Powerless (song)

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For the Nelly Furtado song, see Powerless (Say What You Want). For the 2014 single by Rudimental, see Powerless (Rudimental song).
Single by Linkin Park
from the album Living Things and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
Released October 31, 2012
Format Digital download
Recorded 2011–2012 at NRG Recording Studios
(North Hollywood, California)
Genre Alternative rock, electronic rock
Length 3:44
Label Warner Bros.
Writer(s) Linkin Park
Producer(s) Mike Shinoda
Rick Rubin
Tim Burton
Timur Bekmambetov
Jim Lemley
Linkin Park singles chronology
"Lost in the Echo"
"Castle of Glass"
Music video
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter Promotional video on YouTube

"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.


A 59 second sample of the chorus and the outro of the song.

Problems playing this file? See media help.

"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 video[edit]

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 list[edit]

Digital single
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Powerless"   Linkin Park 3:44


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

Release History[edit]

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


  1. ^ a b Linkin Park - Powerless Linkin Park.
  2. ^ Discography : Singles : Linkin Park 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. 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. 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. 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. Retrieved 2012-07-10. 
  16. ^ "Powerless - Single". iTunes Japan. Apple, inc. Retrieved 3 November 2012.