Linkin Park
Minutes to Midnight


2.5
average

Review

by Liam Whear USER (7 Reviews)
July 27th, 2009 | 141 replies


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The sad fact is either way the band was fucked

Linkin Park. Say those two words to an avid music fan and you’ll either cite adoration, or complete hatred. I used to be of the former, scouring the Internet for performances of obscure B–sides released way back in 96 and jumping at the chance to jizz all over Chester Bennington’s face. Maybe. I’ve fortunately grown up since then, and will now jump at the chance to jizz over Trent Reznor.


When the band announced Minutes to Midnight would be different from the nu–metal sound of their previous two albums, fans were unsure how to react. Meteora, while being a decent album by its own right, was far too similar to Hybrid Theory, while failing to capture the brilliance of that album. Probably reeling from all the one–trick pony comments the band were, they started to the traditional Linkin Park pre–release method of bull***ting by their fans, with Chester telling us to expect an album mix of punk, hip hop and classic rock. I lol’d.


The album starts off with a 1½-minute long instrumental called Wake. It begins slowly with a promising ambience backed by what sounds like either static crackling or a log fire burning, which explodes into well–done alt rock, with a soaring guitar riff against dense drums. It segues into Given Up, the first proper song. It has a faux–edgy riff that doesn’t know whether it wants be false punk or not. The handclaps and the jangling of guitarist Brad Delson’s car keys are unique, but it doesn’t sound right against the riff. It “explodes” into a poorly produced mess, with Chester’s vocals sounding poor. The lyrics are, frankly, abysmal, sounding like typical teenage “My mum won’t buy me an iPod, I hate her, waaaah” angst. However, unlike their previous two albums, Chester just doesn’t know why he’s so apparently pissed off. This goes on for another three minutes, although there is an interesting moment where Chester screams for 17 seconds straight.


After that “roar”, the album goes into their first ballad, Leave Out All the Rest. While the song itself is alright, it doesn’t seem right given the previous track. The song itself is typical, almost All That You…–era U2. Chester’s vocals are clean and nice to listen to, and the lyrics are average. Not brilliant, but not tripe either. Bleed It Out, however, is bad. Just bad. It’s the “live” sound that does it, makes it sound sloppy and rushed. Mike Shinoda’s rapping is decent, although his lyrics make no sense, and again Chester’s voice sounds worn out and it sounds like he’s trying too hard to be edgy, bless his heart.


After a “hard” song comes a ballad. Shadow of the Day is essentially a U2 rip–off done badly. The song has a slow build-up which goes into a big pop rock climax, but the build–up is so boring you’ll cease to care. Decent video though. After the song, a cool ambient interlude leads into What I’ve Done, which everyone and their nan has heard. It’s average pop rock that has been done before and done better. I’ve got nothing else to say on this.


Hands Held High is laughable. It is one of the two “tr00” rap songs on the album. Starting off with a cheesy organ and a marching drumbeat, Mike’s raps are still decent, along with his inspiring lyrics. However, the song is just so cheesy it’s hard to take seriously. The choir at the end is a laughable moment.


And after that light track, we get the band’s heaviest song to date. No More Sorrow starts off with an atmospheric and sinister intro, with each instrument building up to a nicely done riff. Chester’s lyrics are essentially a poorly–disguised “*** you” to Bush, and his voice is still relatively poor. The chorus and instrumentation make up for it though. It segues into Valentine’s Day, with Chester’s voice probably at his best here. He sounds vulnerable and emotional, against light guitar picking and nice lyrics. It builds up into a giant rock climax near the end, which some might call cheesy, but I think it’s well done, and nothing as cheesy as Hands Held High (but few things are).


In Between is the other rap song. Mike’s rapping is poor and sounds lazy, and the song itself is just boring to listen to. In Pieces is standout track. It’s dark and haunting, Chester’s vocals sounding pretty good. We also get a cool guitar solo from Brad.


The Little Things Give You Away is the final track, and is the typical final track, being the longest and arguably the slowest. Chester’s vocals are at their highest, and quite annoying. The lyrics, detailing the point-of-view of someone experiencing Hurricane Katrina are very good, and probably the band’s best to date. Again, this is another build-up track but it seems bland compared to the lyrics. The section before the guitar solo is long and too drawn-out, as is with much of the track. However, the final moments of the song are good and a highlight of the album, with Mike singing the lyric against Chester wailing in the background.

The weakness of the album is how diverse it is. Normally, this would be a compliment; however, the album doesn’t seem to know where it wants to go, so much so I’m really unsure on my rating. Putting the lightest track of the band’s career next to their heaviest is just wrong, and the album sounds poorly rushed and put together (which is remarkable given the thousands of delays the album was put through). Another criticism is how pretty much all of the ballads (save for Leave Out All The Rest) rely on build–up.


The sad fact is either way the band was ***ed. If they were to release an album in the vein of their previous two, they would be slammed as one–trick ponies. Instead they released this, and got slammed for being, well, ***. There goes my Hybrid Theory t–shirt.


Highlights:
No More Sorrow
In Pieces
Wake



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user ratings (2943)
Chart.
2.5
average
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • Nick Mongiardo CONTRIBUTOR (2.5)
    For the most part LP abandoned their nu-metal sound, but it could have been executed bette...

    Patrick Armstrong (3)
    While it may not be as stylistically masterful as its two predecessors, Minutes To Midnigh...

    Pistol Pete (3)
    LP at their most experimental, but also most foolish....

    Kartikeya (3)
    Unique in its own way...

  • Freddy Thomas (3.5)
    An album that has some promise is not generally fulfilled by the new sound, new style & ov...

    Kyle Hallman (3)
    After a 5 year wait for LP's next studio album. We see the band taking a toally different...

    scarsremain (5)
    LP new CD was much anticipated. BUt is the change for the better of the band...

    altairschaos56 (5)
    Four years after Meteora, Linkin Park is back. And they have brought a new sound. Minutes ...

  • Derek Marchewka (3.5)
    Linkin Park's new album: Good, Bad, one things for sure, there arn't the same Linkin Park ...

    DerMond (3)
    Points for effort, but too little, too late....

    Gravy (2)
    Nice points, but generally incredibly disappointing, mainly because of the hype it recieve...

    grungekicksmetalsass (2)
    ...

  • Porter W. Richards (3)
    They may have matured, but they've ended up singling out former fans and turning potential...

    Abaddon2005 (2)
    Old school punk and hip-hop might have looked cool on the blueprints, but as it turns out ...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Titan50
July 27th 2009


4588 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Yes, I know this is the 95357385th review of this. Yes, I know this isn't Ziggy Stardust like I promised. I don't care.

I was going to review Ziggy but I wanted to start off with something I was more familiar with.

Anyway, this is my first "proper" review. Vote, criticise, etc

mitch91
July 27th 2009


410 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Pretty good review. Only thing is the 4th and 5th paragraphs start exactly the same and are very similar (even the U2 references).

I agree with your overall judgement though, it's just way too diverse.

Digging: Solemn Sun -

Titan50
July 27th 2009


4588 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Pretty good review. Only thing is the 4th and 5th paragraphs start exactly the same and are very similar (even the U2 references).


Trying to make it like you're listening to the album :p

j/k, thanks for feedback

mitch91
July 27th 2009


410 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I did think that to be honest! Its one of the most stupid track orders I've seen, there's no flow of energy.

Titan50
July 27th 2009


4588 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I wonder what people would think of this if this was their first album

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
July 27th 2009


7358 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

good review pos'd

Titan50
July 27th 2009


4588 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Gracias

ConorMichaelJoseph
July 27th 2009


1870 Comments


Great review, pos'd, though there are some things I wouldn't agree with you on. For example I think Given Up, Bleed It Out and What I've Done are among the better tracks on this, with No More Sorrow taking the top spot. Still, a great and very fair review.

Avirov
July 27th 2009


1206 Comments


Review was too track by track, was just you describing some songs and giving some minor descriptions of why you didn't like them. The only paragraph I liked was the second to last one.

ConorMichaelJoseph
July 27th 2009


1870 Comments


There's a little too much variation in the album to give a general overview though, not to mention that its a well-written track-by-track

thebbqshrimp
July 27th 2009


1207 Comments


DGAF. In Pieces is a DAMN good song.

Titan50
July 27th 2009


4588 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

DGAF?

Titan50
July 27th 2009


4588 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Review was too track by track, was just you describing some songs and giving some minor descriptions of why you didn't like them. The only paragraph I liked was the second to last one.


I was concious of that while writing, but as Conor said, it's hard to do an overview of the album

thebbqshrimp
July 27th 2009


1207 Comments


DGAF = don't give a fuck haha

Titan50
July 27th 2009


4588 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Rebel

XulOnerom
July 27th 2009


1818 Comments


Good review, son. Have a pos.

I have a (bad) review of Meteora but I never posted it. I felt like I would be kicking a dead horse.

thebbqshrimp
July 27th 2009


1207 Comments


Rebel

You kn0w it.

Avirov
July 27th 2009


1206 Comments


I was concious of that while writing, but as Conor said, it's hard to do an overview of the
album


I honestly don't see how. The review doesn't need to be long if the album is so simple, describe the
bands sound, point out flaws in the writing/execution/whatever, publish. This kind of review just irks
me.

BallsToTheWall
July 27th 2009


44620 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

L.P writes good singles even now, both on Transformers were great.

Digging: Mare Cognitum - Phobos Monolith

Gyromania
July 27th 2009


15941 Comments


Dude, they sound exactly the same.

Digging: Lantlos - .neon



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