After several glowing pre-album reviews for Minutes To Midnight, along comes a review which manages to bring confusion and a lack of clarity as to whether the album is a hit or a miss. Presented below is the text straight from Kudos Magazine's Minutes to Midnight pre album review: 1. Wake To begin their long awaited album, Linkin Park choose to gently set the wheels in motion rather than forcefully kick-starting lively music which fans have come to expect. Instead, they present a slow, short intro track with a synth-heavy melody and a nice building ambiance, which gradually increases in volume. 4/5 2. Given Up The smoothness is soon thrown out the window however when the scratchy turntable sound of this second track transforms into a gargantuan heavy rock riff. This is possibly the most in-your-face song on the entire record – the punk rock style drumbeats are brash, the guitars thrash and Chester Bennington sings his lungs out. When it reaches the bridge, he goes from singing to screaming the line, “You put me out of my misery” over and over again. It’s heated, emotional and enjoyable, but the track definitely feels like it’s missing a certain something. 3/5 3. Leave Out All The Rest From one extreme to another, three tracks in and we’re presented with a ballad. It’s very listenable pop rock with tranquil vocals and dominant bass guitar. It seems odd to position such a slow-paced tune so early into the album but it’s radio friendly style is bound to be popular with many. The piece of music does end rather abruptly though and you may be left wanting more. 3/5 4. Bleed It Out This is much more like the Linkin Park we’re used to hearing. Mike Shinoda starts off with a casual rap before trading off with Chester and some insightful lyrics, “I bring it out, bring it in deeper just to throw it away.” The song’s structure revolves around four simple chords with screaming vocals leading up to the catchy chorus. Piano adds an extra dimension to the track but overall it’s a little repetitive and flat, ending abruptly again. Saying that, we can see this being released as a successful single in the future. 4/5 5. Shadow Of The Day Possibly the most listener friendly song on ‘Minutes To Midnight,’ the style is very soft yet clear with both vocals and bass taking a poppy turn. Percussion comes across clear and dominant, but overall the song remains average in terms of technicality. It seems to offer nothing more than a break-up in the record, but its dreamy nature is quite certain to be a hit with the fans. 2/5 6. What I’ve Done Generally a hit from the moment it is played, ‘What I’ve Done’ soars with a catchy chorus and likeable verses, before developing into a brilliant bridge and climatic ending. A gentle guitar solo midway adds depth and versatility before another welcome chorus. The haunting piano and synthetic drums combine to create a fantastic addition to Linkin Park’s third album and a perfect choice for their first single. 5/5 “What I’ve Done” Video 7. Hands Held High The marching drumbeat and simple melody is an ideal backdrop to Shinoda’s poetic rapping and it has certainly developed in the space of two previous albums and his hip-hip focused side project Fort Minor. Again, Chester’s melodic singing comes in later but the central theme of the song does seem to be soldier’s homecoming in the aftermath of war. Maybe it was written to get those arms flailing lighters around at rock festivals. Either way, it’s still an impressive track. 4/5 8. No More Sorrow Opening up with a creeping lead guitar, ‘No More Sorrow’ rocks heads with a deep double-bass drumming intro switching over to a simple paradiddle on the snare. Definitely the best chorus of the album so far, with an enigmatic riff and emotional shouting from Bennington. The tune flows naturally with a heavy bridge followed by a modulation and even higher pitched screaming. There’s no DJ elements to this song and it has to be said that some of the vocals and drumming becomes repetitive fast – even more noticeable is the fact that the band don’t seem to be stretching themselves in terms of song writing techniques. 3/5 9. Valentine’s Day After a somewhat depressive two minutes of ballad-laden lyrics and slow-moving guitars, it finally kicks in with another extremely infective hook and harmonious backing vocals. “On a Valentines day” is passionately sung with interesting vocals spoken over the top, before annoyingly ending abruptly and letting the song down. 2/5 10. In Between If there’s a point in the album where it’s easy to see that the songs are starting to lose their flair, this is it. Those sweetly spoken vocals are back once again alongside grainy drumbeats, but without any differences in tempo there’s nothing exciting here. It’s peaceful, but there’s no denying this is a weak ballad track amongst Linkin Park’s repertoire of excellence. 1/5 11. In Pieces Thankfully, faith is restored with quite simply the highlight of the album. This is soft yet rhythmic with synthetic drumming you can’t fail to be taken in by. The stirring piano and powerful bass proves to be a winning combination for the band – with vocals at their best only boosting the song further. Another build up after a few minutes adds more magic to the piece, with sweet sounds and eventually more heavily distorted guitars, minus screaming. The song slows down and ends dramatically with a simple beat and ska-style guitar plucking. 5/5 12. The Little Things You Give Away Acoustic guitar and Linkin Park in the same sentence? You better believe it. One last ballad, with those great mechanical style drums and melodic vocals from Chester rounds ‘Minutes To Midnight’ off fruitfully. When the bass cuts in, the song hits another dimension before ending a reasonably decent record. There’s not many heavy tracks – instead, Linkin Park have shifted to crafting softer, easier listening songs like this one. Despite it not being a patch on ‘Hybrid Theory, ’it still delivers and the fans will almost surely be lapping this up after its release on 14 May. 4/5 “Minutes To Midnight” garners a preliminary 8/10 Kudos rating overall. -- From the sounds of this review it sounds like the album is a ballad heavy CD that droops in some parts and excels in others. Whether or not this will hold true to Linkin Park fans is just something we'll have to see when the album hits stores in less than a month. Source: http://www.kudosmagazine.com/?p=833 Thanks to fordmoo for the news!