Hybrid Theory - Rolling Stone
×
Home Music Album Reviews

Hybrid Theory

A rap-rock outfit with a jones for Depeche Mode? Is this a glitch in the matrix? Linkin Park’s debut album, Hybrid Theory, is a freaky-deaky fusion that works in spots — on “Crawling,” MC Mike Shinoda’s catchy rhymed refrains bounce off singer Chester Bennington’s New Wave croon, proving that synth-pop can get with the hip-hop. This Southern California five-piece knows its way around a hook: Crashing, loud-soft dynamics run through the album, and producer Don Gilmore (who has worked with Eve 6, Lit, Pearl Jam) gives the guitars and samples a raw-meat heft that will sound right at home on modern-rock radio. Maybe too at home — Bennington and Shinoda often slip into corny, boilerplate-aggro lyrics: Thanks to “voices in the back of my head” (“Papercut”), they’re “one step closer to the edge” (“One Step Closer”), suffering “wounds [that] will not heal” while the “walls are closing in” (“Crawling”). As a result, Linkin Park too frequently come off like another Hybrid song, “Papercut”: They can slice and dice, but just not deep enough.

Arrow Created with Sketch. Calendar Created with Sketch. Path Created with Sketch. Shape Created with Sketch. Plus Created with Sketch. minus Created with Sketch.