Published on June 1st, 2007 | by Erich Becker0
Review: Linkin Park – Minutes to Midnight
Maybe if the climate in the music industry was different LinkinPark’s departure from their tried and true rap-rock sound would come through better. Maybe if fans were more akin to such a drastic change in style, and an almost abandonment of what made them great in the beginning Minutes to Midnight would be welcomed with open arms by the legions of fans who made Hybrid Theory one of the biggest albums of the last 10 years. Instead LinkinPark’s ballad-laden, political outcry is neither welcome nor accepted and this eagerly awaited album falls upon disappointed ears.
There’s such a change from Hybrid Theory and its continuation into Meteora that the sound we’d come to universally charge to LinkinPark is gone. Left by the wayside is back-up vocalist and lead rapper Mike Shinoda who is negated to two tracks on the new disc, each really lacking the punch you’d come to expect from such an explosive rock group.
Truth be told, Midnight is a slow trotting, ballad-riddled mess with no consistency between tracks, no flow. As you break out of the high-intensity “Given Up“; you go back and forth between Shinoda rapping, the pre-packed single “What I’ve Done“; and lead vocalist Chester Bennington’s screeching emo-ballads as the album gets stuck in second gear, barely able to make it up to any speed you’d attribute to Linkin Park, like an engine half rebuilt which runs, just not firing as hard, or as intense as you’d like.
Its seems ironic now that the critical plague cast upon Meteora was the fact that it sounded too much like Theory only to have the different sound of Midnight and the longing for more of the same be the ultimate undoing of this new outing. There’s so much the fans want to see in this new album only to be thoroughly disappointed by what feels like an entry waiting to get going and ends before it really can. Even true fans of the band will see the faults in this new release, and one can only hope that LinkinPark’s inevitable follow-up will return them to their tried-and-true roots and leave the sorrow behind.