Everyone going into making an album is going to want to put their best foot forward. Even if some of the ideas might be shaky at the start, you’re normally able to iron out everything and make something that at least sounds decent. All of the building blocks to make something decent were here, but none of them were able to come together properly.
That’s not to say that all of these are terrible albums from back to front. In terms of raw ideas, some of these albums are pretty great, with the artists coming in with either a decent batch of songs or a different way to approach what they had already done before. It all came back to the production of the records though, with the producer not guiding them in the right direction and making for songs that were either boring to listen to or just not squeezing the most potential out of these acts.
That’s before you even get to how these albums sound as well. Some of these records may have a fine basis for a song, only for the actual sound quality to be terrible, either being too clean or sounding like it was coming out of a trash can. These are by no means career destroyers or anything like that, but it’s hard to see some of the best bands in the world clutching at straws to get something like this out.
10. Minutes to Midnight - Linkin Park
Just because an album falls apart during production doesn't mean that all of the songs are necessarily terrible. These are still legendary artists, and there's more that goes into a record than throwing together the best songs that you can and have them recorded one after the other. It's about taking your listeners on a journey, and Minutes to Midnight practically is a jarring mess to listen to from back to front.
Then again, it's not surprising why Linkin Park wanted to go in a different direction here, fresh off of the golden age of nu metal and wanting to take things in a much more alternative leaning direction. While there are germs of the savagery that came through on the early albums on songs like Given Up, what really kneecaps this record is the pacing, with every aggressive song being followed by a ballad. It might have been a choice to make sure the record stayed balanced all the way through, but every time the album feels like it's gaining momentum on something like No More Sorrow, Valentine's Day is right around the corner to snuff it out again.
Based on what we have though, you can still see the skeleton of what Linkin Park were trying to do, making a much smoother listening experience while also trying to call out some of the injustices happening in America on tracks like Hands Held High and the mammoth closer The Little Things Give You Away. Rock and roll is always about going against the grain though, and the fact that they split the record up like this gives you the impression that they were trying to play it safe.