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Linkin the tracks together is an art
on 3 January 2008
Hear me out on this one. Might not be entirely positive, but it's honest.
Linkin Park. Hybrid Theory. So much hype from so many quarters and up to now I have refrained from buying into what I felt was the pressure from the music industry to like pop rock. Stereotyped rock music sanitised for the populous which was kept to a basic recipe without too much deviation. I was pretty certain I'd find the album too samey, too safe, too commercialised.
So I brought it then.
Simply, I was kind of right. It is pretty commerical but it isn't that safe or middle of the road. I'll hold my hand up and say there are hi-lights and there are moments that made me think twice before branding them with my bland rock brush. The main issue with the album is the production of it, and in more ways than one.
Firstly, I find it over produced. Too much going on to appreciate the music. I could not tell you if the guitarist (or guitarists for that matter) are any good as they are drowned out in layer upon layer of riffs. Vocals are strong, but it is like a kid in a sweet shop who been sick from too much chocolate - there was no need for so many effects to distort what is obviously a good singing voice, too many effects (like the chocolate) spoilt it.
The sameness. It hit me after the album hi-light 'By Myself'. By this point I was doing ok. The early part of the album is ok, dips in quality dramatically (half saved by throwing in the single 'Crawling') before rising for the middle section with 'By Myself'. After that, I can't quite tell you if it was good or not. Got a bored, all sounded the same. If you like the music then this album is a sure fire winner, if you don't completely get into it then there is the risk you will end up gazing into the ether waiting to be inspired.
Track 11, Cure For The Itch sums it up completely with the name. It was just like I had an itch that was irritating me, not able to really neither concentrate nor enjoy the music as things had grown stale. This was like a soothing cream, erasing the boredom, re-lighting my concentration. Completely different, hiphop beat, general mess around - but it broke the album up. Unfortunately it was track 11 out of 12, any earlier would have enhanced the second half of the album tenfold. Instead it only made Pushing Me Away a pleasant track.
Just feel that Linkin also are not 100% sure of their own identity. Always hovering around a likeness to another artist, without every really nailing it before flitting off to experiment with another style.
So they missed a trick here with the album production, a poor start, bad placement of the wildcard track and grouping average songs around one or two killers. An album should be peaks and troughs, but there should be a natural order and flow that leads the listener through the journey, this seemed to chop and change too quickly. Add this to the distinct lack of variation and you get a patchy album that could have done much much better.
*** Like: Papa Roach, Limp Bizkit, Slipknot, Rage Against The Machine, Alien Ant Farm ***