Linkin Park - Hybrid Theory review


111 users:
Band: Linkin Park
Album: Hybrid Theory
Release date: October 2000

01. Papercut
02. One Step Closer
03. With You
04. Points Of Authority
05. Crawling
06. Runaway
07. By Myself
08. In The End
09. A Place For My Head
10. Forgotten
11. Cure For The Itch
12. Pushing Me Away
13. My December [iTunes bonus]
14. High Voltage [iTunes bonus]
15. Papercut [Live BBC1] [iTunes bonus]

For better or worse, Hybrid Theory is probably the defining album of the 21st century thus far. Storming out of the gate and creating an album that would be the blueprint for scores of bands that followed in their wake, Linkin Park was like a meteor hitting the music scene in 2000. Some twenty years later the album still resonates across the musical landscape of metal, and regardless of feelings towards the album, you can't deny its success.

The band jumps right into their version of rap/nu-metal with "Papercut" and lead you through a collection of tracks that would breathe new life into the genre and serve to shape its future moving forward, with the band combining elements from Deftones and P.O.D. with a melange of other influences rearing their heads throughout. Is it the most original sound? No, for the most part this album does sound like your atypical nu-metal band; however, it's what the band do with the sound that separates them from their peers. Tracks like "One Step Closer" and "In The End" blend the sounds and angst of nu-metal and create songs that are tight and infectious without you noticing that you are humming the songs long after they've ended.

The band's strengths are as a collective rather than individual performances, with only Hahn and Shinoda being able to separate themselves from the unit the songs are. Much of the guitar, bass and drum work is paint-by-numbers nu-metal; what makes this work though is that how this is utilized in the song, creating the shapes of tracks whilst allowing others to add elements that make them unique.

"Cure For The Itch" is a good musicial collage that serves to create breathing space and refresh the listener after what was several tracks of middling nu metal. It is the only track that highlights the skills of a member of the band, with Hahn and Shinoda being let loose to make a pleasurable detour.

Nostalgia's rose-tinted glasses obscures and hides much of the flaws of Hybrid Theory that have really come to light in the years since the album's release. That said, there is plenty here that is well remembered for good reason; tracks like "One Step Closer" and "Points Of Authority" are as strong as they were twenty years ago. Bennington's vocals blend the angst of the genre while letting him prove what an ample vocalist he was, not falling into the hole of monotonous angst peddler that blighted much of the genre.

While revisiting the album in 2020 does dim the bright light that shines on this album, it still has its moments that explain how and why this album got to occupy the position in history that it has. Like a time capsule, it is a collection of items that have seen better days but a collection of items that once were cutting edge and revered at the time.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 6
Production: 9

Written by omne metallum | 08.05.2020


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

Hits total: 152 | This month: 152