LIVING THINGS by Linkin Park Album Review

Linkin Park does it again.  They continue to evolve yet continue to put out great music.

I knew the guys had something good going when I heard the single “BURN IT DOWN”.  A new electronic sound, similar to “New Divide”, gave a great lead into Chester Bennington’s beautiful verse.  This is Chester singing at his best, and a short bridge of “And you were there at the turn/waiting to let me know” leads into a shouting chorus.  A rap verse by Mike Shinoda works well, but is really short and actually leaves something desired. 

“BURN IT DOWN” got acclaim from more than just Linkin Park fans; it receives favorable reviews overall, and was the feature track for the 2012 NBA playoffs.  That’s pretty legit.  Linkin Park couldn’t have done much better in hyping the album and exciting fans than releasing “BURN IT DOWN”.

Although I’d say the lead single is the best track on the album, the first track can also be argued for, that being “LOST IN THE ECHO”. 

2012 NFL Mock Draft 1.0

Here’s a mock draft for the 2012 NFL draft, following up the NFL regular season.

TRADE:

Redskins Get #2 Overall Pick

Rams Get #7 Overall Pick, 2nd Round pick (#39), 4th rounder, and 2012 1st round pick.

1. Indianapolis (2-13)- Andrew Luck QB Stanford

There will be alot of drama with this, but the Colts know Manning is almost done and Luck is primed and ready for a great career.

2. Washington (FROM STL)- (2-13)- Robert Griffin III

The Redskins are just too bad at QB to not do anything humanly possible to trade up and get Griffin.

3. Minnesota (3-12)- Matt Kalil OT USC

Starting to get boring for Vikings fans, but this is almost guaranteed to be the pick

4. Jacksonville (4-11)- Justin Blackmon WR Oklahoma State

I could see the Jags not wanting to take a WR in the Top 5, but AJ Green is working so far, and Blackmon is that type of prospect.

5. Cleveland (4-11)- Dre’ Kirkpatrick CB Alabama

Cleveland looking for a stud to pair with Joe Haden. This could soon be a younger version of Asomugha-Samuel, or Revis-Cromartie.

6. Tampa Bay (4-11)- Morris Claiborne

Ronder Barber is hitting a wall, and Aquib Talib apparently could be hitting the cell (what I’ve heard). Claiborne is that guy for their secondary.

7. St. Louis Rams (FROM WAS)- Devon Still DT Penn State

Still is the fastest rising prospect right now, he’s not quite a Top 10 pick in my mind but the Rams DTs are bad and their run defense ranks last in the league.

8. Miami (5-10)- Landry Jones QB Oklahoma

The Dolphins often go the conservative route, but with a new coaching regime on the way in, things are changing. Jones’ stock has droppped, making this a reach. But if there is one type of prospect to reach on, it’s a QB.

9. Carolina (6-9)- Riley Reiff OT Iowa

Just a good case of protecting the franchise.

10. Kansas City (6-9)- Ryan Tannehill QB Texas A&M

KC fans will probably be split on this one, many saying it’s a reach and many just releived to have a decent QB of the future. Tannehill benefits greatly from Barkely staying in school.

11. Buffalo (6-9)- Courtney Upshaw DE/LB Alabama

Needing a 3-4 OLB rusher, and still scared to death of picking the next Aaron Maybin, the Bills pass on the ridiculous upside of Nick Perry and take a more sure prospect.

12. Arizona (7-8)- Jonathon Martin OT Stanford

Desperately in need of a tackle, they barely hesitate to take Martin.

13. Philadelphia (7-8)- Michael Floyd WR Notre Dame

DeSean Jackson is likely gone, leaving Maclin, Avant, and Cooper, as well as a lot to be desired at wideout for the Eagles.

14. Seattle (7-8)- Quinton Coples DE UNC

Nice spot to get a great End prospect, who’s size/athleticism/strength combo is rare, and only has questions about effort and motor.

 15. San Diego (7-8)- Brandon Thompson DT Clemson

Thompson has fallen a bit, but still remains a big dude (310 lbs) with power and good feet. He could play End or slide to the Nose in the 3-4.

16. Chicago (7-8)- Alshon Jeffery WR South Carolina

Jeffery’s stock would be higher if Stephen Garcia never happened, but unfortunately he did. Jeffery is stil a lock for the 1st round, and the receiver-needy team like the Bears will bite.

17. Tennessee (8-7)- David DeCastro OG Stanford

Chris Johnson and Javon Ringer has enjoyed trying to run through holes 3 or 4 inches wide, thanks to awful guard play.

18. Dallas (8-7)- Jared Crick DT/DE Nebraska

The Cowboys opted to take a tackle rather than addressing the DL last year. This year they take Crick, who misses most of the season with an injury, but he should be fine for the combine and pro day where he will impress people.

19. New York Jets (8-7)- Trent Richardson RB Alabama

Richardson’s stock is hampered by the recent failure of Top 10 RBs, but the Jets just can’t keep rolling with Shonn Greene if they want to run the ball consistently.

20. Cincinnati – (FROM OAK) (8-7)- Chase Minniefield CB Virginia

Hall’s absence has exploited Cincy’s lack of depth at corner, plus Clements is old.

21. Denver* (8-7)- Alfonzo Dennard CB Nebraska

Denver needs a corner, and will look for their RB later.

22. Cleveland – (FROM ATL)* (9-6)- Zach Brown LB UNC

The Browns need more athleticism at LB, Brown brings that.

23. Cincinnati* (9-6)- Kendall Wright WR Baylor

Shipley is coming off an ACL tear, Wright is better than Simpson, would be a strong duo with Green.

24. Detroit* (10-5)- Peter Konz C Wisconsin

Konz is the best center in the draft, he’ll replace Rioala as a rookie.

25. New York Giants* (8-7)- Mike Adams OT Ohio State

Adams probably doesn’t have a 1st round grade, but in a weak tackle class (after the top 3) a small reach is necessary.

26. Houston* (10-5)- Nick Toon WR Wisconsin

Any time Andre’ Johnson is not on the field, it’s obvious that the passing game runs mostly through the TEs and Backs. Their really isn’t an effective receiver after Johnson. Now, there is.

27. Pittsburgh* (11-4)- Cordy Glenn OG Georgia

I’ve been hearing that the Steelers need OG help, and they haven’t been effective between the tackles runnig the ball.

28. San Francisco* (12-3)- Janoris Jenkins CB North Alabama

My guess is that Harbaugh would have no problem with taking someone with past troubles if they are talented enough.

29. Baltimore* (11-4)- Mark Barron S Alabama

Reed is getting old, and Bernard Pollard is still Bernard Pollard (the last time I checked), making Safety an area that the Ravens will look at.

30. New England – (FROM NO)- Brandon Jenkins DE/OLB FSU

The Patriots need to look for a 3-4 pass rushing OLB, Jenkins is the perfect fit.

31. New England* (12-3)- Reuben Randle WR LSU

Randle is a prospect I really like, he has everything you look for. The Pats need a replacement for Branch and Ochocinco is one tweet away from officially being a disaster.

32. Green Bay* (14-1)- Melvin Ingram DE/OLB South Carolina

The Packers need a rushing threat opposite Clay Matthews, Ingram’s size/skillset fit the bill.

Round 2

33. Indy- Stephen Gilmore CB South Carolina

34. St. Louis- Dont’a Hightower LB Alabama

35. Minnesota- Luke Keuchly LB Boston College

36. Jacksonville- Zebrie Sanders OT FSU

37. Cleveland- Whitney Mercilus DE Illinois

38. Tampa Bay- Lamar Miller RB Miami (FL)

39. St. Louis (FROM WAS)- Mohamed Sanu WR Rutgers

I’ve heard rumors of him staying in school but until it’s official (or close) he’s in my mock.

40. Miami- Dwyane Allen TE Clemson

41. Carolina- Jerel Worthy DT Michigan State

42. Kansas City- Levy Adcock OT Oklahoma State

43. Buffalo- Orson Charles TE Georgia

44. Philly (FROM AZ)- Nate Potter OT Boise State

45. Philadelphia- Vontaze Burfict ILB AZ State

46. Seattle- Nick Foles QB Arizona

47. San Diego- Bobby Wagner LB Utah State

48. Chicago- Ben Jones C/G Georgia

49. Tennessee- Jayron Hosely CB Va Tech

50. Dallas- Jonathan Banks CB Miss State

51. New York Jets- Bruce Irvin DE/OLB W Virginia

52. Patriots (FROM OAK)- Markelle Martin S Oklahoma State

53. Denver- David Wilson RB Va Tech

54. Atlanta- Andre Branch DE Clemson

55. Cincinnati- Montee Ball RB Wisconsin

56. Detroit- Brandon Boykin CB Georgia

57. New York Giants- Travis Lewis OLB Oklahoma

58. Houston- Almeda Ta’amu NT Washington

59. Pittsburgh- Dontari Poe NT Memphis

60. San Francisco- Tommy Streeter WR Miami (FL)

61. Baltimore- Brandon Washington G/T Miami (FL)

62. New Orleans- Brandon Lindsey DE/OLB Pittsburgh

63. New England- Billy Winn DT Boise State

64. Green Bay- Fletcher Cox DE/DT Miss State

Round 3

65. Indy- Jeff Fuller WR Texas A&M

66. St. Louis- Trumaine Johnson CB/S Montana

67. Minnesota- DeVier Posey WR Ohio State

68. Jacksonville- Chandler Jones DE Syracuse

69. Cleveland- T.Y. Hilton WR FIU

70. Tampa Bay- Lavonte David LB Nebraska

71. Washington- Audie Cole ILB NC State

72. Miami- Sam Montgomery DE/OLB LSU

73. Chicago- Kelechi Osmele G/T Iowa State

74. Kansas City- Josh Chapman DT Alabama

75. Buffalo- Sylvester Williams DT UNC

76. Arizona- Ronnell Lewis DE/OLB Oklahoma

77. Philadelphia- Kawaan Short DT Purdue

78. Seattle- Leonard Johnson CB Iowa State

79. San Diego- Matt Reynolds OT BYU

80. Chicago- Nico Johnson LB Alabama

81. Tennessee- Marvin McNutt WR Iowa

82. Dallas- Robert Lester S Alabama

83. New York Jets- Lucas Nix G/T Pittsburgh

84. Oakland- Forfeit (Terrelle Pryor)

85. Denver- Marcus Forston DT Miami (FL)

86. Atlanta- Michael Egnew TE Missouri

87. Cincinnati- Kevin Zeitler OG Wisconsin

88. Detroit- Andrew Datko OT FSU

89. New York Giants- Coby Fleener TE Stanford

90. Houston- Senio Kelemete OG Washington

91. Pittsburgh- Coryell Judie CB Texas A&M

92. San Francisco- Vinny Curry DE Marshall

93. Baltimore- Kevin Reddick LB UNC

94. New Orleans- Shaun Prater CB Iowa

95. New England- Michael Bewster C/G Ohio State’

96. Green Bay- Aaron Henry S Wisconsin

I was recently reminded that Matt Hasselbeck is a Fool

On a Packers fan website, a user reminded us all of a particular playoff wildcard game vs Matt Hasselbeck and the Seahawks.  Watch this:

 

 

Seattle wins the coin toss, and Hasselbeck goes “We want the ball, and we’re gonna score”.  Of course, on that very same drive, he throws a pick-6 to Al Harris, the Game-winning TD in overtime.  Seattle goes home.

So, would you even say that Hasselbeck is a fool?  You could say that he just has alot of confidence, and it backfired.  Some will say he’s a dumbass.  I just say, if you want to make a cocky remark, don’t let Al Harris hear it.

 

The Eagles and Free Agency

The Eagles have already made a HUGE splash in just a few days of Free Agency.  They have already souped up their secondary and defensive line, and gotten a very good backup QB.  CB Nnamdi Asomugha signed a 5-year, 60$ mil deal yesterday, a deal that surprised many.  Most people expected Asomugha to end up a Jet, or possibly a Texan (until they signed Jonanthan Joseph).  NA very well could be the best Corner in the league, and he won’t be the onyl good corner on the Eagles.  They also traded for Dominic Rodgers-Cromartie from the Cardinals.  And if you were wondering, Asante Samuel hasn’t gone anywhere.

Former Raiders CB, Nnamdi Asomugha

Right now, the Eagles have 3 top 15 corners in the league right now, as well as a sure Top 3 guy.  But what about the front seven?  Can they get any pass rush?  Cullen Jenkins and Jason Babin surely can, and they are two more recent signees with Philly.  Jenkins signed a 5-year, 25$ mil deal today.  He’s a great overall D-lineman when he’s on the field, but he’s very injury prone.  Jenkins was a member of the SB-champion Packers last season, and he was a key player all season for them, but did spend some time on the sidelines, and in the games he was often wearing a club on his hand.

Lastly, they signed Vince Young, who was recently let go by the Titans.  Young is a fringe starter, but a very good backup.  There are some questions still surrounging Young and where his head is.  It wasn’t all that long ago that there were reports that he was talking to therapists and stuff about suicidal thoughts.  I hope he’s got his stuff figured out.

With all these star-spangled additions to an already good team, the Eagles may very well be superbowl favorites.  But you can never count out the team that won it all a handful of months ago.  The Eagles will have to take the trophy out of Titletown.

A Thousand Suns (Album) by Linkin Park Review

Linkin Park releases their 5th studio album, this one a bit different than the others.  A Thousand Suns is hyped by the popularity of LP, and their lead single “The Catalyst”.  Let’s start with the lead single:

The Catalyst:
When I first listened to this song (before A Thousand Suns was released), I could barely believe it was Linkin Park.  I mean, you could assume they were exploring different ways to make music, from the originality of Minutes to Midnight.  But still, this was kinda confusing.

Moving past that, the Catalyst in a interesting song with and interesting name, as well as interesting lyrics.  The song begins with funeralish ringing noise (hard to explain), before the beat comes in.  The beat is very catchy, and it includes some great scratches by DJ Hahn.  Then Mike Shinda comes in, and while many see him as a rapper, he’s not really rapping.  “God bless us everyone/we’re the broken people living on a loaded gun”.  You really should check out the lyrics they are great.  Anyways, the song continues sounding relatively the same, until it changes when Chester comes in with a soft “Lift me up/let me go”.  There are only two nitpicks on this song for me.  Itt feels kinda repetetive, it’s not a big deal just a small one, and also that the vocals sound a bit synthesized rather than completely organic.  Anyways, the beat/instruments and lyrics are both great, with the vocals being OK, and therefore The Catalyst serves as a solid cover song for the album.

The first time listening through the album, a hardcore Linkin Park fan has to be scratching his/her head.  From Hybrid Theory in 2000, with the metal instruments, rapping, and loud (occasionally screaming) voice from lead singer Chester Bennington, to this…it’s tough to make sense of it all.  Nonetheless, someone who accepts and enjoys a bigger variety of music like I do will still like the album.  It actually needs some time to “grow” on you, and it surely has grown on me.

Waiting For the End was the one song that stood out the first time I heard it, and I still see it as the best song on the album.  Every aspect of the song is marvelous, including Chester’s chorus.  This song was the most commericially popular and successful single song from the album.

After that, there is still more to offer.  Burning In the Skies provides excellent and deep lyrics that carry heavy meaning.  That mixed with a soothing piano/guitar make the song a good listen.  The same can be said for Iridiscent, the song that was the theme for Transformers 3.

Wretches and Kings is really the only track that sounds like trademark LP.  This song sounds like it belongs on Hybrid Theory or Meteora.  The song opens with a “Bodies upon Levers” speech from a famous guy who’s name I forgot, and in comes some excellent, metal-like guitar riffs.  Shinoda has decent flow in his raps, and the chorus by Chester is pretty decent but not super special.  Blackout is the only other song where Bennington brings out any real noise and rage in his voice.  In Blackout, he screams the chorus, and sings the verses quickly over a fast beat, and again, brings some rage in with “the can’t get enough you take and take and take and take/fuck it are you listening?!”  There is also a short guitar part that sounds like the mini-solo of New Divide.

When They Come For Me has a very original sound, and it doesn’t dissapoint but it isn’t a staple song for the album.  Decent verses from Shinoda over steady electic guitar and a tribal beat are OK, but the chorus is special.  I can’t put it into words just go listen.

Robot Boy could be the dead weight of the album to an extent.  The song is boring with no real appeal to it, except some more good and meaningful lyrics.  But the lyrics don’t alone save the song, and it laggs behind the other songs.  The Messenger is another song that is also a bit boring, and while it has a good concept of “When life leaves us blind/LOVE, keeps us kind”, it just is boring and no LP songs should be boring.
All in all, this was a solid album by Linkin Park.  They really changed up the style from what they are known to be, but you have to respect them for it.  I get tired of bands that sport the same sounds album after album.  It just gets old.  Linkin Park showed how much talent they truly have by releasing A Thousand Suns.

Furthermore, the album’s songs all had deep, meaningful lyrics based off of radiation theories and stuff like that, as well as some dealing with ups and downs of life.  The beats and rythms are good, but sometimes get repetetive.  Linkin Park should be commended by the work they put into this album, and how well it came out.

RATING:  8.5 out of 10.

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