Linkin Park is a fascinating band. Go ask some of your friends what they think of them, and there’s a pretty good chance they’ll just talk some shit on ’em. That’s what my experience is anyway. But if everyone dislikes them so much, how the hell have they sold over 40 MILLION ALBUMS WORLDWIDE? Well let me go on record saying that I like them. In fact, after listening to the bands newest album Minutes To Midnight, I really like them.
For an avid music listener, I purchase a surprisingly small amount of it. On occasion I’ll buy tracks from iTunes, but most often I a get it from friends or from file-sharing communities. Going to a store and actually buying a CD is an extremely rare occurrence; happening maybe 5 times in a year at the very most. Maybe I’m just cheap, but if I’m going to pay money for a CD I better get something that makes it worthwhile. The music itself isn’t enough, because I can get that for free. I want value. This is one area where Linkin Park puts most bands to shame. Today I walked into Best Buy and paid about $17 for the “Special Edition” of Minutes To Midnight and I feel great about it. It comes in a hard bound book with linen-wrapped cover with embossing on front, 32 pages of full-color artwork, lyrics, and notes on each song from members of the band. The included DVD includes downloadable MP3s for all tracks, the “What I’ve Done” video, Making Of Minutes To Midnight documentary, Making of “What I’ve Done”, a ringtone, a photo gallery, booklet in PDF, screensavers, lyrics and more. When you’re a fan of a band, you want that stuff. There’s just no way you can open this package and be disappointed.
But wait, there’s actually music on this album too! Again, Linkin Park might be a love ’em or hate ’em kind of band, but this is one seriously well written album. There’s way less rapping than on the other albums, and the rapping that did make the cut is more interesting than anything Mike Shinoda has delivered in the past. The heavy parts are heavier, the epic parts are more epic, and the musicianship has been taken up several notches as well. It’s basically just an older, wiser, more mature Linkin Park. I dare you to find a flaw in this album, and if you think you’ve found one, I challenge you to make a better one.
BUY: Minutes To Midnight (special edition)