• Axl Rosenberg

park190.jpgWhen I was younger, I would go to listening booths and give a spin to albums by bands I despise so that I could intelligently tell said bands’ fans why that album sucked. But now I’m older, grumpier, and, really, I don’t feel a need to justify to, say, Hinder fans why I hate Hinder. If you like Hinder, there’s a 99% chance that you’re a total idiot, and I’m fine leaving it at that.

To that end, we here at MetalSucks.net have no intention of reviewing the new Linkin Suck album, Minutes to Midnight. Instead, here are excerpts from the reviews that appear in The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly. They perfectly express what our feelings on the disc would probably be anyway, but in much less rageful terms.

“In retrospect, it’s clear that the stratospheric success of Linkin Park marked the end of an era. Two eras, actually. With the rise of Linkin Park, the great (or not-so-great) rap-rock boom of the 1990s had one last hurrah. And with the release of group’s 2000 debut album, Hybrid Theory, which sold more than nine million copies in the United States, the great CD sales boom of the 1990s had one of its last hurrahs, too.

“Seven years later… CD sales are in the toilet and rap-rock has been flushed, so the members of Linkin Park are trying to evolve and survive with Minutes to Midnight. In deference to the current climate, they have de-emphasized rap-rock and tentatively embraced emo…

“…just about everything is tweaked to perfection, and there’s always an infectious refrain around the corner (provided you can survive the often banal verses).

“As you might imagine, the band’s emo makeover doesn’t always go smoothly. “Valentine’s Day,” in particular, is alarmingly silly even before you get to the hilarious chorus: “I never knew what it was like to be alone/On a Valentine’s Day.” And in “Hands Held High,” Mike Shinoda… rhymes in a style that could be described as Eminem Lite; “Lightweights step to the side,” he raps, conspicuously declining to follow his own command.

“…Two eras may be over, but this band seems nostalgic for only one of them.”

-Kelefa Sanneh, The New York Times

“To the list of America’s most endangered professions — lighthouse keepers, Detroit autoworkers, record-store clerks — add rappers in rock bands. Linkin Park certainly haven’t failed to notice the nü-metal market withering since their last multiplatinum album in ’03. They probably read the self-pitying blog ramblings of Bizkit-turned-filmmaker Fred Durst and thought: There but for the grace of God go we. A response to this crisis is apparent on Minutes to Midnight, their third studio disc. Before, Mike Shinoda rapped on nearly everything the band cut, sharing the limelight with singer Chester Bennington; here he throws down his mad rhyming skillz on a mere two numbers…

“…Amid the stabs at growth, every new effect sounds borrowed. The electronic pulse that opens ”Shadow of the Day” sounds like an ancient NIN loop; then the song turns into their ”With or Without You,” gradually adding elements — a snare, strings — in a wan attempt at anthemic momentum. The piano intro to ”What I’ve Done”…where have we heard that before? Oh, yeah: It sounds like the theme from Halloween. (Maybe they’ll get a hit ringtone out of it — John Carpenter did.)

“…Without Shinoda to interrupt , Bennington is forced all the more to be his own egocentric, emo-centric foil.

“…Grade: C”

-Chris Willman, Entertainment Weekly


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