Single Review: Linkin Park “Numb”

Numb
Album: Meteora
Year: 2003

A glance at the new Linkin Park website suggests two things: 1) content is only worth something if it means it sells tickets. There isn’t an official Linkin Park page anymore, simply a link directing people to the concert website. Even then, all that’s available is a bio and a tiny news section.. However, from the webpage’s dark, gothic theme, people can assume Linkin Park is one of those bands that focus on desolation and anger. 2) There isn’t anything to write about anyway. With the exception of the news section (which is pitiful since it only says “vote for us on TRL”). No journal? No extras? Not even lyrics? It gives the impression that Linkin Park isn’t a band, but a commodity. While it’s true that they are a product just like Listerine, it should be done in a less blatant way. At least incorporate something into the website and make it worth visiting.

Linkin Park’s single, “Numb” is about alienation and wanting to be your own person. Vocalist Chester Bennington sings in the first verse that he’s under pressure to be someone else (“I’m tired of being what you want me to be/feeling so faithless lost under the surface/Don’t know what you’re expecting of me/put under the perssure of walking in your shoes.”) His voice, however, is so pleasing and bland he should be in a boy band. Mike Shinoda’s contributions, which amount to “caught in the undertow” in the verses, are at least sung with approriate amount of boredom. Later, a wooden Bennington screams, “I’ve become so numb I can’t feel you there/I’ve become so tired so much aware.”

In the second verse, it’s back to the boy band voice again. Bennington sings that he’s being smothered and that he can’t meet expectations (“Can’t you see that you’re smothering me/Holding too tightly afraid to lose control/Cause everything that you thought I would be/has fallen apart right in front of you.”) The entire time, I’m not feeling the sadness the song is trying to convey. Although I do want to grab a pen and write in my notebook, “Mrs. Chester Bennington,” then hang up every poster of him on my bedroom walls and scream when I see him on TRL. ‘Cause you know, he’s hot. The best lyrics (“And I know I may end up failing too/but I know/you were just like me with someone disappointed in you”) are ruined by being yelled at the same level as the chorus. It would’ve been better if they had built to the “with someone disappointed in you” by starting softly.

Linkin Park’s music, like a lot of rock today, is as glossy as a tube of lipstick. It’s made to sound pretty and polished, not raw and rugged.

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