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English Composition I

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James Ross

English Composition I

MWF – 2:00
The teenage feelings of doubt, failed relationships, loneliness, periods of change and outward anger can all be compiled in to Linkin Park’s latest album, Meteora. In a long stretch of pop music sensations, Meteora brings a drink of refreshing rock. Linkin Park succeeds in proving their musical creditability in the shadows of such predecessors and mega-bands as Rage Against the Machine and Nine Inch Nails, in the Rock / Rap genre.

Meteora comes as an answer to the 2000 debut album, Hybrid Theory. The editing skills contained in this album are refined and energetic, providing each track with a much synthesized sound, which some how works. Instead of catchy choruses or pop tunes, Linkin Park uses background scratching, buzzing guitars and foot thumping drum beats to infer the musical hooks, in lieu of flat out lyrical ones.

Calling upon their teenage upbringing in the late 1990’s, Linkin Park uses video games, Japanese animation, and the hip-hop revolution to bring this sophomore album to life. Their gained experience is evident throughout the whole album, which comes in at just over 36 minutes. The question may be posed: Is it worth my money for such a short album? The answer comes very easily while listening to it, everything is punctual; there is no long drawn out experimental introductions, weird cut scenes that have no apparent purpose or ridiculous hidden tracks. Linkin Park left the music to the tracks, and the mere rhetoric to other sources.

Although Linkin Park is very refined, they are not revolutionary. Many of the hard guitar riffs, the screaming, and head-banging beats sound almost too close to the bands that actually pioneered these techniques, Korn and Limp Bizkit. However, Linkin Park incorporates somewhat of a blend of these pioneers, which includes some actual singing (often not found in metal music). This adds a much needed musical undertone to all of the anger displayed, allowing their songs to cross over to mainstream music listeners.

Many of the tracks on Meteora feature a similar musical song structure: A seemingly shy introduction, a sudden break of heaviness, a comprised and catchy verse, and a sustained heavy conclusion. Linkin Park may not display the composing complexity that other artists have, but that complexity is uncharacteristic of this music genre. Linkin Park’s simple song structure is not a downfall though, allowing the repetitive nature of their songs to subliminally sink in to a listeners head, instigating the desire to listen to it over.

Perhaps one of the most attractive aspects of the album is the use of DJ Joseph Hahn’s mixing and turntable skills. Arguably the most popular track on the album, “Numb,” provides an ideal example of Hahn’s influence leads to Linkin Parks unique sound. The introduction to the song was made entirely on electronic keyboard-like sound mixer controlled by Hahn, and without the turntable scratching, the song would sound empty.

Due to the wide appeal of Meteora, many critics have jumped to the conclusion that they have become “sold out,” or too commercialized, catering only to what will sell on MTV or control large amounts of radio play. However, it would be hard to make this statement due to the fact that Linkin Park has not changed their style of music since their initial release; This provides a fact of substance, that its not that they have changed due to their success, but this is actually who they are.

Linkin Park’s latest album is strong, showcasing their ability to make a wide-appeal album. Meteora successfully brought Linkin Park out of the one-hit wonder realm, and provided musical and editing credibility for them. Catchy tunes, rocking beats, and its short but sweet nature allows room for this album to be a “must” for any nu-metal fan. Four out of five stars.

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