Meteora is the second studio album by Linkin Park released on March 25, 2003. The album continued their signature Nu Metal style, but also saw the exploration of other genres, most notably "Breaking the Habit" which was an Electronic Rock track that featured no nu metal, something they would explore later on in their career.
The album was a monster hit, producing five singles: "Somewhere I Belong", "Faint", "Breaking the Habit", "From the Inside", and "Numb". It is tied with Red Hot Chili Peppers' Californication for the album with the most weeks its singles have peaked at #1 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks. Critics praised the more melodic aspects of the songs and noted that the band straddled the Lighter and Softer themes with their characteristic angst very well.
However, it still wasn't quite the massive success that Hybrid Theory was, likely due to Nu Metal falling out of style. As a result, this would be their last album to feature Nu Metal, with its follow-up Minutes to Midnight going more for a U2-esque Alternative Rock/Arena Rock sound while A Thousand Suns and Living Things experimented with electronics. It wasn't until The Hunting Party where some of those ideas returned. Nonetheless, Meteora is widely considered a classic by Linkin Park fans who view it as a worthy successor to Hybrid Theory.
- "Don't Stay"
- "Somewhere I Belong"
- "Lying From You"
- "Hit the Floor"
- "Easier to Run"
- "Breaking the Habit"
- "From the Inside"
- "Nobody's Listening"
- Chester Bennington - lead vocals
- Mike Shinoda - lead vocals, rhythm guitar, keyboard, piano, strings arrangement on "Faint" and "Breaking the Habit"
- Brad Delson - lead guitar, backing vocals
- Dave "Phoenix" Farrell - bass guitar, backing vocals
- Mr. Hahn - turntables, sampling, programming
- Rob Bourdon - drums, percussion, backing vocals
Troping From You:
- Album Filler: "Foreword", which is just a 13-second introduction listed as a song.
- Also, "Session" which is entirely an instrumental.
- Angst: The album is full of it.
- Animal Motifs: The weird hybrid mammoth animal in the video for "Somewhere I Belong" shows up as a symbolic representation of majesty and loneliness in the video.
- Animated Music Video: Done for "Breaking the Habit".
- The Atoner: "Somewhere I Belong", which is about realizing your mistakes and moving back to where you belong. Also "Easier to Run", about a person who is too weak to face the consequences of his actions, but must do so anyways.
- Author Appeal: Referenced in "Nobody's Listening", where Mike says he's grateful for the struggles he faced because it gave him inspiration for his lyrics:I'm riding on the back of this pressure
Guessing that it's better
I can't keep myself together
Because all of this stress
Gave me something to write on
The pain gave me something
I could set my sights on
- Back to Front: The video for "Breaking the Habit" is largely told in reverse, beginning with the sad culmination of each character's fate, before reversing time and showing how each character got there. It ends with The Reveal that the dead guy who jumped off the building is in fact Chester, and it shows his impulse to have committed suicide at numerous times in his life.
- Be Yourself: "Numb" is about pretending to be someone else to fit in, and wanting to be their true self.I've become so numb, I can't feel you there
Become so tired, so much more aware
I'm becoming this, all I want to do
Is be more like me, and be less like you
- Black Sheep: "Nobody's Listening", which consists almost entirely of Shinoda rapping (apart from Chester singing the chorus), samples a shakuhachi (Japanese flute) with the other instruments, and implements elements of doom metal (the only Linkin Park song in their entire library to experiment with the genre). Basically it can be described as "Ancient Japanese Doom Rap". Unsurprisingly, this was the last song recorded for the album, and made because they needed one more song to add before it was finished.
- Also, "Breaking the Habit" which was entirely an electronic rock/alternative rock track with no traces of nu metal, and had none of Shinoda's rapping. This would significantly influence their later albums.
- Break-Up Song: "Don't Stay":Don't stay
Forget our memories, forget our possibilities
What you were changing me into
(Just give me myself back and)
Forget our memories, forget our possibilities
Take all your faithlessness with you
- Broken Ace: "Numb" could refer to a person who is collapsing under the weight of his or her own ambition:Tired of being what you want me to be
Feeling so faithless, lost under the surface
Don't know what you're expecting of me
Put under the pressure of walking in your shoes
- Bully Hunter: "Hit the Floor" is about fighting against one's bully, knocking them off their pedestal:One minute you're on top
Next you're not, watch it drop
Making your heart stop
Just before you hit the floor
- The Cassandra: Mike Shinoda's part in "Faint".Shinoda: It's like no matter what I do, I can't convince you to just believe this is real.
- Creepy Child: The kid with Psychic Powers in the music video for "From the Inside". Interestingly enough, the kid is actually Chester's son.
- Dark and Troubled Past: "Easier to Run" is about doing anything and everything to forget one's unfortunate memories. It also has shades of I Hate Past Me.
- Deliberately Monochrome: The black-and-white album cover.
- Design Student's Orgasm: The booklet features a ton of graphic art and anime-inspired collages that Mike Shinoda largely created. The man on the album's cover is Boris "Delta" Tellegen, a street artist who helped Mike create the album's art.
- Downer Ending: At the end of the "Numb" music video, the girl who fails at everything rushes to the church to find the band, only to find that they have disappeared. Could overlap with Have You Seen My God?
- Drugs Are Bad: "Breaking the Habit" is about overcoming personal addiction. Interesting to note, while it may seem like a confession relating to Chester's Dark and Troubled Past, it was actually written entirely by Shinoda with no input from Chester. Chester broke down when he read Shinoda's lyrics.
- False Utopia: The music video for "From the Inside" features one where everyone pretends to be non-confrontational, when in reality they do so because they are masking their feelings in fear of police brutality.
- The Four Chords of Pop: "Numb."
- Genre Roulette: While mostly nu-metal mixed with rap and rock, the album features three different songs that stand out from the rest: "Breaking the Habit", an electronic rock song with no nu metal, "Nobody's Listening", a hip-hop based track that combines rap with doom metal and a Japanese flute, and "Session", an instrumental.
- Gosh Dang It to Heck!: Just like its predecessor, Meteora contains no swearing whatsoever in order to keep it mainstream friendly.
- Gratuitous Rap: Inverted for "Figure.09", where the band decided to keep the rapping verses over the singing since it sounded better.
- He Who Fights Monsters/You Are What You Hate: "Figure.09" is about hating someone so much that you gradually become Not So Different with that person and only realizing it when it's already too late:'Cause, from the infinite words, I could say
I put all the pain you gave to me on display
But didn't realiseinstead of setting it free
I took what I hated and made it a part of me
- Instrumentals: "Session" contains no vocals. It received a Grammy Nomination for Best Rock Instrumental.
- Lyric Swap: "Figure.09" changes "I let myself become you" to "I let myself become lost inside these thoughts of you" for one iteration.
- Manipulative Bitch: "Lying From You" is about being in a horrible relationship to a girlfriend who manipulated him into being there.When I pretend
Everything is what I want it to be
I look exactly like what you had always wanted to see
- Metal Scream: Chester delivers a good one in "Lying From You" while Shinoda raps over it.
- Mission-Pack Sequel: Apart from a little experimentation here and there, it's the only Linkin Park album that's not a New Sound Album.
- Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: Mixes nu-metal, rap, and rock in a mainstream-friendly package, all while experimenting with other genres along the way.
- Non-Appearing Title: "Faint", "Figure.09", and (obviously) "Session".
- Nu Metal: The last Linkin Park album to be in this genre, at least until The Hunting Party was released over a decade later.
- One-Word Title: "Meteora", "Session", "Numb", "Faint".
- Rap Rock / Rap Metal: All the songs minus "Breaking the Habit", "Don't Stay", "Session", and "Numb" involve raps by Shinoda.
- Rhyming with Itself: The very opening of "Nobody's Listening".Yo, peep the style and the kids checking for itThe number one question is how could you ignore it
If I could change, I wouldTake back the pain, I wouldRetrace every wrong move that I made, I wouldIf I could stand up and take the blame, I wouldIf I could take all the shame to the grave, I would
- Also, from "Easier to Run":
- Speedy Techno Remake: "Faint" was originally an acoustic, slower song with a different hook. Mike remixed it, used sampled sounds, and sped up the riff and turned it into the faster version that became a hit.
- Step Up to the Mic: While it doesn't feature any singing, "Session" features Joe Hahn's turntabling more prominently than any other track on the record.
- Stock Sound Effects: "Foreword" has the sound of falling rain, hammering, and breaking glass recreated in a studio. Mike confirmed in a blog posting that it was actually him destroying a CD burner that kept malfunctioning during recording.
- Swapped Roles: Normally Mike is the one who does the verses while Chester does the chorus. "Easier to Run", reverses this, with sung verses by Chester and a rapped chorus by Mike.
- Three Chords and the Truth: The accompanying booklet lists sophisticated production measures the band took for most of the song; however, for "Numb", the band admitted that the song was largely based around the hook, and that there weren't many difficulties with putting it together.
- Vocal Tag Team: Bennington and Shinoda in every song minus "Breaking the Habit" (sung entirely by Chester) and "Session" (an instrumental).