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I know Jaz already has a post up about this, but I felt like posting my review of Linkin Park's new album, Meteora, here. ^_^
Artist: Linkin Park
Label: Warner Brothers
Tracklist: 1) Foreward*
2.) Don't Stay
3.) Somewhere I Belong
4.) Lying from You
5.) Hit the Floor
6.) Easier to Run
9.) Breaking the Habit
10.) From the Inside
11.) Nobody's Listening
12.) Session (Instrumental)
Review: Meteora is the second real album put out by Linkin Park (Reanimations was something of a stalling tactic while they tightened up Meteora), and is something of a growth for the band. Hybrid Theory was anything but; it had Cure for the Itch and Points of Authority, and a lot of screaming. Meteora has more; Joseph Hahn and Mike Shinoda get more space to insert their hip-hop influence on the songs. The sampled bits, like in Nobody's Listening, are a lost more noticeable, and much different. Foreward is a 13-second-long intro that basically segues into Don't Stay, and very well.
Don't Stay is like a tightened, better version of HT's Points of Authority, with some harsher screaming tossed in near the end. The Amazing Mr. Hahn shines here with some very well placed scratches, and Rob Bourdon's drumlines, though somewhat simple, are well-done and perfectly timed. Somewhere I Belong, the single of the album, is more than just a radio song itself; there's more emotion than any song designed at the behest of the record company's A&R guy (the one who always tells bands "Can you make us something that we can sell a lot?"). Lying from You, Faint, and Nobody's Listening all have some great loops and are ridiculously good. The vox layers on songs like Hit the Floor are impressive, offering a better feeling of the hybrid between thrash and rap than you got from Hybrid Theory. The instrumental song Session isn't much, really, but Numb, the final track, is quite possibly the best produced song. Hahn's solo (heh-heh, get it?) segues perfectly into the brief guitar part. In fact, Chester even proves that he can sing as well as scream. But as the song progresses, the sync between the loops, bass, guitar, and drums just reaches absolute perfection. Admittedly, Easier to Run sounds like a Hoobastank song gone wrong, the album as a whole is like Hybrid Theory, if Linkin Park had put more soul and more feeling into it.
If you listen to the quality of the recording, it's much better than Hybrid Theory; when all the tracks hit a climax, the master volume was prone to nearly dropping out, whereas Meteora shows a lot of hard work and dedication. The vocal layerings, the well-timed drumlines, the guitar parts, and the lyrics are all spectacular. Although the basslines are rather weak (often verging on unnoticeable), the supported, full sound of the two guitars together makes up for the weakness in general. It's a very good, but short album. However, before anybody starts to whine about the length (some 36 minutes and 41 seconds), it's an enhanced CD. It comes with a 17-minute video about Meteora (a formation of rocks in Greece upon which multiple monastaries were built), and the art of Meteora. The insert of the album shows page after page of graffiti designed by Linkin Park in a studio that was basically a slab of concrete and a bunch of spraypaint. Filler material? Maybe. But, short though it may be, the CD is very focused, and has something of a personal feeling to it.
I'll believe in anything if you'll just believe in anything
Although a lot of people have ripped on this CD, I think it was very well done. Tracks 2, 3, 7, 8, 11, and 13 are my personal favorites (Don't stay, Somewhere I Belong, Faint, Figure, Nobody's Listening, and Numb). I was disappointed by the instrumental, Session, because the instrumental in Hybrid Theory was pretty good. I wish they had combined Foreward into Don't Stay... Foreward is only 13 seconds, and it sounds like a natural beginning for Don't Stay. The extras on the CD aren't much; more music would have been better, but Meteora is an excellent 2nd album (Reanimation doesn't count) from a good band.
My rating: 4.5 stars out of 5 (A)
"It was not God who created man, but man who created God." --Santa Caserio