It makes sense that Linkin Park, the Santa Monica-born band bearing the phonetic rendition of one of that fair city's parks, is a nu-metal band: creative spelling, creative genre. In fact, this quintet turned sextet with the addition of singer Chester Bennington in 1999 became a hip-hop, funk rock, electronica sensation with their release of Hybrid Theory in 2000 and miraculously, given the too-often-tepid track record of many second albums, thrilled fans again with second effort, Meteora. Album number one took its title from the band's early name and produced big-time hits "Crawling" and "One Step Closer." Meteora, from a string of six hilltop monasteries in Greece, pushed past the de rigueur anger and angst of Hybrid to reflect the progress and high energy of the two years in between albums. Says vocalist Mike Shinoda, "It's still a very dark album, but there's ...more optimism." In the opinion of many, Linkin eclipsed nu-metal pioneer Korn to earn the headline spot on the 2004 Projekt Revolution Tour.
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