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CD Reviews:  Linkin Park: Hybrid Theory

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Think 311 with a healthy dose of Rage Against the Machine and Limp Bizkit, and you've got Linkin Park pretty much nailed. On their debut album, Hybrid Theory, this explosive quintet from Southern California has produced a sound that, even with its similarities to bands like Rage, Limp Bizkit and P.O.D., somehow carves its own tidy niche in the rap-rock genre.

This 12-song collection kicks into high gear from track one, "Papercut," setting an intense tone for the rest of the album with lead vocalist Chester Bennington's strained voice flawlessly complementing the smooth rapping of emcee Mike Shinoda. In fact, these two work so well together that, unlike some other recent rap-rock albums, you'll be hard-pressed to find one misfire on Hybrid Theory. The first two singles, "Closer" and "In the End," are both conspicuous browbeaters that nonetheless only serve as brief introductions for this thoroughly remarkable disc. On their most mellow of moments, like "Points of Authority," "Runaway" and especially "A Place for My Head," Linkin Park sounds like a beefed-up 311 with funkified rap vocals and some catchy plucking from guitarist Brad Delson. But even on these "calmer" tracks, Bennington unleashes a few blistering tirades that would probably impress former Rage frontman Zack de la Rocha. "One Step Closer" may be the highlight of the album, with venomous vocals from Bennington that definitely have a de la Rocha feel, while "By Myself" and "Forgotten" also have plenty of appeal.

For those of you tired of hearing Fred Durst on the radio, this is an album you'll want to pick up. Sure, they aren't necessarily doing anything new on Hybrid Theory, but with a sound that's distinctly their own thanks to the lyrical chemistry between Bennington and Shinoda, Linkin Park has given fans an album that does the rap-rock thing even better than supposed pioneers like Limp Bizkit and the Deftones. 

~Jamey Codding : Feedback - Link to Us  - About B-E - FAQ - Advertise with Us

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