Sunday, July 10, 2011

Linkin Park: The official band of Transformers

I previously stated how my friends and I all grew up loving Taking Back Sunday. Well, before TBS there was another band we all enjoyed. While many may deny their love of the band, everyone I know liked Linkin Park at some point. Anyone that says they didn't like them is lying. It was impossible not to when they came out in 2000. While their relevancy may have diminished in the years since Hybrid Theory, their debut album, the band has reinvented themselves. They have since become the official/unofficial band of the Transformers film series. I'll let you decide whether that's selling out or not.

You can't sell out with holes in your ears, it's a proven fact.

Linkin Park erupted onto the scene with Hybrid Theory. While critics met the album lukewarmly, pre-teens bought it up. Linkin Park took the nu metal sound that saturated the modern rock stations and made it whiny enough to be identifiable. Instead of Fred Durst rapping about nookie or Korn, well, just being Korn, Linkin Park packaged the sound into an easily digestible morsel. Korn was for people that wore JNCO jeans and you didn't talk to in the hallway. Linkin Park was for everyone.

And everyone bought it.

Anyone that claims to like some form of rock listened to and probably owned Hybrid Theory. It was too ubiquitous to escape from. They owned the radio. And their music videos were interesting and numerous enough to guarantee MTV airplay. They even partied with Jay-Z. In the two albums they were relevant with, Hybrid Theory and Meteora, they had 10 singles between them. That's a whole album's worth of songs for 13-year-old me to rock out too. And rock out I did.

Sometimes the CD player would skip, I rocked out so much.

Linkin Park was there for my middle school angst. I had my first girlfriend in 7th grade. The only time we ever spoke was when I asked her to date me. A week and a few instant message conversations later and we were through. She dumped me. In my first experience with heartbreak, I turned to Linkin Park. They understood my pain and frustration. They sang the feelings that I was too young to properly express. In the End was especially comforting. They really felt my Mickey-Mouse pain.

One of my favorite descriptions for childish things is referring to it as Mickey Mouse.

I don't mean to show Linkin Park any disrespect, because I really did like them a lot when I was in middle school. I even did a class project on them once. I'm still sore about never getting my copy of Meteora back from my friend from down the street. But, after Hybrid Theory and Meteora, Linkin Park faded out. The rap/rock combination was no longer cool. While defining them as rap/rock didn't quite do them justice, they were still pigeon-holed in that genre. And when the genre lost relevancy, so did Linkin Park. I almost forgot about them until Transformers came out in 2007. All three movies have been major blockbusters, and Linkin Park supplied the big single for each iteration.

Must be a pretty sweet gig.

Linkin Park's future is now linked with Transformers, which isn't too bad for them. The first two Transformers, while not loved critically, made more than a billion worldwide. Transformers: Dark of the Moon, released June 29, is poised to be another megahit. And though it is horrible to say, I don't believe Linkin Park have sold out by being linked with Michael Bay's extravaganza. Because, before 2007, Linkin Park were completely forgotten. Bay's trilogy resurrected the band and allowed them to be heard by a new generation of whiny preteens. And that isn't so bad.

Arguably their best song and, in my opinion, the one that has had the most staying power.

1 comment:

  1. "before 2007, Linkin Park were completely forgotten."
    By who? May be just the writer had I think. What a piece of shit article.