LIVING THINGS pre-release Listening Party at Virgin Records (EMI India)
Today the 5th studio album by Linkin Park "LIVING THINGS" (Yes it's CAPITALIZED) releases in India and worldwide. Some of us here at LPIU were fortunate enough to have a memorable celebration for the album release.
What began some weeks ago set things in motion which I couldn't even anticipate. First we managed to convince EMI Music India (Linkin Park's Indian Licensee and Warner Music) to release Living Things here on pre-order and for the first time the album is releasing here with worldwide release, in collaboration with flipkart.com, India's equivalent to Amazon and the #1 online site for snatching Books, Electronics and Music. And not only did we manage that but also the great fact (again) for the first time a single is being released here in physical form, and happy to say we guys exclusively got first few copies of Burn It Down, the first single of the new record. We were very happy with this, and to top it all looking at our enthusiasm we were delighted when the folks from EMI Music India invited some of us over to their office for a pre-release listening session of the record, and in response to Mike Shinoda's Release Day Challenge, we had one memorable celebration!
It all started with me meeting up with Harsh and Anvay in the afternoon at Borivali, Mumbai after getting our banner ready for the show, the killing ride in Mumbai local trains in the hot sun and the unpredictable-can-anytime-screw-heavy rains which this place is known for, to the land of unknown.
After a bit of searching and strolling managed to find the place and meet up with the remaining two fans, Himanshi an old friend from the LPU and her school LP bestie Supriya.
The LPIU Team
After spending some weeks of time talking over the phone and emails/chats, we were greeted by Mr. Setul Radia and his team working at EMI and we immediately felt like we were at home. Since I never been to such a place before, office of a music company, the entire place simply dazzled me and everyone else. Their "music room" was mind blowing, adorned with all sorts of music CDs/DVDs, posters and all the awesomeness one music lover needs.
Our banner in full glory
We were told to chill out, Setul introduced to "the boss" and the awesome guys working there, Shashank and Ramon (these guys reminded me of myself, well more or less). We were told we were expecting 2 more fans to turn up, who won a contest conducted by Rolling Stone India, 2 music journalists and critics and 2 guys from the flipkart.com team (Yeah you can say we were waiting for 3 sets of a pair of people) Till then we hung up our banner in all its glory, got acquainted with these guys, had drinks (check - depends on age and preference) and to pass the time watched one of the all time favourites, Road To Revolution: Live at Milton Keynes, the concert filmed and released in DVD in 2008.
Meanwhile, entered the Rolling Stone India contest winners Paras and Tushar, soon followed by journalists Amit Gurbaxani from Mumbai Boss and Aditya Kundalkar from Time Out Mumbai, and finally the guys from flipkart.com
As we all sat in silence with the lyrics (and other things else) in our hands, began the album trailer or you can say making of the album video (which everyone including the whole dam office had seen before on youtube, still) followed by the electronizing Lost In The Echo...
Lost In The Echo - A great start to the album, powerful, full of impact and lyrically one of the strongest in the record. Most likely to be well received by both old fans since Hybrid Theory and the new.
Best Moments - the charge after the second verse, the amazing chorus
In My Remains - A song with a lot of electronic feeling mixed with drums. A mixture of the elements from the last 2 records Minutes To Midnight and A Thousand Suns.
Best Moments - the change of phase after each verse by Chester, Mike singing
Burn It Down - A calm melody with ferocious comebacks making a unique choice for a first single. Soothing vocals by Chester, but there are better performances in the record itself.
Best Moments - Again the change of phase and diversity between verses and chorus
Lies Greed Misery - One of the heavier tracks of the record, with the mix of electro and metal. The song starts and ends both on a high note leaving one energized. Though initially didn't strike the required cord but then grew up on subsequent listening
Best Moments - Choke up your lies...; You did it to yourself.
I'll Be Gone - Another very powerful track of the album. Brad and Rob start off great with Chester stealing the show with the first few words itself. Splendid song progression. Really good lyrics.
Best Moments - The chorus, the verses and pretty much the whole dam song.
Castle of Glass - One of the instant favourites on the first listen. No surprise for a potential single. Calm yet great start by Mike and as the song progresses one can find the song can be visually artistic too.
Best Moments - the chorus by the dynamic duo, guitars
Victimized - The heavy song of the album. Energizing, but very short and felt rushed. If only if it could have been bit longer. Or that might be the very purpose of it, making you want more, in another perspective.
Best Moments - The start, altering/distorted voice, and the drums & guitars
Roads Untraveled - An instant favourite, probably the best song of the record and one of Linkin Park's finest yet, right from the very catchy name to the song itself is magnificent. Lyrics is again one of the best representations, through a few words has a whole story to tell leading to many interpretations. Has a strong resemblance to the track "Fear" (Demo of Leave Out All The Rest from MTM) from the LP Underground 9.0 album (2009) I (and many others) would be dammed if this doesn't turn up to be a single/music video.
Best Moments - from 0:00 to 3:49
Skin To Bones - A surprise by the band in the song's direction. Strong electro and drums with the changing tempo. Looks like fans get their karaoke song after all. Despite the song seemingly having a serious heavy direction, its more light hearted for all moods.
Best Moments - the bridge
Until It Breaks - One of the classic Linkin Park type songs, mix of hip-hop, rock, melody and throw in some electro, you get this. Again really good lyrics which is a signature of this album. I found the end to be of similar type with the track "Hands Held High" from MTM, another powerful song, and it worked out pretty well.
Best Moments - The intro and the outro
Tinfoil - Looks like they meant it when they said they are returning to their old roots. 11 solid tracks with this instrumental interlude which flows seamlessly from Until It Breaks to Powerless
Powerless - I find it quiet ironic that one of the most powerful songs in both the album and the band's history is "Powerless". Right from the slow-steady-shady start to the ongoing melody till the epic end to a powerful song and the finale to the album, Powerless was just perfect.
Best Moments - If you have read till here so far you can guess what I'm gonna say...
Overall the album was really great, a mixture right from Hybrid Theory to A Thousand Suns, at the same timing having a uniqueness of its own. Living Things is essentially living one's feelings, and that what this album is all about. As I said, including all the previous elements bundles into one, this is not just about heavy guitars and raps, but conveying human emotions and relations, which truly makes this record remarkable.
If I have to put it in numbers/stars/whatever conventional way to make it easier to understand, I'll give:
LIVING THINGS - 9/10
Yes it deserves it. Not perfect but still amazing.
We needed a serious break to digest all this craziness. Those guys were right. The album is freaking mind blowing~ Had a wonderful chat which ranged from different aspects of the album and Linkin Park, and there were mixed opinions (but overall very positive) on everyone's favourite tracks. The strongest contenders were Roads Untraveled, Powerless, I'll Be Gone, Lost In The Echo and Castle of Glass.
So it was time for hogging, drinking and another louder session of Living Things.
After a splendid evening came a big surprise, a lucky draw - in which Paras became a 2 time winner now and guess what did he won? The Delux version of A Thousand Suns!
The look on others' faces (well the ones who didn't have it) priceless.
Well that was not all since we all got some goodies too!
That was one memorable day which will be remembered for a lifetime. Celebrating your favourite band's new release with such craziness and amazing folks. Big thanks to fellow mates at the LPIU, to Setul for inviting us, Ramon, Shashank and all others who made this possible. Big shout out to our very own Himanshi and Harsh for the photographs and live tweeting while keeping up with the craziness.
All you guys rock!
Until next time then.