Meteora (album)

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Meteora
MeteoraLP.jpg
Studio album by Linkin Park
Released March 25, 2003
Recorded April–December 2002
Studio NRG Studios, North Hollywood, California
Genre
Length 36:43
Label
Producer
Linkin Park studio album chronology
Hybrid Theory
(2000)
Meteora
(2003)
Minutes to Midnight
(2007)
Singles from Meteora
  1. "Somewhere I Belong"
    Released: March 17, 2003
  2. "Faint"
    Released: June 9, 2003
  3. "Numb"
    Released: September 8, 2003
  4. "From the Inside"
    Released: January 12, 2004
  5. "Breaking the Habit"
    Released: June 14, 2004

Meteora is the second studio album by American rock band Linkin Park. It was released on March 25, 2003 through Warner Bros. Records, following Reanimation, a collaboration album which featured remixes of songs included on their debut studio album Hybrid Theory. The album was produced by the band alongside Don Gilmore.

Meteora has a similar sound to Hybrid Theory, as described by critics, and the album took almost a year to be recorded. The main artwork was assembled by the band with help of various other graphic artists. Linkin Park released singles from Meteora for over a year, including "Somewhere I Belong", "Faint", "Numb", "From the Inside" and "Breaking the Habit". The song "Lying from You" was released as a promotional single.

Meteora is the most successful album in the history of the Alternative Songs chart. As of 2013, the album has sold over 25 million copies worldwide, and is certified four times platinum by the RIAA. Meteora was also ranked number 36 on Billboards Top 200 Albums of the Decade.[1] The song "Session" was nominated for the 2004 Grammy Award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance, losing to Jeff Beck's "Plan B". Some songs from the album were remixed with some of Jay-Z's songs for the EP Collision Course. It is the first Linkin Park studio album to feature Dave Farrell after he rejoined the band in 2000.

Writing and recording[edit]

In 2000, Linkin Park worked with music producer Don Gilmore to record and release their debut album, Hybrid Theory. Initial writing for a second album dated back to in early 2001, while still touring in support of Hybrid Theory. The band had written around eighty different demos during their Hybrid Theory World Tour and LP Underground Tour, within the span of just eight months.[2] Rough song ideas written then would find its way to the final album; notably the intro for "Somewhere I Belong". Bennington recorded guitar notes for it,[citation needed] but found it too folk rock sounding. However, Shinoda and Joe Hahn reworked it, adding effects to it, and then played it backwards, molding it into something the band was happy with. As explained by Shinoda: "Since I reversed it, it was playing 4-3-2-1. The chord progression was reversed. Then I cut it into four pieces, and I played it 1-2-3-4. And that's why it has that sweeping sound."[3][4]

We really learned the meaning of pressure. But it wasn't pressure from outside people. It was artistic pressure from ourselves. You can't control the commercial success of a record, so there's no point in investing energy in that. But the quality of your record is entirely up to you, and you can't blame anyone else if you write crappy songs. Before we did Meteora, I listened to "Hybrid Theory" and "Reanimation", and I was like, "Dude, I'm really proud of these records. I don't remember how we did it, and I don't know how we're gonna do it again. We're kind of screwed. Then, fortunately, we were able to invest ourselves fully in the process for 18 months, and that helped us make a really great record."[5]

Brad Delson, speaking about the album's writing background with MTV

Prior to releasing a second album, the band instead chose to release a remix album, Reanimation, in 2002, produced by band member Mike Shinoda. The experience lead the band to want to co-produce their second album, while still working with Gilmore, hoping to expand on the sound of Hybrid Theory with more experimental ideas.[5] In early 2002, after the touring, the writing continued in Mike's home studio, pre-production of the album began there. The band worked in pairs during the writing process, whereas Shinoda was always involved in all the songs. The recording of the songs mainly used "pro tools", whereas the band used the traditional method of writing, in main studio. In June, pre-production terminated and the band headed for main production. The band finalized Don Gilmore as their producer. When Reanimation was released, the band had started to write the main content. Rob Bourdon spent eight hours a day in the studio for the recording of the album. By August, the band entered NRG Studios as Bennington also began writing songs with the band.[6][7][8]

Mike Shinoda (pictured) is said to be included in the writing of all the songs.

Linkin Park had finished versions of many songs before the actual recording process had begun, but they majorly wrote the finalised songs included in the track list in the studio. By October the drums were finalised and guitar parts were introduced by Brad in the control room of the studio. By the end of October, the bass parts were introduced. Don Gilmore himself being a bass player helped Farrell in his recording. The sampling part by Hahn was introduced just a month before the deadline, thereby Mike finished the recording of "Breaking the Habit" with strings arrangement by David Campbell, the song was worked on by Shinoda since five or six years.[9] The vocal production started in November. The mixing process as well as the album itself was finished in New York City.

Composition and themes[edit]

Meteora heavily features the band's nu metal started in their prior album, Hybrid Theory. Tracks commonly include downtuned, heavily distorted guitars with alternating rapped and screamed vocals. A few tracks stepped outside of those boundaries. The track "Nobody's Listening" does not contain a full-band arrangement, but rather, just Shinoda's rapping over a beat consisting of a shakuhachi, a Japanese flute made of bamboo. The track also samples line "Coming at you from every side" off of the band's track "High Voltage", which appeared on the B-side for the single "One Step Closer". "Breaking the Habit" features an electronica-influenced sound, a style they would further explore on the albums A Thousand Suns and Living Things. Samples of viola and sound effects of a car burning out was used on the promotional single "Lying From You".

Lyrically the album contains elements including depressing emotions, anger and recovery. Explaining to MTV, Bennington said: "We don't talk about situations, we talk about the emotions behind the situations. Mike and I are two different people, so we can't sing about the same things, but we both know about frustration and anger and loneliness and love and happiness, and we can relate on that level." In the same interview, Shinoda explained it as: "What we really wanted to do was just push ourselves and push each other to really find new ways to be creative." He continued: "We wanted each sample that was in each song to be something that might perk your ear — something that you might not have ever heard before."[10]

In a promotional interview, Rob Bourdon stated: "We wanted a group of songs that would sit well together because we wanted to make a record that you could pop into your CD player and, from beginning to end, there would never be a spot where you start daydreaming."[10]

Promotion[edit]

Linkin Park embarked with American rock bands Hoobastank, P.O.D. and Story of the Year (pictured) on the Meteora World Tour.

The promotion for the album began well ahead before its release, as pictures of the band recording were distributed to the media. To support the album, there were many photo shoots of the band on October 29 at the Ambassador Hotel, where the band took a break from recording the album for two days, for designing the cover art of the album. "The Flem" and "Delta" helped the band for the art works, for the album as well as for the singles spawned by it. A TV commercial for the album was premiered on January 1, 2003.

"Somewhere I Belong" was released as the first single, premiering on U.S. radio on March 18, 2003. Being released only nine days before the album release, it influenced the album sales performance worldwide. The second single off the album was "Faint", released before the band started its world tour. The third single "Numb" was released when Linkin Park performed it live in Madrid. "From the Inside" was released as the fourth single off the album before the North American leg of the world tour. "Breaking the Habit" was released while the band was in Indonesia. The album was released with various limited edition content for promotional purposes.

There is a special edition of Meteora, which includes the "Making of Meteora" DVD documentary. The special-edition package was packaged in a blue tinted case with the blue Meteora cover that can be found in some parts of Asia, United States, and more commonly in India. An alternate Indian version contains an alternate DVD and alternative cover that is packaged in a slimline case with the disc in original packaging. The "Tour Edition" of Meteora is packaged in a two disc set. The second disc, which is a Video CD, has the music videos for "Somewhere I Belong", "Faint", "Numb", and "Breaking the Habit". The tour edition is packaged in a standard Compact Disc case, rather than their trademark digipak case. The album was also released on a very limited quantity of vinyl records (spread across two LPs) under Warner Brothers. These are coveted by collectors and fetch high prices at auction. In 2014, Linkin Park released a demo version of Shinoda singing the song, on their 14th annual fan club CD, LPU XIV.

The band promoted the album with their Meteora World Tour and various other supporting tours. The world tour was supported by Hoobastank, P.O.D. and Story of the Year. The band played shows at Pellissier Building and Wiltern Theatre on the day before the album release and on the release date. The shows were called "'Meteora' Release Show". The European leg was cancelled because Chester was having severe back and abdominal pains. As a result, half of the music video of "Numb" was shot in Los Angeles and the Czech Republic. The album was also promoted by the Projekt Revolution festival. A live album was released in support of the album titled Live in Texas. Linkin Park played various special shows worldwide, including "Reading Ireland", as well as performing during the Kerrang! Awards, "Livid", "X-103's Not So Silent Night", "The End's Deck The Hall Ball" and "KROQ Almost Acoustic X-Mas", in promotion of the album.

Reception[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 62/100[11]
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3/5 stars[12]
The A.V. Club mixed[13]
Blender 4/5 stars[14]
E! Online A[15]
Entertainment Weekly B+[16]
Melodic 3.5/5 stars[17]
NME 7/10[18]
Q 3.5/5 stars[19]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[20]
Sputnikmusic 2.5/5 stars[21]

Meteora received generally positive reviews, although critics noted that the album's musical style was similar to its predecessor, Hybrid Theory (2000). The overall Metacritic score is 62.[11] E! Online rated it A, and expected it to "shoot straight for the stars".[15][22] Entertainment Weekly described it as "radio-friendly perfection".[16]Dot Music described it as a "guaranteed source of ubiquitous radio hits".[23] Rolling Stone said the band "squeezed the last remaining life out of this nearly extinct formula".[20] Billboard Magazine described Meteora as "a ready-made crowdpleaser".[24] The New Musical Express said it had "massive commercial appeal" but left the reviewer "underwhelmed".[18]

AllMusic described it as "nothing more and nothing less than Hybrid Theory Part 2.", adding "More importantly, the group has discipline and editing skills, keeping this record at a tight 36 minutes and 41 seconds, a move that makes it considerably more listenable than its peers and, by extension, more powerful, since they know where to focus their energy, something that many nu-metal bands simply do not."[12] Sputnikmusic writer Damrod criticized the album as being too similar to Hybrid Theory, but praised the album's production quality and catchiness, stating "the songs just invade your brain".[21]

Blender described it as "harder, denser, uglier",[25] while Q described it as "less an artistic endeavor than an exercise in target marketing."[26] Entertainment Weekly gave the album a B+, calling it a "thunderously hooky album that seamlessly blends the group's disparate sonic elements into radio-friendly perfection"[16]

Commercial performance and accolades[edit]

In its first week, Meteora debuted at number 1 on the Billboard 200. The album sold at least 810,000 copies its first week of release.[27][28] As of June 2014, the album has sold 6.1 million copies in the US,[29] and over 25 million copies worldwide. The album was ranked number 36 on Billboard's Hot 200 Albums of the Decade.[1]

The song "Session" was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance in 2004.[30]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Linkin Park

No. Title Length
1. "Foreword"   0:13
2. "Don't Stay"   3:07
3. "Somewhere I Belong"   3:33
4. "Lying from You"   2:55
5. "Hit the Floor"   2:44
6. "Easier To Run"   3:24
7. "Faint"   2:42
8. "Figure.09"   3:17
9. "Breaking the Habit"   3:16
10. "From the Inside"   2:55
11. "Nobody's Listening"   2:58
12. "Session"   2:24
13. "Numb"   3:07
Total length:
36:35

Multimedia Part[edit]

  • The Art of Meteora – 17:04
  • "Somewhere I Belong" video
  • LPTV
  • Website tool-kit
  • Extra
  • Merch
  • LP Underground

Meteora – Live Around the World[edit]

Meteora – Live Around the World
Meteora Live Around.jpg
Live album by Linkin Park
Released June 5, 2012
Recorded 2007–11
Genre
Length 25:27
Label
Producer Mike Shinoda
Linkin Park chronology
Hybrid Theory – Live Around the World
(2012)
Meteora – Live Around the World
(2012)
Minutes to Midnight – Live Around the World
(2012)

Meteora – Live Around the World is a live album which features live versions of seven songs from the second studio album, Meteora, similar to their prior live release Hybrid Theory – Live Around the World . They were recorded in various cities around the world from 2007 to 2011. The album was released exclusively on iTunes.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Linkin Park. 

Meteora – Live Around the World
No. Title Length
1. "Don't Stay" (live in Shanghai, 2007) 3:16
2. "Somewhere I Belong" (live in Koln, 2008) 4:09
3. "Lying from You" (live in New York, 2008) 2:57
4. "Faint" (live in Hamburg, 2011) 3:41
5. "Breaking the Habit" (live in Hamburg, 2011) 4:15
6. "From the Inside" (live in Sydney, 2010) 3:28
7. "Numb" (live in New York, 2008) 3:41

Personnel[edit]

Linkin Park Additional musicians
  • David Campbell – Strings arrangement on "Faint" and "Breaking the Habit"
  • Joel Derouin, Charlie Bisharat, Alyssa Park, Sara Parkins, Michelle Richards, Mark Robertson – Violins
  • Evan Wilson, Bob Becker – Violas
  • Larry Corbett, Dan Smith – Celli
  • David Zasloff – shakuhachi flute on "Nobody's Listening"
Production

Charts and certifications[edit]

Singles[edit]

Year Song Peak chart positions
U.S.

[82]

U.S.
Alt.

[82]
U.S.
Main

[82]
AUS
[83]
NZ
[84]
UK
[85]
BEL
[86]
FRA
[87]
FRA
[87]
GER
[88]
ITA
[89]
IRE
[90]
NLD
[91]
NOR
[92]
SWE
[93]
SWI
[94]
2003 "Somewhere I Belong" 32 1 1 13 1 10 33 14 32 12 13 4 14 12 19 15
"Faint" 48 1 2 25 15 44 40 29 26 20 49 32
"Numb" (Platinum) 11 1 1 11 13 14 48 19 19 47 16 2 23 15
2004 "From the Inside" 37 50 35 35 54 38
"Breaking the Habit" 20 1 1 23 27 39 27 25 46 41 56

Promotional singles[edit]

Year Song Peak chart positions
U.S.

[82]

U.S.
Alt.

[82]
U.S.
Main

[82]
2004 "Lying from You" 58 1 2

Album number-one chart successions[edit]

Order of precedence
Preceded by
Get Rich or Die Tryin' by 50 Cent
Billboard 200 number-one album
April 6, 2003 – April 19, 2003
Succeeded by
Faceless by Godsmack
Preceded by
Come Away with Me by Norah Jones
UK number one album
April 5, 2003 – April 11, 2003
Succeeded by
Elephant by White Stripes

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External links[edit]