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Linkin Park

The Apocalypse is upon us. Or so nü-metal superstars Linkin Park would have us believe. They mean it too. They even cleaned up their soccer-practice-carpool friendly act and actually inserted a fuck here and there. On their third album, Minutes to Midnight, Chester Bennington, Mike Shinoda, and the rest of the LP guys tried to move away from the early Limp Bizkit-esque rap-rock movement to a more respectable Incubus type of sound. Shinoda raps only in "Bleed It Out" and "Hands Held High," in which he successfully converts his once angst-shaped raps into sharp sociopolitical punditry, criticizing the current administration — W in particular — and the state of America in a time of war. Bennington does his usual thing as he wails sullenly, but this time it's not because he let his parents down. In "No More Sorrow," he screams to a battlefield guitar riff about the evil that humans are capable of. Bennington is so serious now that in "The Little Things Give You Away," he tones it down to make references to Katrina. A little late, maybe, but it shows they care about more than just their problems as 30-year-old teenaged idols.

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Bryan Falla