Everytime I read reviews written by average people on the internet about Linkin Park I get confused. Lots of people seem to feel the need to point out how they are the epitome of mainstream, yet I've never really seen anyone claiming they're not. Of course Linkin Park is mainstream music, it's typical pop of the 00's. But so what? They're in no way exceptional, but then the same thing can be said for a lot of truly "underground" stuff - Informatik, Heltah Skeltah, Dir en Grey to name a few. I mean, you rarely read reviews about Dire Straits, Manowar, Cypress Hill etc. complaining about how they're mainstream? (Or at least I haven't come across any.)
With that short rant out of the way, let's get on to the actual review. I got this album expecting some light-weight rap-metal with a techno touch, and hey, guess what? That's exactly what I got. Catchy tunes with details that keeps me interested. And at least two stellar guest performances, by Black Thought and Pharoahe Monch, two of my favorite rappers.
I also don't see why people feel the need to bash this album in comparison to Hybrid Theory. I sincerely think the mixes bring something different to the songs, making them more club-friendly and in most cases making them groovier than the originals.
The only reason I actually took the time to write this review however, is that I think there needs to be some nuance. I mean, come on, this is by no stretch of the imagination one of the worst albums ever. It is a finely crafted, very well produced, piece of techno/pop/rap with a touch of metal. Of course, many people today don't seem to be interested in the actual music, but instead focus on everything around it - the media hype, band image, general conception and last, but by no way least, the social status conferred by listening to/bashing/appreciating certain kinds of music.
Too bad. But hey, it's just pop culture so it's all good.