Parade of Lights
The Take Off and Landing of Everything
Linkin Park did some things differently on “Minutes to Midnight.” Sonically Linkin Park has grown immensely. Yes they still sound like Linkin Park and they haven’t completely turned away from their old sound, but they’ve meshed it in places with some old school punk. It makes for a compelling style, especially on “Given Up.” The other way that Linkin Park has developed is they are increasingly more melodic than on previous albums. The perfect example of that is “Leave Out All the Rest.” Bennington’s vocals on this song and on the album are better than they’ve ever been. Shinoda’s rapping isn’t on this album that much, he’s got two or three tracks on “Minutes to Midnight” that he’s the dominant vocalist and that is probably one of the disappointing things about the album, but Bennington’s work makes up for the lack of Shinoda. Other than the single, “What I’ve Done” the best track on the album is a tag-team Shinoda/Bennington track- “Bleed it Out.” Not only are the vocals on the track outstanding, but the underlying rhythm of claps and tambourine action make the track catchy as hell. Importance is a key element to any track. And track 7- “Hands Held Down” is a Shinoda track that is outstanding. Take some time and listen to the lyrics, really listen to the lyrics and you’ll get chills. Chills. On an album where Shinoda isn’t really a dominating factor, it’s his song that delivers another song for our generation. it’s about the political strife our country is going through. There are a lot of important songs out there- but if this is released as a single (especially with the popularity of Linkin Park) this goes down in history as one of the biggest battle cries ever to a generation. Please Warner Bros. and Linkin Park, please release this as a single.The mainstream critics still hate them, and they’ve really bashed this album. But they’ve never really connected with Linkin Park or with Linkin Park fans. This isn’t your standard Linkin Park album, it’s actually a turnaround from everything else they’ve done. But that’s not a bad thing, it’s just growth. After the initial shock of how different it is from the usual Linkin Park stuff, listen through it again. The first time through is good, the second time through is excellent. This is another great release from one of the best bands of the past decade.