Powerless (Linkin Park song)

"Powerless" is a song by American rock band Linkin Park. The song was written by the band and produced by co-lead vocalist Mike Shinoda and Rick Rubin. Its working title was "Tinfoil", which instead ended up serving as the intro to the song. It was released on iTunes as a digital single from the soundtrack of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter on October 31, 2012, in Japan. The song was also released as a single worldwide through the official website of the band. The song was released as the third single from the album Living Things.[1][2] The release included the "Powerless" artwork and featured just the one track.

Linkin Park - Powerless.jpg
Single by Linkin Park
from the album Living Things and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
ReleasedOctober 31, 2012
LabelWarner Bros.
Songwriter(s)Linkin Park
Linkin Park singles chronology
"Lost in the Echo"
"Castle of Glass"
Music video
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter Promotional video on YouTube


"Powerless" is a mid-tempo song[3] that features a lock-step breaks, soaring harmonies and synthesizer whispers.[4] The song has a piano-based production and is described by Spin as having a "electro-goth atmosphere like Bruno Mars on the most recent Twilight soundtrack".[5] The Silver Tongue Online described the song as "a foundation of busy percussion and electronica, a sweeping chorus and Coldplay-worthy bridge".[6] It's also been described as a "surging, slow-burning, classically Linkin Park anthem".[7] Lyrically, the song is about a self-destructive friend or lover.[8]


"Powerless", the twelfth and closing track of the album, is featured in the closing credits to the film Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.[9] A performance music video of "Powerless" featuring scenes from the film was released on Yahoo!, serving as the film's music trailer.[10] The music video was directed by Timur Bekmambetov, director of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.[11] The video was filmed in Berlin, Germany.[11] Bekmambetov screened the film for the band, who reacted positively to the film, and believed that the band had a song that would fit into the film; hence, "Powerless" was chosen.[11]

It was used in a commercial promoting the second season of the NBC show Revolution, following the usage of "Roads Untraveled" in a commercial promoting the first season.


Billboard lists "Powerless" as an example "of why Linkin Park remains vital while its nu-metal compatriots have more or less fallen by the wayside".[4] AltSounds.com says the song is "certainly bigger and bolder than the majority of the album's songs, but it still doesn't shake you to your core like I wish it would".[12]

Music videoEdit

Chester Bennington has confirmed in an interview that a music video will be shot for "Powerless".[13] Music for Relief premiered the promotion video of "Powerless" on November 27, 2012.[14] The two-minute video was a compilation between the "Powerless" footage filmed for the trailer of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and clips of the Music for Relief's Power the World campaign.[14]

Track listingEdit

Digital single
1."Powerless"Linkin Park3:44


Chart (2012) Peak
UK Rock & Metal (Official Charts Company)[15] 40

Release historyEdit

Region Date Format Label
Japan[16] October 31, 2012 Digital download Warner Bros.


  1. ^ a b Linkin Park - Powerless Linkin Park.
  2. ^ Discography : Singles : Linkin Park Archived 2015-11-20 at the Wayback Machine Linkin Park
  3. ^ "Linkin Park News - Linkin Park - Living Things Review". Artists.letssingit.com. Retrieved 2012-07-10.
  4. ^ a b "New Music Releases, Music Reviews, Album Releases & Song Releases". Billboard.com. Retrieved 2012-07-10.
  5. ^ Wood, Mikael. "Linkin Park, 'Living Things' (Warner Bros./WEA) | SPIN | Albums | Critical Mass". SPIN. Retrieved 2012-07-10.
  6. ^ Wesley, Justin (2012-06-21). "Linkin Park – Living Things". Thesilvertongueonline.com. Retrieved 2012-07-07.
  7. ^ Grimmie, Destiny (2012-06-19). "Album Review: Linkin Park – 'Living Things'". Ology. Archived from the original on 2012-06-22. Retrieved 2012-07-10.
  8. ^ "Linkin Park - Living Things Review". Rock.about.com. 2012-06-26. Retrieved 2012-07-10.
  9. ^ Gallo, Phil (2012-06-13). "Linkin Park Score 'Abe Lincoln' End Credits". Billboard. Retrieved 2012-06-14.
  10. ^ "Linkin Park & Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter Exclusive". Yahoo!. 2012-06-16. Archived from the original on 2012-06-19. Retrieved 2012-06-16.
  11. ^ a b c "Linkin Park song featured in end credits of 'Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter'". The Philippine Star. PhilStar Daily. 2012-06-24. Retrieved 2012-07-13.
  12. ^ "Review: Linkin Park – Living Things [Album] | Altsounds.com Reviews". Hangout.altsounds.com. 2012-07-03. Retrieved 2012-07-10.
  13. ^ "VMusic - Music News - Latest local and international music news". [V] Music. Archived from the original on 2012-09-10. Retrieved 2012-08-18.
  14. ^ a b "Music For Relief premiered the new POWERLESS Video 11/27". Lpassociation.com. Retrieved 2012-11-22.
  15. ^ "2012-07-07 Top 40 Rock & Metal Singles Archive". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2012-07-10.
  16. ^ "Powerless - Single". iTunes Japan. Apple, inc. Retrieved 3 November 2012.