Minutes To Midnight , Linkin Park's sound has reached maturity
After Hybrid Theory and Meteora, Minutes to Midnight is the third studio album of the Californian band Linkin Park and had been launched in 2007. This album, more melodious and studied, undeniably marks a watershed for the band. Evolving from the metal sound that made it succeed, the group wants to prove it is able to evolve, to mature, and we can hear it in the pop tone of some tracks which are close to some of the band U2.
The singer, Chester Bennington, spends on this CD more time singing than screaming - which is much pleasant, his voice is really charming and suits well many genres. Even the MC Mike Shinoda (who is less heard compared to the previous albums) has a song on his own with In Between. Guitar riffs are less violent, often with keyboards or even violins backings, giving this album an atmosphere which stands out from the Linkin Park sound we were used to. However, their energie and the power of their music can still be felt on the songsGiven Up, Bleed It Out and No More Sorrow (whose introduction is shivering, even more when played live).
Full of grace and positive energy, Minutes to Midnight also stands out from its predecessors by the songs' lyrics, which are less focused on personal feelings and deal with more general and often serious topics such as terrorism or natural disasters.
This album may destabilize early fans and has by the way been welcomed by mitigated critics, as is often the case when a band gets off its usual genre. But time had come for Linkin Park to mature, and then to make their music evolve in parallel. The only thing we could accused Minutes to Midnight of is its more mainstream tone, more asserted than on the two previous albums through the many ballads (Leave Out All the Rest, Shadow of the Day, Hands Held High, Valentine's Day, The Little Things Give You Away) and its softer but efficient rock track What I've Done. The songs are so addictive we quickly forget the band was trying to attract a wider audience, and we find ourselves listening to the album over and over again, without getting tired of it. More diversified than Hybrid Theory and Meteora, the melodious and elaborate side of Minutes to Midnight is going to please the expected audience, just as the band explains in its booklet: they didn't want just to rely on the sound that contributed to their success, but are trying to explore new horizons and to push back their limits... Mission accomplished for Linkin Park, this album amply deserves five stars from TheCafeBook!