Zombie Politics

I drank your milkshake.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

A Terrible Record

Record Review – Linkin Park, Minutes to Midnight

I mean it: awful. I had read earlier (in the unexceptional Rolling Stone spring music preview) that they were ditching their patented rap-rock sound in favor of more earthy rock textures, courtesy of chubby, bearded shut-in Rick Rubin. Considering their patented rap-rock sound was the only thing that made them even remotely interesting, this seemed like a horrible mistake. Especially since the equally horrible Rick Rubin was behind the transformation.

As far as overrated producers go, he’s the leader of the pack (vroom vroom). He has made one good song in the past, oh, five years, and that song was “99 Problems,” which could probably be contributed to ‘clever sampling’ over ‘dazzling production work.’ He had recorded almost an entire album’s worth of material with Justin Timberlake, only to have it scrapped in favor of Timbaland’s mesmerizing, jittery, futuristic beats (the sole survivor from the Rick Rubin sessions, the album’s last track, is easily the most forgettable thing on the record). You know why? Because he sucks. And he has no creative filter. Timbaland records a song for a B-lister like Omarion and the result is “Ice Box,” a slow jam that rivals “My Love.” Rick Rubin does the Dixie Chicks, Shakira, Weezer, Neil Fucking Diamond... and it’s all the same, worthless shit.

Like the second Bloc Party album, Minutes to Midnight’s chief offense is being really, really boring. Songs like “Shadow of the Day” and “Leave Out All the Rest” are painfully bland and for all their ‘weight’ leave you feeling NOTHING. It makes you wonder how these boys authored such rousing, fun songs like “Faint” (whose video, by Mark Romanek, is one of the best ever). Even the songs that could have promise as exciting enterprises quickly fizzle. “Bleed it Out” has a neat hand-clappy background but becomes repetitive and dull. The same for “In Pieces,” which has some exiting little beat-things going on in the background, goes nowhere, fast. Even the more rocky songs just sound like racket, and even the screaming (a Linkin Park touchstone) seems lackluster.

What’s especially disappointing is how much hope is riding on this album. It will no doubt do well, but the critical and commercial accolades will not be poured over them. They’ll wonder why they went so soft. And why they hired that chubby shut-in to do it.


Post a Comment

<< Home