Browsing Tag
linkin park

Maybe if the climate in the music industry was different LinkinPark’s departure from their tried and true rap-rock sound would come through better. Maybe if fans were more akin to such a drastic change in style, and an almost abandonment of what made them great in the beginning Minutes to Midnight would be welcomed with open arms by the legions of fans who made Hybrid Theory one of the biggest albums of the last 10 years. Instead LinkinPark’s ballad-laden, political outcry is neither welcome nor accepted and this eagerly awaited album falls upon disappointed ears.

There’s such a change from Hybrid Theory and its continuation into Meteora that the sound we’d come to universally charge to LinkinPark is gone. Left by the wayside is back-up vocalist and lead rapper Mike Shinoda who is negated to two tracks on the new disc, each really lacking the punch you’d come to expect from such an explosive rock group.

Truth be told, Midnight is a slow trotting, ballad-riddled mess with no consistency between tracks, no flow. As you break out of the high-intensity “Given Up“; you go back and forth between Shinoda rapping, the pre-packed single “What I’ve Done“; and lead vocalist Chester Bennington’s screeching emo-ballads as the album gets stuck in second gear, barely able to make it up to any speed you’d attribute to Linkin Park, like an engine half rebuilt which runs, just not firing as hard, or as intense as you’d like.

Its seems ironic now that the critical plague cast upon Meteora was the fact that it sounded too much like Theory only to have the different sound of Midnight and the longing for more of the same be the ultimate undoing of this new outing. There’s so much the fans want to see in this new album only to be thoroughly disappointed by what feels like an entry waiting to get going and ends before it really can. Even true fans of the band will see the faults in this new release, and one can only hope that LinkinPark’s inevitable follow-up will return them to their tried-and-true roots and leave the sorrow behind.

Most bands would wait until they release three or four albums and then they make a remix CD, but that’s not the case with Linkin Park who released one after a year after their multi-platinum debut, Hybrid Theory, and once again they bring us the finest of the crop.

While Reanimation has remixes of all of the songs from Hybrid Theory, it also includes new songs and remixes, plus some short phone calls (“Chali“;, “Riff Raff“;, “Stef“;), and an opening and a very short interlude called “NTR/MSSION.“;

My favorite song has to be the remix of “One Step Closer“;, it is now over five minutes long, and begins slowly and quietly and at the becomes a bit louder and at the end gets back to the original song’s sound, it also features Jonathan Davis, the vocalist of the band KoRn.

The remix of “Points of Authority“; is excellent, it is even better than the original, and it has a new electronic and techno sound. “X-Ecutioner Style“; is a mixture of elements from both the original “One Step Closer“; and “Forgotten“; with a lot of mixing and featuring the rapper Black Thought. The remix of “Forgotten“; is a cool song that was originally heavy and loud, but here it became slower and darker with a lot of hip-hop elements in it and featuring Chali 2na.

The In the End“; remix is a hip-hop song that fails to live up to the Hybrid Theory version, but the teaming of Mike Shinoda, Chester Bennington and Motion Man made this song fun to both who like rock and rap.

There are also remixes of “High Voltage“; and “My December“; that were originally released on the Japanese Hybrid Theory CD. “High Voltage“; became now faster and better, and features both Pharoahe Monch and DJ Babu, while “My December“; is still the same quiet song but with faster music and lovely voice of Kelli Ali.

Most people would call Reanimation a rap remix album of Hybrid Theory, but I disagree, even though the CD is more rap-oriented, it still has plenty of screaming and hard guitar riffs, making it an alternative metal album. If you liked Hybrid Theory, I can’t see any convincing reason on why you won’t like Reanimation.

Hardcore hip-hop mixed with heavy metal and strong electronic music, if this sounds crazy, get ready to be blown away, Linkin Park is here and they are heavily armed with Hybrid Theory (which was the band’s first name), one of the best rap/rock albums in years.

The CD begins with “Papercut“, my third favorite track on the album, it’s kind of fast with a lot of rapping in it before vocalist Chester Bennington begins singing ‘The sun/goes down‘ at the end. My second favorite is “One Step Closer” (the band’s breakout single) which is a lot louder than “Papercut“, it’s cool hearing Mike Shinoda and Chester screaming at each other ‘Everything you say to me/takes me one step closer to the edge/and I’m about to break‘, but the main reason that I liked this song must be because of the lyrics, especially when Chester screams ‘Shut up when I’m talking to you‘.

And now for my number one song: “Points of Authority“, which is about people who think that they can control other people. I also liked Shinoda’s rap intro and the instrumental part at the end.

Of course there are other excellent tracks on this album, such as “In The End“, which is a combination of Shinoda’s rapping skills and Chester’s low and loud vocals, making this song something all rock fans should listen to.

Another great thing about this album is the angry lyrics and vocals, for example, the beginning of “Forgotten” and ‘Go away go/try to take the best of me‘ in “A Place For My Head“. But sometimes there are no vocals, you ask why, so that they can make “Cure For The Itch” a song made by Joseph Hahn’s DJ-ing skills and his knowledge of turntables, making this a quiet and special song in an album full of strong guitar riffs and angry vocals.

However, this album is too short, and although this hardly affects its quality, with an amazing and wonderful CD like this people would like to hear a bit it more. Still, making fewer tracks means that Linkin Park can focus more on how well their album will sound instead of how long they can make it.

Finally, I’d like to say that Linkin park not only made us a great album, but also one that would be a bit hard to top, so if you want to hear something different from the usual rock music you always hear then you positively must have Hybrid Theory.

What would happen if Linkin Park, who are at the top of their genre, teamed up with rap giant Jay-Z to make an album? The answer would be Collision Course. And now that the album is finally here, the other question should be: Is it worth it? Well I’m going to try to answer that.

The album, which consists of six tracks, begins with “Dirt Off Your Shoulder/Lying From You,”; which is a nice track, the two songs work great with each other, and it begins with MC Mike Shinoda and vocalist Chester Bennington singing and then Jay-Z rapping, and at the end an exchange of rapping and screaming between Mike and Chester.

The next song, “Big Pimpin’/Papercut,”; is the worst track on the album; LP’s “Papercut“; and “Jay’s Big Pimpin’“; just don’t blend in with each other. Also, Chester doesn’t sing in this song, and it seems that Brad Delson (the guitarist) and Phoenix (the bassist) are absent too, making this song awfully mixed, it’s like cooking eggs with apples, seriously.

The third track is “Jigga What/Faint“; which is surprisingly a decent song; it begins slowly with Jay’s “Jigga What“; and then bursts to life with LP’s “Faint“;. It’s really cool hearing Jay-Z rapping over “Faint“;, which is one of Linkin Park’s fastest songs.

Tracks four and five, which are “Numb/Encore“; and “Izzo/In The End“; are just lame, it’s sad because “Numb“; and “In The End“; were essential listening for rock fans, and the same goes to “Encore“; for rap fans. These two songs also suffer from the same problems that made “Big Pimpin’/Papercut“; such a bad song, I mean, come on, they’ve already messed one song, did they have to mess another two.

The sixth and last track is “Points of Authority/99 Problems/One Step Closer,”; which not only is it the best song on the whole CD, but it also seems that the three songs which make it were meant to be together. Its fun hearing Shinoda and Jay-Z rapping the lyrics of “99 Problems“; over the music of “Points of Authority“; and “One Step Closer“; before Chester begins screaming Shut up and Everything you say to me. It’s only sad that the other tracks couldn’t have been like this.

In the end, I’d like to say that I wouldn’t recommend this disc to anyone but the hardcore fans who are into BOTH ARTISTS, but even so, there will be some disappointments (I am a huge Linkin Park fan and after hearing this CD I was left feeling shallow). Also, I’d like to point out that all of the songs on this album are not better than the originals, and they have nothing new to give us at all.

Linkin Park stormed into the music scene in 2000 with their breakout hit “One Step Closer” which was played on so many different radio stations, and so very much that it quickly became a staple rock song for our generation while wearing out it’s welcome rather quickly. Hybrid Theory, Linkin Park’s commercial debut album sung of singles. Nearly every track was radio ready with excellent, catchy vibes, good beats, and the possibility of shooting the group higher into stardom.

Following the immense success of Hybrid Theory, LP released a disc of remix tracks, akin to Gravity Kill’s Manipulated, which has prominent DJs in the music industry remixing a few select Hybrid Theory tracks and giving them a new lease on life. The experiment was a complete success as Reanimation, the disc’s name, featured some amazingly well produced cuts of fan’s favorite tracks.

Linkin Park now steps up to the plate with their latest release, Meteora, and while the disc has its problems, it is new music from a group that three years ago hardly anyone had even heard of, and it sounds great.

Meteora starts out with the faceless prerequisite of an intro track that shouldn’t really be a track at all. Composed of nothing more than some ominous sounds and scratching these types of stunts seem to be done by producers to up the track number on an otherwise lacking album. While this isn’t the case here, such filler material, let it be known, is not welcome by most fans.

Linkin Park is bringing a lot to the table with Meteora as they attempt to break away from the sophomore curse that has plagued so many bands. But like Godsmack and Papa Roach before them, LP manages, again, to rise up against these preconceptions and deliver a likable record that shines with production values, while simultaneously screaming corporate lamb.

In “Breaking the Habit” Chester Bennington’s feel good lyrics, which try to hammer the song to a greater meaning feel out of place on an album with the amazing “Session,” and the breakout hit “Somewhere I Belong” which many may mistake for “One Step Closer 2.” As a whole the rap side of rock/rap is handled very well by vocalist Mike Shinoda and DJ Mr. Hahn does an excellent job of scratching and mixing each track in a memorable way, but your memory may become cloudy at time.

Meteora is not immune from the “sound alike” curse which plagues most bands. Usually they sound too much like themselves on follow-up CDs to their breakout and are ripped by critics, bands who try to reinvent are called sell-outs, so rather than a sudden change, or a progressive one, Linkin Park opted to keep things constant which makes Meteora merely an extension of Hybrid Theory rather than a full blown follow-up. But not everything is more of the same. The excellent use of Japanese flutes invigorates several tracks on the album giving them a distinctive sound in a pool of sound-alikes.

Obvious high production values, excellent videos, and a full color pull out booklet aren’t enough to hide a record that sounds, well, sounds like Linkin Park and while the ultimate lack of originality on some tracks may hinder the belief that these guys are capable of staying around as long as Trent Reznor or The Offspring when something sounds this good it doesn’t really matter if you have heard it before.