongside Mike Shinoda) on A Thousand Suns, the relationship seemed to have yielded the desired results, having Linkin Park turn again to the man who has had a diverse production career from Slayer and Beastie Boys, to Red Hot Chili Peppers and Slipknot (and a whole lot in between). With the previous album the band took a conscious approach to climb out of their comfort zone and create something they wouldn't naturally do. Whether they succeeded at that can be debated.
The recent Dub Step hype seems to have filtered in at times, but Linkin Park has always been a hybrid of various genres from Metal to Rap / Hip-Hop and a fat dose of various electronics - so if any mainstream band has earned the right to dabble in those directions, they're certainly one of them. Their sound is still unmistakable with all of the members' input fusing with the whole - the formula of Chester's melodic vocals (and screams), and Mike's rapping, with light programming and heavy guitars still doing the trick.
This wide divide includes the opening synth riff, sounding as if someone like Usher is about to start singing(!), to the exciting and abrasive track Victimized, which is probably one of their heaviest songs yet. The well-established pop / heavy juggling of Linkin Park won’t sit well with fierce Death Metalheads, but is just the ticket for someone who wants their listenable music with a bit of a bite - and we'd hope it would act as a gateway for someone growing up and wanting to progress from something like Bieber to a more extreme experience, but at a gradual pace.
South African fans will also be elated to know that the band is hiting our shores in November for a stadium tour.
4 / B
- Paul Blom
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