Album review: ‘Meteora’ Linkin Park, 2003.

Chester Bennington leaves his mark on Linkin Park’s best release

COLE QUINN, Evergreen Sports Photographer

Score: 7.5/10

Recently, Linkin Park dropped a new single titled “Lost.” The band released the track to announce the upcoming 20th-anniversary edition of their 2003 album “Meteora.”

The album contains a lot of singles most middle-schoolers in the United States grew up alongside. To commemorate the anniversary, I thought it would be appropriate to review the 2003 classic.

“Meteora” was Linkin Park’s sophomore release after their debut “Hybrid Theory.” While their first record supplied a couple of hits, the band’s debut sounded incomplete. Songs like “In The End” didn’t really age well, sounding more like a time capsule to the nu-metal scene instead of a song that can stay relevant through time.

However, “Meteora” was able to bring that sense of timelessness to a lot of tracks compared to “Hybrid Theory.”

Vocalist Chester Bennington’s lyrics reflected his inner struggle with depression more emotionally, a struggle that would ultimately lead to his suicide in 2017. The band’s sophomore release sounds like a deep dive into the psyche of Bennington’s deteriorating mental health.

The song “Breaking the Habit” is the most effective of the emotional tracks on this album. The song is absent of distorted guitars, opting for a more somber tone. While the band’s other vocalist Mike Shinoda wrote the track, Bennington connected with the song on a deeper level. Bennington could not even perform the song as often since it made him too emotional.

The song “Numb” is by far the biggest song Linkin Park ever released. The song takes a  heavier dive into Bennington’s struggles. The track takes an emotional look on at Bennington’s struggles to be himself instead of a facade of what his parents want him to be. The song’s heaviness and melody add more depth to the track and it truly sounds like Bennington is screaming for help.

Bennington’s performance on the album is what really makes the album worth listening to. Other songs like “Faint” and “Somewhere I Belong” not only reflect similar themes but showcase Bennington’s incredible vocal abilities.

While Bennington carries the record, for the most part, the album still has its flaws.

The main problem I have with “Meteora” is Mike Shinoda’s rapping parts. While there is no denying that Shinoda is a talented writer, his delivery seems a bit off. Shinoda’s rapping can sound a bit corny at times and can become swathed by the sheer power of Bennington’s delivery.

There is also one track that does not fit the structure of the album at all. The main track I have a problem with is “Nobody’s Listening.” The song completely backtracks the opposite direction of the album’s overall tone into this clunky hip-hop beat.

The song is a tonal outlier, sounding like a placeholder for another track. It breaks each track’s connection to one another and sends the listener careening into a ditch before “Numb” puts them back on the road.

Even with these flaws, Linkin Park and Chester Bennington supply their audience with powerful lyrics, heavy riffs and more tracks with replay value. The album marks the time when the band reached their peak in musical quality. Bennington’s performance on the album acts as a landmark to the legacy he left behind.