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Minutes to Midnight


Shadow Wolf
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LP's lyrics are nothing special; probably phony (can't say for sure, of course -- I don't know the band members' stories), and pretty silly at times. But their sound is great, imo. I've only heard two tracks from their new album, and it's definitely different, but I think it's still pretty good. The idea that this was a sellout or studio decision is, pardon me, just retarded. Hybrid Theory sold over 10 million copies. There's no selling out after that. Why would the studio want to change anything?

WoW is the Linkin Park of MMOs. L O L ha ha ha.

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First off, I'm a huge LP fan. Hybrid Theory was great the first listen through. All the songs stood out to me. At first I didn't like Meteora that much. Their first single Somewhere I Belong seemed very "cookie cutter-ish" to me. especially the ending. For the most part, the rest of the album was good though.

Now with Minutes to Midnight, it feels like the same "cookie cutter", uninspired sound has spread. Most of the songs seem boring musically, the guitar and base parts are very uninteresting, and there is very little "DJing" happening besides some looping. Also, many of the songs just end abruptly and pretty uncreatively. Another thing, WTF is with the clapping in like 3 songs? Is it for some sort of "live" sound? ugh...

The two political based songs felt a little like pandering to me (IMO). While Hands Held High really just irks me for some reason, The Little Things Give You Away just has some powerful lyrics.

After a few listen throughs it grew on me a little bit. But still about half of the album just doesn't sit well with me. I just hope this trend doesn't continue with their next album. Since it seems to be slowly going downhill, for me at least.

/rant

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Honestly, after hearing this album, I feel it's kind of a back-slide from what they've been doing. I know it's their third album (if you discount Reanimation and , but still, I think they might have been able to do a bit better.

Also, thematically, basing your songs on the angst you have toward government is fine, provided you can get the message out in the right context. To me, all it sounds like is them being very angry and fed up and just raging on about it in song. Personally, their best album to date is their first one, Hybrid Theory. A contender for my top 5 mainstream albums of all time, I honestly feel it was a well done effort for their first time out. But this new one, well, I listened to it today at work, I had to skip some tracks, I just couldn't get into it.

I'm going to listen to it again tomorrow, because it might grow on me, but it might not. Either way, I still think they could've done better.

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I have not heard the album yet. Which is it closest to? My personal fave was actually Reanimation, in terms of sonic variety, production, and overall quality. I have a lot of respect for Chester's voice and the band's production techniques are really creative. I don't care about lyrics that much.

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Linkin Park's distinct and original sound is what has made them as a band. By suddenly shifting their music styles really does make me scratch my head. I blame that Rick Rubin, who part-produced the album and to me, is simply too old to understand the cross-genre that Linkin Park has shown to us. They are Linkin Park, NOT the Red Hot Chilli Peppers! What happened to their rivetting basslines and powerful synths? The turntablism has completely gone! I'm not convinced of their bold but brave move btw, I'll just get back to listening to Meteora, while the rest can just rant at me...

I completely agree. I picked up the album today and I was very dissappointed. Everything that made them unique is gone. All the songs sound like generic hard or soft rock. I loved the whole cross genre stuff from the first albums. Re-animation is my favorite by-the-way. I also hated that they didn't include a real, ful-length pure instrumental track like session and cure for the itch. This is why I don't like main-stream music. In fact, Linkin Park was the only mainstream I have ever liked. Now that uniqueness that made me like them is gone.

About the whole lyrics thing, I have never listened to Linkin Park for their lyrics. In fact, I have never listened to any music for their lyrics. I am an instrumental guy and even though Linkin Park isn't instrumental, I just liked their unique music. But that is gone now in my opinion.

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This new album was a huge letdown for me. Hybrid Theory and Reanimation were great. Meteora was fine, but didn't quite have as many powerful and catchy songs. Minutes to Midnight did away with almost all electronic music influences in favor of a more generic contemporary rock sound. Hate that. Mike Shinoda can spit all the bullshit he wants about how this album is their natural evolution, maturity and what not. I'm sure it will sell really well and have mainstream success. But for me and many other fans, this album is not quite satisfying to say the least. Well, at least we can bet on "Seconds to Midnight" remix album in a year or two. That one will probably bring back some elements of their more edgy sound.

As for politics in their music, I don't mind that at all. Now though, seems like Rage might be coming back, and nobody did politics and music better than Rage.

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For some reason, when I first heard the album, I immediately thought Radiohead. Radiohead managed to pull off the calm, electronic sound really well though. I am just reminded of how Radiohead's "The Bends" album was and then how "Kid A" was, almost completely different.

...

The lyrical content is basically the same as the last two albums except with some political spin (Which I don't like). The lack of Shinoda rapping is probably what did this album in. The reason Linkin Park was unique in the first place was because of the perfect balance of Chester and Mike Shinoda and some of the shit Mr. Hahn does.

...

I dunno, between Tool's newest album and this album, I am beginning to lose faith in the few good bands that are left.

I'm sorry, but comparing Linkin Park to Radiohead is just wrong. Each album for Radiohead is an evolution, adding new layers to their musical themes. There was an album in between "The Bends" and "Kid A"; listening to both of them one after the other will seem disjointed, but listening to the three you will begin to see the progression of their style. In this way, Radiohead can avoid being repetitive without leaving their fan base behind. For Linkin Park, this new direction just ended up leaving the style that made them famous.

And political lyrics have to be subtle in order to avoid being whiny. For example, American Idiot just pissed me off. And Linkin Park isn't exactly known for its lyrical depth.

As for there being few good bands left, I think you need to listen to more music.

I'm going to listen to the album, but I'm not expecting to be impressed.

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I'm sorry, but comparing Linkin Park to Radiohead is just wrong.

Totally agree. Although he was comparing Hybrid Theory to Minutes to Midnight; this kind of parallels the comparison of the Bends and Kid A, as both have an album in between.

The progression of The Bends -> OK Computer -> Kid A makes sense, whereas OK Computer sounds like it fits in between the albums.

To me, you can't use this kind of progression for Linkin Park, as imho Meteora didn't sound like it was a departure whatsoever from Hybrid Theory.

I'm not saying this is bad, I'm saying it merely makes the comparison to Radiohead invalid. (I don't count Reanimation as an exclusively Linkin Park album as it's just a bunch of remixes, several done primarily by other artists; Collision Course, while my favorite 'album' by both LP and Jay-Z, doesn't sound too drastically different from their previous work).

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Linkin Park's distinct and original sound is what has made them as a band. By suddenly shifting their music styles really does make me scratch my head. I blame that Rick Rubin, who part-produced the album and to me, is simply too old to understand the cross-genre that Linkin Park has shown to us. They are Linkin Park, NOT the Red Hot Chilli Peppers! What happened to their rivetting basslines and powerful synths? The turntablism has completely gone! I'm not convinced of their bold but brave move btw, I'll just get back to listening to Meteora, while the rest can just rant at me...

This is pretty much exactly how I felt. Where my phat beats at? Everything that made Linkin Park Linkin Park, save for the occasional emo moment is essentially GONE.

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I have not heard the album yet. Which is it closest to? My personal fave was actually Reanimation, in terms of sonic variety, production, and overall quality. I have a lot of respect for Chester's voice and the band's production techniques are really creative. I don't care about lyrics that much.

I think that's what's throwing people. When LP said 'new direction' I think people were expecting more minor changes. This album sounds NOTHING like anything they've done previously, except for one or two songs. You kinda have to hear it and make your own decision, I think.

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I've listened to it a few times through and it's definitely grown on me.

Even though I still favor their original sound, it's usually a good thing to see an artist mix things up a bit. With the experience and new ideas this album has given them, I have even higher hopes for their next one. Hopefully they won't completely abandon the original style that made them big.

edit:

Here's hoping for another Reanimation-style album in the next couple years to appease the old fans who need their classic Linkin Park fix.

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I'm gonna have to disagree with seph just a bit.

Their sound, as it has been said here, has changed radically. They've gone from hard rock to emo/punk, and I'm not really a fan of the transition. If I wanted to hear punk, I would listen to Blink 182, Yellow Card, etc. and if I wanted emo, I would turn on some Death Cab or Dashboard Confessional.

In an interview, Chester Bennington said that they have, and I quote, "ditched the Nu-metal sound and replaced it with more hip-hop (which I didn't hear much of), punk, and classic rock."

A complete switch is fine, but exceptionally disappointing to me.

This album doesn't even come close to rocking as hard as the first 2 did (Hybrid Theory and Meteora). Hell, Reanimation rocked harder than this!!

Also, there was an overuse of the clap sound on the quarter note beats of the tracks. I can think of atleast three tracks that used it, and it got a little old.

I'm not saying that the new sound is a bad style in general, but for what the world heard Linkin Park to be, this style just doesn't fit the same way that it did. They had a very distinct style that they have tossed aside in order to follow a more "popular" genre of music.

I don't wish to be premature about this, but if this is their official style from here on out, they may have lost one of their fans. At this point, I am hoping that Mike Shinoda will break off from LP and keep focusing on Fort Minor, which is an amazing underground hip-hop project!!

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Also, what is this Fort Minor of which you speak? I must know more!

Fort Minor is a side project that Mike Shinoda started a couple years ago. It's a hip-hop poject that sounds all kinds of cool. He had a hit song for a long time called "Where'd You Go" and if you see any of the TNT basketball comercials, the song that plays during them is another FM track called "Remember the Name." Check Fort Minor out. It's extremely tight (in my opinion, of course).

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what baffles me is how Shinoda put out Fort Minor's Rising Tied album about a year before this. Rising Tied is an amazing album in every way possible. Every song on that album is sick and I am not even a huge rap fan. He makes rap with meaningful lyrics and very different beats and sounds.

With that being said, considering that Shinoda helped to produce Minutes to Midnight, what the hell happened? I am just surprised that he would actually stand for an album that makes little use of his rapping abilities.

I can only hope that they make Reanimation 2 and they don't screw it up.

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I'm just going to copy my review from another site. Some of the extra stuff will apply to here, some of it won't. Too lazy to change it any :)

Linkin Park has always lived and died by the vocals of Chester Bennington. They have generally lived. This album, if nothing else, shows that he is hands down the most important member of this group. His vocal melodies are what got them famous, kept them famous, and now what's making this album so enjoyable for me.

You can call this album poor till you're blue in the face, but at the very least you have to understand that Linkin Park has in fact progressed musically. They're doing things on this album that they've never even hinted at in the past. There are only a handful of tracks on here that call back to their past. Some examples of new things that Linkin Park try on this release:

Even more use of keyboards/samples

More use of 3/4 and 6/8 time signatures (only had one song in the past in 3/4)

New sounds (there are claps and clicks and whistles and crowds of people and I think I hear a tambourine?)

I heard they used some strange instruments on the album but I haven't really heard them yet

The guitars are used in a completely different way than in the past i.e. there are actual guitar solos, there are melody lines for the guitars, sometimes they just sit in the back and play something subtle over top of the track

More layered vocals and Mike Shinoda even sings on a track

Less rapping (and the rapping that remains is very good)

And that doesn't even matter. If they had released another new set of 12 nu-metal songs, I would have been fine with it, because Chester comes up with the catchiest vocal lines. I'm on my 14th listen through the album and I still like it more and more each time.

Basically, I like every song on this album. I even love some of them. It's another very solid release by everyone's least favorite band. No matter what they do, people will hate them for being 'shallow', 'pop', 'manufactured', or whatever else satisfies that persons need to be underground or cool. But since looking for musical acceptance from people on the internet isn't on top of my list of priorities, I'm going to go ahead and give this a 4.5.

Excellent album.

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For me the biggest problem with this album is that, like countless other musically related bands, the music (I'm not really counting the keyboard work here) is boring and unimaginative; the guitar work lacks any semblance of technicality and it's nothing that hasn't been heard a million times before from all the countless other nu-metal, hardcore-hybrid and pop-rock bands that play similar music. The drumming, although it serves it's purpose well enough I suppose, is absolutely nothing fantastic.

The lyrics are not incredibly intelligent or thought provoking but they're not horrible either.

As for the rapping and slow pop-like songs; well, I don't really like them much but I won't fault LP for that since that's really more a matter of me just not being a fan of pop/rap than it is because of a problem on their part.

Chester's clean vocals are good and his screams are loud and angry, as they should be. He is the highlight of the band.

2 out of 5 sounds about right for me. I more dislike it than like it but it is not entirely without any redeeming qualities.

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I bought the CD yesterday, I really enjoyed it. My Mom LOVES Linkin Park (mostly because of how Chester Benington screams), but she thought their new CD was ok.

Anybody here trying to type cast them as sellouts/rapmetal, needs to quit whining or complaining, especially if they haven't even listened to the CD. If no one's complaining, that's fine by me. Honestly, I don't care if a band is popular, that use to be a determining factor to me, but I thought what is the point in doing that? If a band has music I enjoy, that's all that matters. Sure there are bands I don't like, but I'm not going to say, because someone's going to get offended and I don't feel like trying to justify my opinion, there's no point in it.

Shadowolf, if you enjoy the CD, that's all that matters.

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I downloaded it and like it a lot so I'll be buying the disc soon.

It is different, and that is why I like it. I was very dissapointed in Meteora because I felt it was pretty much indistinguishable from Hybrid Theory. HT was awesome, but Meteora didn't bring anything new or better at all. Minutes to Midnight is just a lot different.

What else could they do...I think if they kept doing more HT/Meteora style stuff all the time, everyone would just go "meh" and write it off or listen to their old stuff again instead of buying it. I can't see how making something different is selling out. Selling out would be sitting back, making the same stuff, and pulling in money from those who want more of the same (which is most people). By making something different like this, they are actually being brave, artistic, and risking sales due to backlash against the new direction.

Sometimes it reminds me of The Postal Service in sections...sorta ambient lofi sounds.. Its good music, and if I wanted to hear their old standby style I'd pop in the old CDs again. Now what we need is another Reanimation. I fuckin love that CD!

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Heh. Yo, SGX, a Reanimation for this CD would kick so much ass. I can hardly imagine it. There's so many new directions to take this CD.

'Sup, guys. I downloaded MtM and I'm in love with it. I've had it on repeat for the last couple of hours. I like the new direction. I wouldn't have expected it.

To me, LP was like this triangle really. You had Hahn's DJing styles, Shinoda's rap influence, and Bennington's umm....emotional singing. Together, the three things really came together well and provided something new (or at least it was to me when I first heard Hybrid Theory) that's now become quite the standard. For a band to break from their own standards shows the ability to create fresh new things, it means they haven't locked themselves into formulaic music entirely yet.

Even if you don't like Minutes to Midnight, the beauty of it is that it means they can produce greater levels of variety than Hybrid Theory or Meteora really made you think they could. If such surprises are possible, then that means they could do it again in a completely different direction in the future.

Just makes you keep your eyes open.

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