Linkin Park – Minutes To Midnight (2007)

FrontCover1Minutes to Midnight is the third studio album by American rock band Linkin Park, released on May 14, 2007, through Warner Bros. Records. The album was produced by Mike Shinoda and Rick Rubin. Minutes to Midnight was the band’s follow-up album to Meteora (2003) and features a shift in the group’s musical direction. For the band, the album marks a beginning of deviation from their signature nu metal sound. Minutes to Midnight takes its title from the Doomsday Clock.

Linkin Park started work on their third studio album in 2003, taking a break to tour in support of Meteora in 2004. In this time period, the band formed numerous side projects; Mike Shinoda formed his hip hop side project Fort Minor, while Chester Bennington formed Dead by Sunrise, causing the album to be shelved temporarily. The band returned to work on the record afterward, taking on a different musical direction than the 2003 sessions while working with producer Rick Rubin. The album’s completion was delayed several times for unknown reasons. Eventually, “What I’ve Done” was chosen as the album’s lead single in April 2007, with the album seeing release in North America on May 15, 2007.

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The album debuted at number one in the US Billboard 200 and in 15 other countries, including the United Kingdom and Canada. In the United States, the album had the biggest first week sales of 2007 at the time, with 623,000 albums sold, going on to be certified triple platinum in the United States. It was also certified double platinum in New Zealand, Italy, Ireland, and Australia and certified platinum in Canada, France, Switzerland and in the UK. Despite its commercial success, Minutes to Midnight received mixed reviews from critics. Rolling Stone magazine named it the twenty-fifth best album of 2007. It has sold more than 3 million copies in the USA and 20 million copies worldwide. It was ranked number 154 on Billboard’s Hot 200 Albums of the Decade.

In an interview, lead singer Chester Bennington explained that the album is “a mix of punk, classic rock, and hip-hop standards” and that “Rick has brought more of a stripped down, classic-rock and hip-hop kind of feel.”

In another interview, Bennington stated: “This time around, Mike Shinoda is singing a lot more. It may seem like he’s not on the record, but he’s doing a lot of the harmonies. He also sings a couple of songs alone. We’re presenting ourselves in a different way.” (by wikipedia)

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Damned if they do, damned if they don’t — that was the conundrum facing Linkin Park when it came time to deliver Minutes to Midnight, their third album. It had been four years since their last, 2003’s Meteora, which itself was essentially a continuation of the rap-rock of their 2000 debut, Hybrid Theory, the blockbuster that was one of the biggest rock hits of the new millennium.

On that album, Linkin Park sounded tense and nervous, they sounded wiry — rap-rock without the maliciousness that pulsed through mock-rockers like Limp Bizkit. Linkin Park seemed to come by their alienation honestly, plus they had hooks and a visceral power that connected with millions of listeners, many of whom who were satisfied by the familiarity of Meteora. They may have been able to give their fans more of the same on their sophomore effort, but Linkin Park couldn’t do the same thing on their third record: they would seem like one-trick ponies, so they’d be better off to acknowledge their advancing age and try to mature, or broaden their sonic palette.

Yet like many other hard rockers, they were the kind of band whose audience either didn’t want change or outgrew the group — and considering that it had been a full seven years between Hybrid Theory and Minutes to Midnight, many fans who were on the verge of getting their driver’s license in 2000 were now leaving college and, along with it, adolescent angst. (by wikipedia)

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So, Linkin Park decided to embrace the inevitable and jumped headfirst into maturity on Minutes to Midnight, which meant that poor Mike Shinoda was effectively benched, rapping on just two songs. In many ways, it seems like even the guitarists were benched this time around, since Minutes to Midnight doesn’t really rock, it broods. Apart from a handful of ringers — “Given Up,” the Shinoda-fueled “Bleed It Out,” easily the best, most visceral track here — this is quiet, atmospheric stuff, dabbling with electronic textures that were cutting edge in 1996 but sound passé now.

Also sounding passé are the tortured musings of lead singer Chester Bennington, who still is tormented by love, loss, family, any number of items that sound convincing coming from a man in his early twenties, but not so much so when the thirties are approaching rapidly. And yet the way Bennington and his mates, shepherded by producer Rick Rubin, try to sound mature isn’t always convincing, either, possibly because it sounds like a skate punk uncomfortably trying on his big brother’s suit. They have the chops to rock, and when they deign to do so on Minutes to Midnight they sound comfortable, they sound right, but too often they run away from this core strength. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

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Personnel:
Chester Bennington (vocals, guitar on 06. + 13.)
Rob Bourdon (drums, percussion)
Brad Delson (guitar)
Dave “Phoenix” Farrell (bass, background vocals)
Joseph Hahn (turntables, sampling, programming)
Mike Shinoda (guitar, vocals, keyboards)
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Matt Funes (viola on 03., 05., 07., 12, . 13.)
Oscar Hidalgo (bass on 03., 05., 07., 12, . 13.)
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Charlie Bisharat – Mario DeLeon – Armen Garabedian – Julian Hallmark – Gerry Hilera –Songa Lee-Kitto – Natalie Leggett – Josefina Vergara – Sara Parkins – violin

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cello on on 03., 05., 07., 12, . 13.:
Larry Corbett – Suzie Katayama

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Tracklist:
01. Wake” 1:40
02. Given Up 3:09
03. eave Out All The Rest 3:17
04. Bleed It Out 2:44
05. Shadow Of The Day 4:49
06. What I’ve Done 3:25
07. Hands Held High 3:53
08. No More Sorrow 3:41
09. Valentine’s Day 3:16
10. In Between 3:16
11. In Pieces 3:38
12. The Little Things Give You Away 6.23
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13. No Roads Left 3:55
14. What I’ve Done (Distorted Remix) 3:46
15. Given Up (Third Encore Session) 3.08

Music: Chester Bennington – Rob Bourdon – Brad Delson – Dave “Phoenix” Farrell – Joseph Hahn – Mike Shinoda
Lyrics: Mike Shinoda + Chester Bennington

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Chester

Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington died by hanging, the Los Angeles County coroner has confirmed.
Chester Bennington: five of his best Linkin Park performances

The 41-year-old was found by an employee on Thursday in the bedroom of his house and while a note has not been found, the death is being treated as a suspected suicide. An autopsy is pending.

Bennington had spoken about his struggles with drug and alcohol addiction, as well as depression. “My whole life, I’ve just felt a little off,” he said in an interview earlier this year with Music Choice. “I find myself getting into these patterns of behaviour or thought – especially when I’m stuck up here [in my head]; I like to say that, ‘This is like a bad neighbourhood, and I should not go walking alone.’”

 

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