Year 6, Day 32: Linkin Park – Hybrid Theory
- One Step Closer
- With You
- Points of Authority
- By Myself
- In the End
- A Place For My Head
- Cure for the Itch
- Pushing Me Away
About the Album
Hybrid Theory is the debut album from American rock band, Linkin Park. The album was recorded from March 2000 through July 2000 and released on October 24th 2000 through Warner Brother Records. The album peaked at number two on the Billboard 200 and is certified diamond by the Recording Industry Association of America with well over 11+ million albums sold in the United States of America alone. The album is ranked number eleven in Billboard‘s Top 200 albums of the decade (2000-2009). Single In the End peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100, number 1 on Billboard‘s Top Alternative Songs (Modern Rock), and number three on Billboard‘s Top Mainstream Rock Songs.
Thoughts on the Album
Man, it comes back to me… in the end. And in the end, it doesn’t even matter. Every once in a while, there comes a band or an album that changes and challenges the perceptions of a music genre.Now then, whether or not that band or album is original depends, but however, there are always bands that produce the same exact ideas that never make the mainstream. Now then, for a #ThrowbackThursday (#TBT), let us travel back in time to 2000. It’s the new millennium (technically a.k.a. mathematically speaking the year 2000 wasn’t, but let’s just go along with it) and the radio airwaves are a mess. Dominated by grunge, alternative rock, bubblegum/boy band pop, and rap, the airwaves are crowded. The clock had struck midnight and it was time for something new. Enter Linkin Park and the debut album Hybrid Theory.
Hybrid Theory blurred the lines of many genres, but no more than rap and rock, taking rock elements like guitars and drums and fusing them with a DJ and electronic beats. What we got was an album that landed at the right place and right time in music history and skyrocketed off the charts in meteoric fashion. The album itself is not just one of the top selling debut albums of all time, but top selling albums of the last decade (2000-2009). It was one of the first albums I ever owned and one the first albums my dad called “noise pollution”. One of the biggest things about Linkin Park is just how accessible they really are, steering away from most profanity. The single One Step Closer drove the band into the mainstream, showing off it’s metal chops with that unmistakable and unforgettable guitar riff in the introduction of the song. Then, the rap/hip hop elements enter help build the song into a climax where the band jams out as if it was just a regular rock band. The verses have an ebb-and-flow to them, building up then coming back down after the chorus. It’s the late Chester Bennington‘s screams that highlight the explosive chorus. A perfect song to choose as the lead single, showing off catchy guitar riffs and the clear screams of Bennington.
However, it is because of one song that this album had such a launch. The fourth single, In the End. It’s a slower tempo tune, but man oh man, is it awesome. That haunting piano introduction sets the tone with some sparse electronic elements mixed in for some flair before Bennington sings out…
It starts with one…
Mike Shinoda enters with rapping verses as electronic drum beats keep pace. But it’s the chorus where the song comes back into the rock realm when the live drums and power chords enter. That chorus though. It’s one of the best choruses I’ve ever heard. It’s one that I love to sing along to. It’s so damn infectious that I don’t even think a vaccine could prevent it from infecting you. It’s a track whose strength is being able to switch back and forth between the two realms of hip hop/rap and rock and roll.
Quick hits: Crawling is a hell of a song. Not on the same scale as One Step Closer or In the End, it still hit home. I’m one of those people that gets emotionally invested in the music I listen to. The instrumentals are strong and sharp and Bennington‘s vocals take the main stage. Papercut is the album opener and shows off the nu-metal, rap-metal, rap rock right off the band combining the guitar riffs with electronic elements. Here, Shinoda takes front and center on vocals with Bennington harmonizing.
Hybrid Theory is an atmospheric and ethereal album that is one of the greatest albums of the last decade. Hell, even most music critics and experts agree with that. But what Linkin Park did with Hybrid Theory, was they created an album that kids and teenagers could resonate with. An album that empowered an entire generation of pre-teens and teenagers. It’s an album that allowed kids and teens to know that what they are/were feeling, was okay. It allowed those kids and teens who were alienated to take solace in the creams and heavy power chords. And that my friends, may be the answer to why this album did so excellently and continues to do so.