Sound — 6
This sound appeals more to the mainstream pop/r'n'b listener than to Linkin Park's original fans, who, frankly, may be insulted by the compromise. I know I was. With some of the favourites and easily-knowns of the Linkin Park songs interspersed with random Jay-Z-esque DJ noises, this makes for an interesting sound good for the background of wild parties and bad for attentive listening. Personally, I have never been a Jay-Z fan and find myself longing for the personality of Linkin Park that is too often sadly absent throughout this album. The average old Linkin Park fan was not the mainstream sort who frequently held parties, but it is obvious that this is who the album is trying to attract, and has done well economically. However, the compromise musically is unforgivable and often a huge disappointment to previous LP fanatics.
Lyrics — 4
It's hard to find any meaning in the shallow lyrics from Jay-Z's side and the absence of Linkin Park's usual attention to detail and amazing metaphorica. I cannot say I am a fan of any of these songs, which are basically identical and without deeper meaning. Where Linkin Park has sold themselves out, an increasing amount of their old fans are turning to such bands as Three Days Grace, whose raw misery replaces Linkin Park's now shallow and frankly false happiness.
Overall Impression — 4
Compared to previous Linkin Park albums, this is a major step down. I wouldn't know about Jay-Z's, but for him it's most likely a step up, and for his fans. However, the unique quality has gone from Linkin Park, where a corporate face has replaced their once pained eyes that inspired and related to thousands of teens across the world. The album stays on the shelf untouched for me. It is obvious, though we may want to deny it, that Linkin Park has sold themselves out for the money of mainstream pop. Because at the end of the day, the thing produced from their rock and Jay-Z's so-called r'n'b is just another pop album with little meaning and high society status. It angers me to think that bad things happen to good bands, but it will, and has. Linkin Park has failed us. Although the songs are all passable as they contain some of LP's old style, they are nowhere near what they used to be, and disappointingly, we must again look to the past for what we once knew as quality music.