Wanted: more fire for Linkin Park

By Joni Lindes

Artist Name: Linkin Park
Album name: Minutes to Midnight
Year: 2011
Genre: nu metal

Three albums down the line and the Grammy Award winning, Californian nu metal band is still struggling to live up to the former glory induced by their top selling first album, Hybrid Theory. Minutes to Midnight reflects Linkin Park’s captivating mix of pop, metal and rap music with standout tracks such as ‘Given Up’, ‘Shadow of the Day’ , ‘Leave out all the Rest’ and ‘What I’ve Done’.

The album explores a wide variety of musical styles. The opening track, ‘Given Up’ will raise many Linkin Park fans to their feet with its thrashing guitar solos, drum beats and lyrics which hit like rocks on the surface of their fan base. The other tracks on the album, however, reflect a fresh, new approach to creating more meditative and bittersweet reflection of society. The songs ‘Leave out all the Rest’ and ‘Shadow of the Day’ are well-crafted and thought-provoking yet head-banging fans will be disappointed by the lack of ripping guitar solos and punching chorus’s which has given Linkin Park’s music its edge throughout the bands career.

Linkin Park, however has been even more committed to taking risks in this album and this has sprung out some quality music. ‘Hands held High’ experiments with rap and is a brutal reflection of the hypocrisy surrounding the war in Afghanistan accompanied by the steady rhythm of a snare drum which is contrasted, ironically, by church organ music leading to a song which is beautifully thought-provoking.

‘Hands Held High’ is not the only track which brings bubbles of discomfort about our society to the surface, ‘Little Things Give you Away’ reflects the destruction and helplessness caused by the hurricane Katrina, and while being a repetitive and somewhat dull track, it is most certainly thought-provoking.
‘No more Sorrow’ is a loud, messy, but in any case thrashing piece of rock which bleeds fire into the hearts of people angry at the world. Another standout track, ‘What I’ve Done’ which was used as a theme song for the first Transformers movie will be appreciated by fans, however it sounds alarmingly like one of their previous best-selling singles: ‘Numb’ urging the band to stop rewriting their own music.

The album took thirteen months to write which is reflected in the crafted quality of certain tracks yet still remains a sign that the band is struggling to live up to its former glory.

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