Being a massive Linkin Park fan myself, I was literally horrified when they announced that that Minutes to Midnight was the band's move to explore the world of classic rock and hip hop. It was no surprise, then, that when the album came out, you could quite distinctly see the difference to a Linkin Park of 4 years ago.
However, this album isn't quite what you'd expect. It is true that thay've tried to explore different genres and divulge from their nu-metal image, and they've done it quite tastefully though. It just doesn't sound like the Linkin Park that made songs like Papercut and Lying from You.
The album opens with an eerie instrumental which never really takes off...sort of an underlying them for the whole album in all honesty. The second song, Given Up, shows a lot of promise, but that's abuout it. Nothing special there at all for die-hard LP fans. Almsot all the resy of the songs sound like those off a Fort Minor album: clearly Shinoda has influenced this album a lot, and it's not so bad in places, but songs like Hands Held High and Valentine's Day really don't, unlike Hybrid Theory and Meteora scream Linkin Park (literally).
I was surprised by some songs on the album, namely In Between and No More Sorrow. No More Sorrow sounds like a normal Linkin Park song, again not quite teh quality of earlier albums, but a refreshing change from the dreary and slightly boring tone of the album as a whole. As for In Between, it's not normally my cup of tea. But Shinoda's Fort Minor were brilliant in their own way, and he's brought this touch of class back to band he made his name with.
One thing's for sure: they haven't become another faceless American boyband. The music isn't electricfying, and I'm sure a lot of people will be disappointed: I know I am. But they've had a stab at something different, and it's not half bad. All in all, not a bad album. Pity it was Linkin Park who made it.