Nowadays, Linkin Park are regarded as either sellouts or kiddie music. What was once compared to the likes of Korn and Limp Bizkit is today considered little more then the Backstreet Boys with guitars. And that’s kind of sad, actually, because on both their full-lenght releases LP have proved to be a very entertaining band.
Linkin Park mania actually started back in 2001, with the release of Hybrid Theory
. At the time, many of the same critics who now bash Linkin Park gave this album excellent reviews, and that reflected on the sales. For once, it seemed a genuinely good album was selling well. Was na improvement just around the corner for the pop industry? Sadly, no, but Linkin Park’s debut remains one of the best albums from the nu-metal period.
Produced by Don Gilmore, Hybrid Theory
presents 12 tracks of heavy industrial rock. In fact, what we hear on this album can never be called metal; it is just too squeaky-clean and lacks the edge usually associated with this style. However, the truth remains: Linkin Park are the best at what they do. And what they do is mixing moderately heavy guitars with a little rapping and huge pop hooks. This perfect formula shines through on such hits as Pushing Me Away
or Paper Cuts
, where Chester Bennington’s melodic vocals blend in perfectly with Mike Shinoda’s considerable rapping skills. Shinoda, by the way, is also a piano player, and both his attributes are prominently featured on the hip-hop tinged In The End
But the most prominent member of Linkin Park is neither Bennington nor Shinoda. Joseph Hahn (aka «that other Chinese guy») is the real mastermind behind the group, as well as being responsible for all the turntables and scratches on the album. Him, too, has his fifteen minutes of fame (or should I say three minutes?) on the house/jungle track Cure for The Itch
But what rock album would be complete without the guitars? Brad Delson puts the «tude» in LP’s «atttitude» with his heavy yet restrained guitar riffing. Confused? Just check out One Step Closer
, where the riffing is heavy yet at the same time kid-friendly. In simpler terms, you may say that Linkin Park is the Sesame Street of new-metal :D
However, unlike what most people think, LP is not
just for kids. Most of the tracks on this album will appeal both to the average 10-year-old and to his older brother. Plus, it might also please their parents, due to the fact that Linkin Park don’t use curse words in their lyrics.
But don’t be fooled into thinking that this album is perfect. There are a couple of weaker tracks, such as the fairly appaling By Myself
or the aforementioned Cure for The Itch
. Plus, the album will start to sound a bit silly and kiddy-ish after a while, especially if you’re over 17. Not to mention that a little more agression wouldn’t hurt anyone...
Still, the facts remain: Linkin Park’s debut is an excellent album, and a most privileged gateway for preteens looking to get into metal. Mainstream? Yes. But you can’t exactly expect your little brother to start right on Dimmu Borgir, can you?
One Step Closer
In The End
Pushing Me Away