Amidst relational darkness, a man anticipates the sunrise ("Forgotten"). Other songs grappling with lost love ("A Place for My Head," "In the End," "With You," "By Myself") are thoughtful and innocuous.
In bidding a love farewell, the artist on "Pushing Me Away" unapologetically admits to a pattern of dishonesty. Elsewhere he is trapped in pain and fear, suffering from insecurity and unbearable pressure ("Crawling"). On "Papercut," he can be heard rambling on in stressed-out paranoia. Unforgiveness and vengeance drive a man to pledge, "I’ll hurt myself just to get back at you" ("Points of Authority"). "One Step Closer" claims to find bliss in ignorance, though the singer is anything but blissful ("I cannot take this anymore! . . . I’m about to break . . . Shut up when I’m talking to you"). Angst, anger and emptiness repeatedly wash over the listener.
Cut from the same stylistic cloth as Korn, Godsmack and Limp Bizkit, this Los Angeles band oozes frustration, confusion and hopelessness. But Linkin Park isn’t nearly as hostile as those other acts. Lost? No question. Dreary in its fixation on lost love and personal pain? Absolutely. An odd choice for Christian hard core group P.O.D. to invite on tour with them? You bet. But while Hybrid Theory misses the mark, it’s certainly not the worst of the genre.