Fifth studio album (2011–present)[change | change source]
In June 2011, Bennington revealed to Kerrang! that Linkin Park has begun working on new material for their next album. He explained, "We've been working on a new record for the past two months. The music is great and we're well ahead of where we're expecting to be. There aren't a whole lot of noises going on, but there are a lot of good songs." 
Rick Rubin will be a producer on the new album. "Typically we'll have a once-a-week meeting to go listen to the songs that they're coming up with and talk about them. For so early in the project, they are much further along than they have been on the last two albums we did. On A Thousand Suns there were still a lot of irons in the fire. We knew, 'OK, we can't do this forever. Let's leave this batch and we'll come back and address it when we start up again'", Rubin said.
In July 2011, Bennington told Rolling Stone that Linkin Park aims to produce a new album every eighteen months, and that he would be shocked if a new album did not come out in 2012. The band continues to record and produce new material even while touring. Bennington commented on Linkin Park's schedule, stating, "Touring for two years is excruciating. When we would tour for two years even the most resilient person in the band, at the end of that, was fucking miserable." He further elaborated on their ideas in an interview with MTV saying, "We do have a really great head start. We've got some great music, some good ideas. The creativity has continued to flow for us for the last few years, consistently." He later revealed in another interview in September 2011 that the band was still in the beginning phases of the next album, saying "We just kind of began. We like to keep the creative juices flowing, so we try to keep that going all the time...we like the direction that we're going in."
In an interview featured in the March 21, 2012 issue of Kerrang! magazine, Bennington stated that the band has returned to more 'familiar' territory on their new record, saying "with this [new] album, we've incorporated a lot of guitar work with big choruses and the heavier electronic stuff to give it that really big wall of sound feeling without getting too metal. This will be more familiar to people than 'A Thousand Suns' was, where we were like 'Fuck it, we're just going to go bonkers." Bennington also said that the new album's lyrics would be personal and avoid being political, adding "We've been writing a lot about relationships."  
On March 28, 2012, Shinoda confirmed that the band is filming a music video for "Burn It Down", which will be the album's first single to be released for radio-play on April 16. Joe Hahn directed the video. Shinoda spoke to Co.Create about the album's art, saying that it will "blow them [the fans] away...the average person is not going to be able to look at it and go, I understand that that’s completely new, like not just the image but the way they made the image is totally new. So there’s going to be that." 
Musical style[change | change source]
Both Hybrid Theory and Meteora combine the alternative metal, nu metal, and rap rock sound with influences and elements from hip-hop, alternative rock, and electronica, utilizing programming and synthesizers. William Ruhlmann from Allmusic regarded it as "a Johnny-come-lately to an already overdone musical style," whereas Rolling Stone described their song "Breaking the Habit" as "risky, beautiful art".
In Minutes to Midnight the band experimented with their established sound and drew influences from a wider and more varied range of genres and styles, a process Los Angeles Times compares to a stage in U2's work. In it, only two of the songs feature rapping, and the majority of the album can be considered alternative rock. NME magazine's Dan Silver criticized the band's approach, calling it the "sound of a band trying and failing to forge a new identity", and referring to the song "Hands Held High", a song about terrorist attacks and war, as "far and away the funniest thing you will hear all year".
The vocal interplay between Chester Bennington and Mike Shinoda plays as a major part within Linkin Park's music, with Bennington being the lead vocalist and Shinoda as the rapping vocalist. On Linkin Park's third album, Minutes to Midnight, Shinoda sings lead vocals on "In Between", "Hands Held High", and on the B-side "No Roads Left". On numerous songs from band's fourth album, A Thousand Suns, such as the album's four singles, both Shinoda and Bennington sing. On most of the record's tracks, the band notably used electronic drumbeats along with outro drumbeats. The album has been regarded as a turning point in the band's musical career by notable critics, some noting the band utilizing the electronic rock genre. James Montgomery, of MTV, compared the record to Radiohead's Kid A, while Jordy Kasko of Review, Rinse, Repeat likened the album to both Kid A and Pink Floyd's landmark album The Dark Side of the Moon. Shinoda stated that he and the other band members were deeply influenced by Chuck D and Public Enemy. He elaborated: "Public Enemy were very three-dimensional with their records because although they seemed political, there was a whole lot of other stuff going on in there too. It made me think how three-dimensional I wanted our record to be without imitating them of course, and show where we were at creatively". One of the record's political elements is its samples of notable speeches by American political figures.
References[change | change source]
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- Ruhlmann, William. Allmusic.com allmusic (((Hybrid Theory > Overview))):, Retrieved on May 30, 2007
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- Calendarlive.com, Linkin Park releases new album: 'Minutes to Midnight' Retrieved on May 30, 2007
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