I consider myself to be a big Linkin Park fan. I know the Hybrid Theory and Meteora albums by heart. Having listened to Minutes to Midnight, I have to say that I'm torn.
If you're interested in this album for the heavy rock and rap of past Linkin Park albums, forget it! This one has only two very heavy songs, and the rest are moderate (What I've done) to just plain soft (Shadow of the Day). The two heavy tracks are my favorite ones, because they're the only ones that get me excited. I also enjoy What I've Done in a different way because it actually sounds a bit like the old LP. The other songs that I like are Leave Out All the Rest and Bleed It Out.
Towards the end of the album, you're given real stinkers like Hands Held High, where Mike raps about the war in Iraq and George Bush. While it's a valiant cause, I just feel like it's been done to death in music (aka Green Day did it right 3 years ago). Even worse, later in the song you get a chorus with Mike actually singing, and I can't stand it. Mike should not sing lead, that's what Chester is for. "In Between" is another song where Mike sings lead, and I can't stand listening to it.
There is "Valentine's Day" that has a decent chorus, but only after a 2 minute verse which I find to be way too long.
"In Pieces" and "The Little Things Give You Away" are pretty good songs, but still lack the energy of the better ones. In the Little Things Give You Away, Chester sings about New Orleans with lines like "the levees are breaking". It seems kind of late, but I guess that's what happens when it takes 14 months to come up with an album.
Overall, I'll be listening to this album for the better tracks, but it doesn't come close to the quality of the first two. I'm hoping that the other songs will grow on me, but I won't keep my hopes up.