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Sunday, May 6, 2007

Sinking Park?

The curtains are drawn; the minutes have ceased counting down to midnight. The world held their breath.
Linkin Park is back.

Debuting at number 1 and selling over 620,000 copies in its first week, Linkin Park’s Minutes to Midnight is currently the highest selling album of 2007.

After a lengthy hiatus, Linkin Park has returned with a new sound, look and feel. They have matured and put together a rather decent album. With a new producer (the Grammy award-winning Rick Rubin), they set off in search of a more raw and stripped-down sound. Many have argued as to why change something that is already perfect? (Their previous albums have sold a total of over 40 million copies) But as many true fans will agree, the sales aren’t all that counts. It’s more about getting the message across while trying different things, and making good music. With Minutes, we can definitely look forward to deeper lyrics and more melodious tunes.

Leaving the past behind them, Chester fronts the band with most of the vocals, leaving Mike with only 2 songs to rap on. This 12-track album kicks off with the intro Wake which is a lead on into the punk-rock Given Up (where Chester screams for a full 17 seconds). Ballads fill up most of the album leaving only a few tracks to reminiscence the past. Lead single What I’ve Done, opened at number 1 on the Modern Rock Chart, and has been there for the last 8 weeks. The album songs are a spread between moody rock ballads such as Leave out All the Rest, loud rock – No More Sorrow, the haunting Valentine’s Day or the somber ending on The Little Things Give You Away. Heck, even Mike has his own song - In Between.

For the old fans, this change will take some getting used to, but rest assure, after a few spins the album will start to grow on you. Though it might feel a little slow with the acoustic guitars and the lengthy ballads, it still screams bloody murder. After all, this is Linkin Park.

Overall, it is a record with much substance and effort. It is a decent collection but instead of blowing you away instantly, it takes joy in providing its charms little by little. Give yourself a chance to learn to like it. But if all else fails, we still have their concert to look forward to.

Alas, rap-rock may be dead, but Linkin Park is not.

Recommended: Given Up, Leave Out All The Rest, What I've Done, No More Sorrow, Valentines Day, In Pieces.

Rating: 7/10 (7.5 for the fan factor)

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