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Minutes to Midnight

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★★★☆☆
(700 Reviews)

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  • I’ve owned every Linkin Park album ever made, including a couple of their LP fan club send outs. I was always at the store ready to buy it on launch day after discovering their first CD. This time was no different. I bought the CD/Video set and soon realized that I should have just downloaded a song here or there off Itunes.

    When I opened the insert, the first page had a paragraph talking about the growth of the band and how each one stretched beyond what they were used to. I thought this could lead to some pleasant new sounds but once again, I was dissapointed.

    The first song if you can call it that was nothing special. I would have preferred it to be a Mr. Hahn creation as some of the previous CD’s have contained. He makes brilliant compositions and really has material that fits an ending track. Never should a 1 minute intro be considered a song so this CD has 11 true tracks.

    The second song. Well its aggresive and heavy Chester vocals. I’ve always respected Linkin Park for not throwing in swearing on their tracks. For the most part Linkin Park managed to get their point across with clean language. I’m not against swearing, it does not offend me but I respected them for making a quote once that they felt it was not necessary in music. Well they threw that out the window with this song throwing the f word in all throughout. Again, I’m not offended by this, just dissapointed they felt they had to take this route.

    The rest of the songs until minutes to midnight can be called fillers. They probably will never make the radio or become hit singles. As others have mentioned there are ballads and there is one Mike Shinoda rap. What it seems they have done is almost tried to fuse Fort Minor with Linkin Park. This whole album sounded like something Fort Minor could produce and I think Mike Shinoda has a large role in that. My fiance had commented how much she likes the new album because it sounded like EMO. That’s when I really became disgusted with the CD. This whole growth thing and trying new sounds was a huge mistake. It’s possible to grow without completely changing musical styles.

    Minutes to Midnight is good and probably the only single that will be a hit. It’s the closest to the old Linkin Park that the listener will ever encounter. It shows that somewhere, the band still has its old sound. After that, its once again more fillers.

    The last track is nice. It’s not true Linkin Park sound, but it does have a nice catch to it and the harmonization is well done.

    In the end, I call this CD a huge bust. They claim they had over 100 songs to choose from. I say find some of those 100 that sound like the old Linkin Park and put them into a new CD quick. They really risk losing their core fan base on this CD unless they can get back to the sound they used to play with. The first CD was some of the best music they have put out and it created their first fans. Artists seem to think they need to tinker and toy with everything as they go. I don’t understand why something that works needs to be changed.

    If your a hardcore fan, buy the CD simply to support Linkin Park in hopes they will create something better. Otherwise, find some tracks you like and download them.

    Posted on January 26, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • I considered myself a fan, but after giving this collection of songs a thorough listening, I came away with the feeling that the band attempts to substitute their personal political viewpoints for music. I, for one, don’t buy it. Even though a few tunes rise to their former level of energy, the remainder of these songs run out of gas before the tracks end. Let’s not allow today’s corporate music juggernaut to say what’s quality,… this LP outing is only fair at best. If you want to get on your soapbox guys, CNN & Time magazine would be happy to give you an interview. But as for music?… just return to the drawing board & do what you seem to do best.

    Posted on January 26, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Linkin Park returned with this lighter touched album that has gotten people wondering “Where has the old Linkin Park gone?” Though at times that Linkin Park is missed deeply after their two outstanding cds “Hybrid Theory” and “Meteroa”…they are far from being completely lost. Chester, Mike, and the boys hit into a different aspect of the bad…one where their producer wanted them to go. They headed into this album knowing one thing “Throw your old ways of doing an album…and try to create something new…fresh…and lively.” And after 100 demos for the new album…in lies “Minutes to Midnight.”

    Mike-less songs, Chester-less songs, and a few slow beats make a lot of fans turning in the other direction. But before you blow this album off completely…take a second, sit down, and listen to the songs deeply as they flow. Has Linkin Park completely lost their touch? Gracious no. With the like of Bleed It Out…Linkin Park can still impress with the Mike & Chester duo. Mike took a less lead part in this album, even with his two solo songs “Hands Held High” and “In Between”. Mike is still not lost in the songs, as he supports a softer background mode as he still takes part vocally in the background. This album let the two express themselves better as musicians and showing how creative they can be.

    The band still knows how to rock, with a tremendous live tour in 2007…one spot being Atlanta which myself attended…and was blown away. Minutes To Midnight album took a lot of the setlist, but was performed amazingly and improved my liking of the album even more. There will still be haters, dis-likers, and every other kinda if negative critic to this album…just like any other album…but try and do whatever you can to listen to this album. Buy it, borrow it, or do those other things *wink* that will allow you to listen to this CD. Though the “every song hard rock” sound has left a little bit…this CD still shows that they are tremendous musicians.

    GRADING SCALE:
    Excellent (5 Stars) = 8 – 10
    Good (4 Stars) = 6 – 7
    Decent (3 Stars) = 4 – 5
    Eh… (2 Stars) = 2 – 3
    What Did I Just Listen Too? (1 Star) = 0 – 1

    SONG REVIEWS
    TRACK 1. WAKE
    Serves its purpose as the intro to this CD. It tends to pump you up and prepare you for this CD…especially to those listening to it for the first time. When performed live…the crowd certainly was pumped up.
    RATING: 10/10

    TRACK 2. GIVEN UP
    Mike-less song…but Chester performs very well in this solo song. The feeling you get while listening to this track just makes a great start to the album. Chester’s long scream at the end will surely give some the chills. Expect this to be a single very soon.
    RATING: 10/10

    TRACK 3: LEAVE OUT ALL THE REST
    The first song to turn the heads of some people. Again, Mike-less. It is indeed a slow paced song, but the lyrical ability Linkin Park has makes up for all the slow paced songs on this album. The songs is performed smoothly, but knocks you off pace from the high energy start to the album.
    RATING: 7/10

    TRACK 4: BLEED IT OUT
    Enter Mike Shinoda…and exit an awesome song. Mike shows his rapping ability, especially after his Fort Minor album…but Chester saves the rockers with his powerful vocals mixing this into a well executed Hip-Hop/Rock song, without over-endulging you with the rap. It has been blaring the air waves, and doing great at it.
    RATING: 10/10

    TRACK 5: SHADOW OF THE DAY
    Exit Mike again, and enter another Chester solo…with the slow paced rhythm. Already released as a single, Shadow Of The Day carries a good lyrical based song that is showing the good out of the slow paced LP in this song. Chester does a very good job all the way through, and even though it is indeed a slow paced song, Linkin Park does very good.
    RATING: 8/10

    TRACK 6: WHAT I’VE DONE
    It has come and gone from the airwaves, while making some think when they first heard it that Mike was gone from the band. He is indeed not gone, just one of many songs he is not strongly featured in. But was a great single when released, and continues to be a great single. Wiping away your past, and starting a-new…and forgiving what you’ve done. Great song, great opening single.
    RATING: 10/10

    TRACK 7: HANDS HELD HIGH
    Enter Mike, exit Chester. Mike returns to the cd after 2 consecutive songs no playing a vocal spot. This song is all him, and done with a non-rock…slow hip-hop style. The War song meaning behind it makes this song a nice little tune for those Anti-Bush people. I just think the “Amen” parts get a little annoying.
    RATING: 7/10

    TRACK 8: NO MORE SORROW
    Hard rock song led by Chester, and the performance is very solid. This song grows on you more, and it should be a top pick for the next single if it occurs.
    RATING: 9/10

    TRACK 9: VALENTINE’S DAY
    Out of 100+ demos made for this album, I can’t find myself seeing how Valentine’s Day was chosen. It’s a slow-paced Chester only song that I’ve yet to grow attached to. It’s more like a skipping track than anything. It’s a decent song, but just not a good choice. This CD could have done with out it.
    RATING: 4/10

    TRACK 10: IN BETWEEN
    Mike knocks out another solo shot but this one much slower than Hands Held High. This non-rap ballad is a decent track, and serves its purpose as a near album ending song…but just nothing you may find yourself listening too over and over again.
    RATING: 6/10

    TRACK 11: IN PIECES
    The second to last song of this CD “In Pieces” is a very good slow paced song. Chester sounds great and the lyrics are rather nice. One of the better slow paced songs on this album. This album would have been much better if two songs like this would have replaced “Valentine’s Day” and “In Between.”
    RATING: 8/10

    TRACK 12: LITTLE THINGS GIVE YOU AWAY <—VOTED BEST TRACK ON CD
    Being about the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina, if you have not heard this song…DO. Great song and a tremendous performance live. Should be higher on this CD, but the meanings and lyrics behind this song is what is slower paced song is all about. Who cares if it isn’t heavy, this song is an amazing performance by the LP boys. Breaking over 6-7 minutes, you will be loving every minute of it. If not, remove the wax from your ears and listen again…be amazed.
    RATING: 10/10

    FINAL RATING: 99/120 = 8.25 (“Excellent”/5 Stars)

    OUTCOME:
    I think the rating for this album fits nicely, with two songs lowering that rating, I think it is just a mere step above just being “Good” and finding a soft spot in the Excellent category. To those in love with the lyrical aspect of music…will love this cd. Those who are expecting Hybrid Theory or Meteroa…this album is not for you. It hits a slow pace, but comes out very good and worth several listenings or even non-stop listening.

    Posted on January 26, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Just got my copy on iTunes and I’m disappointed for the most part.

    I loved every second of Hybrid Theory and Meteora. I loved the heavy guitar riffs, the mix of rap + rock. This album lacks the heavyness that characterized its predecessors. Most of the tracks are soft. Gone is the Points of Authority style headbanging except maybe that guitar solo part of What I’ve Done. I’m not even talking the peaceful serenity of the Easier to Run or In the End intro segments. This is way softer than all that. If you remember jumping up and down to the LP songs of the old days, use these to put you to sleep at night.

    What I’ve Done is probably the only track in the album that still sounds like the old LP. It’s got that old feel that distinguished LP from any other rock band. Some other tracks show promise and hints of the old style that endeared LP to the masses of us that rushed to get Meteora, like the intro track (Wake), Bleed it Out, No More Sorrow. In Pieces is an OK track in light of the band’s past work. Valentines Day has a decent heavier part near the end but is still quite light and soft overall. But if they did write 50 songs for this album, I wonder how the other 40 or so were like.

    I’m still a big fan of LP and will continue to be, but I must admit that their intent to sound different did not produce good results. I hope with the next release they can go back to the old days. I feel kinda bad saying this, but unless you liked “What I’ve Done”, you probably should wait for the next release.

    Interpret my 3 star any way you like. The only reason it’s a 3 star to me is I can’t decide how low to go. Also, I figure that like one or two tracks I deemed unworthy on the predecessors, some of these tracks seem like they could just as well grow on me.

    For the meantime, check out End of Silence by RED if you haven’t already. The blend of the entire band creates a similar style to LP as we know it without the rapping.

    Posted on January 25, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • A good number of my friends look at me with mild disgust when I suggest that Linkin Park owns a unique brand of musical genius. But as someone who listens to large quantities of music from mainstream to indie, I contend that no one has mastered the art of rap-rock like they have (Quarashi is the only band I can think of that even belongs in the same neighborhood). There’s an almost mathematical perfection to both Hybrid Theory and Meteora, their first two full, non-remix albums. Ultimately, Linkin Park has offered something that I couldn’t find anywhere else.

    I’m not one to say that bands shouldn’t change and mature. But, honestly, I didn’t want to see Linkin Park change, because they’re already unique. They have changed in Minutes to Midnight, and the metamorphosis isn’t a positive one.

    Upon a first listen, two things are glaring:

    1) Mike Shinoda’s rapping presence is minimal. I’ve always preferred Chester’s raspy vocals to Shinoda’s rapping, but he’s so underutilized on this album that you realize that he’s an integral part to the Linkin Park sound. The fusion of his rapping and Chester’s vocals combined with excellent beats and melodies makes the band.

    2) There are a lot of songs that almost qualify as ballads. The good news is, most of them are pretty pleasant. Chester really does have a great voice- even when he isn’t screaming and rasping. The bad news is that they take up slots on the album that I wanted to see filled with the rap-rock-electronica-metal that immediately entranced me on Hybrid Theory and Meteora.

    Undoubtedly, this album is the type that grows each time you play it, but it simply doesn’t do what fans of the band wanted it to do. There are a few hints of where the band has been. Stand-outs What I’ve Done, Bleed It Out, Given Up, and No More Sorrow all convince me that this may actually be Linkin Park and not some evil clone band from Mars.

    Again, the album isn’t bad- I enjoyed it even on the first listen, but most of it doesn’t really do anything to distinguish itself from the type of alt-rock that you can find almost anywhere. 3.5 STARS

    Posted on January 25, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now