Minutes To Midnight

Linkin Park

Warner Bros. / Machine Shop Recordings, 2007

http://www.linkinpark.com

REVIEW BY: Corwin Egbert

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 11/16/2008

Linkin Park fans rejoice! The Agoura Hills, California rockers have released a new album, 2007’s Minutes To Midnight. It’s different, to say the least, the smallest change being that swear words are thrown around a lot for them in the explicit version of the disc. The second is that only two songs involve any sort of rapping -- heck, one even has Mike Shinoda singing! There are guitar solos now, too, something unheard of in Linkin Park. Overall this album has a strong political view, something that again Linkin Park has not done on their previous discs. They have a new producer in Rick Rubin who was the original DJ for the Beastie Boys and famous for producing with a bare, stripped-down sound (see the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Blood Sugar Sex Magik or his work with Slayer). Lots of changes, folks, lots of changes.

“Given Up,” the second track on the album (and the fourth single), is a perfect example of how Linkin Park has changed, while at the same time this song makes you reminisce about Hybrid Theory. The keys and clapping in the background of the chorus is just plain cool. Chester Bennington’s vocals have not changed, and the guitar works well as always -- although where is Shinoda in this? Well, ladies and gents, if you can find him, then you’ve done better than I have. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

I love “Leave Out All the Rest,” which follows “Given Up.”  It’s so sad. Looking back on what someone has done with their life, Bennington then asks the listener to try and leave a mark on this world.  He also asks that they only remember the good times when he’s gone. The chorus is so beautiful, maybe because the emotion is the main point and not the vocals.

And here it is, a wonderful buffer for all that thinking you just had to do.  Second single “Bleed It Out” starts with people coming in and talking about hanging out of a car, of all things. Then everyone joins in for a frenzy of vocals, guitar, tambourine, drums, clapping, and rapping. It’s one of the two songs here that involve rapping. I think this was a party in a sound booth -- it’s lots and lots of fun to listen to.

Then we hop from track four to track seven, “Hands Held High,” a song that has Shinoda rapping all by himself. This is a very anti-war and Bush administration song. For those who always wanted to hear it, Shinoda sings for nearly the last minute of the song. The keyboard, piano, strings, and drums are simple but they make the song.

“In Between” is possibly my favorite song on Minutes To Midnight. It features Shinoda singing again with an odd twist of Bennington backing him. It’s about the moral issues of whether to tell the truth or lie to make someone happy. But lying so much has caught up with the narrator and now he has to accept the consequences of his actions. After almost everyone has left him, he now is attempting to explain why he did it.

Next up, “In Pieces” is about a semi-abusive relationship where the narrator has been lied to and used the entire time. He has realized this and is now saying that he won’t leave this relationship sad; instead, he wants her to be the one regretting her abusive actions. Musically, the guitar is cool, and the bells in the background are an interesting addition, but I like it.

I personally loved this album. But maybe you don’t, maybe you do, maybe you want a little of the old Linkin Park and a little of the new Linkin Park. All I know is that Minutes To Midnight was a change, but I think it was a change for the good.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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© 2008 Corwin Egbert and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Warner Bros. / Machine Shop Recordings, and is used for informational purposes only.