by S P
With the trend of new albums being leaked online and distributed months before they hit the shops, Warner Brothers has decided to clamp down and stick reviewers in a cramped smoke-filled cupboard to listen to Linkin Park’s new album Minutes To Midnight – its first ever broadcast outside the US. Before entering the venue, we are asked – or rather their publicity people insist – that all bags have to be checked in and mobiles surrendered. Stripped of my worldly possessions, I walked into the room armed with only a printout of Linkin Park’s press release and a pencil. (Goddamnit, if only I had my easer with me, I could hide my face behind it!)
Linkin Park’s third studio album, produced by Mike Shinoda (the rapper in Linkin Park) and Rick Rubin, the hot shot producer famed for working with stadium rockers, U2 and Red Hot Chili Peppers, and credited with rejuvenating the latter day careers of Johnny Cash and Neil Diamond. Apparently, Linkin Park have sold over 40 million albums worldwide and is presently the biggest rap/rock band in the world, at least according to their Press Office. To be honest, I have no idea about Linkin Park’s place in the rap/rock pecking order, although in my defence I’m not a 13-year-old boy. My shame at my woeful ignorance of the bitchin’ world, rap/rock leads me to do a little homework, and it turns up the illuminating fact that Linkin Park is also categorised under nu-metal/rapcore. Sadly I have no idea what either is. Hopefully it means something to their fans and critics.
With a brief introduction from the MC, the playback commenced, beginning with an epic orchestrated intro to disco/trance like rock bass line combined with furious, rapid drumming and low tempo singing, or perhaps more accurately soft whimpering. As a layman (laywoman, strictly speaking) and with no prior Linkin Park history (yes, kids I’m a Linkin Park virgin, no doubt, not something many of their groupies are able to say) I had never really paid any attention to them. But listening the album it becomes clear that each of these eleven tracks have their merits and I am pleasantly surprised by my introduction to the band.
With zero knowledge to compare it to Linkin Park’s two previous albums I have been listening to their back catalogue while typing up this review. I have to say that Linkin Park hasn’t gained another fan and I definitely won’t be running to the store to buy Minutes To Midnight. Nonetheless, I have a newfound respect for them and the way their music mixes, cut and paste style, across genres. One and a half hours of my life gone and two back-to-back listenings didn’t do my head in. Not a keeper perhaps, but I enjoyed the above average album enough not to walk away.
Linkin Park’s new album Minutes To Midnight will be release Monday May 14. Track listing as followed:
2. Given Up
3. Leave Out All The Rest
4. Bleed It Out
5. Shadow Of The Day
6. What I’ve Done
7. Hands Held High
8. No More Sorrow
9. Valentine’s Day
10. In Between
11. In Pieces
12. The Little Things Give You Away