Linkin Park consider their third album to be such a departure from their nu-metal core values that the CD booklet explains each track's conception. For example, the pop-metal moanfest What I've Done "is intended to work on many levels, including freedom, art and death metaphors", which shows the breadth of their ambition. But even with rock's Mr Fix-It, Rick Rubin, on production detail, and a willingness to try random new things, the California rap-rockers are stymied by their decision to stay roughly within the shrieky boundaries of their genre (albeit with less emphasis on the rap). This opens up new opportunities for rapper Mike Shinoda as a gruff, bellicose singer, but the sound still pivots on the interplay of walloping guitar chords and self-flagellating lyrics.
CD: Linkin Park, Minutes to Midnight
Caroline Sullivan writes about rock and pop for the Guardian