Hybrid Theory [Japan Bonus Tracks]

by: Linkin Park

Linkin Park originally called itself Hybrid Theory and has retained that phrase for the title of its debut album. The "hybrid" in question is the overly familiar one of rap and metal, to which the group has little new to add. The guitars and drums lock into standard thrash patterns, over which singer Chester Bennington and rapper Mike Shinoda alternate in furious expressions of rage and frustration. "One Step Closer," the track released to radio in advance of the album's release, is a typical effort, with lyrics like "Everything you say to me/Takes me one step closer to the edge/And I'm about to break." It might be easier to believe in all this angst if the group members didn't take such pains to thank their families in the lengthy acknowledgments in the CD booklet, followed by an extensive list of product endorsements. But even without the fine print to undermine its sincerity, Linkin Park sounds like a Johnny-come-lately to an already overdone musical style. [The Japanese import includes two bonus tracks: "My December" and "High Voltage."] ~ William Ruhlmann

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