By May 17, 2007

If you liked Stabbing Westward ….

You will love the new Linkin Park album, Minutes to Midnight. The first track sounds exactly like a Stabbing Westward song. The rest of Minutes to Midnight isn’t bad, but if you’re expecting the scratch- and guitar riff-heavy sounds of the first two albums you’re going to be in for a surprise. As I noted in my review of DJ Shadow’s album The Outsider, it can be a jarring experience when an artist or group changes musical direction.

“Bleed It Out” is the first decent song on the album. It does not surprise me that this is also Mike Shinoda’s first turn at the microphone. Primary singer Chester Bennington (Shinoda is LP’s rapping vocalist) attempts to stretch his vocal range a bit in Minutes to Midnight, but I’ve always liked him better as a counterpoint to Shinoda and less the main focus of a track. “What I’ve Done” is a good example of what happens when Chester’s bleeding heart wailing is untempered by Shinoda or more hip hop elements. It almost made me reach for my cuttin’ tools.

If you’re looking for an evolution of Linkin Park, pick up (or return to) Shinoda’s 2005 side project Fort Minor. If you want to hear a mashup between Linkin Park and an industrial rock band from the 90s, check out Minutes to Midnight.

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