Californian sextet Linkin Park simultaneously took inspiration from and expanded upon the hybrid of heavy rock, hip-hop, and electronics that made such bands as Korn and Limp Bizkit so successful at the tail end of the 1990s. The band's 2000 debut HYBRID THEORY racked up both album sales and Grammy nominations, and won a widespread audience for Linkin Park's combination of hard rock guitar, turntablism, and rap, while neatly avoiding disparaging comparisons to the aforementioned rap-rock outfits. In 2004 they took their status as rap-rock kingpins to its logical summit and collaborated with Jay-Z for the album COLLISION COURSE, which debuted at number one. They have been scoring awards and soaring up the charts with consistency ever since, while still allowing room for growth and experimentation as a band.
Track: 9: A Place For My Head Media Type: CD Artist: LINKIN PARK Title: HYBRID THEORY Street Release Date: 10/24/2000 Domestic Genre: ROCK/POP
It may be too cynical to assume Hybrid Theory changed its name to Linkin Park in order to appear right next to Limp Bizkit in your local record bin. But rock-rap workouts like "One Step Closer" and "Papercut" do make Linkin Park a comfortable fit with Fred Durst and his ilk. Producer Don Gilmore (Pearl Jam, Lit, Eve 6) and twin vocal threats Chester Bennington and Mike Shinoda serve up industrial-strength rap and rock melodicism with equal aplomb on this woulda-been-self-titled debut effort. "Points of Authority" aims to sound like Trent Reznor wanking it up with Lars and company, whereas guitarist Brad Delson's Edge-y harmonics help "In the End" and "Pushing Me Away" evoke a dark romanticism akin to A Perfect Circle. Curiously, the band gets by with no bass player, while sample-happy DJ Joseph Hahn's step into the spotlight on the instrumental "Cure for the Itch" suggests a potential for eclecticism that could help Linkin Park outlive its seemingly transient genre. --Bill Forman
If You Enjoy "Hybrid Theory (CD)", May We Also Recommend: