LINKIN PARK – LIVING THINGS
LOST IN THE ECHO – It’s LP off da bat, rap & hip hop meets rock & the 2 never melted so good, its trademark & I love it every second. While I’m neck breakin’ it, rockin’ it out, I’m still doing the hip hop bop. Only they can pull this off in such separate corners, but in the same room. One goes hard, the other goes smart, and together they simply are, sonically in tune and seamlessly merging 2 genres, the lyricist & vocalist finding their medium. This track is about promises broken, someone may have lied, a friend may have flipped on you, a boy/girlfriend cheated and you’re just letting them know where they stand, finally letting them go, while their voices get lost in the echo. I story we could all relate to.
IN MY REMAINS – A ricketing, drum & bass sonic crunch off the bat. It’s a great mid-tempo track, bringing it down a notch but still clockin’ the head & giving us some more vocals. I love Cheston’s voice, and I can hit most of his notes, but not all… dammit! (Where’s my honey?) I can even hit most of Mariah Carey’s notes but LP is the only other artist that makes me hoarse pushing them vocals. This song seems a bit destructive, confused, still looking for the promises that never came and ending with a military feel, like an army falling one by one.
BURN IT DOWN – First single off the album, this track balances rough & smooth. It’s hot, dark, synth, deep, strange, smoky, fiery, guitar-y, piano-y, watery, in cycles, building things to burn them down. Disappointments, relationships fading, breaking apart & you just wanna pump your imaginary gun in the air and say fuck it. It’s a comeback track, waiting for your turn to fan their flames while their blazes burn, letting karma have its turn. I don’t care to see others fail, at the end of the day it’s pure schadenfreude, but this is what the song is about.
LIES GREED MISERY – Meta hip hop rhyme with a heavy rock twist. Don’t ask me how they figured out this flip flop combo but it works. They admit they’re now comfortable in their own skin so they have certainly found their balance. It’s dirty. A reminder to the bitches that do it to themselves, who bring about their own misery, either through all the shit they talk or the lies they tell, their fake persona, threats or intimidations. Well, that’s not the way it’s gonna go down! It can be a bit hard for the normal fan but if you know LP, you know there’s always a perfect balance, taking it right to the edge & riding that shit hard but knowing you’re not gonna fall off. It’s a controlled release and I love it!
I’LL BE GONE – This is the kind of song you hear in the movies. It’s a finale track. The guitars slip out into airy vocals. It’s a time to decide, but knowing you won’t wait b/c while they sit and think about shit, you’re already out, and it’s bittersweet & sorta sad, knowing the decision is to leave alone. The lights go out, we open our eyes and everything is gone.
CASTLE OF GLASS – You get quiet vocals for the first minute & it builds like a house track, beat upon beat. I wanna be renewed, wash the sorry from my skin & learn to be whole again, yet, I have to remind myself that (like everyone else) I’m only in a crack in this castle of glass. It’s an LP classique, you don’t even need to hear a voice to know the sound.
VICTIMIZED – This is the track that if you played for your coworker they’d think you were a fucking freak with lots of loose screws. You’re in a most pit and if you don’t know the park that well, you shouldn’t be walking around alone at night. You’ll become a victim, and time won’t be on your side. This track will truly have you losing your white boy marbles. It’s bit too hard for most & the shortest tracks at 1:46.
ROAD UNTRAVLED – This is definitely the ballad of the album and I’m a sucker for ballads so this is one of my favorite tracks. I feel like I walked into a Chinese store full of trinkets. Someone’s playing the piano as I try to decide what I want. There are so many things, some are sparkling so bright, but I’m looking for something sentimental. I pick up a jewelry box that engulfs me and suddenly I’m at a funeral with black roses laid about, the worst kind of pain we know as humans. I see 1 magical red rose, pick it up and I’m suddenly lifted into the sky, flying high on a road untraveled, hearing heavenly guitars, sonic artistry and 2 voices coming together in perfect harmony. I’m looking for sights unseen in an abyss of enriched sound. I let go, I swim, I sing.
SKIN TO BONE – This track just makes me want to dance a twisted combo of ballet, crunk, isolations, hip hop & contemporary ala winding, walking dead zombies wearing nothing but skin to bone. It’s a Wade Robson routine down! I get a bat, smash some brains & I wanna dance like MJ in Thriller. I’m hypnotized by a sweet combination of voice & melody, marching left to right, day to night, ash to ashes, dust to dust. This track is definitely my favorite, making me want to sing my heart out while I pump my fist in the air. It’s a song about the unknown, walking parallel lines and contradictions.
UN TIL IT BREAKS – I’m deep in the underground & gonna pop my shit off hard! Sharks to my left and snakes to my right, and anything you do they wanna get a little bite. I just wanna go in like natural fertilizer, asking for the rising sun to help me grow and bring me to kingdom come. I’m killin ‘em, building rockets & shooting off into space, separating the weak from the obsolete, never meek. Then there’s a break into heaven. It’s peaceful and I’m sitting alone, meditating, in prayer, love & light, within a lullaby.
TINFOIL – An intermission of rock, hip hop, a dream, confusion, what is it, what/what/where am I? A simple track that can make you ask so many questions. What is love? Is it music? Is is melody? Is it beat? Is it heart or mind? Is it synch? Synth? So much in so little.
POWERLESS – It’s perhaps the most simple track of all, honest, exposed, yet, full of strength. I love the emotion LP brings, it’s not just mindlessly nodding your head and breaking your neck. It’s a little bit of everything, running the gambit that will keep you coming back for more. This song refers to the feeling when you’re with someone and they hold ½ of the cards but they let the deck fall, and you’re there standing beside them, powerless. It’s a part of life, none of us can do it all alone, but there’s nothing we can do when someone you think will hold you up let’s you fall. You pick yourself up and move on.
As short as this album is, all 36ish minutes are extended into multiple plays. It makes you want more, and you just want to listen to it over and over. I absolutely LOVE this album, best heard loud!!!!
Love & light, Carlos Juan Mendez