This has go to be one of the most amazing albums I've heard in the longest. I don't even know where to start. Well, first off at least, lets just get the biggest (dumbest) question out of the way.
No, this is not Hybrid Theory, or Meteora, so clingy fanboys and girls can leave already. Does it share similar elements though? Yeah, definitely. Just like Minutes To Midnight, the band has done a complete 180 with their sound. Of course, we all had our disappointments with that album. "It was too soft", "where's the rapping?" "Where the heck is Mr. Hahn?" It was a radical change, and was a lot to take in, for all of us. A Thousand Sun's did some things better, but not so much. I especially liked the call out they made to all the winy fans in When They Come For Me, but then you reach the end of the album, and have to sit through The Messanger...
Not saying those albums were bad though, but if they weren't attached to the name, I probably would not have picked them up so easily. This time though, they really did it right. The sound of this album, from start to finish is just insane! Actually, the start's rather unique this time around, considering there's no intro. It just goes straight into the first song, something they haven't done since Hybrid Theory.
Speaking of the first song though... Wow. Freakin amazing! Lost in the Echo is catchy, energetic, yet powerful. It's got the perfect blend of everything the band has ever had to offer. Electronic, heavy guitars, kicking bass, soft vocals, screams, and Mike just really outdoes himself on the rap. It's pretty much a "$%#^ you" song to anyone who's ever put you down or something before. In the end, you've gotta tell that person person off, give em the finger, and go about your business. I know I'll definitely be rehearsing the lines in my head, for whenever something like that happens to me again. That's actually pretty much the same message throughout the whole album really. Words of wisdom, comfort and motivation.
We've already heard Burn It Down, which is all about human stupidity, and how we're constantly repeating the same crimes. Lies, Greed, Misery is a revenge song, but with an upbeat tune, as if one is saying "#$&% you" while on their happy pills. Castle Of Glass actually has something of an old western feel to it. I can totally see a video for it! Mike's the conductor of a train, while the rest of the band are cowboys or something, and maybe one of them (Phoenix) is a robber.
Roads Untraveled has a fun winter chime to it. (Seriously. Listen to this, and tell me you don't think of wandering through a snowfield.) It's something of a break up song, with Mike doing clean vocals on the first verse. The clear message is that we shouldn't dwell too much on our broken hearts, since the pain can't last forever. The chorus is really easy to get into, being a basic set of "whoa's". The last verse though is was really gets me, where Chester comes in, stating that even if the situation's tough, there's a "seat right beside him." Just that extra assurance from a friend is something we all need during our down times.
I find the song rather ironic though, considering it can be looked at as the tragic aftermath of one of their older songs My December, which was pretty a love song, where the singer was willing to give up all his good fortunes, just to be with the one he loved. How awful it would be if this were the same exact relationship, and this bitch done went and left him after all that? Thing is though, if the word "heart" and "love" were taken out, the song could have an even broader meaning, pertaining to all past mistakes.
The album ends with Tinfoil, leading into Powerless, which always has me confused at the start. First it sounds like Burning In The Skies, but then you've got a little of Isho Ni. It's about a friends foolish betrayal, and how they wound up paying the price in the end. It's not the greatest ending, but it's certainly is enjoyable this time around.
Overall, this is a great album. Best thing I've heard in a while. Does it beat Hybrid Theory? No, not to me, but it's certainly up there. Lost In The Echo is my favorite track out of them all, but it certainly doesn't beat Points of Authority, my favorite song of all time. This is a must listen, for everyone, no matter what your tastes. It's literally got something for everyone, and certainly speak all of us as well. My only issue with the thing would be its short length, something that also plagued Hybrid Theory and Meteora. Seriously. You just know they had a ton of other tracks laying around, why not add some more?
Be sure to pick up the album in stores, or download it off Amazon and the Zune Marketplace on June 26th! Oh yeah, and that iTunes thing too I guess.