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Whenever my main last.fm chart is criticized, Linkin Park is usually the first target. I stand by my music collection, and this is my defense of Linkin Park:

While I admit that their new material is junk, Hybrid Theory/Meteora-era Linkin Park had a unique sound in modern hard rock that set them apart, even amongst other nu-metal bands. People scoff, but it’s true. When I was really in to nu-metal, I tried finding any band that sounded like Linkin Park, and there simply weren’t any. Linkin Park had: the hip-hop element brought in by Mike Shinoda; the electronic overlays from Mr. Hahn; the slow, melodic guitar playing from Brad Delson. There are some nu-metal bands that had bits and pieces of this, but never all three at once. And while people complain that Linkin Park’s songs all sound the same, the one thing I can tell you is that no one sounds like Linkin Park.

Despite being repetitive and formulaic, Linkin Park had a really good sound. I think they take a lot of unwarranted heat from the disapproval of nu-metal in general. People seem to get caught up on the fact that nu-metal bands were a bunch of grown men dressing and acting like teenagers, but in all honestly, compared to the post-grunge rubbish at the time, can anyone really say that despite its presentation, nu-metal was unoriginal? If you take any group of nu-metal bands, such as Linkin Park, System of a Down, Disturbed, and Sevendust, you’ll find their sound to be much more diverse than a group of post-grunge bands (Puddle of Mudd, Three Days Grace, Hinder, and Seether all sound the same, for example). Indeed, compared to most of modern hard rock, nu-metal was progressive, and Linkin Park was progressive among them.

Is Linkin Park the most complex or interesting music I listen to? No. I don’t consider them a guilty pleasure, either. It is more reasonable to compare them to an everyday meal one eats to provide a baseline for higher quality foods. You’d get bored with fine dining if you had it every day, so you’ll often just cook something simple at home. A guilty pleasure, such as Lady Gaga, would be like eating Twinkies as part of your dinner. The next time you’re feeling bored with the highly technical music you listen to and feel like looking into hard rock, before you turn on something bad like Theory of a Deadman, try nu-metal, and try Linkin Park. For something supposedly mainstream, you’ll be surprised at its quality.

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3 thoughts on “Why Linkin Park is on my last.fm chart

  1. Linkin Park is my all time favourite band. They are the reason I actually got into music in the first place. I loved the whole hybrid feel that their music had and the fact that they sounded like nobody else. Numetal was criticized – and for good reason. The task of fusing hard rock with hip-hop and electronica was not an easy one… and most artists at the time failed miserably at conveying ‘the sound’. But in Linkin Parks case… it just worked. They had that hip-hop vibe without it being too gangsta and wiggaish. Almost every song started with a simple melody which was powerful in its simplicity. The power chords and chester’s screaming were heavy yet they were melodic and motivational. Their lyrics were emotional without being whiny and always contrasted by a motivational chorus. There lyrics told me “yes my life is shit right now… but im not gonna sit here and mope about it”. And Joe Hahn. Need I say more.

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  2. I wouldn’t be so quick to write off their new material as junk. I too prefer their old material (I didnt even buy their latest album) but I understand why as musicians they made the changes they did. Change is an inevitable part of being a musician and its good to see because it means they respecting themselves musically. The fact that i dont want to listen to their new stuff does not make it junk – i just dont really enjoy the style of music they are producing. They could go and produce another hybrid theory and I would enjoy, and buy it – but they wouldnt really be being true to themselves.It can take an artist years to discover a sound that is truly them. Hell I still havent found mine. It can be even harder when their are 6 members! So I respect the fact they are still together, one of the biggest bands and still able to vary so drastically in their music.

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  3. To this day I will still hear some of their earlier songs in my head. They were a really well-designed group… up until their new material.My problem is that by changing, they quite simply got rid of everything that made old Linkin Park really worth-listening-to. That list of things in my blog post is gone with new LP. It’s disappointing, and I don’t care if they were able to make a lot more money off the transition. They had something that made them unique when there was always a very real risk of being a copy-cat band, and now they’ve lost it.I’m not so sure the changes were artistically driven, unless they just don’t care for Hahn and Shinoda anymore. The way “I understand” them is that it was just so they could blend better with what’s popular in rock these days: Coldplay.

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