‘Meteora’ Visits Energetic Territories

El Vaquero Staff Writer

Itã®´s about time. Linkin Parkã®´s long-awaited sophomore album, ã®´Meteora,ã®´ finally arrives amid high expectations. After its multi-platinum debut of ã®´Hybrid Theoryã®´ in 2001, Linkin Park listeners are more than eager to hear new material.

Forming an overwhelming widespread fan base, the band continues to dominate the music scene. Linkin Park is frontman vocalist Chester Bennington, vocalist Mike Shinoda, guitarist Brad Delson, turntablist Joseph Hahn, bassist Phoenix and drummer Rob Bourdon.

Linkin Parkã®´s trademark is the contagious blend of Benningtonã®´s soothing vocals, Shinodaã®´s rap-like backup vocals and the talent of DJ Hahn working the turntables throughout each track.

The album title, ã®´Meteora,ã®´ a Greek translation for ã®´hovering in the air,ã®´ is also the name of six monasteries 1,500 feet above the plains of central Greece. On the Linkin Park official Web site, Bennington said, ã®´We wanted to write songs that lived up to the energy that name exudes.ã®´

The group manipulates the brief 13-second introduction, ã®´Foreword,ã®´ to set listeners in the same, if not more, uplifting mood in which ã®´Hybrid Theoryã®´ left off. The introduction allows the listener a sneak-peek into the talent DJ Hahn provides for the all of the mixã®´s on the album.

The first single, ã®´Somewhere I Belong,ã®´ is exactly what the listener craves to hear. According to the official Web site, Bennington and Shinoda attempted 40 different ways to approach the chorus to the track before the current chorus proves to be flawless.

The chorus expresses, ã®´I want to heal/ I want to feel/ like Iã®´m close to something real/ I want to find something Iã®´ve wanted all along/ somewhere I belong.ã®´

It seems that regardless of the direction in which Linkin Park chooses to embark musically, the fanatical following will remain strong. If all six band members crowded the stage in fluffy pink tutus to perform, the audience would still go wild.

A personal favorite, ã®´Nobodyã®´s Listening,ã®´ mixes the bandã®´s lyrical boldness with DJ Hahnã®´s talent on the turntables. Bennginton and Shinoda sing the chorus, ã®´Try to give you warning/ but everyone ignores me/ (told you everything loud and clear)/ but nobodyã®´s listening.ã®´ A listener feels obligated to inform Linkin Park that we are listening—loud and clear.
While ã®´Hybrid Theoryã®´ spotlights an angry and depressed side of Linkin Park, ã®´Meteoraã®´ has an obvious optimistic side. In ã®´Numb,ã®´ Bennington shows the optimism as he states, ã®´Iã®´ve become so numb/ I canã®´t feel you there/ become so tired/ so much more aware/ Iã®´m becoming this/ all I want to do/ is be more like me/ and be less like you.ã®´

Next time a Linkin Park fan is observed having a spasm attack in the car, it just proves that ã®´Meteoraã®´ is so mosh-worthy that room confinement is not a deterrent.

Linkin Park will perform with Metallica, Limp Bizkit, Deftones and Mudvayne in the Summer Sanitarium Tour at the Los Angeles Coliseum on Aug. 9.

ã®´Meteoraã®´ is currently in stores.