Sound — 7
To start this review off, Linkin Park has entirely changed they're sound from anything they've ever done before. In fact, it's ground-breaking. It's a genre that no other artist has ever done before. They make good use of Mr. Hahn's digital sounds to make it feel somewhere in between hip-hop and techno, but they style give it a rock feel. However, there is an obvious difference between the sound here then that of their previous albums, which will leave some fans disappointed with them abondoning much of their rap rock roots. Small little 'short' tracks may annoy some people with their over-abudance, many of them not even mentioning a word in them. The album is a concept album, and one of the few that every song must be listened to understand what is going on. The change feels radical and sudden, with a limited amount of transition from previous albums, but overall Linkin Park does a good job presenting this.
Lyrics — 9
The lyrics are very well crafted, almost every line smoothly flows from one to the next. Their is a noticible amount of swearing in certain songs, and in one paticular one (When They Come For Me) feels a little bit to much. The swearing does not take away from the power of the rest of the lyrics. With less rap, most people would think that Mike Shinoda would not be doing much vocal work. But yet he and Chester work the same as they have in the past-Mike does the verses for the majority and Chester does almost all of the choruses. Mike's vocal work compliments the lyrics brilliantly, while Chester lacks the power Mike has, he makes up for it in his high-pitch and his famous scream at appropriate times. Exerts from speeches are also thrown in certain songs to add to the lryics, and are powerfully spoken (One was by Martin Luther King Jr.). The lyrics are the true highlight of the album.
Overall Impression — 8
For the most part, this album is stellar. And yet, there feels like there's something missing. It wouldn't have hurt to throw in some of the classic rap-rock songs in that they do so well, or even a bit of a heavier feel to some songs that needed it. It lacks some of the magic Hybrid Theory had. On the other hand, the story is brilliant and intelligently political, the ground-breaking genre is radical but it works for the most part and the lyrics are perfectly played out. If you're looking for the next Hybrid Theory, anyone else who wants a refreshment from modern rock and music all together should definitely check this album out.