Dual vocalists, studio perfectionism and the stadium ambition of U2. There are good reasons Linkin Park escaped the fate of most nu-metal bands and managed to stretch their career out to include five albums and two Grammy Awards in the process.

Yet for all of their promises of experimentation, concept records and "going crazy" when they enter the studio, the Californian six-piece still churn out the same kind of radio-friendly, metal-tinged rap-rock record-by-record.

Fifth album Living Things is supposedly a back-to-their-roots return to the fired-up days of 2000's debut Hybrid Theory and, to be fair, there are several thrilling moments.

The futuristic hip-hop beats, aggressive raps and warped bellowing of Lies Greed Misery make the most of the interplay between rapper Mike Shinoda and crooner/screamer Chester Bennington, and even if cloying and cliched lyrics aren't your thing - "Give me the strength of the rising sun" wails Bennington at one point - you can still appreciate the huge production aesthetics of Victimized and Until It Breaks.


But they add so much in - opener Lost in the Echo has elements of rock, dubstep, house, hip-hop and screamcore - and do so much of it half-heartedly Living Things really isn't given a chance to breathe.

Stars: 2/5
Verdict: Metal-tinged rap-rockers churn out more radio-friendly fodder.
Buy Linkin Park's new album Living Things here.

- TimeOut