Wow, that's one hell of a long title, so... where do I begin? As a teenager I was kind of obsessed with Linkin Park, though I never saw them live (they never came to my country in that period as far as I know) I had all their albums and I spent a lot of my free time listening to them. I'm sure most of you are familiar with their first two albums, but basically it was very basic, cheesy, hip hop meets pop-metal, which was trendy back in 2000-2003. So it's easy to see why so many people love them and why so many people hate them, I went through both stages before I completely forgot about them.
But one day I decided I was listening to too much prog rock, experimental music and all kinds of weird shit and I didn't want to be a pretentious asshole, I needed some guilty pleasure music to balance things a bit. So what I did was check where the hell Linkin Park had gone after I basically erased them from my life, and I was quite suprised to see that they had gone experimental... but wait! I don't mean experimental in the King Crimson/The Mars Volta sense... but more like "let's try to expand our sound" kind-of-experimental.
Last time I checked Linkin Park had recorded a "mash up" album with rapper Jay-Z, things could hardly get any more mainstream... well, it seems a few years later they decided they wanted to piss off most of their (huge) fan base by ditching their nu-metal sound in favour of other kinds of modern music. As it is to be expected from a band whose fan base is comprised mostly of teenagers and "ex teenagers" which can't deal with their favourite band trying new things, people hated the follow up to "Meteora" (2003), to be fair it was all over the place, "Minutes To Midnight" (2007) had a few decent pop rock songs but mostly it was a bunch of ideas the band decided to explore.
But as if they didn't have had enough with pissing off half of their fan base by removing the "angry" lyrics and hip hop elements present through all their career, they decided they wanted to double the bet by getting rid of all the harsh vocals and heavy, processed, guitar riffs... the result was the quasi-progressive electronic pop experiment called "A Thousand Suns", this definitely was the final insult to the most conservative part of their fanbase, no harsh screaming, no heavy guitars, almost no hip hop and a lot of instrumental interludes. Suprisingly I loved it, after spending countless hours listening to bands like The Mars Volta, King Crimson, Mastodon, etc, memorizing all their solos, bass lines, drum patterns and every little bit of noise, I was really enjoying their music.
At this point you are probably wondering where the hell am I going with this, well my opinion is Linkin Park is one of those bands that are very easy to hate (or should I say it is "cool" to hate them?) but I think everyone should leave all bias aside and give their albums a try. All their albums are different and if there's one thing you can't deny is that their songs are catchy as hell. Don't expect to find amazing musicianship (at least not in the technical sense), just try to relax and enjoy it. I'm not going to talk about "Living Things" (2012) and their next album "The Hunting Party" (coming soon) so you can listen to them and decide whether it is your thing or not yourself, torrent all their stuff and give it a try, just please... PLEASE don't listen to "Recharged"...