By Aura Altamiranda
In a nutshell, this is pretty much what you can expect from Linkin Park’s Minutes to Midnight. Selling a massive 623,000 copies its opening week according to Billboard, it has proven itself a worthy album indeed, especially after the band’s four year hiatus.
Linkin Park’s albums have always been known for their introductions and intermissions, such as with Hybrid Theory’s “Technique(Short)” andMeteora’s “Foreword.” “Wake” jump starts this edition of the band’s work with a mellow tune that gradually works its way into an intense guitar solo.
Throughout the album, it’s clear that Linkin Park has gone through a bit of a makeover. Even their image has been altered. In a recent MTV interview, the band members explained that they thought it was time for change and hoped that their fans would trust their judgment. Even though it might disappoint a few because it is a bit softer than all their past records, the music, in my opinion, is still remarkable.
Their heavy metal sound had to be somewhat sacrificed in order to convey powerful messages, which seem more meaningful than all their past albums. For example, “What I’ve Done,” the song that put this album on the map, makes me reminisce about U2’s famous “Vertigo.” Similar in sound and lyrics, this song captures what the world has come to and begs for a fresh start. It points the finger at humanity for all the hurt and wrong that has resulted, mentioning that there is no excuse but simply the hope that all will be forgiven and forgotten.
Minutes to Midnight is the first album on which the band has chosen to publicize their political beliefs, such as with “Hands Held High” and “The Little Things Give You Away.” Harsh lyrics referring to the president describe his weaknesses, such as “For a leader so nervous in an obvious way, stuttering and mumbling”. A few tracks later, we hear “All you’ve ever wanted was someone to truly look up to you, and six feet underground I do.” Subtle? I think not.
The familiar combination of Chester’s amazing singing ability paired with Mike’s rapping and MC talent works incredibly well with the new musical direction. All in all, Minutes to Midnight has assured Linkin Park’s continuing reign as one of the most gifted nu metal rock bands around.