Linkin Park has always been a group of musicians experiencing growth, both musically and personally. The lyrical content of Meteora highly mirrored that of its predecessor, Hybrid Theory. However, some of the musical elements underwent a subtle change. Obviously, when the band wrote and released Minutes to Midnight they added an entirely different dimension to their music and lyrics. Many things have changed for the band. It would be intellectually dishonest of them to write the same type of music and lyrics as they did ten years ago. The same can be said for ignoring the whole new spectrum of instrumentation and recording techniques that they must have picked up over the years as well. Brad Delson is on this record. However, just because there aren't bombastic detuned guitars all over the place, don't assume that he didn't have a hand on the record elsewhere.
Musically, I think that this might be their most mature record ever. The vocal harmonies are absolutely amazing and it's nice to see that they've continued to move beyond the teenage angst phase of Hybrid Theory and Meteora. Mike's singing on this record is really moving. He should be proud of his work here. The lyrics are age appropriate for men in their 30s. Personally, I find that if Linkin Park would have kept creating the same music as they had on Hybrid Theory they would have lost me as a fan. I wouldn't have been as excited, because it should be expected that a band evolve.
It's natural. Mike even hints quite subtley, or perhaps very unsubtley, that "I am not... the same person telling you to forfeit the game" and "once you got a [Hybrid] theory of how the thing works everybody wants the next thing to be like the first." He's explaining very clearly that the band has changed and you should expect evolution. People seem to have trouble understanding the new direction of their lyrics, but anyone who can't see what they're trying to accomplish simply by listening to the interlude tracks, especially Wisdom, Justice, and Love, either isn't trying hard enough or not able to comprehend the theme. You're allowed to not like it, but save your vitriol and depression for something that actually matters and let Linkin Park do what they want to.
I find this album highly entertaining. It sounds sounds very coherent and flows well. Its was also pretty courageous of them to start the record off with The Requiem and the Radiance, and they set the theme beautifully.