Warners - 2003 - 36 minutes

The fuss that whirrs around Linkin Park probably puzzles everyone who was buying albums when Metallica's 'Master of Puppets', Guns 'N' Roses' 'Appetite for Destruction' or Nirvana's 'Nevermind' were released, but even they might admit the guilty pleasure of humming one of their choruses or grunting a riff when no-one's around.

Bands that come from nowhere and have a 17-million selling debut are hard to get away from and 'Meteora' guarantees that LP logo will stake its claim to millions more backs, bags and lamposts in the next year. It's easy to see why too. The smart, attention-holding length of 36 minutes, the Pro-Tools masterclass of the production, the rap-shout tag team of frontmen Mike Shinoda and Chester Bennington, along with the well worked mix of scratching, angst and guitars, mean 'Meteora' has everything a fan or young newcomer could want.

And for the older outsider, that's Linkin Park's biggest failing: they haven't moved on since 'Hybrid Theory' and this album draws far too much energy from it. Of the 12 songs, seven are just waiting for the hit single treatment, but the best are the ones that will never make MTV. 'Breaking the Habit', 'Nobody's Listening' and 'Session' won't be anyone's first choice to sing - hum or grunt -along to, but their dance and hip-hop touches show the greatest level of invention and say Linkin Park could be a far more adventurous band than they give themselves credit for. Right now.

Harry Guerin

Tracklisting: Foreword - Don't Say - Somewhere I Belong - Lying From You - Hit the Floor - Easier to Run - Faint - Figure .09 - Breaking the Habit - From the Inside - Nobody's Listening - Session - Numb