Linkin Park

Minutes to Midnight
(Warner Bros./WEA)

The men of Linkin Park seem awfully insecure. Minutes to Midnight is stuffed with take-us-seriously gestures, including the presence of producer Rick Rubin and liner notes that couldn't be needier if they'd been written by Sally Field. For instance, the Parkers reveal in a footnote to "What I've Done" that the tune's lyrics "were intended to work on many levels, including freedom, art, and death metaphors." Good to know you paid attention during English class, dudes. And thanks for resisting the urge to diagram your sentences. Linkin Park's most popular tracks helped transition listeners from pure pop to heavier rock — and within that context, songs such as "In the End" were catchy and effective, if fairly insubstantial. In contrast, the Minutes material is loaded down with more ambition than it can support. "No More Sorrow" has some of the old hookiness, but "Hands Held High" fails as a political anthem, and "The Little Things Give You Away" is the weakest of several blah ballads. Looks like those insecurity problems are about to get worse.

 
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