Phat Music Friday: Hybrid Theory

As an avid listener of music, I can only hope that I am around when the next game-changing album is released. You know, the one that rockets up through the “Billboard 200” to the #2 spot – the one that that hits #1 on New Zealand’s “Recorded Music NZ” – the album that goes 5-times “Platinum” in over 4 countries (including Canada AND Australia) and “Diamond” in the great country of America? That’s right. I’m talking about Hybrid Theory by Linkin Park. It is nothing short of a blessing from our great Lord and Savior that I am alive to have experienced this artwork. I hear what you’re saying… “That album is shit.”, or “What kind of tool bag listens to music from a group that can’t decide whether they’re electronic, rock, or rap?” Trust me, I hear you. But the truth is I really don’t give a shit what you think. I’m here to tell you that it’s great. What we have in this album is nothing short of a masterpiece, and it’s a major score for us as music connoisseurs. This is not one of those albums that you will play for just the first few tracks. Rather, you’ll be coming back for the whole damn thing, time and time again. And, with the emergence of digital music, this album can be on replay as long as you want without having to worry about the CD skipping.

With this record, lead singer Chester Bennington and vocalist/guitarist Mike Shinoda highlight the struggles of love in such an artistic way that you will find yourself wanting to get rid of every Michael Bolton record you’ve ever owned in exchange for multiple copies of this. No these guys aren’t the greatest musicians on Earth. But with their powers combined, these rockers have created a masterpiece that I think we’ll be talking about for decades to come. Hell, if we’re giving hours of airtime to The Spice Girls, the least we can do is honor this album for the beauty that it is. And the best thing about this 12-track album is that there is a song on it for everyone, and every occasion.

Hosting the in-laws for Thanksgiving and need some tunes to get you in the mood? Turn on the hit single “One Step Closer.” If the thought of the in-laws staying in your house for 4 days didn’t make you want to kill yourself already, this track is sure to do the trick. With lyrics like, “Everything you say to me takes me one step closer to the edge and I’m about to break”, even the cheeriest of listeners will be looking for a sharp knife to finish themselves off with. Or maybe you’re looking for something a little more philosophical? Turn on “In the End” and listen to Shinoda take us deep into reflection about the meaning of “Carpe diem.” There is a song for every state of mind. If you find yourself thinking, “this album sounds dark as shit,” your thoughts have misled you. What Linkin Park has given us is one of the most contemplative pieces since Lynyrd Skynyrd released “Free Bird” in 1973.

I find that unicorn pieces like Hybrid Theory often require multiple passes through before I truly comprehend the magnitude of their quality. If you’re like me, you’ll need to burn a couple copies of this disc and put it in every CD player you can before you truly become one with the music. For you youngsters out there, the album is available on Napster for download. Regardless of the media you choose, I assure you that you will find yourself sifting through your books for Hybrid Theory next time you’re looking for that musical fix that we all so often crave.

Major props guys.

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