It is with great pain, I today bring you my official review of Linkin Park’s Minutes to Midnight. Let me start by saying I am (was) a huge fan of Linkin Park. I thought the Collision Course album with Jay-Z was brilliant, I felt Hybrid Theory and Meteora were awesome albums. LP has always had the perfect blend of music, ranging from Joe Hahn’s work on the turntables, to Mike Shinoda’s unique style or rapping, to Chester Bennington’s harmonic screaming. But alas, all that’s been put in the past. LP, switched up their style a bit, almost removing Shinoda’s rapping completely, and Mr. Hahn… well, you almost wonder if Mr. Hahn had a lot to do with the album?
The new and improved (ha!) LP kicks off the album with a decent intro, which is followed by the “Given Up,” a song you’ll only listen to once, and chances are you wont finish it. Tracks like “In Between” and “Leave Out All The Rest” have the potential to hook a few listeners; after playing them a few times over they begin to grow on you.
The first single off the album, “What I’ve Done,” might already be annoying due to constant radio play, and the amount of times it was played in Transformers, but the thing to note is the music video, which looks a lot like U2’s Bono directed it. It’s an eerie foreshadowing of “Shadow of the Day” which sounds so much like a U2 song; I actually popped the CD out of the player to make sure someone hadn’t switched the disc on me. The most serious song on the album actually made me laugh at how borderline Emo it was. “Valentine\'s Day” has no hidden meanings, no underlying point; it’s complaining about being alone on that special day. It will make you miss older LP songs like “Crawling,” “In The End,” “Numb,” and “Breaking the Habit.”
The album isn’t a complete loss. “The Little Things Give You Away” caught me by surprise, and is defiantly worth a couple re-listens; and the second single “Bleed It Out” brings back the old LP, with Shinoda dropping an impressive couple of flows, and Chester back to his melodious screaming ways. The more you listen to it, the more you like it, and it\'s bound to be in a movie sooner than later.
LP also digs deep down, and finds some lyrical weapons of mass destruction, and unloads on President Bush in “Hands Held High.” The song, in depth isn’t anything special as the war has been addressed in billions of songs, but LP drops every instrument except for a church organ and a single snare drum, and brings something innovative to their album. The song overall is pretty bold, and you can expect if Kanye West is going to blast Bush on live TV again, LP might be standing there with him. Instead of a befuddled Mike Myers.
Overall I think Minutes to Midnight is more of a testing-the-waters for LP. They’ve dropped their old Nu-metal sound, but has traded it in for something that doesn’t quite seem to fit them. Previous “I hate Linkin Park” fan club members might actually like this album, while the rest of us, the current fans, are left scratching our heads saying, "What exactly have you done?"
"Minutes to Midnight" is on sale May 15, 2007 from Warner Brothers.