Not unlike a blockbuster Hollywood sequel, the anticipated follow-up to Linkin Park's 2000 set, Hybrid Theory, isn't so much a revelation as it is a ready-made crowd pleaser that delivers on the famil

Not unlike a blockbuster Hollywood sequel, the anticipated follow-up to Linkin Park's 2000 set, Hybrid Theory, isn't so much a revelation as it is a ready-made crowd pleaser that delivers on the familiar. All the elements that made the SoCal sextet a multi-platinum phenomenon then are present again: the alt-metal guitar riffs, the turntable virtuosity, the electronic beats, and the juxtaposing melodies and rhymes from the vocal tandem of singer Chester Bennington and MC Mike Shinoda. Though the formula is well-established at this point, it remains an effective one. Standout tracks include the lead single "Somewhere I Belong" and the ambitious "Breaking the Habit," which ditches the usual power chords and rapping for strings and piano elements. Ultimately, Meteora finds Linkin Park honing its signature sound rather than breaking new ground, but that should keeps fans happy.—BG

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