Sound — 7
How do you actually describe the sound of LP? I have been a fan since their debut in 2000 before MTV and Jay-Z and even then it was hard to describe what they sounded like. The truth is M2M (I'm abbreviating because who really wants to spell it out) sounds like Linkin Park, granted a different LP but LP none the less. I will agree with most the agressiveness is definately turned down a lot, except for the track "No More Sorrow", which is very metal. I will say this, LP has always been a very simple band musically, nothing they play is all that challenging it's the production and the mixing that make LP amazing. Chester IS without a doubt one of the best singer/songwriters of our generation and has taken his skill and perfected it, he sounds better than ever. The CD does have a very mainstream feeling, but is still good. It is not their best work, but is a small (very) step in a new direction. Fact is when you do something for 7 years one way it's hard to completely go in the other direction and expect Gold.
Lyrics — 8
The lyrics on M2M have some champs and a couple stragglers. Again I will state that I am a HUGE Linkin Park fan and support them in all their endeavors, but there are parts on this CD where, if you are a fan or not, you cringe. In the breakdown in "No More Sorrow" Chester screams "theives and hypocrites" and you kind of say to yourself "that's all you could come up with after 14 months?" Another weak song lyrically is "Given Up", it seems like a song that might have been on a demo earlier in their career. Though the song "In Pieces" is a great song, it becomes a little predicable, but none the less it is a good song. Then there are songs like "Leave out all the rest" which is in my opinion flawless lyrically, it has a "Breaking the Habit", "Easier To Run" feel. Other great songs include "Shadow of the day", "Valentines Day", and as I mentioned before "In Pieces". The CD has songs you will keep on repeat and then there are a few (maybe 1 or 2 you will skip over).
Overall Impression — 9
The best way I can sum up this CD would be if you saw Spiderman 3. If you did, do you remember the feeling you had when you walked out, because that's basically the same way you will feel after listening to this CD. Here is what I mean, M2M is a great CD but I don't think it was worth waiting 14 months, it did not live up to the hype. LP is still one of the greatest bands in a very long time and I still support them. I think this CD could have been more agressive, but my musical likings have changed a lot since Meteora. The best songs in my opinion are "Leave Out All The Rest", "No More Sorrow", and "Shadow Of The Day" (which is very U2-ish). I think everyone should definately give it a chance, after one run through I liked it and after 24 hours it is growing on me significantly. Many fans may not like it but for many it's hard to see a band in a different light. Finch did it with "Say hello to sunshine", Underoath did it with "Define The Great Line", and From First To Last did it with "Heroine". The fact is bands (good bands) know when it's time to move on and change it up. LP is doing that now and I think they did a good job. To compare this CD to their previous releases would be like tryin' to compare a car and a boat, their just two completely different things. I think once people see that, is when they will jump on the bandwagon that people who like the CD are on.