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Minutes To Midnight - Linkin Park
Member Name: xDave-
Minutes To Midnight - Linkin Park
Date: 20/02/10, updated on 20/02/10 (49 review reads)
Advantages: At least 6 songs that I guarantee you will love.
Disadvantages: Two songs with great potential ruined.
After Linkin Park's two very successful Nu-Metal albums, their third, Minutes to Midnight (MTM), was expected to continue along those lines. However, it was slated by many reviewers, saying the band had gone into pop and moved away from their original roots, this being a turn for the worse. While it is clear that the band has moved in an entirely new direction, I personally loved the new stuff just as much as the old. The songs tend to be a lot slower and gentler than previously seen, only "My December" and "Easier To Run" could be considered 'soft' prior to MTM. Below I have spoken about each song on the album and rated them.
1. WAKE (1:40)
The introduction to the album. Wake starts off very slow then builds up into an explosion of pleasant music. It's not really a song so to speak; it's the type you'll only listen to when you play the album as a whole, as a lot of the songs continue into the next. It is an instrumental, so no voices involved here. 7/10
2. GIVEN UP (3:09)
Given up was the fourth single to be released from the album, but I can only imagine what this song could have been. It starts excellently with a catchy beat and lyrics, but is spoiled around midway with, what I find as, unnecessary screaming. I am a fan of Chester's screams, but it doesn't fit here at all and this song always gets a skip when it gets to that point. 6/10
3. LEAVE OUT ALL THE REST (3:31)
This song is something you must hear. It is one of the new softer ones and it is absolutely fantastic. It starts with some wonderful sounds and seems to tell the story of someone's life that hasn't gone quite as they planned. It speaks in a reflective way and it is quite sad and, if used in a film the correct way, could be quite emotional. I believe it was in the recent "New Moon" film actually. The only annoying thing about the album version of this song is that the link into the next one is quite long and not fabulous to listen to! The band clearly recognised this song's brilliance too as it was their fifth and final single from MTM. 10/10
4. BLEED IT OUT (2:44)
Bleed It Out is the first song rapper Mike Shinoda is in and here the band have created a fast paced party song that majority who hear it love. It is the shortest song (excluding Wake) on the album, but that is perhaps reflective of the speed it's sung at. It is a great song to sing along with and will get you dancing in your seat! Another great of MTM. 10/10
5. SHADOW OF THE DAY (4:52)
Similar to Leave Out All The Rest, Shadow Of The Day is another slow song and another single by Linkin Park, their third released. While I like the pleasant and relaxing nature of this song, I am quite surprised it was released as a single. It represents everything that the band has now become and the opposite of what they used to play. The only criticism of this song I personally have is the link to the next song is ridiculously long and nothing special to listen to; but as it was released as a single, you can get a version without that. 9/10
6. WHAT I'VE DONE (3:25)
What I've Done was the first single to be released from MTM and is probably the most popular one to grace the album. It gained a place in the public eye due to its use in the Transformers movie, hence its popularity, and is widely loved by hardcore fans and the mainstream audience. The song was actually nominated for best hard rock performance during one of Linkin Park's live displays, one I was at! Milton Keynes Bowl 29.6.08. I personally love the song, especially the effects that Joe Hahn adds to the song. 10/10
7. HANDS HELD HIGH (3:53)
Mike takes over fully in this song for the first time in any of Linkin Park's songs. Hands Held High is not one of Linkin Park's most renowned songs as it doesn't really have a catchy beat, although it is something you can rap along to if you have the lung capacity to do so! Overall not an amazing song, but if you like Mike's voice, you'll probably like it; I do. 7/10
8. NO MORE SORROW (3:41)
Now we meet my personal least favourite of MTM; No More Sorrow. The song is very well done, but is destroyed in a similar way to Given Up. It has a long build up intro, some good, but short, lines from Chester, but I feel it is crushed at the bridge. Chester's screaming voice reappears as he bellows "Thieves and hypocrites" which totally ruins the song. 4/10
9. VALENTINE'S DAY (3:16)
I am forever thankful Linkin Park ventured into their new style because, without it, a song like this wouldn't even be something I could dream of. Chester's voice, which had largely been used for screaming and shouting (to good effect) prior to this album, is actually such a thing of beauty and his lovely singing throughout this song could bring you to tears. The song has a sad tone and talks about being alone on Valentine's Day. Kind of emo I suppose, but its fantastic. Funnily enough I found this song three Valentine's Days ago, which in turn led to me discovering the band themselves, probably why I love this song so much. 10/10
10. IN BETWEEN (3:16)
This song is the exact same length as the one before it, but doesn't really match its quality. Similar to Hands Held High, Mike takes the lead vocals but this song doesn't really do it for me. And, for the first time, Mike is singing rather than rapping. He does also posses an excellent voice (demonstrated in their song No Roads Left), but this song really seems to be lacking something. 6/10
11. IN PIECES (3:38)
I look at this as the 'unsung' song of the album. Chester resume normal standard with lead vocals and sings about someone that perhaps isn't the greatest of people, the chorus suggesting a poor relationship with someone (be that as a partner or family, I don't know). Chester's voice borders on screaming at points, while majority he is using this new found soft and magical voice, and it all comes together perfectly for a great song. 9/10
12. THE LITTLE THINGS GIVE YOU AWAY (6:23)
At first I hated this song, I really did. I felt it has a poor structure, was too slow and just boring overall. It took a long time for me to really sit down and listen to it, and appreciate it, but I certainly do now. It is certainly a beautiful song, very slow, very calm, very new Linkin Park. It is certainly something that won't suit the taste of 'old school' Linkin Park fans. But I find this a divine piece of work now with an amazing ending; Chester, Mike and Phoenix, the Bassist, each sing a line or two over each other and the music fades away, leaving only their voices to carry you too the ending, and it is a splendid finale I must say. Amazing song. 9/10
And that, I'm afraid, concludes the album. You have the chance to continue the experience into one more new song if you buy the "Tour Edition", which includes track #13 No Roads Left, which I mentioned earlier. I would recommend getting that version. As for the original, this is a truly stunning album, despite the occasional poor song. The magic of the good songs on the album hugely outweighs any negatively they present anyway.
Summary: 9/10 Overall