Fort Minor The Rising Tied

It’s a good thing that Def Jam head honcho Jay-Z executively produced this album, because Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda couldn’t be dragging less street cred over to this hip hop release unless he was, uh, that guy in the band who screams. On the whole, while this is much better than you’d expect, there is no denying the cloud of suburban, Good Charlotte-sized angst that floats over many of the songs. Fans of the LP/Jay-Z mash-up album will find some favourites here, as the production is big and heavy, a dense mix of layered electronics, moody keys and angry guitars. Shinoda is decent lyrically, though, for the most part, he’s not rapping as much as he is talking on beat, but given the amount of guests on The Rising Tied, this isn’t a defining issue. Style of Beyond’s Ryu and Takbir appear on almost half of the songs and fit well with Shinoda, especially alongside Black Thought on "Right Now,” and John Legend laces up the chorus of "High Road” and manages to make you forget that the Common cameo on "Back Home” sounds like every other Common verse you’ve ever heard. (Warner)