• Review: 'Minutes To Midnight' by Linkin Park

    13 mai 2007, 16h24m

    After reading the outbursts of fans and the numerous people slamming Linkin Park's latest release, I was of course very curious to hearing Minutes to Midnight.

    I am a massive fan of Linkin Park, and have been from the very beginning. Even after reading all of controversy surrounding the album's leak and the "new sound", I decided to go into this album with little to no expectations as both Hybrid Theory and Meteora are monumentous records and hold a very special place in my heart.

    After the first couple of spins, I'm actually quite impressed, however I can see where many of the fans and critics are coming from in regards to the band's sound change. This is definitely a very different Linkin Park compared to the one who made Hybrid Theory and Meteora.

    After looking back at both Hybrid Theory and Meteora, one could probably package both of those albums together and release it as the one album. They sound like a direct continuation of one another. In comparison to this, I've decided to call Minutes To Midnight a 'transition album' in that this record feels more like a 'step' in a new direction, a filler album, rather than an actual product or outcome. This album is the bridge between Hybrid Theory/Meteora and what will hopefully be their fourth album.

    The album itself is very raw, containing only the bare essentials required, yet the polished sounds that provided atmosphere on the first two records has somehow been translated into their new sound as background ambience, synths that are surreal and minimalistic in their nature. Even the album cover represents their new venture into minimalism with its lack of colour and simplistic layout.

    Minutes To Midnight has an almost unfinished quality about it, and it is with this that I think the album finds its strongest point. Tracks like In Between, In Pieces and Shadow of the Day (which sounds hauntingly similar U2's With Or Without You) are simplistic and catchy, but remain emotive and consistent through their general rawness. There are several throwback tracks such as Given Up and the album's first single, What I've Done that could easily have come straight off either of the first two records. Even Leave Out All the Rest sounds oddly reminiscent like the band's previous rock ballads such as Numb and Easier To Run. These mark a familiar base to touch home with as the album untangles itself into forbidden and unknown Linkin Park territory. Bleed It Out is an upbeat song that sounds more like a Fort Minor effort but is probably the closest we'll ever get to a hoedown, Linkin Park style. Standout track No More Sorrow marks probably the heaviest and edgiest song on the album and definitely represents the climax of Minutes To Midnight.

    Every album has one or two tracks that sound out of place or are inconsistent with the quality of the rest of the album and we reach that with Hands Held High, the only track on the album I'm personally not too fond of (but its not a terrible song by no means, it's just not right for the album). Valentine's Day is probably the only other track that seems slightly out of place with it's slightly cheesy lyrics but it's only when the words "On a Valentine's Day" is repeated over and over that you finally reach this conclusion.

    The album closes with Linkin Park's longest track on a studio album to date with The Little Things Give You Away. Along with No More Sorrow, this track is probably the other standout song on the album, and is indicative of the new direction that the band is taking. Ending on this track, I almost feel like that the fourth studio album (if we get one) will use this song as a benchmark and a starting point to move from.

    Overall, as I said, there is something unrefined about Minutes To Midnight, but it is through this imperfection that it finds a sense of purpose. Providing a bridge between the past and the potential future, this album gives me bright hopes for the things to come. Approach with an open mind.

  • Random: How Mainstream Are You?

    24 mars 2007, 8h21m

    Because I'm really really bored and I don't feel like doing my University work.

    Find the number of listeners for your top 20 artists...

    1. // Muse - 448,435
    2. // Eskimo Joe - 16,677
    3. // My Chemical Romance - 319,322
    4. // Silverchair - 109,229
    5. // Justin Timberlake - 232,196
    6. // The Killers - 472,044
    7. // The Fray - 112,013
    8. // Linkin Park - 343,594
    9. // Nelly Furtado - 254,083
    10. // 30 Seconds to Mars - 124,223
    11. // Keane - 262,904
    12. // Scissor Sisters - 198,260
    13. // Fall Out Boy - 292,447
    14. // Missy Higgins - 22,392
    15. // Dashboard Confessional - 226,817
    16. // Jesse McCartney - 28,950
    17. // Audioslave - 264,805
    18. // Anthony Callea - 1,405
    19. // Gwen Stefani - 203,786
    20. // Papa Roach - 179,313

    Total = 4,112,895

    Divide by 20 to get average = 205,644.75

    Divide by the number of Radiohead listeners...

    Radiohead = 610,028
    205,644.75 / 610,028

    Multiply by 100 and round if necessary.

    I am 33.71% mainstream! Hooray for Anthony Callea making me apparently indie! :P
  • Random: Boredom Survey

    14 mars 2007, 11h51m

    Put your music player on shuffle. Post the first 40 songs that come up. You can repeat artists if you want. If you have any repeats, skip to the next track.

    Well, here is what I got:

    1. // Madonna - American Life
    2. // Silverchair - Without You
    3. // Papa Roach - Born With Nothing, Die With Everything
    4. // Muse - New Born [Remix]
    5. // The Killers - All These Things That I've Done
    6. // Dashboard Confessional - As Lovers Go
    7. // My Chemical Romance - Cemetery Drive [Live]
    8. // Fall Out Boy - The (After) Life Of The Party
    9. // Keane - We Might As Well Be Strangers
    10. // Scissor Sisters - I Don't Feel Like Dancin'
    11. // Anthony Callea - Take It To The Heart
    12. // The Fray - Little House
    13. // Rogue Traders - Fashion
    14. // Eskimo Joe - Sarah [Live]
    15. // The Rasmus - Blue
    16. // Savage Garden - I Want You
    17. // Nine Inch Nals - Only
    18. // Paulmac - Panic Room
    19. // Placebo - Blind
    20. // Shannon Noll - Before We Say Goodbye
    21. // Linkin Park - Wth>You
    22. // Tambalane - Mannequin Parade
    23. // Maroon 5 - Tangled
    24. // 30 Seconds to Mars - Welcome To The Universe
    25. // The Veronicas - Everything I'm Not [Live]
    26. // Justin Timberlake - (Another Song) All Over Again
    27. // Little Birdy - Feeding On The Night
    28. // Killing Heidi - Mascara
    29. // Decoder Ring - Alpine Way
    30. // Nick Lachey - Everywhere But Here
    31. // Michelle Branch - Drop In The Ocean
    32. // Alanis Morisette - Perfect
    33. // Delta Goodrem - Predictable
    34. // Fort Minor - Red To Black
    35. // End of Fashion - O Yeah
    36. // Gwen Stefani - Early Winter
    37. // Nelly Furtado - One-Trick Pony
    38. // The Dissociatives - Thinking In Reverse
    39. // Sneaky Sound System - UFO
    40. // Gavin DeGraw - Belief

    1. Which song do you prefer, #1 or #40?
    Tough choice. 40 is amazing though, so probably 40.

    2. Have you ever listened to #12 continuously on repeat?
    The song... no, but the album yes.

    3. What album is #26 from?

    4. What do you think about the artist who did #15?
    They are okay, nothing brilliant. Don't like this song too much though.

    5. Is #19 one of your favorite songs?

    6. Who does #38 remind you of?
    Daniel Johns' crazy ass mind.

    7. Does #20 have better lyrics or music?
    Personally, I really like both but probably music cause I love the piano in it.

    8. Do any of your friends like #3?
    I'm the only person into Papa Roach :(

    9. Is #33 from a movie soundtrack?
    Not that I'm aware of.

    10. Is #18 overplayed on the radio?
    Was never released as a single.

    11. What does #21 remind you of?
    Reanimation as a whole.

    12. Which song do you prefer, #5 or #22?
    Most likely 5.

    13. What album is #17 from?
    With Teeth :D

    14. When did you first hear #16?
    Oh geez, when I was really really young.

    15. When did you first hear #7?
    Just over a year ago I think.

    16. What album is #8 from?
    Infinity On High.

    17. Do any of your friends like #14?
    Lmfao, they all do now. All because of me :D

    18. What color does #4 remind you of?

    19. Have you ever blasted #11 on your stereo?
    Not yet. Give me a chance! ;)

    20. What genre is #37?

    21. Can you play #13 on any instrument?
    Have never attempted this song.

    22. What is your favorite lyric from #30?
    You're in my head, you're under my skin, you're everywhere but here.

    23. What is your favorite lyric from #16?
    Come Stand a little bit closer, breathe in and get a bit higher. You'll never know what hit you when I get to you.

    24. Would you recommend #24 to your friends?

    25. Is #2 a good song to dance to?
    Not really. It's more of a song to rock out to.

    26. Do you ever hear #16 on the radio?
    Yes!! Lots back in the day.

    27. Is #32 more of a nighttime or daytime song?
    Daytime I think.

    28. Does #36 have any special meaning to you?
    It's my all time favourite Gwen Stefani song!

    29. Do any of your friends like #31?
    Michelle Branch is more my type of thing than theirs.

    30. Is #25 a fast or slow song?
    It's slower than some of their other songs.

    31. Is #35 a happy or sad song?
    I suppose it's happy if it's not sad.

    32. What is one of your favorite lyrics from #9?
    We might as well be living in a different world.

    33. Is #34 better to listen to alone or with friends?
    Doesn't make much difference really lol.

    34. When did you first hear #27?
    When I bought their album?

    35. Name 3 other songs by the artist who did #29?
    Somersault, Carillion and The Spaces Between [Decoder Ring Remix]

    36. Do you know all the words to #6?
    Most of them.

    37. Does #28 have better lyrics or music?
    I really love the lyrics, but the music is also brilliant.

    38. What album is #10 from?

    Well that was a great time waster!
  • Random: Soundtrack Of My Life

    20 jan. 2007, 0h12m

    So I haven't posted a journal entry for a while now, so I thought I would play around with another quiz thing. I have a bunch of concerts coming up though so I'm sure I will be posting quite a bit about them! Four concerts in five days afterall, is going to be full of memorable moments that I'll want to keep track of. Ok enough talk, onto the Soundtrack Of My Life:

    Opening Credits:
    Emotion Sickness - Silverchair

    Waking Up:
    From The Sea – Eskimo Joe

    First Day of School:
    The Spaces Between - Expatriate

    An Ordinary Day:
    Waiting On The World To Change – John Mayer

    First Kiss:
    Just So You Know – Jesse McCartney

    Falling in Love:
    Love At First Sight – Kylie Minogue

    Fight Song:
    Not Listening – Papa Roach

    Supermassive Black Hole - Muse

    Breaking Up:
    What Goes Around…/...Comes Around (Interlude) – Justin Timberlake

    High School:
    Is It Any Wonder? - Keane

    Just The Thing - Paulmac

    Famous Last Words – My Chemical Romance

    Study Abroad:
    All The Pretty Faces – The Killers

    The Mental Breakdown:
    Everyday Is Exactly The Same – Nine Inch Nails

    That One Drunk Night:
    Thinking In Reverse – The Dissociatives

    I Don’t Wanna Be – Gavin DeGraw

    The Frat Party:
    Maneater – Nelly Furtado

    Everybody Dance Now:
    Dance Dance – Fall Out Boy

    Walking Down The Street:
    Must Get Out – Maroon 5

    How your Husbad/Wife Feels About You:
    Look After You – The Fray

    Show Me How To Live - Audioslave

    Wonderful Life – Gwen Stefani

    Getting Back Together:
    Come On Come On – Little Birdy

    First Job:
    Oh Kamikaze – Something for Kate

    The Special Two – Missy Higgins

    Birth Of A Child:
    Blackout - Muse

    Deadhead - Stereophonics

    The Long Night Alone:
    Heaven Forbid – The Fray

    Bedshaped - Keane

    Final Battle:
    Die Another Day – Madonna

    Death Scene:
    After All These Years - Silverchair

    Funeral Song:
    Citizen Erased - Muse
  • Random: How I Found My Top 10 Bands

    22 oct. 2006, 1h31m

    1 # Muse

    I came across these guys by pure luck. My friend had a lyric in her head and she couldn't find which song it belonged to for the life of her, so we literally spent several hours on Google trying to find it. Well I found it, and it was 'Time Is Running Out'. I guess the rest is history! These guys have been my number one band ever since. Funny thing though was that I had actually heard alot of Muse before that, I just never had taken notice! Silly me. I love these guys so much.

    2 # Eskimo Joe

    These guys are brilliant. The way in which they have evolved since their first batch of songs is just incredible. Anyway, I found them when I saw them on TV once. I'm pretty sure it was 'Who Sold Her Out' and I instantly liked them. I just never got around to buying one of their albums until sometime last year, despite being a pretty big fan. 'From The Sea' kinda sealed the deal!

    3 # Silverchair

    In terms of ranking my bands, Silverchair actually sits at 2, but since my new account, Eskimo Joe's new album pushed them into that position. I'm sure Silverchair will reclaim it with their upcoming release. Well, when Silverchair started, they were everywhere. I was taking notice, just not enough. I rediscovered them almost two years ago and slapped myself for not doing so sooner. I already knew the songs and it was very much so a case of "I didn't know they sang that!". Emotion Sickness is the best song of all time.

    4 # The Fray

    Like Muse, this one was very lucky. I actually found their music on the internet by accident, waaay before they hit it big in Australia. I was all "The Fray this!" and "The Fray that!" and then finally their single and album were released over here and everybody jumped on the bandwagon. These guys are incredible live and just so humble and emotionally powerful.

    5 # Justin Timberlake

    What can I say! You can try and stay indie as much as you want but finally, commercial music will somehow find it's way in! And it just so happens Justin did that to me. I think this is probably the quickest I've ever liked an artist. I REALLY don't care what anybody says about him, because I like him, and to me, that's all that matters. 'Rock Your Body' was definitely when I started secretly liking him, but when you're surrounded by music nazi's at school, there isn't a great deal of musical freedom! I love this guy.

    6 # Keane

    Now this one is quite interesting! In the second season of Australia Idol, a contestant called Marty sang 'Somewhere Only We Know' in one of the qualifying rounds. I was sold! Straight after the performance, I was on the internet finding information on these guys. I have liked them ever since, but I must say, the recent drug commotion concerning Tom Chaplin has caused a massive dip in my liking for them. I don't know why! Tim Rice-Oxley however, remains to be a champion.

    7 # Scissor Sisters

    Dude. I don't know what it is about these guys but they are just so happy and gay and immediately lift your mood up when you listen to them. How can people listen to such depressing music and be emo when there is music like this? Some of the lyrics are hard hitting but the tunes are always bouncy. I started liking these guys when I heard 'Filthy/Gorgeous' on TV, but 'I Don't Feel Like Dancin' is definitely one of the best songs this year.

    8 # The Killers

    Like most of the other bands in my Top 10, I discovered them simply by watching the musical channels on Foxtel, and this one is no different! I'm pretty sure it was 'Mr Brightside' that made me start liking them and prompted me to buy their album. Brandon Flowers is such a great personality though, and even though not all the songs are fantastic, Brandon always manages to keep my attention. Sam's Town was most certainly not a let down (though I'm not sure if it's the best album in the past twenty years!).

    9 # My Chemical Romance

    Looking at the rest of my list, these guys definitely seem out of place! Like Justin though, I don't give a shit what people think of them or what they think of me for liking them. I think they are great performers and Gerard Way is just so creative and imaginative. I saw the debut of 'I'm Not Okay' on Channel [V] and thought that was pretty cool. It took me a while to buy their album, but now I love them alot. I am eagerly awaiting the Australian release of The Black Parade!

    10 # Dashboard Confessional

    The first time I heard Dashboard Confessional was when I saw 'Hands Down' on MTV. I instantly liked it and proceeded to by their album A Mark A Mission A Brand A Scar that week. They aren't one of my 'major' bands that I follow, so I was quite surprised to see them this high! But they were incredible at the Hordern Pavilion when I saw them in September and my love for them has definitely grown.