Linkin Park continue to be one of the most unique bands in the world selling over 50 million albums worldwide and aren’t afraid to try out new genres.
No matter what they try it never seems like they are out of their depth, with the talents of Chester Bennington and Mike Shinoda it is easy to see why they are so successful. It is difficult to pigeonhole the band into a specific genre for a number of reasons. In their early albums, it was more a case of alternative metal with a lot of rap and hip hop elements but with Joe Hahn on the turntables it gave it a more electronic feel at times. To me, they are so unique simply because they aren’t standing still and want to progress further and make new sounds, they clearly love what they are doing and are experimenting with new sounds all the time. All of their albums will divide opinions even amongst their own fans who may have hoped for one thing and got another, for example, if you loved Linkin Park because of Shinoda’s rapping then ‘Minutes to Midnight’ wouldn’t have been that enjoyable seen as though it only had two songs on in which he was rapping.
So what does their latest album offer? To me they have moved even further away from the metal genre as they continue to work more on their electronic sound however to me it is the bigger and louder choruses that make the difference in the album ‘Living Things’. The song ‘Victimized’ is a brilliant song which showcases a slightly different style they have gone for, drummer Rob Bourdon is sublime in this song and could easily overshadow everyone else in this song. Shinoda’s rapping isn’t too complicated and is reasonably laid back and the first verse is quite slow but then it does burst into life during the chorus when Bennington is screaming the word, victimized.
I am one of the fans that prefers their songs with Shinoda rapping as it sometimes seems a little bland without him even with all of their electronic sounds. The two songs that impressed me most were ‘Lies, Greed, Misery’ and ‘Until it Breaks’, they are both led by Shinoda who’s rapping skills are impressive especially in ‘Until it Breaks’ however this song is slightly let down by Bennington as it seems to me like they just wanted him involved somehow and I feel like it could have just been shortened instead of filling up parts of the song with him singing.
The album is closer to ‘Hybrid Theory’ than their last two albums because it is more energetic and angry and this is highlighted by the fact it is under 37 minutes long and no song is over four minutes while four are under three. It debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 as well as the UK album chart so the fans are clearly willing to listen to their experimentations and uniqueness and I think a huge reason for this is simply because you never quite know what to expect and how many other artists or bands can you say that about?