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Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Meteora, the second studio album from Linkin Park.
In green is my opinion. I grew up listening to this album as well as Hybrid Theory and Minutes to Midnight. I am very familiar with LP’s sound.
In blue is my cousin Robert’s opinion. He too has grown up listening to Linkin Park.
Let’s start our track-by-track review.
(Meteora begins with a 13 second track of metal-working noises titled Foreword. There was no need to review it.)
Don’t Stay introduces each member of the band save for Shinoda, giving us a taste of nearly each sound that is present on the album. Turntables, heavy electric guitar, screaming, and moments of quiet(er) are all part of the opening track to Meteora. Although rap isn’t present, Don’t Stay is an accurate representation of Linkin Park. It essentially segues Hybrid Theory into Meteora, promising some new tricks yet also assuring fans that the old sound is still prevalent. Overall, it serves as a solid first track.
Don’t Stay is a great way to introduce someone to the nu-metal sound of Linkin Park. It contains Chester’s great scream, in your face vocals, hard-hitting riffs, and, of course, the electronic noises that only Linkin Park can make enjoyable to my ears. It sets up the tone for the rest of the album, which is what every intro track should do.
Somewhere I Belong
The intimate guitar and complementary scratches at the beginning of Somewhere I Belong latch you onto the track and strap you in for the ride. The song explodes soon after it begins. Vocal collaboration between Shinoda and Chester is spot-on, resulting in relaxed moments that are much more preferable to the loud and lyrically corny chorus. Somewhere I Belong is a solid song that could have done with less chorus and more easy vibes from Shinoda and a calm Chester.
Somewhere I Belong is the first song on the album that re-introduces us to the rap/rock combo that made us fall in love with Linkin Park. Mike’s raps along with Chester’s voice, which can be melodic when he is not screaming, is a match made in heaven, and this song showcases that well. It is amazing how well Linkin Park pulls of this rare combo that usually sounds terrible, and the metal sound is always a nice touch.
Lying from You
Lying from You is one of the best tracks off of Meteora. The tight, tense verses guided by Shinoda’s rap mesh well with the heavy chorus dominated by Chester’s scream. The climax at the end of the song is unforgettable, as it is a sufficient combination of all the elements that make this track great. Lying from You is an excellent song that packs a punch despite its short length.
This song smacks you right in the face with guitar 12 seconds into it, and it blows your ear drums away. This is another rap-heavy song with classic Chester taking over the chorus with the help of the hard-hitting drums and guitar. What is really cool about this song is the key change that occurs two minutes into it. If you do not love loud instruments or screaming vocals then this song is clearly not for you. If you love the heavy sound and intense vocals then you will fall in love with Lying From You right away.
Hit the Floor
Hit the Floor is a weighty song that is merciless. Chester’s chorus is the highlight of the song. He’s pissed. Shinoda’s verses, however, seem like filler. They essentially act as little pauses to allow Chester to catch his breath. They lacked punch and lyrical complexity, and so they didn’t add much to the song. Hit the Floor’s chorus is solid, as it usually is with Linkin Park, but the song is bogged down by the lackluster verses.
Hit The Floor is Chester’s screaming in all of its glory. I’m not a fan of the rapping in this song, but Chester’s screaming makes me want to headbang as much as I can. Honestly, the screaming is the only good part of this song, which is a shame, but if you need to shut someone up, play this song at max volume right in the person’s ear.
Easier to Run
Easier to Run is a slower song by Linkin Park standards. Mike Shinoda’s easy rap along with Chester’s soft vocals work in unison to build up to a melodic chorus that is a success. Many songs from this album have a slight layer of cheese due to the sometimes overly simplistic lyrics, but Easier to Run does not suffer from the excess of corn. It seems that the guys actually connect with the words. Easier to Run is a splendid track.
The beginning of this song sounds like another Linkin Park song, Pushing Me Away, and it showcases the more melodic side of the band. If you carefully listen to the lyrics and understand the message, you may be surprised. I am in love with this song because it is not crazy heavy, it has a great meaning, and it is even a little sad. Easier To Run is very deep, and it is different compared to the other songs on the album.
This string-based track is a nice change of pace from the electric guitar-centric songs that Linkin Park is accustomed to creating. It’s a quickie that ends with screaming that is heavy even for Linkin Park. Faint would serve as a great show opener.
Man, you have got to love that intro! Anyway, Faint is classic Linkin Park in every way, as it contains awesome rap with instruments in the back, Chester’s voice, and that hard sound we all love. Sure, the song may be repetitive, but that bridge makes you want to get all of that anger out of you. Faint is just another great heavy song from the band, and if you do not like it then why the heck are you reading this review in the first place?
Figure .09 a catchy song. Most of the tracks from Meteora have a great hook, but Figure .09 is definitely the best example of a memorable Linkin Park melody. A fine song.
Once again, Chester’s singing being complimented by Mike’s rapping is awesome, and this is another song that displays that well. I just love how every bridge on this album is heavy. Figure .09 is a good song to rock out to.
Breaking the Habit
I wish Chester sang like this more often. His yelling is enjoyable when it is used in the correct moment, but I much prefer this quiet style. Breaking the Habit displays the duality and range that Chester has going for him. Although the softer singing is dominant in this instance, it also showcases his vocally angrier side. This guy has two singing voices, and it’s an interesting, impressive thing, as both are solid and neither are gimmicky. The lyrics to this song are strong, and the music complements them well. Breaking the Habit is a fantastic song that puts Linkin Park in a very positive light.
Where do I begin with this song? If you ask anybody to name a Linkin Park song, this song would likely be one of the first people remember. It is not heavy at all, has no rap, and it’s not crazy loud. Breaking The Habit just shows how wonderful and powerful Chester’s voice is without all of that screaming. Even a guy like me who loves heavier music takes a liking to this song. Chester’s voice is not the only great part about this song. The drums are great, and I love the guitar in this song. When I do eventually learn guitar, I would love to learn this song because of how simplistic yet fun the guitar sounds.
From the Inside
From the Inside’s chorus is smooth as butter. It is a melodic feat that is memorable long after you hear it. Shinoda’s volume is noticeably lower than Chester’s, which adds more emphasis on the well-flowing chorus. I would like to hear an acoustic rendition of this song. That would be awesome.
From the Inside is another deep song from the band, and it sounds great as usual. I love the piano in the song. It gives the song a depressing sound. Chester’s voice lets us know that he’s pissed off at something, which makes sense since he had a lot of problems in his younger days.
I admire Linkin Park songs in which they put their signature guitar-driven style on hold and experiment with new sounds. Nobody’s Listening is exactly why. It’s essentially a hip-hop song that remains within the definitive Linkin Park genre. The flute guides the song in the right direction, and Shinoda rolls with the experimental Japanese sound. Nobody’s Listening is a fun, high-energy song that is a success.
Hello everybody, welcome to Ancient Japan. The classic Japanese sound present in this track pairs up well with Mike’s vocals. I honestly love this song because of the fact that it has music that makes you think you are in some Japanese conquest. Nobody’s Listening is a great way to show how creative LP can be.
Session is a quick instrumental track that is an interesting addition to the album. There is nothing to complain about when it comes to this song, as it is a nice change of pace that is easy to listen to, but it isn’t as exciting as some other instrumental tracks that come from other artists. Regardless, I dig Session.
I really do not think a song can have as many layers to it as Session does. It is a really cool instrumental song that shows once again how creative Linkin Park can be. I can make a list of 101 places this song could appear in. Session is pure genius, and it reminds me of what Metallica does with their instrumental songs, though it is on a much smaller scale.
Numb is excellent both lyrically and musically. It defines Linkin Park. If you don’t enjoy this track, then Meteora isn’t the album for you, as it sums up this album’s sound in a concise way. Numb is a great ending to a great album.
Numb is the definitive Linkin Park song in almost every way. Sure, it may not include rap, but the way in which all of the instruments come together is great. This song is why many people became fans of Linkin Park, and this album is LP in their prime. It is really a shame that they changed their sound, and I fear they will never be the same. This album is a gem, and we will never get another one like it. This is the good old Linkin Park, and this is the LP that my family, my friends, all the Linkin Park fans minus the newbies, and I will remember and love forever. Thank you all for reading another review.
My Top 3
Lying from You
Breaking the Habit
Robby’s Top 3
Breaking the Habit
Easier to Run
Meteora is an excellent follow-up to Hybrid Theory. Every track is solid, and while some songs are more complex than others, they are all enjoyable. Meteora is a filling and satisfying T-Bone. If you haven’t heard this album before, give it a listen. It’s a heavy experience that is worth your time. Thanks again to Robert for giving his insightful opinions.