Review Summary: It's not THAT bad.
First things first: it’s not that bad.
Sure, most of its songs sound like warmed-over re-hashings of songs from Hybrid Theory
, but Linkin Park’s much-maligned second album has its merits.
came out in 2003, in time to survive the decline of nu-metal unscathed and be embraced by a legion of 16-year-olds (present writer included, at seventeen and a half). This horde bought into the band’s «it-will-be-different-and-more-varied» speech, failing to notice that not much was, in fact, different.
Sure, there are slower tempos (Easier to Run
, From the Inside
) and an increase of electronica (Faint
), but pretty much 75% of the album could be directly paralleled with Hybrid
. As in: Session
= Cure For the Itch
, Don’t Stay
= One Step Closer
, Somewhere I Belong
, and Nobody’s Listening
= In The End
, with the eerie piano being replaced by an equally eerie flute. The rest, while not directly resembling any tracks on Hybrid
, cover mostly familiar territory, with chugging guitars, electronic effects, simplistic drumming and «rapped vs melodic» vocals. This is the recipe on tracks like Don’t Stay
, Hit the Floor
, and it works fairly well. On the other hand, there’s the odd «experimental» track here and there, with the most noteworthy examples being Nobody’s Listening
, with its Japanese flute samples, and the Depeche Mode pastiche Breaking the Habit
(or, as a retarded friend of mine sings it, «breaking the rabbit»). These are less easy to swallow, particularly for the average teenager, that couldn’t have seen LP’s electronic third album coming just then.
The main problem of this album, then, is to listen to it from a twentysomething point of view. It’s simply….well, dumb. And over-simplistic. There’s no denying the staying power of its tunes, particularly the first half of the album, but after a while it all starts to sound childish and phony. Even my little sister, age 16, has moved on from Linkin Park now, although she still digs the occasional tune. As for me, I moved on the second I heard Live In Texas
. I’ve decided to come back to them a while ago, but my opinion did not improve. On the contrary, I saw just how shallow this album was.
Still, I can’t bring myself to agree with the detractors of Meteora
. It was a perfect record when I was seventeen, and I still rock out to some of its tunes, particularly the flawless Don’t Stay
, which, strangely enough nobody else seems to like.
Still, there can be no excuse for some of the things on this album, chief among them the 5-second track Foreword
, probably the silliest intro in the history of music (why not just make it part of Don’t Stay
!?). But Linkin fans and occasional music lovers alike will profit from giving this one a spin.
Somewhere I Belong