Living Things is the fifth studio album by the American rock band Linkin Park. It is scheduled for release starting on June 20, 2012. Production was handled by vocalist Mike Shinoda and Rick Rubin, who both co-produced the band’s previous studio albums Minutes to Midnight (2007) and A Thousand Suns (2010).
The band states that Living Things combines elements from their previous four studio albums to create a new sound. They stated they finally felt they were in “familiar territory” and “comfortable in their own skin” after years of experimentation that resulted in their two previous studio albums, Minutes to Midnight and A Thousand Suns. Living Things was chosen as the album’s title because of the numerous personal topics about people implemented on the album.
The lead single for the album, “Burn It Down”, was sent to radio and released to digital music retailers on April 16, 2012.
Shinoda spoke to Co.Create about the album’s art, saying that it will “blow them [the fans] away…the average person is not going to be able to look at it and go, I understand that that’s completely new, like not just the image but the way they made the image is totally new. So there’s going to be that.” On April 9, 2012, the band released a teaser video for the album on Tumblr. Warner Bros. Records announced that the album’s art will be released on April 16, 2012, the same day “Burn It Down” will be released.
On April 15, 2012, Mike Shinoda posted a blog update confirming that the new album title will be Living Things and that the album will be available for pre-order through their website, starting April 16. Living Things will be released on June 26, 2012. Pre-orders for the album began in April 17, 2012; upon purchase, fans will be subscribed to Living Things Remixed, remixed songs from the album. In celebration of the release of Living Things, the band teamed up with music streaming website Spotify to release live compilations of each album era.
The band had numerous influences and inspirations for Living Things. Shinoda told Rolling Stone that “Skin to Bone” and “Roads Untraveled” contained folk music influenced by the works of Bob Dylan, as well as the inspirations of Dylan. In the seventh track “Victimized”, which Rolling Stone described as “the band’s most aggressive track in years”, were influenced by punk rock bands such as Pennywise and Dirty Rotten Imbeciles.Shinoda noted the minimal content of numerous punk rock songs attributed to the short length of “Victimized”; bassist Dave “Phoenix” Farrel noted that the song’s working title, “Battle Axe”, “which to me is..what that song is; it’s just this big ‘crack’ and then you’re out.” Like the band’s first two albums, the penultimate song (“Tinfoil”) is an instrumental. Brad Delson, the band’s guitarist, had vocals in the tenth track “Until It Breaks”, which was Delson’s idea.
On March 28, 2012, Shinoda confirmed that the album’s first single is “Burn It Down”. On April 11, 2012, it was confirmed that it would be sent for radio airplay and released to iTunes digital download on April 16, 2012.Shinoda also confirmed they were filming a music video for the song, with the band’s turntablist Joe Hahn directing the video. The band teamed up with the Lotus F1 team to create a musical racing iPad app entitled Linkin Park GP, where players drive a Lotus E20 and interact with an environment that allows the player to create a remix of “Burn It Down”, as well as zooming into individual sections of the song. The music video for “Burn It Down” premiered on MTV on May 24, 2012.
Living Things is now released globally and being distributed in the country by Warner Music Philippines.