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Minutes to Midnight

An album by Linkin Park

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What do you mean it's not finished?

  • May 28, 2007
Pros: Well done experimentation, some good tracks.

Cons: Won't appeal to all Linkin Park fans; some not-so-awesome songs.

The Bottom Line: You'll have to decide for yourself on this one.

After a confusing pre-order from Amazon (I was moving and had no idea which address to put), I got my Linkin Park CD a day or two after popping into my new house, which was a welcome goody considering the strange surroundings and events that had put me in tears upon arrival.

But a little Linkin Park puts things back to normalcy, even if they themselves didn’t go with their “normal” sound this time. Chester Bennington, Mike Shinoda, Phoenix, Joe Hahn, Brad Delson, and Rob Bourdon come back from Meteora after I’ve forgotten how many years to bring us Minutes to Midnight. Linkin Park fans the world over have been waiting patiently for the goods, goods that will undoubtedly bring some mixed feelings.

1.) Wake (1:40) 4 stars. A slow, winding up start, as usual with Linkin Park, no words, just strong intro.

2.) Given Up (3:09) 2 stars. It doesn’t sound any different from any other heavy metal sort of song with the heavy grinding guitar and the screaming. Not that I mind a good screaming lyric (otherwise I wouldn’t have bothered with the first two CDs), but this just didn’t seem right to me, I guess I could say. While I do think the inclusion of clapping and keys jingling is a nice and unique touch, they are not enough to redeem the song. And what was up with the “What the fuck is wrong with me?” lyric? That really bugged me because it felt so extremely out of place.

3.) Leave Out All the Rest (3:29) 4 stars. Honestly, I cannot figure out why exactly I’m holding back from giving this song 5 stars. It is one of my favorite songs on the CD – I already know half the lyrics without looking at them. I think I just wanted more out of it. A little longer perhaps? A better ending as it seems a little cut off? It’s a slower song, the kind you nod your head and tap your foot to. Definitely among my top 2 songs.

4.) Bleed It Out (2:44) 3 stars. Faster this time with some of the Linkin Park style rapping by Mikey boy. There are some background sounds of people talking here and there and the clapping is back in force this time (a part of me thinking upon my first listen, “Uh, more clapping?”). More screaming by Chester, who really seems like he’s screaming just for the sake of it or because that’s what people expect him to do. I like the speed and the style, but it’s just not magical in my eyes. Again, kudos for originality boys.

5.) Shadow of the Day (4:49) 4 stars. Another slower song. Dare I say even a little balladish perhaps? Love the strings in this song and Chester’s singing makes me happy because I really do like his voice – the man doesn’t need to scream all the time to be cool. A catchy melody and guitar solo give the song extra oomph, even if it does end semi-abruptly.

6.) What I’ve Done (3:25) 4 stars. The song that will probably show up on the radio first (unless track 3 or 5 does) gives us the form of Linkin Park that we are most familiar with, reminiscent of the big ones like “Crawling” and “In the End.” My third favorite song of the CD, while it doesn’t seem to have the power that the other two have, or even “Numb” of the last CD, it should still be enough to please Linkin Park fans. And the near-end is the best part with the “na-na-na-na”s and flourish.

7.) Hands Held High (3:53) 4 stars. This is an interesting song, as I’m sure some people will take it to reflect current events whereas others may interpret the lyrics to reflect a general feeling – both of which could work in some respects. Mike brings on the words clearly with little background music, but just enough to give them extra emphasis. Very well done, and I really like the style, and just wish there was some more of the end where Mike does a little singing.

8.) No More Sorrow (3:41) 2 stars. Not a fan of the style. It’s too hard for me, and it makes me think of some kind of war march in the beginning. I think it’s the hard sound that doesn’t appeal to me. I can see other people enjoying it, but it does not work for me. I can appreciate the experimentation, but it just feels like more heavy metal again and that turns me off.

9.) Valentine’s Day (3:16) 4 stars (but barely). This feels shorter than it is. I wish there were more of the end chorus, but based on how the lyrics work, they can only go there at the end. It’s a good song, but seems like it gains the most of its strength, as it is like the ending of a story. I like it most at the end, but overall it’s a fairly slow song, somewhat like tracks 3 and 5.

10.) In Between (3:16) 1.5 stars. It’s not necessarily bad, but I just can’t give it 2 stars. I’m not a fan of this song at all. With very little instrumentation, leaving the majority of it to the guys’ vocals it’s just too single-minded and even to do anything for me. I like my songs to move me in some fashion, any fashion, but this just does absolutely nothing. I can easily skip over this song without giving it a second thought, something that bums me out in a Linkin Park CD.

11.) In Pieces (3:38) 4 stars. Fairly basic in it’s beat and keyboard loop, it slowly builds into more and more as Chester sings, getting rough where he needs to, leaving the roughness out in the rest. I like this song, how the speed builds up, the guitar piece near the end as well as its addition behind Chester, but again we have a sudden drop off, and a few seconds later the song is done.

12.) The Little Things Give You Away (6:23) 4 stars. The longest Linkin Park song to grace a CD, something that in itself makes it a little strange. It’s much, much slower than anything else I’ve heard from them, without much instrumentation as well. It’s almost acoustic for a little bit, but it slowly builds on itself and you finally get bursts of full band in certain parts. For a while the singing drops off entirely and leaves it up to everyone else to continue the song, but I like that move; it’s mellow but still has plenty of authority behind it. A very interesting ending, one that I actually like.

This CD is not going to please many Linkin Park fans, I’m certain of it. The experimentation of the band will throw a lot of people off. I can’t say it didn’t throw me off, but I was completely willing to see what they had to offer as well. For some people who mutter about how bands like Nickelback do the same stuff each CD, I don’t think the same can be said about Linkin Park, which is what gives them some extra appeal. I applaud them for being so different, and I also think (including the songs I wasn’t a fan of) had plenty of effort and work put into them, and anyone who pays attention to the music as well as giving the CD booklet a quick read can see that.

That’s not to say I don’t miss songs like “Crawling,” “Numb,” “In the End,” and the like, since “What I’ve Done” is the closest thing to those and it fails to get my blood pumping like it’s predecessors did. Still, even with the number of songs I’ve given 4 stars to, I can’t ignore the complete absence of a 5 star song, and after waiting for so long for the next Linkin Park CD, I had at least hoped to have at least one song that acts as complete ear candy.

I appreciate the originality, and don’t regret buying the CD at all and plan to buy the next one (whenever that happens to be, as all us Linkin Park junkies know), and I’ll continue to enjoy this CD, but I hope that the boys of Linkin Park don’t forget what form it was that made them kick ass in the first place.

Cheers guys, looking forward to the next one.


P.S. I miss the one other all instrumental track brought to you by Mr. Hahn and Co. =D


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Nicole ()
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Age: 27 Currently: Freelancing my butt off and querying my other novel, Blood for Wolves. Who likes seriously factured fairy tales? =D      Like books? Then take it from a real, live … more
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About this album


Linkin Park: Chester Bennington, Dave Farrell , Rob Bourdon, Mike Shinoda, Brad Delson, Joe Hahn. After a multi-platinum debut, Grammy nominations, a successful sophomore album, sold-out tours, and a collaboration with Jay-Z, the pressure was on for Linkin Park to deliver the goods with their 2007 release, MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT. Interestingly, the alternative metal outfit, best known for mixing rap, rock, and electronic touches, deviates from their aggressive, angst-filled sound on their third outing--opting instead to dabble in moody, atmospheric rock. Opener "Wake" establishes the ethereal, synth-driven feel that characterizes much of the disc. Crunching electric guitars are few and far between, and most of the swirling, electronica-textured tracks weigh in at mid-to-downtempo. There are still moments of rock intensity, such as "Bleed It Out" (featuring one of rapper Mike Shinoda's few appearances), but the overall mood seems better suited to pensive bedsitting than a festival mosh pit. Co-producer Rick ...
Song List: Disc 1
1. Wake
2. Given Up
3. Leave Out All the Rest
4. Bleed It Out
5. Shadow of the Day
6. What I've Done
7. Hands Held High
8. No More Sorrow
9. Valentine's Day
10. In Between
11. In Pieces
12. Little Things Give You Away
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Label: Warner Bros. Records (Record Label)
Artist: Linkin Park
Release Date: May 15, 2007

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