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We are treated to de rigeur vocal gymnastics from Chester Bennington and crunching nu-metal riffs from his band mates. But Meteora is curiously lacking in soul
Phil Udell, 10 Apr 2003
How things have changed. When Linkin Park first appeared on the scene, the world couldn’t get enough of angry young white men with loud guitars and a hip-hop fixation. Three years and fourteen million album sales later, the hard work may have been done but Meteora still finds itself emerging into a less forgiving musical climate.
If Linkin Park have been feeling the pressure, however, their second album hides the fact very well. Why get paranoid when you can just revisit the territory explored to such startling effect on Hybrid Theory and watch those dollars roll in? Not that it would matter a jot that this is the blueprint-as-before if the band had come up with another set of songs to match ‘Papercut’, ‘In The End’, ‘One Step Closer’ et al. but there is nothing here to match the killer tracks from their all conquering debut.
We are treated to de rigeur vocal gymnastics from Chester Bennington and crunching nu-metal riffs from his band mates (one of whom, the bassist formerly known as Dave, has taken to calling himself Phoenix. Odd). But Meteora is curiously lacking in soul, a result perhaps of being pieced together in different studios at different times. Indeed, the sleeve notes boast that the majority of the band didn’t even hear the final version of ‘Figure.09’ until the album was finished.
Just once, you wish that they’d show a crack in the armour, and sound as if this was happening in real time – but it’s not.
It isn’t all doom and gloom – ‘Faint’ and ‘Breaking The Habit’ are impressive. However, with the big short-trousered brigade having fallen so spectacularly out of fashion, Linkin Park needed to make a record that set them far beyond any passing fads.
Meteora really isn’t it.