Linkin Park exploded on the scene with their debut album Hybrid Theory (Reprise Records), immediately becoming a chart topping leader of a new generation of fans. After a tour consulate with their sales and success, the stakes were impossibly high for the sequel. The true meaning of success as a popular act is making another album as good as the first, as well as more sales. Many bands fail at this, but Linkin Park rose to the occasion on 2003’s Meteora.
The band spent nearly a year workshoppibg 80 song ideas with producer Don Gilmore. Songs that they had amassed on several world tours. The result of the wealth of ideas was a willingness from the band members to push each other and perfect the tracks so everyone in the band could be happy with them.
While they didn’t break much new ground artistically, the made an album of fire rap-rock songs. The record had five singles, including some of their signature songs such as “Faint” and “Numb.” The rock cuts rocked harder, and the Hip-Hop influences were much more pronounced than on the debut. There are also some quality deep cuts showing off the chops of the band, such as “From the Inside” or the instrumental “Session” which might be a nod to 1990s hit movies like Fight Club and The Matrix.
While every member of the group brought their A-game, you have to shout out the blend of vocals from the late Chester Bennington and Mike Shinoda. The alternating rap verses with sweeping chorus parts were just made for the early aughts playlists and MTV’s TRL crowd. Chester also screamed his guts out on a lot of tracks, which showed growth from him. Credit also to DJ Joe Hahn as this is one of his best efforts.
Thematically, the album delves deeper into insecurity, loneliness, anxiety, ennui, and coming back from the abyss within and existentially. One of the reasons that Nu-Metal resonates hard with fans is it has the groove and swag of rap, but a lot more real, raw emotions than many other bands.
Meteora cemented LP as a leader, not a follower in their genre. They surpassed their heros in Korn and Limp Bizkit in just a few years.
Buy the Meteora 20 anniversary edition here:
Linkin Park Shares Their New Song and Music Video – Lost from The Upcoming Meteora 20th Anniversary Bosxed Set
WORDS BY KEEFY