Review Summary: It's influential if you're thirteen years old or younger.
The first time I heard Linkin Park was in 2006, back when all I listened to was hip hop or anything that was hip hop influenced. The first time I heard it I was amazed, the music was so cool, a mixture of electronics, hip hop, and hard rock, I’ve never heard this before! I mean sure, Rage against the Machine and Limp Bizkit both has that same sort of sound, but they were much different. Rage against the Machine, among my favorite bands up to today, had a more pounding, heavy metal sound, with flashy pedal-abused guitar riffs all around and preachy shout-raps from frontman Zach De La Rocha, making for the perfect rebel music. The other band, Limp Bizkit, was a more wigger-hop fan’s hip hop, which back then, was me.
But Linkin Park was that much different from either band, and I enjoyed them for as long as I could. After about 2007, I got the feeling that the band’s music was slipping, as I had hated their new album, and I was starting to get bored of the music they already had. Slowly but surely, my eyes became open to the flaws of Linkin Park. Eventually, I saw everything that came from the band’s best album Hybrid Theory
, and needless to say, it wasn’t pretty.
Basically, the band’s music is a mixture of a stereotypical rap rock/metal band with nu-metal power chord mania, with a spice of crazed eletronica samples and loop-sounding drum work. This album is all of that, done with the execution and the guarantee you are getting the simplest music this side of The Wiggles. That said, It can be enjoyed at times. “In The End” takes use of Chester Bennington vocals and a catchy yet simple keyboard riff, making for a fun-filled song. “Crawling” is another place for Chester Bennington’s angsty yet excellently melodic clean vocal to take over, covering up the bands obvious lack of talent.
But alas, other than a few catchy choruses and a few decent songs, for the most part the album falls flat, particularly on the heaviest tracks. The problem is that the guitarists try to become the best part of the song, and not by being technically impressive or being creative, but instead being louder than the rest of the instruments. The guitars plod away at generic nu-metal drop D-ed power chords. “Points of Authority” is led by DJ record-scratching, lackluster guitar riffs and uninspired angsty screams from Chester Bennington. “By Myself” is the heaviest song on the album, and with what you’d assume, it’s easily the worst song on the album.
Hopefully, the rapping is a highlight on the album, right? Well unfortunately for the listener, it really lacks as well. Mike Shinoda’s lyrics are teenage angst poems, with all the professionalisms of a twelve year old. His flow also falters, taking the stereotypical scattershot white boy flow that Fred Durst all but invented. It’s a shame too, that he topped this with a solid rap effort years later, in the day when we thought that the band that Linkin Park was in serious decline.
The saddest thing of all is that the highlight songs of the entire album are the sample-built soundscape interlude “Cure for the Itch” and two of the lead singles. Everything else is either ruined by the completely lack of talent the guitarists posses, the obnoxious, uninspired screaming of a somewhat talented vocalist, and the angsty lyrics and whiteboy flow of a rapper who knows he’s better than that. I find it hard to truly hate this album, as it helped me get into music other than hip hop, but it’s influence wasn’t really as much as some albums I listened to back then. If you are new to Linkin Park, this album is perfect, but alas, don’t expect to be happy with it years later.
“Cure For the Itch”
“In The End”