View Full Version : Linin Park: Meteora

Darth Groovy
04-03-2003, 01:01 PM
Originally published for www.themanipulation.com,

Linkin Park
Warner Bros Records, 2003

By Darth Groovy

In the wake of Linkin Park’s Runaway smash debut, fans were left wondering if they would become anything more than a T-Shirt band for high school girls. There was a successful DVD, and a clever remix album of past works, and a great deal of web site promotion.
Linkin Park is a hybrid of hip hop, and alternative rock, spliced with elements of electronic and ambience. What separates LP from most of the other hordes of Nu-Metal acts, is their genuine ability to build on a catchy hook, either sampled, or performed, without sacrificing the beauty of the melody. Chester Bennington’s dynamic vocal range and Mike Shinoda’s rapping compliment each other, while Brad Nelson’s guitar hooks and Joseph Hahn’s DJ work drive the melody with positive aggression. They work best on tracks where neither the rap nor, metal seem to prominent, even when Chester screams loud enough to crack concrete.
Three years later we finally have Meteora, the band’s sophomore release, which is usually the make or break point of most upcoming artists. Meteora opens up with “Don’t Stay”, which seems as somewhat of a re-tread on Hybrid Theory’s “Papercut”, but without the same energy in the vocal work. “Somewhere I Belong”, is a fine example of LP doing what they do best. A catchy acoustic riff builds into a lovely melody as Mike injects his heart rap poetry, that flows smoothly as Chester croons in with; “I want to feel, I want to heal, what I thought was never real, I want to let go of the pain I’ve had so long”. Mike’s rapping skills are even stronger on the next track, “Lying from you”. “Easier to Run”, is the shooting star of Meteora, and most likely the next big hit since “In the End”. What works for this song so well, is the slower tempo, with its brilliant electronic ambience. Chester croons softy as Mike once again bridges the gap between verse and chorus.
The tracks on this CD fit together nicely, however comes to a screeching halt with “Braking the Habit”. The linear notes claim this song took 6 years to make, yet ultimately becomes LP’s first throw away track to date. The drums are 100% electronic on this one, and come in way too fast. Both the guitars, and Mike’s rapping is absent, and then LP does a horrible, horrible thing, when the song evolves into a full blown techno track. In fact, this song is so techno, that Moby himself would bend over backwards and crack his own spine. Also, Chester’s vocals seem to be struggling to catch up with the ridiculous speed of this song.
The album then steers back on track with “From the Inside”, where LP returns to the formula that works. Things get interesting with “Nobody’s Listening”. A Japanese flute loops, as the beat kicks in like a tribal cadence. Mike does his best rap work to date since “High Voltage”, as Chester blends the chorus and verse, with his singing. Guitars are also absent on this track, yet it becomes amusing as Mike raps; “Heart full of pain, head full of stress, hand full of anger held in my chest”, a break from the usual LP formula, but perhaps a step in the right direction in terms of creativity.
Over all, Meteora is a decent set of songs, with a few misses, yet nowhere equal to Hybrid Theory. The biggest flaw is the length of the material, most of the songs average at about three minutes or less, which makes the overall CD clock in at a mere 36 minutes and 41 seconds. The bonus edition comes with a DVD, documenting the making of Meteora. The CD itself contains yet more material to once again pimp their website, as well as a 17 minute documentary on the “Art of Meteora.” One is left to wonder if more time was spent on painting murals to promote the album, than on the actual album itself.

Score: 82%