As I have stated many different times before, I am always looking for different albums to cover that I enjoyed for the album of the week post. The other week, I went to my local shop and I picked up a special edition of Metal Hammer Magazine as it was their 100 Greatest Albums Of The 21ST Century. It made me curious only because the century is only about 16/17 years old now and what albums would make the list. Some of the bands and the albums that were picked may leave you confused as to why they were placed where they were, but that is the beauty of a list. The number 10 album on the list was the debut album by Californian rap/metal outfit Linkin Park in Hybrid Theory. The band was unique because it contained a singer in Chester Bennington, a MC in Mike Shinoda, a DJ in Joe Hahn, Brad Delson on Guitars and Bass, and Rob Bourdon on Drums. Nu Metal was coming in at an all time high and Linkin Park was that band that when this album was released it just blew up. The album debuted at number 16, but peaked at number two on The Billboard Top 200 Charts, number one on the UK Rock & Metal Albums Charts, number four on the UK Charts, Number one in New Zealand, and it reached number two in Australia, Austria, Germany, and Italy as well as going three in Belgium. To date the album has reached Diamond Status by selling over 11 Million albums in the US.
1. Papercut– The track features the signature sound that we would get used to from Linking Park where it starts with the turntables and then right into these powerful guitar chords and then it calms down for a verse from Shinoda right before Bennington takes over for the chorurs. 4.5/5
2. One Step Closer– The single that started it all for the band with the typical sound I described above, but with Bennington handling vocals. Cool story though, producer Don Gilmore inspired the words to the chorus after making Bennington do take after take. It was with that frustration that he came up with the chorus. 5/5
3. With You– This is a cool track that has a little more of the turntables incorporated into it’s sound and it has those big power chord riffs in a track that talks about relationships and the emotional attachments involved. 4.5/5
4. Points Of Authority– a real driving track with the power chords that talks about child abuse. 4/5
5. Crawling– One of my favorite tracks on the album that is different than any of the other ones, but still packs that serious punch which is once again about child abuse. Bennington was a very angry young man with a lot of baggage. 5/5
6. Runaway– It has that punch in the beginning and chorus, but it’s all bass during the verses. It’s one of those songs I feel about being young and out in the world. You’re still trying to figure out just who you are. 4/5
7. By Myself– a track about someone who just never seems to have the luck where everything just goes wrong. No matter what he does. It features rapping from Shinoda with Bennington singing the chorus. 4/5
8. In The End– This is my favorite track on the album that starts with the piano beat on a loop in the beginning with Shinoda rapping the verses with Bennington singing in the background before he screams out in the chorus. 5/5
9. A Place for My Head– The track has a cool guitar riff in the beginning which continues all the way through with a monster bass riff in a track that’s all about cutting the BS out and being one with another. 4.5/5
10. Forgotten– A track that starts off charging before the tempo slows down for the verse before picking up again for the chorus about forgotten love. 4/5
11. Cure for the Itch- A song in which Joe Hahn gets to shine with his turntable skills. 4/5
12. Pushing Me Away– The last track on the album that explores those relationships that you know are over, but the couple is still trying to hold on to something. This is a great track on the album that brings us back to the style of Crawling or In The End. 5/5
My Final Thoughts– This was Linkin Park’s biggest album and the one that sent them into fame and fortune. They have released stellar albums after this, but this is the one that started it all. They were hungry and you can tell in the music. I remember when I saw this album for the first time, I was in college and we were invited to a listening party to it in NYC. Sadly we never made it to NYC, but we enjoyed the hell out of this album. I am going to give the album 4.7 stars out of five for a final grade.