If there's one thing Linkin Park fans don't want, it's a politically charged concept album that's every bit as pretentious as U2's most bombastic work. They pretty much told the band this after the release of 2010's A Thousand Suns, which still managed to hit No. 1 despite the general confusion with the record. So the sextet regrouped with Suns producer Rick Rubin for their fifth album, reached back to their 2000 debut for inspiration, and emerge with a tougher, more focused LP that shoves any high-concept ideas aside in favor of fist-pumping bro-rock. So don't expect too many surprises here. From "Lost in the Echo"'s indie-rock hip-hop to the turbo-charged chorus of "Burn It Down" to the clubby "Lies Greed Misery," Living Things is a reconnection, for better or worse. — Michael Gallucci
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