Linkin Park - Living Things (First Impressions)

So first impressions of the new Linkin Park album will likely change after release. Like most albums I listen to (probably the same for most of you), it's usually the second or third listen that really reflects what you think of it. That was my feeling towards A Thousand Suns, and that's probably the case with Living Things. Now I wasn't able to check out the stream of the album that iTunes was providing earlier today (I was at my graduation, plus I didn't know this was happening), but was able to find most of the songs on YouTube and even found a download link for the album which annoyed me. I do not recommend pirating a pre-released album or any album for that matter unless the artist specifically expresses the fact that they approve of that method of distribution (like me). It should also be noted that some videos I was finding were quickly getting removed, so I probably won't listen to this again until I pick it up June 26th.

Living Things album Cover
That said, I don't think we will ever get two Linkin Park albums that sound exactly the same other than their first two releases; Hybrid Theory and Meteora. I'm actually fine with that because I understand what the band is trying to do and I feel the same way when I write my music. Furthermore, this is clearly a band for those who like music as a whole and not necessarily one genre. If you're looking for them to keep producing a nu-metal record every other year, you better not hold your breath. Instead, just like when they started as Hybrid Theory, it's a combination of what they like and what they know, and you can tell throughout the entire album that they've taken elements of all of their past releases and found a happy fusion to blend into a full release that has it's own sound. After hearing A Thousand Suns I was wondering if this almost completely electronic sound was their new direction (in a good way, I should add). It is much more toned down in Living Things and instead is added on to hard rock and hip-hop verses with the return of guitars. I know that doesn't sound too different than what Hybrid Theory was like, but it does sound like it's own.

I think the vocals and lyrics are the highlight on this album. If I'm not mistaken, there's more members of the band singing on various songs (I'll pay attention during my next listen). There's an instrumental song near the end of the album that was unfortunately the only song I could not find. My one dissatisfaction with this album is that some songs felt really short, especially "Victimized", which I've read some consider to be the band's "heaviest" song ever. Well, I'm not sure about that, but I did really enjoy it and I was left wanting more after the 1:46 mark at the end of the song. Of course, if you're familiar with my music, I like to make all my music try to last at least 4-5 minutes long so maybe this feeling will be different for you if you prefer shorter songs. One of my favourite songs that has already been released is "Lies Greed Misery", which I also find a little short even though it's around 2:25.

Sound expectations and length issues aside, this is exactly my kind of music. This album has that hard rock/alternative feel to it that has the subtle inclusion of electronic sounds and hip-hop beats and lyrics that just combines everything I love. It hasn't completely got me hooked yet, but just like A Thousand Suns I'm sure I'll be playing it on repeat after I pick up Living Things later this month.