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Meteora is the second studio album by American rock band Linkin Park, released on March 25, 2003 by Warner Bros. Records. Produced by the band and Don Gilmore, who produced their debut album Hybrid Theory (2000), the album has a sound similar to the band’s debut, and was recorded from April to December 2002 at NRG Recording Studios in North Hollywood, California. Its artwork was assembled by the band with help of various graphic artists, and its title is taken from the Greek Orthodox monasteries of the same name.

Linkin Park released singles from Meteora for over a year, including "Somewhere I Belong", "Faint", "Numb", "From the Inside", and "Breaking the Habit"; "Lying From You" was also released as a promotional single.

Meteora received critical acclaim upon its release and debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 and fourteen other international charts; it also became the most successful album in the history of the Billboard Alternative Songs chart. The song "Session" was nominated for the 2004 Grammy Award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance, but lost to Jeff Beck's "Plan B". Songs from the album were remixed with songs by American rapper Jay-Z for the 2004 MTV Ultimate Mash-Ups EP Collision Course. Meteora was later certified 7x platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on August 15, 2017, and has sold over 27 million copies worldwide as of 2013.

Background Info and ProductionEdit

Meteora was named after the Meteora rock formation in Greece. After seeing these monasteries on a trip to Europe, the band was inspired by the way they were built, almost defying gravity. It was this feeling of greatness and awesome accomplishment that Linkin Park wished to convey with their music, thus the name.

Don Gilmore co-produced the album. Linkin Park comprehensively rehearsed the album recording more than fourty choruses for the first single "Somewhere I Belong". Like the band's first full-length Hybrid Theory, Meteora was recorded using Pro Tools software. In its first week it sold an estimated 830,000 units. To date, it has sold 10,000,000 copies in the United States alone, and nearly 15,000,000 copies worldwide[1].

Also interesting to note is the almost complete synchronization of every song throughout the album. The precedent is immediately set with "Foreword," an intro to the album which finishes with a crashing sound (thought by many to be glass breaking, but it is in fact an external compact disc burner on a wooden table being smashed with an aluminum baseball bat). The sound effect smoothly transitions this cue into the album's first song "Don't Stay." Almost all the songs are likewise linked together, with some instrumental motif carrying over one song into the next. The album performs this trick between "Foreword", "Don't Stay" and "Somewhere I Belong", "Easier to Run" and "Faint", and "Figure.09", "Breaking the Habit", "From The Inside", "Nobody's Listening" and the instrumental song, "Session".

Track ListingEdit

No. Title Length
1. "Foreword" 0:13
2. "Don't Stay" 3:08
3. "Somewhere I Belong" 3:34
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" 3:18
9. "Breaking the Habit" 3:16
10. "From the Inside" 2:56
11. "Nobody's Listening" 2:59
12. "Session" 2:25
13. "Numb" 3:08

iTunes Bonus TracksEdit

No. Title Length
1. "Lying From You" (Live LPU Tour 2003) 3:04
2. "From the Inside" (Live LPU Tour 2003) 2:55
3. "Easier to Run" (Live LPU Tour 2003) 3:22

Bonus Tour Edition VCDEdit

No. Title
1. "Somewhere I Belong" (Music Video)
2. "Faint" (Music Video)
3. "Numb" (Music Video)
4. "Breaking the Habit" (Music Video)
5. "From the Inside" (Music Video)

Critical ResponseEdit

Despite the strong sales response from fans, Meteora received a mediocre response from critics. The overall Metacritic score was 62, indicating a mixed response among the sources used to compile the score, while with a higher user score of 8.3.

  • The album received excellent reviews from E! Online and Entertainment Weekly.
    • E! Online rated it an A-, and expected it to "shoot straight for the stars". Best tracks: "Don't Stay", "Somewhere I Belong", "Numb".
    • Entertainment Weekly described it as "radio-friendly perfection".
  • The album received good reviews from Dot Music, Billboard, and New Musical Express.
    • Dot Music described it as a "guaranteed source of ubiquitous radio hits". Best Tracks: "Somewhere I Belong", "Faint", "Lying from you", "Nobody's Listening"; rating: 8/10.
    • Billboard Magazine described Meteora as "a ready-made crowdpleaser". Best Tracks: "Somewhere I Belong", "Breaking the Habit"
    • The New Musical Express said it had "massive commercial appeal" but left the reviewer "underwhelmed" Rating: 7, Best track: "Breaking the Habit".
  • The band received average reviews from All Music Guide, Rolling Stone, Blender, Q Magazine, and shakingthrough.net.
    • Rolling Stone said the band "squeezed the last remaining life out of this nearly extinct formula" (nu-metal) Rating 4.5 stars Best tracks: "Breaking the Habit", "Lying from You", "Figure .09", "Numb"
    • allmusic.com described it as "nothing more and nothing less than Hybrid Theory Part 2". Best tracks: "Somewhere I Belong", "Lying from You", "Breaking the Habit", "Hit the Floor".
    • Blender described it as "harder, denser, uglier" (#15, page 128) while Q Magazine described it as "less an artistic endeavour than an exercise in target marketing"

PersonnelEdit

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
  • Don Gilmore – Recording, producing
  • EnrJohn Ewing, Jr. – Engineer
  • Fox Phelps – Assistant engineer
  • Andy Wallace – Mixing at Soundtrack Studios, New York, NY
  • Steve Sisco – Assisted mixing
  • Brian "Big Bass" Gardner – Mastering, digital editing at Bernie Grundman Mastering
Management
  • Tom Whalley & Jeff Blue – A&R
  • Marny Cameron – A&R coordination
  • Peter Standish & Kevin Sakoda – Marketing directors
  • Worldwide representation: Rob McDermott for the Firm with Additional Servitude by Ryan Saullo, Ryan Demarti, and Noah Edelman
  • Booking agent: Michael Arfin for Artist Group, International
  • Danny Hayes – Legal for Davis, Shapiro, Lewit, Montone & Hayes
  • Michael Oppenheim & Jonathan Schwartz – Business Managers for Gudvi, Sussman & Oppenheim
  • Worldwide licensing and merchandising: Bandmerch
Artwork
  • Mike Shinoda & The Flem – Creative direction
  • The Flem – Art direction & design
  • Delta, Mike Shinoda, Joseph Hahn & The Flem – Installation artists
  • James R. Minchin III – Photography
  • Nick Spanos – Spray paint can close-up photos

ReferencesEdit

  1. [1] Billboard News Report