Uhhg... Been meaning to rant about this for a while, figured I would share my thoughts finally, interested to hear what some of you think about this. Keys to the Kingdom So much potential, could have been an anti-war song, hell, the opening hook makes it sound like it was going to be a "I'm angry at myself for something horrible" song, but, what we get is a song about... The band. Some verses and a hook about some thinly disguised anti-music-industry stuff, and then moving onto the rapping section, verse 2... Oh no, Mike doesn't hold back, he starts spitting mad rhymes about how he's so much better than all y'all rappers out there, and how he resembles fried Japanese cuisine, oh and he references stylistic change and all that jazz. TL;DR: "I'M ANGRY ABOUT THE MUSIC INDUSTRY AND I SOLVE IT BY BADMOUTHING OTHER MUSICIANS AND CHANGING MY STYLE CONSTANTLY" Take note, a lot of them are about this! All For Nothing Now as much as I love the flow in this song, the lyrics are embarrassing. It's all thinly disguised Military references to say the same thing that has been said before: "People don't like me, I make music better than you, I'm not gonna conform to the industry". Something about comparing being a soldier, even if it is indirect, rubs me the wrong way. Because a musicians life is totes relatable to military service. Guilty All The Same Now, most of this song is getting a bit better, but Rakim's verses really close it up. First impressions may make you think a post-apocalyptic thing is afoot here, "The end is near", "No other way", Unclean hands? , pointing fingers at the one's responsible despite their complete and utter obliviousness to what they have caused? And for the most part, Rakim's verses can be used in this way, too. While also talking about corruption in governments and the like, good stuff. But in the end, the direct influence is clearly, again, the whole "Record companies control us so hard man owch" message. But I can almost overlook it because of how well written and how many interpretations this song can have. War Ok, nothing special here, it's just a direct and generically written "WAR" song, well, should have seen that coming. But hey, at least it isn't about record companies~ Wastelands A song set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland about the horrors and difficulties, regret and resentment? Lulnope. So we've gotten up to comparing the music industry to a "Wasteland". Also, raps are now viable weapons that can act as a smart, sharp, delayed attack (How is there not a video game about this yet?). Anyways, the music industry is now a war, and Mike Shinoda is telling us to "Do the math" and that he has "No equal" in this battlefield. And oh my, he isn't afraid! He's got his heat-seeking verses that he's saving until you hit play on this bad boy! The chorus of this makes me wish so hard that the verses didn't take this into the zone of stomache-turning monotony, because some rap verses in the style of... Say, Imagine Dragon's Radioactive (Oh, and I know, interpretations of that too, but lets just, not go there), would be sick as fuck. Until It's Gone And out of nowhere, we get a song about a failing relationship, where each individual person will be strengthened by being on their own rather than tied to each other, oh, and you don't know what you've got until it's gone(X1000). This is good, I mean, the song has some nice metaphorical verses, even if the chorus is a repetitive uninspired crock. Rebellion Now the album's going somewhere! This song's message is excellent. A nice view of First World Problems, really, is what it boils down to. Looking at Gangs, governmental corruption etc., But in the context that what we experience and consider and dramatize as major problems are really just a fraction of what some people in less fortunate situations have to go through. Mark The Graves Nice wordplay, nice message. MTG tells you to let go and move on, but to remember that some things leave everlasting marks and impressions. Or at least, that's what the verses tell. The chorus is just some wordplay that seems to carry no real meaning besides just being a little cool. Final Masquerade Relationship drama~ I don't actually mind this, it drives home some almost-classic-lp style points (You held things back from me! You can't see what you've done!), but instead of approaching it as angrily, eases off and shows some regret and sadness for the situation. A Line in the Sand My personal favourite on the album. Depicts a good battle between a world-leader, the people they deceive, and the world itself. We're standing on the wall, laughing at suns, guns and it all! I really like how this song is written, but it really makes sense when you realize it was written originally for ATS, which has some of the better writing that Linkin Park has ever produced, and the lyrics fit almost perfectly into that album's styling. Well that went on for a while, but I'd like to step back and look at this a bit. The first half of the album is, really, in my opinion, terribly written. It's overly obsessed with driving home a few key points (Record companies are bad, Mike Shinoda is a badass!), where as the second half (Starting at Until It's Gone) drops that entirely, focusing on some more likeable territory (for me). Mike's attitude as of late reminds me of some of his hilarious lyrics in some really early material, think Reading My Eyes, old. That sort of cringe-worthy, cheesy rapping about MCs and shit. I don't know, maybe some of you find this more acceptable, but it just makes me cringe, really hard. Almost every instance of his rapping on here is just a little shallow, self-righteous and sickening to me. Where are the second half of the album, the songs dominated by singing, were able to capture some really nice messages and writing.