When I was in 9th grade Linkin Park released their massive debut album Hybrid Theory. Every kid in my grade owned that record and everyone knew the rap to In the End. Linkin Park is a band that people don’t fully appreciate, they have their die-hard fans but a large mass of people don’t even really know most of their music outside of Hybrid Theory. I was one of those people.
When I previously stated that everyone owned that record, I was sorta lying. I didn’t. I enjoyed a song here and there by Linkin Park but I never considered myself a fan. In 2009, Chris Hardwick launched the Nerdist Podcast and one of his earliest guests were Mike and Chester of Linkin Park. In that interview Mike said he predicted this album was going to be a mixed bag to a bunch of their long time fans. It struck my curiosity. So When this album came out in late September 2010, I bought it without hearing any songs or previously owning any Linkin Park albums, and I loved it.
The record is a concept album about human fears (specifically with nuclear war). It begins with a techno-y track containing clips of “someone” making announcements about our mistakes and the upcoming war which leads perfectly into Burning in the Skies. Chester is the main vocalist in this laidback track about setting the mood of this album, it’s hopeful but sad.
It’s a stark contrast to the next song Mike’s anti-establishment rap song When they come for me. The song puts you in a paranoid state with the music setting the mood of someone on the run.
Pulling their influences from Pink Floyd and Public Enemy Linkin Park managed to compose a record that is both their must experimental and their most lyrically impressive, questioning authority and setting a tone of fear mixed in a post apocalyptic world. While the film received mixed reviews from critics but for me it was one of the best albums of 2010.
After all the craziness and darkness the album concludes with the song Messenger which sends the message “When life leaves us blind, Love Keeps Us Kind”. This is the message of this album, throughout the insanity and the darkness our love is the one thing that will save us. It’s a powerful message and for me it came from an extremely unlikely source, Linkin Park.