The Hunting Party Review

artist: Linkin Park date: 07/15/2014 category: compact discs
Linkin Park: The Hunting Party
Released: Jun 17, 2014
Genre: Alternative Rock
Label: Warner Bros., Machine Shop
Number Of Tracks: 12
This isn't the band you've come to know in the last few releases from the band - they've gone back to a heavy and less electronic sound, stating in interviews they are seeking a '90s rock sound.
 Sound: 6.8
 Lyrics: 7.4
 Overall Impression: 7.2
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reviews (5) pictures (1) 93 comments vote for this album:
overall: 8
The Hunting Party Featured review by: UG Team, on july 15, 2014
11 of 13 people found this review helpful

Sound: Linkin Park formed in 1996 as Xero, then after recruiting Chester Bennington in 1998 they briefly changed their name to Hybrid Theory before settling on Linkin Park. The band signed their first record deal with Warner Bros. Records in 1999 and have been churning out music steadily since then. With the release of their two last albums, "A Thousand Suns" and "Living Things" they had moved dramatically into a more electronic sound as a band. Mike Shinoda, who has been the dominant creative force in the band since they formed, stated that the material he was writing was music that he didn't want to tour behind. This ultimately caused him to reevaluate what the band was doing and resulted in the band focusing on going back to a more traditional rock sound, and creating one of the heavier albums by the band, "The Hunting Party." The name of the album is roughly tied to an article that Mike Shinoda had read saying that modern men are like herbivores waiting for an opportunity to run into them instead of going out and finding that opportunity for themselves. "Guilty All the Same" was the lead single from the album, which was released in March of 2014, and the second single, "Until It's Gone," was released in May 2014. There are 12 tracks on the album, which is being released by Warner Bros. Records via their Machine Shop imprint, and the album clocks in at 45 minutes. 

The album opens up with the track "Keys to the Kingdom," which pretty much lets you know out of the gate that you're dealing with something a little bit different from Linkin Park. We're talking some screamed vocals, some distorted guitars - you still have some keyboards and some clean and rapped vocals, but it is all part of the mix. Also, it is nice to see Chester Bennington singing where he isn't doing his Scott Weiland impression (okay, that's it - I got that out of my system now). Next is "All for Nothing" which includes guest vocals from Page Hamilton from Helmet, though it starts with some distorted guitars and rapped vocals. The song actually has a pretty strong Helmet vibe if you can get over the rapped lyrics. "Guilty All the Same" starts out sounding like a garage band recorded on a room mic, and from there builds into something really unique. The lead guitar does a lot of cool stuff with melody and the drums sound sloppy in just the right way. Rakim, the American rapper, provides some rapped vocals on the track. Next is a very short 1 minute track titled "The Summoning," which really just sounds like a collection of noises which gets louder and louder and ends with an audio sample from what sounds like a baseball or softball game. "War" is a very aggressive track right out of the gate and utilizes a lot of screamed vocals. "Wastelands" utilizes some clapping and stomping for the percussion, then a groove-heavy guitar comes in that sounds like something written by Rob Zombie, but with Mike Shinoda rapping over it. The guitar riffs on this track are definitely some of my favorite from the album. The second single from the album, "Until It's Gone" opens up with an almost Irish melody in there, and this track does get closer to their more recent sound than most of the other material on the album, but it still have a heavier and louder core than anything they've released in their past few releases. "Rebellion" is up next, and features Daron Malakian on guitar - and honestly you can tell pretty much immediately that he's on this track. The frenetic rhythm guitar is joined pretty quickly by a second guitar playing a weird little melody. "Mark the Graves" is basically heavy guitar riffing and a cleaner guitar playing a higher pitched droning lick with mostly very clean vocals. "Drawbar" features Tom Morello as a guest on guitar, but he's not doing a lot of playing that sounds like the guitar sound I identify with Tom Morello. It is really much more ambient type of stuff on guitar, and there is some piano thrown in, too. "Final Masquerade" is kind of like the bridge between the last album and "The Hunting Party." I imagine that this must have been the first song they wrote when they started working on this album before they'd finished moving in the direction this album finally went. With that being said, there is still some distorted guitar and riffs on this track. The album closes out with the track "A Line in the Sand," which opens with the sound of thunder crashing and an ambient melody. When the clean vocals come in, there is very little instrumentation - it is very sparse. From there the track goes on to be over 6 minutes long, and includes several very heavy passages, clean vocals, screamed vocals and quieter passages. The track does a lot of stuff, but it does it well. // 8

Lyrics: Mike Shinoda and Chester Bennington have, of course, been doing vocals for Linkin Park for over 16 years and at this point you would think it was all pretty straightforward and they aren't going to do anything to surprise you, but honestly, that is exactly what they did on several tracks from the album. This is also the first album where the band has included guest musicians, with two of those guest musicians providing guest vocals: Page Hamilton (of Helmet) provides vocals on "All for Nothing," and Rakim provides vocals on "Guilty All the Same." There is definitely a lot more in the way of diversity on the vocals in comparison to their last few releases, and I can't find anything to really gripe about. As a sample of the lyrics from the album here are some lyrics from the lead single "Guilty All the Same": "Tell us all again/ what you think we should be/ what the answers are/ what it is we can't see/ tell us all again/ how to do what you say/ how to fall in line/ how there's no other way/ but oh, well all know/ you're guilty all the same/ too sick to be ashamed/ you want to point your finger/ but there's no one else to blame/ show us all again/ that our hands are unclean/ that we're unprepared/ that you have what we need/ show us all again/ cause we cannot be saved/ cause the end is near/ now there's no other way/ and oh, you will know." I can get behind those lyrics. // 8

Overall Impression: In all honesty, the last few Linkin Park albums had disenchanted me with the band and I wasn't looking forward to reviewing this release. Then, I heard it and I was pleasantly surprised to discover that their sound and this album was something I could enjoy once again. I'm not saying it is perfect, but it is absolutely a step in the right direction. Mike Shinoda stated in a Rolling Stone's interview, "We're not 18-year-old kids making a loud record - we're 37-year-old adults making a loud record. And what makes a 37-year-old angry is different than what made us angry back in the day." That is actually a pretty accurate way to describe this album. My favorite tracks on the album are "Wastelands," "All for Nothing," "A Line in the Sand" and "Keys to the Kingdom." I'm definitely happy with Linkin Park's direction here, and I hope they go even further with it on their next release. // 8

- Brandon East (c) 2014

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overall: 4.7
The Hunting Party Reviewed by: Shaico, on july 03, 2014
6 of 6 people found this review helpful

Sound: I know some may say that Linkin Park has found the right balance of electronic and nu-metal/rock/metal, the two sides of that Linkin Park is comprised of, but if I may disagree with that. I say, Linkin Park is confused, stuck in between the middle. Their past two albums "A Thousand Suns" and "Living Things," while electronic and received some criticism (some very harsh) for straying from their metal roots and into more electronic landscapes, the one thing that made the two albums feel like they have identity is that they focused on a direction and stuck with it. 

"The Hunting Party" does not have that same focus. Linkin Park jumps from trying to go all out punk in War to an awkward guitar piano ballad with Tom Morello that never really builds up to anything in "Drawbar." From full on thrash metal in "Mark the Graves" verse only for an extremely polite and pleasant chorus that just seemed extremely out of place. 

A reason for this lack of direction, if I may suggest, may be due to the change of songwriting method for "The Hunting Party." All of the songs from "The Hunting Party" was written on the spot in the studio, allowing the band to spontaneously try out the written tracks without truly grasping the big picture that would be achieved if the songs were written outside the studio with a clearer mind, allowing inspiration to come to them instead of forcing an idea in the studio. 

Another complaint I have is the production. Mike Shinoda is head of creative direction now, as he now produces the tracks for the band. I don't like it. Rick Rubin, though criticised highly, knew how to produce a tight album. Some may question Linkin Park's direction and genre choice in their previous two albums and their lighter sound in "M2M," but I'd be damned if they believe the albums were produced poorly. The guitars were crisps, and the bass backed things up pretty solidly. "The Hunting Party," I don't know what is going on. The guitars just don't have a powerful enough impact. The harmonies were there, and perhaps too much, but they just don't shine. They are muddled behind the production. They weren't tight in comparison to the powerful drop tuned guitars in "Hybrid Theory" and "Meteora." 

I feel as if Linkin Park is trying too much. I get that they were trying to make a heavier album, but the reason why Linkin Park was so great back was because their riffs were simple and the focus was put on the vocals, the very talented duo of Mike Shinoda and Chester Bennington. It's not to say Brad Delson isn't talented, just listen to his beautiful solo from "The Little Things Give You Away," but the moment you drain out the duo in favor if mediocre guitar riffs that rely on layering melodies instead of creating a one powerful lead is the moment everything becomes dull. 

The reason why I did not give it a 0? I had not said a single positive thing about the album's sound yet.

Well, I feel the drumming has become/very/tight. It's the saving grace for this album. Rob Bourdan has definitely shined in this album, keeping the band together with solid and tight drumming, but at the same time not doing too much. Perhaps the rest of the band should follow suit? Keep things simple. // 4

Lyrics: Chester isn't the same. I don't feel his anger anymore. Aging? Probably. But even his more soft parts of the album, such as some of Until It's Gone, lack the angelic tenderness of some of Linkin Park's other songs, such as "Waiting for the End."

And regarding the themes? Yes, it is has matured. I must commend them for not resorting to writing angsty lyrics such as the ones back in "Meteora." Instead, they write of themes more grandoise that exist outside of one's mental frustrations within the comfort of their homes. "Guilty All the Same" attacked the hypocrisy of society. War is political commentary. Props. 

And yet, it bores me. I just don't get the feeling that Linkin Park truly cares for these themes. It is as if the lyrics and the music are separate entities. As if the music is done first to sound as cool as possible or to go in the direction they were going, and the lyrics are just plastered on top. Disappointing. I'll give it a 5 because they at least try to explore interesting themes. // 5

Overall Impression: The most impressive songs from the album? I am a man who is agonized by his anticipation of a new System Of A Down record, and hearing Daron Malakian's recognizable guitar is quite nice. I am impressed with "Rebellion," as due to Malakian's signature guitar, it lays as a foundation for the band to build upon.

Another song that impresses me is "Guilty All the Same," despite Rakim's very forced inclusion into the song. Sorry, it just does not fit. You might as well shout out "Rakim! From Wu-Tang! Aw yeah! Here we go!" before his bridge rap. It fits just as well as Juicy J's rap in "Dark Horse." However, the song itself is quite memorable. Mostly because the band decided to finally focus on Chester's melody instead of throwing too much guitar.

In conclusion, I am quite disappointed with the album. I'm hoping that Linkin Park will get their act together and try to retain their distinct sound present in past albums. Most people are just hyped that they're actually making rock, but what happens when Linkin Park just makes rock for the sake of going "back to their roots" instead of trying develop musically in a natural direction? This. // 5

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overall: 7.3
The Hunting Party Reviewed by: travislausch, on june 20, 2014
4 of 5 people found this review helpful

Sound: Linkin Park have been at the forefront of modern rock since taking the world by storm with their full-length debut album "Hybrid Theory," and have been known for pushing the envelope with their unique approach to rap-rock, which was never quite like the more brutal nu-metal of contemporaries like Korn or Limp Bizkit, instead relying on more modern hip-hop undertones, with the rock elements of the band acting more like hip-hop keyboards and beats rather than guitars, basses and drums. The band's material since "Minutes to Midnight" has diverged from this a bit, focusing more on tight pop songwriting, an attempt at a concept album ("A Thousand Suns") which divided fans deeply with its heavily electronic sound, and a rather undercooked electronic pop record with "Living Things."

Since the last few albums have been deeply divisive with fans of this once-venerated band, people who have longed to hear the band return to a more "conventional" style may approach this new album, "The Hunting Party" with a dose of caution. And they'd be right to do so, because the album most certainly isn't "Hybrid Theory" or "Meteora." It isn't "Minutes to Midnight," "A Thousand Suns" or "Living Things" either, though. 

Instead, "The Hunting Party" attempts to recapture some of the hard-hitting rock sound the band had once been known for while bringing a few new elements to the table. The most notable addition to users on this site would be the guitar riffs and solos, the latter of which guitarist Brad Delson had traditionally shied away from throughout their career. The album also makes use of guest performers like former Rage Against The Machine/Audioslave guitarist Tom Morello ("Drawbar"), System Of A Down guitarist Daron Malakian ("Rebellion"), Helmet frontman Page Hamilton ("All for Nothing"), and rapper Rakim ("Guilty All the Same"). These guests are utilized in different ways, from Morello's calming guitar arpeggios to Page's direct vocal delivery. Rakim does a very convincing rap in "Guilty All the Same," while Daron delivers the guitar goods in "Rebellion," making the track sound like some kind of long-lost collaboration that wouldn't have sounded out of place if it had come out alongside "Hybrid Theory" and "Toxicity."

But even the individual members of the band get a bit more breathing room on this record. Rob Bourdon's drums pummel every bit as hard as any other metal drummer, and while his playing is simplistic, it remains tasteful. Brad Delson stretches out with several guitar solos, which are also quite simplistic when compared to other contemporary guitar players nowadays, but it still feels nice to hear him spread his wings a bit. I think people might be expecting to hear some Petrucci-esque shred, but in reality his solos are more like a mix of Hammett and Malakian. Dave Farrell's bass playing locks in with the low end, Shinoda's rapping and singing are just as great as they've ever been. Joe Hahn seems to be a no-show on this album, though his presence is still felt in the ambient bits of tracks like "The Summoning" as well as various samples and programmed bits between the songs. Chester's vocals are as potent as ever, and he makes great use of all aspects of his singing, from the effected screams that open the album on "Keys to the Kingdom" to his powerful clean singing on tracks like "Final Masquerade."

Many of the songs on the record sound like veritable hits-in-waiting, as this is Linkin Park, and they haven't quite capitulated on their usual songwriting values: strong melodic choruses with simple rhythms and melodies. This has proven to be a double-edged sword for the band, as it results in many very catchy tunes that will get stuck in your head for days, but also shows the band having trouble with the amount of variety being displayed. Many of the choruses do sound quite samey, and it can be hard to get past this lack of variety.

Even so, some of the songs have some very interesting twists and turns you might not expect from LP, like the very heavy yet melodic "Mark the Graves," which features not one, but TWO Delson guitar solos, and a very unexpected melody, making it my favourite track on the album. The second single "Until It's Gone" shows the band playing around with 3/4 time and a more conventional approach to their songwriting, something that wouldn't have sounded too out of place on their recent records, but gave it a heavier-hitting punch. "War" is the closest thing to a punk song the band has ever released, and "A Line in the Sand" features some of the band's most impressive instrumental work to date.

Overall the sound of this record is a step up from "Living Things," which I felt to be a bit limp in comparison with their first two records, though it lacks the variety of "A Thousand Suns," my personal favourite LP record. Solid record, even if it doesn't quite compare to some of their past material. // 7

Lyrics: Linkin Park's lyrics have often been a point of contention for fans and non-fans alike. While the band's lyrics have often dealt with themes of depression, angst, anger, and the like, they've often found ways out of their pigeonhole. On "A Thousand Suns," rather than whine about personal issues, the lyrics were largely based on primal fears and apocalyptic themes. This record has a bit of a different theme from their past records as well, and shows its anger in a different way than their first two records. While the lyrics are less personal than their early records, it's no less hard-hitting, with many references to war and fighting (even going so far as to use this as the theme for most of the song titles: "War," "Rebellion," "Mark the Graves") but there are moments that don't quite fit the theme, like "Until It's Gone" and "Final Masquerade," which are definitely songs about losing something important to you. But they're presented in a bit more of an abstract way than the lyrics on "Hybrid Theory" or "Meteora."

Every vocalist on the album brings forth their best performances. One of the best qualities of this band has always been the vocal performances, and this album is no different. Mike's singing is very smooth and sultry, while his rapping has been evolving steadily from the band's early days. Chester has surprisingly carried very little of his stint as Stone Temple Pilots' lead vocalist over, focusing more on the harsher elements of his vocals, screaming and shouting many of his lyrics. Even the two guest vocalists on the record make for a very interesting sound. Page's gang-chanted chorus in "All for Nothing" hits hard, and Rakim's rap on "Guilty All the Same" sounds fresh and convincing. // 8

Overall Impression: While this album might win back some of the fans that felt disillusioned with the band's lighter, more pop-oriented material from recent records, this album is in no way a retread of old territories. While it may not sound entirely fresh from cover to cover, there's a lot to be found in this record that's been missing from their sound in a while. It's not quite as heavy or musically inventive as their early albums, but it's a lot less lazily conceived than "Living Things" or "Minutes to Midnight," a pair of albums I feel sound maybe a little too much like mainstream pandering. While many might disagree with my assessment, I'd still put "A Thousand Suns" above this record. That puts it right about smack-dab in the middle in terms of quality. It's far from the best Linkin Park album, but it certainly isn't their worst. The songwriting is solid, as it always has been, they haven't compromised their work ethic by borrowing songwriters or producers when they weren't needed, and their instrumental chops are only showing improvement. This is definitely a step in the right direction for a very divisive but clearly talented band. 

While some of the songs do fall a bit flat on my expectations ("Wastelands" and "Final Masquerade" being two tracks I just haven't gotten into yet), some of the songs on this record count as my favourite LP tracks in a long time, especially "Mark the Graves" and "Keys to the Kingdom." Had the album displayed a little more variety, especially in the chorus melodies, it could have been a contender for my top 10 albums of this year. But it's still a very decent release for a band that has disappointed a large amount of their fanbase in recent years. 

This is definitely a solid album, and I do recommend that you find a way to hear this album before buying it. Many fans may be tricked into thinking this to be a carbon copy of their first two records based on the hype, but this is a very different beast. Your mileage may vary, but if you're expecting anything totally un-LP-like, like progressive metal riffs or 10 minute epics, you're gonna be disappointed. It sounds like Linkin Park, even if that doesn't really hold the same meaning it did when their first two records were carbon copies of one another.

Solid album, it'll still divide some critics, it might win back some fans, it might even attract new fans who were waiting for something like Brad Delson guitar solos (people like myself!), but if all you're looking for is a good slab of LP to slap in your CD player, this album is no worse of a choice than anything else they've come out with. // 7

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overall: 8
The Hunting Party Reviewed by: naw2, on june 18, 2014
3 of 4 people found this review helpful

Sound: Well, well, well. Linkin Park have written a rock album? I was beginning to think that this would never happen. After the bands previous 2 works "A Thousand Suns" and "Living Things" as well as last years remix album "Re-Charged" it seemed that the guitars of last decade were officially a thing of the past. The Electronic direction had divided many fans, some claiming that the band had sold out or even that they were dead and buried as a rock band. 

I'm not sure how true either of those statements is but I think they have been utterly refuted because this is a release which is full of energy, urgency and a vigor that this band has arguably been missing for the best part of a decade.

It has been fairly well documented that after "Living Things" after some demo's of more tracks in a similar vein to the 2012 album there was a u-turn and quite a radical one at that. The result is 45 minutes of pretty much breathless rock music in it's purest form. Riffs galore and big choruses expressing anger about the world they see in they're mid-late 30's. 

Linkin Park have never been especially known for their music being the most technical but it is safe to say we can finally see that they have improved on their instruments over the years. The fact that they have been putting in full-blown guitar solos is a welcome addition, while nothing ground-breaking. // 8

Lyrics: The vocals are a rather mixed bag. Chester Bennington has always been known to be a talented singer in terms of being able to mix huge cleans and very convincing harsh vocals. While the harsh vocals are still impressive (take a listen to punk-like "War" if you don't believe me) his cleans have lost a bit of the power he was getting in particular on 2006's "Minutes to Midnight." They are hardly terrible but it's just not quite the same. 

Mike Shinoda on the other hand is this album's big revelation. He has started to fully realise the potential in his clean voice previously seen on songs like "Castle of Glass" or "The Catalyst" and has come across with arguably a stronger vocal delivery at this point in terms of his singing. His rapping has always been fairly consistent but his flow continues to improve with age. 

A big thing the band have said in the build up to this album is that the things 18 year old's are angry about are different to what men in their mid 30's are angry about. This is very evident in the way they have tried to write in a way that is both youthful and reflective of where they are in life. For example "Guilty All the Same" is in equal measures a song being generally angry about people but then featured rap, performed by Rakim, unleashes a specific attack on the area of the music industry they have occupied for the best part of 15 years. // 8

Overall Impression: As far as comparing this album to other music in mainstream rock at the moment I would say that it is actually quite hard. It has been a while, in particular in mainstream American rock for an album to have this much passion, energy and edge to it. Choosing a best song on the album is quite hard, going from "All for Nothing" (featuring Page Hamilton of Helmet) to the heavy swagger of "Wastelands" to the simplistic beauty of "The Final Masqurade" to the plain epic album closer "A Line in the Sand" there is so much to choose from. 

And that's not to say there is a drop in quality anywhere in the album, it's not just the most solid album they have released in nearly a decade but in my opinion it may just be the best work the band has produced. It is perhaps an indication that a band can take a step backwards in terms of song-writing style and not be worse of for it. // 8

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overall: 7.7
The Hunting Party Reviewed by: drpdrp97, on july 15, 2014
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: When I heard the first single from "The Hunting Party," "Guilty All the Same," I had high hopes for the album. As an avid fan of the heavy underground song "QwertyLinkin Park released in 2006, the guitar in this song was like "Qwerty" on steroids.

Unfortunately, the same didn't go for the rest of the album. I'll give Brad Delson and Rob Bourdon credit for their work, with Bourdon blowing his back out for the album and Delson stepping out of his comfort zone to solo, but a lot of the guitar riffs on this album sound so much alike that I can't tell if I'm listening to "Final Masquerade" or "Wastelands" if I don't actively listen to the words.

Linkin Park also guest stars two musicians on guitar (Daron Malakian of System of a Down and Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave), although if I hadn't read it I would have only been able to pick out Daron Malakian on "Rebellion." When I think of Tom Morello, the first thing that comes to mind is stuff like the crazy whammy from "Killing in the Name," not soft little arpeggios. I feel like he should have been doing something a little more up front.

When you listen to the entire album and compare it to their previous works, you'll find that there's one thing that's really missing. And it's Joe Hahn. Frankly, LP sounds like a five-man band on this record. What happened to all that crazy turntable work and all those cool samples? The only place where you can really pick Joe out is on the instrumental tacks. While some of the guitar was nice to hear coming from Brad, I wish Joe would've given some flavor to some of the tracks to make them more unique. Just think about how some of those Hybrid Theory tracks would sound without Joe, like "Crawling" or "With You."

Overall, the sound isn't bad. But it's also not something you can really get into and say, "Hey, check out how cool this song sounds!" Nothing really stands out (save "Rebellion," because that guitar sounds like it came straight off of System of a Down's "Toxicity"). // 7

Lyrics: It's obvious that the duo is aging. I don't think Chester Bennington will ever be able to scream like he did on "Hybrid Theory" (or even on "Minutes to Midnight" with "Given Up") again. But it seems like as time goes on, Mike Shinoda gets better. His rapping, although awkward and somewhat forced on some tracks, has good flow. And his newly-discovered singing voice does well on this album. The harmony on the chorus of "Rebellion" with him and Bennington is perfect. 

Going back to Chester, his voice has lost some of its power. I don't mean his ability to get gruff, I mean the way he can bring power to his words. Even in the more emotional songs like "Until It's Gone," I don't feel the kind of emotion I should. It sounds like he isn't really behind the words he's singing. I understand this band has been around for 14 years, but I want to at least have some of the kind of power Chester brought to his vocals in songs like "Breaking the Habit" or "The Little Things Give You Away."

The lyrics are hardly anything to write home about, but that's sticking with the theme I guess. Can you really get behind the theme of "Rebellion," honestly? Or Rakim taking potshots at people in the music industry? I know I haven't been affected by the music industry in any bad way.

That leads me to the two guests vocalists this album offers: the rapper Rakim and Page Hamilton of Helmet. I have no complaints about these two; Rakim's rapping paired with the guitar breaking down in "Guilty All the Same" is golden, and Hamilton is what brings "All for Nothing" full circle. Kudos to Linkin Park for their guest vocalist choices. // 8

Overall Impression: I know the first thing I did when "The Hunting Party" was released was find the nearest place selling music and buy this album. I was super-stoked for it. It was a bit hyped up, but it's not a letdown. My favorites have to be "Guilty All the Same," "Rebellion," "All for Nothing," and "Until it's Gone."

The album's best feature is definitely how much effort Rob and Brad put into it. The lead guitar and drumming is great, even if not that complex. The guests all do a great job on their respective tracks (though Morello could've stood out more), and the sound for the album looks like it might be a sign that Linkin Park is ready to make some awesome music in the future.

However, I can't help but notice that Phoenix and Joe are just... gone. On "Living Things" I was fine with not hearing a lot of bass guitar because the focus was on the electronic elements, but here Phoenix hardly exists except to provide some low end for the rather dull rhythm guitar. I think had not so much emphasis been put on the guitar, Joe and Phoenix could have turned some tracks into notable songs. 

This last question on the review is always to hard to tactfully integrate, so I won't even try. If this album was stolen or lost I would definitely buy it again. I'm one of those despicable people who loved "A Thousand Suns" and "Minutes to Midnight" for the amazing diversity, and while this album didn't quite bring that, it showed me that the band has still got what it takes to make a good record. Linkin Park has kept me a fan for a long time, and while this album didn't quite blow my doors out, it's a solid CD that'll go in my collection. // 8

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