If you’re one of the 10.4 million (and counting) fans that got turned on to a new (nu) metal band called Linkin Park some 17 years ago, you’ve probably got a place in your heart for the slightly heavy soothing sounds of Hybrid Theory. Their hook-filled rap-rock was aggressive enough for some metalheads, yet melodic enough to probably make some Spice Girls and Backstreet Boys fans decide to graduate from pop and move on to rock. It was obviously a formulat that worked for the band, hence the diamond status for the album and the fact that it’s follow-up, Meteora, wasn’t that much different. In fact,their formula of hooky rock music with poppy choruses hasn’t really changed drastically, with the exception of the rap being dialed back a bit – until now.
One More Light is very much a pop record. The rock has been dialed down, and it seems like the band have looked to bands like Twenty One Pilots for inspiration for the new record, and this time when rap pops up, it’s from Pusha T and Stormzy. In an interview with Music Week, Chester Bennington seemed to not be that interested in the album that put them on the map, however:
“When we made ‘Hybrid Theory’, I was the oldest guy in the band and in my early ’20s. That’s why I guess I’m like: ‘Why are we still talking about ‘Hybrid Theory’? It’s fucking years ago. It’s a great record, we love it. Like, move the fuck on. You know what I mean?”
They’ve certainly moved on. Will the 10 million people that bought Hybrid Theory move along with them? That remains to be seen.