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