Linkin Park - Meteora

It's hard to tell exactly which band are the most hated in the world - Limp Bizkit or Linkin Park. Perhaps they're hated in equal measure. Somehow they managed to carve out a niche and gnawed into the heads of pop fans bored of the traditional set-ups and bought into the pre-pubescent angst. Unsurprisingly with a multi-billion pound record label their debut album "Hybrid Theory" went on to sell millions.

"Meteora" is the follow up and despite their protestations not much has changed in the Linkin Park camp. This album is essentially "Hybrid Theory - Part 2" and I'll be the first to admit they can't half talk a good game. What's worrying is that the sleeve notes to this album are actually a darn site more interesting than what we hear on the recorded versions. "Don't Stay" for example started out with a reggae vibe - why the hell did they end up mutating it back into the Nu-Metal blueprint. The single "Somewhere I Belong" had over 30 choruses written for it - why can't I actually remember the chorus 5 minutes after I finished playing the song.

It's the pure pop moments that really shine out. "Easier To Run" sounds like a lost Point Break single. "Faint" speeds the tempo up to 135 bpm and sounds like Oxide & Neutrino have taken over production duties with the sub-gothic string section looping in the background. "Breaking The Habit" show Linkin Park at their best with the guitars kept to a minimum and just allowing the melody to flow gently over a electro beat.

If Linkin Park played to their strengths and just came clean a proper pop band they could compete with anyone, but this teenage angst and Nu-Metal blueprint has just grown tired. Naturally the kids will lap it up, but can they really survive another 12 months in the ever-changing face of rock.

Alex McCann

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