Sound — 10
OK, the single biggest change on this CD is definetly the sound. In every interview, and from anyone you'll ever ask, you'll hear that their sound is changed. It does not sound at all like Hybrid Theory or Meteora, and me telling you this right now will not even totally prepare you for the different sound. I'm not saying it's bad, but it's so different it takes a few runs through the CD to get used to the sound and really start liking the songs. There is much less of Shinoda singing/rapping, but he does rap a cool song- Hands Held High. I cannot stand modern rap, how every song sounds the same, but I like this song because Mike's rapping has a point and it's fun to hear the lyrics. Overall, the band has done a pretty good job of dropping the nu-metal tag they were hoping to lose, but you can definetly still hear a bit of aggression on Given Up. There are also a lot of slower, less energetic, quieter songs, like Leave Out All the Rest, but they are all right to listen to. In general, I like the sound of the CD, but I am open to a lot of styles of Rock, and some of my freinds didn't like the album at first, so I am assuming most people won't really like the CD until they give it a chance and get used to the drastic changes LP has made to their sound. It helps to get used to the sound if you think of it not as LP, but as a completely different band at first. That way you don't expect the old sound as much.
Lyrics — 10
Chester's good singing skills are evident on this CD. What I've Done is a fun song to listen to, and the lyrics match up perfectly with the music video. I've heard some people complaining that his lyrics are emo now, but the only example I could really find was "Put me out of my misery!" (Given Up). The part where he sings (screams) this calls for an aggressive, loud phrase anyway, so it's not hard to listen to. Chester also does a good job of screaming when the occasion calls for it (given up again) and his voice sounds good on all the songs. Another cool example of his lyrics are on Valentine's Day, just listen to the song and hear for yourself. On the other side, Mike Shinoda doesn't really appear much, but he does an awesome job rapping on Hands Held High. Like I said before, I can't stand rap today, but Mike makes rap good again by giving it a point and making it sound good. He backup sings on What I've Done, and besides that I can't remember anywhere else he shows up. Basically, the singing done on this album is pretty good.
Overall Impression — 10
Obviously, you can't compare this CD to anyhting else by LP. Their sound has changed so drastically that even if you are expecting a different sound, you still have to get used to this CD. That is the only problem, however, and it goes away after listening to the CD two or three times. The CD is also best listened to in order, that's the way each song was meant to be heard, one after the other in that order. The best songs are What I've Done (obviously, it's the leading single), Given Up (sound the most like their old music, my favorite right now), Valentine's Day (takes a while to pick, but sounds so cool when it does), and Bleed it Out (the booklet says they had a lot of fun writing this song, and you can definetly tell by how energetic and fun this song is to listen to). This CD is good enough to re-buy if it gets stolen, but most people will probably only think so after they've adjusted to the new music. This CD is pretty cool, and worth checking out if you want to see what LP has been up to the last few years.