Wow. Simply wow. Just a great album. Talk about changing gears. Talk about sounding more pure and more raw than ever before. Talk about finding a new take on old sound. Talk about making both simultaneously successful. Talk about not skipping a single heart beat.
I think this is one of the best rock albums I’ve ever heard. It’s not fake. There’s no trying to imitate another band just to make the transition smoother into the more hard rock world. It’s unique to say the least. It’s Linkin Park. And for what may be the first time, you can actually hear and feel the electric guitar and drum in their natural form. As God intended them to be. With Minutes To Midnight, Linkin Park break out of the nu metal genre with minimal withdrawal symptoms for their hardcore fans who have come to expect anything less from the band. This album is the rock anthem for summer 2007.
The songs vary. It has the hard rockish tunes with Chester screaming as well as the melodic tracks and a more mellowed out hip hop element by way of Shinoda who produced the album alongside the music giant Rick Rubin. Chester and Shinoda rarely mix together anymore. Instead, the band lets each one take the lead separately on separate tracks. And it works. Shinoda even writes himself a political song with “Hands Held High”. On top of a marching band snare drum and a chorus of ‘amens’, he rhymes of Iraq: “At times like this you pray, But a bomb blew the mosque up yesterday. There’s bombs in the buses, bikes, roads, inside your markets,your shops, your coves.” and of Bush: “a leader so nervous in unobvious ways. Stuttering and mumbling for nightly news to replay.” But Shinoda trades rhymes for singing it out on “In Between”.
Other rarities include Brad Delson leading his guitar through hard rock tracks like “Given Up”, “No More Sorrow”, and the U2 sounding track “Shadow of the Day” as well as a solo in tracks like “In Pieces” and the initially acoustic based “The Little Things Give You Away”; an ode to New Orleans where Chester sings: “But now there will be no mistaking. The levees are breaking. All you’ve ever wanted was someone to truly look up to you. And six feet under water, I do.”
All in all, a very impressive album and the current love of my life.