Linkin Park - Living Things (Warner Bros.) 

A tougher, more focused LP that shoves any high-concept ideas aside in favor of fist-pumping bro-rock

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 sextet 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 they 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 the indie-rock hip hop of "Lost in the Echo" to the turbo-charged chorus of "Burn It Down" to the clubby "Lies Greed Misery," Living Things is a reconnection, for better or worse.

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