One of the most defining mainstream rock CD’s of the 00s , in my opinion, has to be Linkin Park’s Minutes to Midnight. A stark detour from their heavy hip-hop and alt-rock influenced first two albums, this album proved that just like great bands before them that its ok to experiment with different sounds and still create a quality record.
I know a lot of fans may have wanted them to keep their consistency with the popular rap rock sound of the early 00s. Honestly, their departure from this trend in M2M is why many LP fans don’t support them as much today.
Nonetheless, the record, in my opinion, managed to cement their status beyond the “nu-metal” sound and rise to the standard of a quality rock band that displayed a high caliber and grasp of the complexities of the world and music. With a range of Depeche Mode, Beastie Boys, and Rage Against the Machine this album fuses introspection and emotions with hard to grasp facts about the world in the early to mid 00s.
Take for instance some of the songs on the album such as :
“Shadow of the Day” which is near identical to U2’s “With or Without You.” The vocals on this single are very climatic. Chester Bennigton’s tenor like voice really compliments the progression of the song.
“Hands Held High” is a great song that deals with the powerless oppresses masses standing up for justice against injustice, terrorism, and war. A line that always stuck with me from the song is “When the rich wage war, it’s the poor who die.”
The lyric reminds me of the film Platoon when Charlie Sheen’s character explained his reasoning for dropping out of college , “Didn’t make much sense, I wasn’t learning anything. I figured why should just the poor kids go off to war and the rich kids always get away with it.”
“The Little Things Give you Away” is the closing track of the record. One could only speculate the song was about the federal and state governments disastrous response to Hurricane Katrina with references about “levees breaking” and “Hope decays generations disappear.” A long but compelling song about negligence and accountability.
So much more could be said about this wonderfully made album. Personally, all tracks contribute to the success of a great artistic compilation of various musicians coming together to create songs that transcend the standard of the mainstream 00s rock. Check out the YouTube video behind the scenes of Linkin Park Minutes to Midnight. It certainly reminded me of the skill and precision artist such as Fleetwood Mac and Pink Floyd entered the studio.