LINKIN PARK

"Living Things" (Warner Bros.; 2012)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

I started writing this review in 2012, right after this disc came out (it's 2016 as I write this). I guess my draft box needs to be cleaned out more often (sorry about that, boss!). Linkin Park have been making music since the year 2000 when they unleashed "Hybrid Theory." This is their fifth studio disc. I loved their initial sound because it was new. I never did like the moniker of "Nu-Metal" but I understood it. I sort of lost touch with these guys. I know their sound evolved and they expanded their musical flavor but I didn't grow with them. I think their first two offerings were great and I'd revisit those before I would recommend "Living Things."

The music on this disc seems more dance and rap oriented. The production is incredible and I know that pulls in those who like this type of music. There is an edge to a few of the tracks but it doesn't rock like I remember them doing. In fact, I might not think this is Linkin Park were it not for the voice of Chester Bennington. The guitar has been replaced by a synthesizer, and that's okay, I'd just rather hear them rock but I'm just one guy with a keyboard so take it for what it is, a personal review.

Linkin Park: Chester Bennington - lead vocals; Mike Shinoda - vocals, rhythm guitar, keyboard, piano, synth, strings, horns; Brad Delson - lead guitar, backing vocals; Dave "Phoenix" Farrell - bass guitar, backing vocals; Joe Hahn - turntables, samples, backing vocals; Rob Bourdon - drums, percussion.

Follow the band at this site - http://www.linkinpark.com.

"Meteora" (Warner Bros.; 2003)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

I used to play “name that tune” with my friends, you probably did too, because it gave you a chance to boast about your musical ear. Ten seconds into a song and you had to correctly cite the heavy metal band or song; one miss and I called your girlfriend and told her you secretly listened to Wham! We were so brutal to each other. “Meteora” would stump a few listeners because it’s almost “Hybrid Theory” Part Two. On my media player, I play them consecutively, and I sometimes would be sweating that dreaded phone call. The music is great, no matter what CD it comes from, but there is a seamless connection between the two discs. If you put in on shuffle, I’d have to pass. 

This CD was released after they remixed “Hybrid Theory” and called it “Reanimation.” Clever marketing and, like a timeshare, both only satisfy for a while. The stepped back into the studio and it sounds like they picked up where they left off with their debut.  

Plus, this CD is short and not just on time. It's total run time is thirty-six minutes, but individual song length is short as well -- only six songs are longer than three minutes. I guess that’s okay, but if you have to borrow twenty bucks from your parents to get the CD, that short amount of time won’t even give them a chance to say, “Turn that music down!” It will be over before that happens.

But sometimes less is more and it does give you a chance to spin it a few times. So toss the coin of choice; either way, this disc is good. I just hope they don’t hit a wall with their sound because they've crafted such a stellar front; it would be too bad if they had to move to the back.

For more information, check out http://www.linkinpark.com.

"Hybrid Theory" (Warner Bros.; 2000)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

One thing you can say about Linkin Park, they've found what sells. You may not like them because they are called nu-metal, but that didn't stop the millions of people who listened to and liked what they heard. This is a great debut CD. It combines rap, metal, a little hip-hop, some dance and classic rock and it fits together so well that you would think that this band had evolved over years and this was their third or fourth album.

"Papercut" is the first song that starts this CD going and it lets you know right away that this thing has potential. This is the stuff that hits are made from. “One Step Closer” was the single that started the buzz for this LP.

There are many guitar assaults; in fact, it never really stops. Chester Bennington has an excellent voice, and you can sing along with him without tearing up your voice. Actually, you can sing along or rap along -- his style appeals to both vocal types -- and the band also has very good harmony together. Chester could sing pop and you'd never know the difference (don't tell him I said that). “Runaway” sounds like Bush, and rocks like Saliva.

“A Place for My Head” has a little 311 showing with the guitar during the vocal rap. The sonic assault comes in bursts and it is well placed. There are many layers to this song also; it deserves a couple of spins before you can hear everything. A little power metal at the end makes it crescendo out nicely.

The best tracks are “Papercut,” “One Step Closer,” “With You,” and “Pushing Me Away.”

Linkin Park: Chester Bennington - vocals; Rob Bourdon - drums and backing vocals; Brad Delson - guitar, bass and vocals; Joseph Hahn - records, sampling and backing vocals; Mike Shinoda - emcee, beats and sampling. 

For more information, check out http://www.linkinpark.com

P.S.: In his review of "Hybrid Theory," Snidermann said: I heard a rumor that the band's name is actually "Hybrid Theory" and the CD's title is "Linkin Park" - but the band decided to swap the two so they'd be next to Limp Bizkit at the record store. Don't know if it's true or not but - either way - it's pretty clever.

However, according to All Music Guide: The band was first known as Xero, then Hybrid Theory, but changed their name to Linkin Park when singer Chester Bennington joined them in 1999. Taking a piece from their past, they named the first album, "Hybrid Theory."

"Hybrid Theory" (Warner Bros.; 2000)

Reviewed by Snidermann

What a totally awesome surprise I got when my niece Sarah introduced me to Linkin Park and their CD "Hybrid Theory." Permit me to backtrack a bit; a Linkin Park is featured on the excellent soundtrack for the Wes Craven horror film, "Dracula 2000" (see the movie, it's absolutely incredible). So when Sarah bought "Hybrid Theory," I remembered the band's tune on the soundtrack and yet I was wholly unprepared for what I heard on "Hybrid Theory."

For one thing, Linkin Park is by far the closest to the very cutting edge of the metal/rap genre. Forget Rage Against The Machine or Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park is poised to take over the reins of metal/rap. Mark my words, this band is going to be big and I mean BIG. 

What impressed me most about this recording is the total integration of hard rock, metal, techno and rap music. It's not metal with rap vocals and it's not rap with metal music. It's exactly what its title says: a hybrid. And a damn effective one.

Linkin Park is: Chester Bennington - vocals; Rob Bourdon - drums and backing vocals; Brad Delson - guitar, bass and vocals; Joseph Hahn - records, sampling and backing vocals; Mike Shinoda - emcee, beats and sampling. 

Post Script: I heard a rumor that the band's name is actually "Hybrid Theory" and the CD's title is "Linkin Park" - but the band decided to swap the two so they'd be next to Limp Bizkit at the record store. Don't know if it's true or not but - either way - it's pretty clever.

For more information, check out http://www.linkinpark.com.

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

 

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Revised: 12 Feb 2017 13:05:52 -0500 .