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Top 15 Linkin Park (nu metal days)

My top 15 LP songs from their nu-metal era (so I'm basically just ranking H.T. and Meteora here). To me it was just a totally different style of music from what they started producing from MtM on. Here goes, in order.
15Linkin Park
Meteora


"Breaking The Habit" - Nice melody to this one and deep lyrics, even if they feel a bit contrived.
14Linkin Park
Hybrid Theory


"Pushing Me Away" - That "why I never walked away" line always pulls me in. Lyrics really connected with me in high school because I'd constantly find myself strung along for rides with these girls who cared zero percent about my well-being. Thank goodness I developed some confidence later on in life.
13Linkin Park
Hybrid Theory


"Crawling" - Very strong single, but one of my least favorite "hits" of theirs personally. A little too emo/woe-is-me, even for early era LP which is saying a lot. Still, it's a well put together track with a nice mix of Chester's half-screamed half-sung vocals and Shinoda's rap verses.
12Linkin Park
Hybrid Theory


"In The End" - LP's mega-hit, it's a great track with underrated lyrics (the existentialism is strong with this one). Way, way, way overplayed which ruined it a little bit for me. First track I heard from these guys, so it makes the list.
11Linkin Park
Meteora


"Hit the Floor" - This was the perfect song for me when I had a close friendship go really sour. A close buddy of mine started to get really full of himself, and this just hit the spot and brings back those bitter memories: "You knew your lies would divide us but you lied anyway / And all the lies have got you floating up above us all / But what goes up has got to fall."
10Linkin Park
Meteora


"Lying From You" - Alright, top 10. First off the dissonant intro bit and the lead in to the heavy nu-metal guitars is awesome. I had some serious issues with self sabotage in my late teen years and the attitude of this song matches that perfectly. The way I internalized everything led to some serious anger issues and caused me to lash out in some ways I'm not proud of. "The very worst part of you / is me / This isn’t what I wanted to be."
9Linkin Park
Meteora


"Faint" - Another really cool intro in this one, but the main reason for this ranking so high is Shinoda. He absolutely kills the first several verses, and is the highlight throughout the song. Chester's screamed choruses are par for the course, but Shinoda's emotional delivery is undeniable. "So I let go / watching you / turn your back like you always do."
8Linkin Park
Hybrid Theory


"One Step Closer" - The "shut up when I'm talking to you" part always came off as a bit laughable to me, but aside from that this is one of Chester's best performances. He really sounds like he's one minor slight away from decking the next person who looks at him. Perfectly encapsulates that unchecked rage when you're just about totally unhinged and at the end of your last nerve.
7Linkin Park
Meteora


"Somewhere I Belong" - As far as big singles go, this is one of their best. Shinoda's rhythm in the verses is incredible, and the self-deprecating lyrics remain some of my favorite of the band's to this day, especially the way they're able to be so clearly depressive yet highlighted by a slight shade of hope: "Just stuck, hollow and alone / And the fault is my own...I will never be anything till I break away from me / I will break away, I'll find myself today."
6Linkin Park
Meteora


"From The Inside" - This might be the best combination of Chester's vocals and Shinoda's rapped/spoken verses. Chester's vocals range from smooth and melodic (the intro verses) to screamed (the chorus, as usual). There's gentler undertones to this, but it still feels like a moment of utter despair. "Trying to put my trust in you just takes so much out of me."
5Linkin Park
Meteora


"Numb" - An easy one to mock due to its radio and billboard success, but for some reason this one never got ruined for me like their other mainstream chart-toppers. Clearly a song about struggling to live up to his father's expectations, it's actually paints a pretty shattering image of how this kind of thing can pass generation to generation: "I know / You were just like me with someone disappointed in you." Maybe I'm just still an emo angsty idiot, but this one continues to hit home on every listen.
4Linkin Park
Hybrid Theory


"A Place For My Head" - The western guitar licks in the beginning help distinguish this from other similar tracks, but this is mainly about Shinoda's lyrics. "I watch how the moon sits in the sky in the dark night / Shining with the light from the sun / And the sun doesn't give light to the moon assuming / The moon’s gonna owe it one." Song got me through a relationship with a pretty selfish person, even though it was tough to pull away when I needed to.
3Linkin Park
Hybrid Theory


"Papercut" - Best beat/rhythm of any LP track in my opinion, and some seriously schizophrenic lyrics (I know just what it feels like / To have a voice in the back of my head / Like a face that I hold inside / A face that awakes when I close my eyes A face that watches every time I lie / A face that laughs every time I fall / And watches everything") matched only by the energy-overflowing nature of the verses and the stutter-step rhythm. This song embodies all the best things about LP and is probably objectively their best song.
2Linkin Park
Meteora


"Easier to Run" - This might be their most emo song, but it's my favorite "slower track" by them (not calling it a ballad because it really isn't). First off, the sound effects in the beginning sound like the Protoss space shuttles from StarCraft which is awesome. The lyrics also dig incredibly deep, and literally helped me get through some borderline suicidal moments during my freshman year of college..."Sometimes I remember the darkness of my past / Bringing back these memories I wish I didn't have / Sometimes I think of letting go and never looking back / And never moving forward so there'd never be a past"..."It's easier to run / Replacing this pain with something numb."
1Linkin Park
Meteora


"Don't Stay" - For reasons personal to me, this is my favorite. I know it's not a Shinoda track, but the anger, passion, and lyrics connected with me during just the right time at the end of a pretty severely unhealthy relationship during my early college days. I literally felt like she was changing me into somebody I wasn't, and I hated who I had become. The pointed anger in this soundtracked my revolt: "Forget our memories / Forget our possibilities / What you were changing me into / Just give me myself back and don’t stay." We've all heard that one song that we couldn't believe the lyrics to as we listened to them, because they were too fucking accurate and too much of a coincidence. For me, "Don't Stay" was that.
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