Linkin Park
Hybrid Theory


5.0
classic

Review

by Caleb C. USER (26 Reviews)
March 5th, 2014 | 78 replies


Release Date: 2000 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A look at Linkin Park's hybrid theory.

It is downright impossible to look at Linkin Park’s Hybrid Theory objectively. There’s an all-encompassing void surrounding the damn thing that saps your ability to accurately critique the music. I can’t say I’ve read someone deal ‘accurately’ within my personal assessment of the album, and I'm certain others feel the same. You can describe fusion of hip-hop beats and monotone guitar riffs until you’re blue in the face but *** off if you try to tell me that “A Place for My Head” doesn’t resonate far beyond a pissed-off-at-authority teenage tantrum. It’s not an album for in depth delving and cataloging it’s an album for nostalgia. Even to personal introspect would be woefully self-serving as I cannot match your long developed inclinations, good or bad, with my own. So now, 14 years after its release, I’m not going to fruitlessly try and sit here and explain what makes this album a forever favorite.

Even after all of that, Linkin Park is still a band that everyone has an opinion on. The piano lick that dominates “In the End” is engrained in the 20-something psyche as a thing that happened, not just was played in a song. Some are resentful for it, of course, as many are resentful of the current bands headlining as “famous rock artists” without the songwriting prowess or technical ability of their, lesser known, favorite. Some are grateful for it, as without the existence of the screamed bridge of “One Step Closer” harsh vocals may have never been recognized as a musical tool that could be just as beautiful as a sung note. But none are ignorant of it, because the album itself is too strongly engrained on the culture surrounding rock music to be disregarded. Linkin Park is, for a great many of us, our gateway band.

The consequence of this is especially evident when looking at the work they’ve released since then, or more specifically, since they decided to try to shed the preconceived notions of what Linkin Park is. Dismissing any talk of the oft-beaten dead horse Minutes to Midnight, it’s better to look at their two most recent efforts to discern what really went awry for the band between Linkin Park between Hybrid Theory and today. And by awry, I mean what hasn’t changed at all. A Thousand Suns was littered with so much frills and bells and dangling excess that it became hard to notice, but when you strip and down and listen closely, Linkin Park was making exactly the same music they were on Hybrid Theory. Its lyrics were angsty, its electronics were simplistic, its beats were hip-hop-y, its guitar work was pedestrian. Most of all, its songwriting was literally identical in strength.

I guess you could say the point I’m trying to make with this rant is that Linkin Park’s songwriting and talent hasn’t fallen at all since Hybrid Theory. Living Things is a shining example of that, as they completely shed the pretentiousness of its predecessor and marry it, quite well, to the style that made them famous. Take “Lost in the Echo” whose rapped verse/sung chorus could be easily called a “Papercut” clone yet for some reason even the most diehard of fans can’t accept is as more than a cheap attempt at recalling their past. Both songs have the same structure, the same pulsating guitar, the same soaring chorus and aggressive verses, yet one is a classic and the other is ***.

It’s hard to say what best explains this separation, beyond the nostalgia, but I’d hazard that it actually has a lot to do with tone. Old Linkin Park went hard and fast and new Linkin Park goes steady and quiet. Maybe that pacing and volume makes the songwriting flaws, that certainly exist here as well, much more obvious? Sure “Castle of Glass” has an overlong, simplistic chorus that doesn’t really hook, but so does “With You”. On which do you notice it more? Linkin Park has never been, and will never be, a band of inspired and unique songwriters. They have never been as talented as the acclaim this receives would suggest.

When it comes down to it, though, we love this album because we are victims to the past. Linkin Park will indefinitely be the band that made “Crawling” and “In the End” and they will never be able to move past those stigmas and come out on top. Try as we might to stay clear of the comparisons, it’s always there in the back of our heads defacing anything they present us as “not as good as Hybrid Theory”. By giving us this album, the band has doomed themselves to never be able to outdo it within their current talent pool. And that’s ok. I feel that those of us who enjoy their new work have found a way to cope with the fact that nothing will bring us back to belting our plans to runaway or shouting our distress at being by ourselves. And once we’ve done that we can accept new Linkin Park for what it is, a more ‘mature’ slant on the signature that Linkin Park created on Hybrid Theory.



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user ratings (4082)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
SnakeDelilah
March 4th 2014


7155 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

worst album ever

Digging: Texas Is the Reason - Do You Know Who You Are?

iswimfast
March 4th 2014


1306 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

i've made a terrible mistake.

i understand this really isn't a review.

please be civil.

Digging: Cymbals Eat Guitars - LOSE

VermTheImpaler
March 4th 2014


1360 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Best album eva

5 this or die, if you don't 5 this you had a lot of E's or F'S in high school or college

Futures
March 4th 2014


10612 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

lol

Digging: Interpol - El Pintor

SharkTooth
March 4th 2014


4305 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I like it, you did good here man, you did good.

iswimfast
March 4th 2014


1306 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

thanks for taking the time to read it lol

SharkTooth
March 4th 2014


4305 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You did a pretty thorough analysis(granted I never have heard Living Things)

Gwyn.
March 5th 2014


15078 Comments


it’s an album for nostalgia


Yea this is retarded take this off, actually take the whole first paragraph off

rest of the review is fine i guess

iswimfast
March 5th 2014


1306 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

ok thanks

CaptainDooRight
March 5th 2014


29130 Comments


wtf

Digging: Kangding Ray - Solens Arc

Happy2review
March 5th 2014


112 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Pos'd. This is well written. However, I disagree with the main point of this article. I say article because it reads more like an article than a review.

iswimfast
March 5th 2014


1306 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

that's entirely fair and it's definitely more of a blog post than a review i guess.

InbredJed
March 5th 2014


5884 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

CRAAAAAAWWWLLIINNNGGG IIIIIIINNNNNN MHYHYYHH+H fuckoff

Digging: JJ Cale - Okie

Spec
March 5th 2014


27167 Comments


I wonder where my cd went.

TheYeti
March 5th 2014


45 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Album is numbing from beginning to end...

CaptainDooRight
March 5th 2014


29130 Comments


what.cd?

Happy2review
March 5th 2014


112 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

While I respect them for not cloning any albums past 'Meteora', for me they lost all semblance of what the band meant to me once 'Minutes to Midnight' was released. I look at how other bands progress from album to album and incorporate different styles into their music and with Linkin Park they changed completely. Now I realize that they were genre hoppers from the start and Nu-metal was their strongest suit.

Arcade
Contributing Reviewer
March 5th 2014


2456 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I've only really liked the EP with Jay-Z.

does that make me a bad person?

Digging: Aphex Twin - Syro

pacedown
March 5th 2014


174 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

acts like jayz should not really have a place in music history.
hes got nothing to do with music.


Gwyn.
March 5th 2014


15078 Comments


Shut up



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