I remember the day Meteora came out. I was in boarding school and I couldn’t wait for the next “Wal-Mart trip” so I could go get it. (We couldn’t have cars so you had to sign up to for trips to the movies or the mall or Wal-Mart and then pile into a big school bus and head out there on the weekend.)
Honestly all Linkin Park did was take Hybrid Theory and make it louder & denser, but that’s fine. It was a ready-made 30 minute fireball of straight up energy with the best hooks in nu-metal and the best sheen of studio production outside of teen pop. I still think it’s a pop masterpiece in the vein of other massive crowd pleasers lacking critical acclaim right up there with Christina Aguilera’s Stripped or the Spice Girls’ first album. Hybrid Theory really did for nu-metal what Bon Jovi’s Slippery When Wet did for hair bands in giving the genre mainstream legitimacy and actual hits.
Chester Bennington was one of the best vocalists in metal and this chunk of my youth feels sad today because I still think he had more to give.