Thursday, May 17, 2007

Linkin Park - Minutes to Minute

First off the title makes me think of Iron Maiden's - Two Minutes to Midnight. Boy, I used to love that track. Still ok, but not the classic I remembered.

But enough. A few weeks ago I looked at Avril Lavigne's latest record - her third - and lamented how she seemed to be getting worse rather than better. Hello Linkin Park.

I love Hybrid Theory. There, I've said it. Listened to it again recently and I still think it is an excellent record. Just before the second album came out I actually said to my flat-mate that I hoped they'd split up and not release another record because they would not make a better record that Hybrid Theory. And then came Meteora ... and guess what? Sides 3 and 4 of Hybrid Theory were ok, but a lot of it wasn't really that great (with the exception of 'Faint' the only track I would actually have put on Hybrid).

So ... New album ... Rick Rubin ... over 14 months to create ... and, it really isn't very good. I will say they are trying to move away from the whole 'Nu Metal' thing - Shadow of the Day owes a lot to U2's With or Without You ! - and not just do Hybrid sides 5 & 6, but it doesn't really work for me. There are a few ok tunes - and sadly I'd argue that they are the most old LP sounding - What I've Done, No More Sorrow, In Between and In Pieces.


Manic Street Preachers - Send Away the Tigers

It was 1989 when I first heard and saw the Manics. I was in my first year at Swansea University. They rocked. It still took a couple of years for their first proper album to come out - Generation Terrorists. This great album was followed by two more before Richey Edwards went missing/committed suicide. But the first post Richy album, Everything Must Go, was pretty good ... and then...

It all went tits up musically for me. What followed were three very poor records. To be honest I had given up hope of another decent record. So, imagine my surprise when Send away the Tiger's came along. This is without a doubt the best thing the manics have done since Everything. Yes, some of it sounds a lot like other manics tunes and they seem to have been listening to GnR's Sweet Child o Mine too; but the first half of this album is pure pop/rock magic. The title track kicks things off, followed by a typical manics rocker, Underdogs, before hitting the wonderful first single Your love alone is not enough. Indian Summer, The Second Great Depression follow, keeping up the quality, before Rendition starts the downward slide.


Worst Track - I'm Just a Patsy.