"Powerless" is a song by Americanrock 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 also served as the intro to the song. It was released on iTunes as a digital single from their fifth studio album Living Things on October 31, 2012, in Japan. The release included the "Powerless" artwork and featured just the one track.
"Powerless" is a mid-tempo song that features a lock-step breaks, soaring harmonies and synthesizer whispers. 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". The Silver Tongue Online described the song as "a foundation of busy percussion and electronica, a sweeping chorus and Coldplay-worthy bridge". It's also been described as a "surging, slow-burning, classically Linkin Park anthem". Lyrically, the song is about a self-destructive friend or lover.
"Powerless", the twelfth and closing track of the album, is featured in the closing credits to the film Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. A performance music video of "Powerless" featuring scenes from the film was released on Yahoo!, serving as the film's music trailer. The music video was directed by Timur Bekmambetov, director of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. The video was filmed in Berlin, Germany. 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.
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". 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".
Chester Bennington has confirmed in an interview that a music video will be shot for "Powerless".Music for Relief premiered the promotion video of "Powerless" on November 27, 2012. 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.