Realm Of Randomness

May 23, 2007

Linkin Park: Minutes to Midnight

Filed under: Music,Review — Randomizer @ 3:16 pm


Grade: B+ / A-

Linkin Park has been a band for close to a decade now, and as with all things, has grown and evolved over time. While Hybrid Theory and Meteora were extremely successful multi-platinum hit albums, I do NOT expect Minutes to Midnight to achieve anywhere close to the same level of commercial success. However, it is still a great album.

For one to appreciate this album, one has to forget how he/she has defined ‘Linkin Park’ in his mind. This is a step in a totally new direction, away from the nu metal rap/rock combination they have been famous for. The Rap/rock combo is now cliched and totally ‘angry teenager’-ish , but thankfully, Linkin Park didn’t go down with it. Many reviews of the album have blasted this new shift, but I think the same critics would have blasted them for making a third album that sounded like Hybrid Theory and Meteora as well. There is only so much of the Rap/rock combination you can take, and 5 years and 2 albums is enough. Let bands like Korn and Limp Bizkit continue on the trend if they have to.

Here is a closer look at their songs:

1. Wake – No vocals in this first song. The song’s hardly noticeable due to how short it is.

2. Given Up – Chester’s vocals really tear up this one, supported by great pumping guitars

3. Leave out All the Rest – This song sounds very pop-ish, and is perhaps the first song you will notice of LP that is in the new direction they have moved to. Great lyrics.

4. Bleed It Out – Perhaps the best song on the album, this one grows on you. By the third time you listen to this one, you’ll wish you knew all the lyrics by-heart.

5. Shadow of the Day – Chester’s vocal range as a singer of ‘sweet’ songs like My December really comes out in this one. Also more alternative than rock, this one falls on the pop-ish direction as well.

6. What I’ve Done – I’m sure you heard this song. If not, this is the link to the video on YouTube. Another one of their best songs on the album.

7. Hands Held High – Kudos to Mike Shinoda (LP rapper) on this one. Great lyrics. And a combination of sounds you would never hear before – the church organ, marching beats, and rap ! Very creative song.

8. No More Sorrow – More of Chester’s speaker-busting vocals on this one.

9. Valentine’s Day – More of a ‘filler’ song on the album, I like this one the least.

10. In Between – Mike Shinoda actually sings on this one, not rap. This song grows on you as well.. by the third time, you will like it a lot more.

11. In Pieces – Another filler song.

12. Little Things Give You Away – A song about the New Orleans distaster, this song is a ‘sweet’ one as well.

Thumbs up

To the new direction they have chosen to go as a band. LP fans who were between 18-25 years of age during their first two albums might have related well to the ‘anger within self’ songs that were dished out by their lead vocalist. But 7 years on, we have all grown up and left that behind for more classic tunes.

– To songs that are more about the outside than the inside. Less of relationships, and more of wars, injustice and life.

Thumbs down

– To the clear separation between Mike Shinoda’s influence and Chester’s. In the first two albums, the two had a clear synergy going on. In this one, it seems like it is either going to be a ‘Mike’ song or a ‘Chester’ song. With the two singers pursuing solo careers as well, it seems like a split is imminent.

– To the number of ‘sweet’ songs they have on the album. It seems like at least 2 or 3 songs are in direct contention with bands like Coldplay or the Fray.

Overall

The album is great, but not typical LP. Hybrid Theory was the Best album … Reanimation and Collision course were just remix albums so they don’t count. Meteora was repetitive and not as great as Hybrid theory. A third album on the same lines would be a death blow to LP , so a change in direction was inevitable – it was the only way to survive.

Some might say they failed to re-define themselves… I however say – Treat this album as a ‘stand alone’ product, forgetting who you think they ought to be and ought to sound like… If you want to listen to the LP of the first two albums, listen to the first two albums !

But if you are ready for a new direction, Minutes to Midnight is the first step.

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