Out of all the shitty bands from the unexciting and artistically retarded nu-metal scene, Linkin Park was the only one with more than minus-five original ideas to its name.
Essentially a pop band with heavy production and good epic choruses that you could sing along to when you were drunk in a heavy metal bar, their debut album ‘Hybrid Theory’ sold 13 million copies in under two years and made rock and roll stars of five straight edge middle class nerds with names like Chester.
Because of its massive commercial potential – and the fact that it’s not as good as the first one – the record company only let NME listen to ‘Meteora’ twice – once after being subjected to a highly exciting full body search and secondly at their offices while a muscle-bound member of the band’s shadowy management team The Firm waited outside with a briefcase, ready to fly the CD back to the states. Like… fucking chill out.
Discussing the recording process of ‘Meteora’, the band’s drummer Rob Bourdon told MTV that: “I think the most frustrated anyone got was when we were playing Xbox and I threw the controller on the ground” and that’s kind of the vibe you get from this record because while being as well-crafted, catchy and dynamic as the first one, it leaves you feeling distinctly underwhelmed, as if the band had simply reprogrammed the Pro-Tools machine that they’d made the first album on and changed the lyrics and speed of the songs a bit.
Easily the best song is the upbeat Police / Soft Cell / Depeche Mode hybrid ‘Breaking The Habit’ which features a ten piece string section conducted by Beck‘s dad, David Campbell. The track wouldn’t sound out of place on the soundtrack to one of those late ’80s John Hughes movies starring Molly Ringwald or Judd Nelson. It’s a welcome break from the usual LP formula of wicka wicka scratch, bad rapping and big chorus which dominates 80 per cent of the record.
But fuck it, LP could call this album ‘Hybrid Theory Part Two’ (Exactly The Same As The First One But A Bit Slower) and it’d still sell millions. Whether it’ll make them bigger than they already are is debatable though. Maybe that’s a good thing.