Not unlike Rush throughout the 1970s and '80s, Linkin Park has grown into one of rock's biggest and most beloved acts despite a majority of pop critics never taking them seriously the way they do U2 or even Coldplay. A lot of this has to do with the fact that critics for the most part are nerdy intellectuals who automatically dismiss alternative metal and contemporary hard rock as dumb jock music. It's undeniable that Linkin Park do specialize in aggressive rock jams shot through with testosterone. This is especially true of their latest full-length, The Hunting Party, a furious marriage of hardcore punk, grinding hip-hop beats and thoroughly dystopian lyrics. (Did the band crank a lot of OFF! and Death Grips before entering the studio?)
But what's also undeniable is the fact that Linkin Park have made it a point to evolve and change with each new release. Indeed, you really have to admire their ability to explore new sonic terrain and challenge expectations while also understanding that their loyal fans want some killer rock to crank while playing video games or cruising around town. This fact definitely places them in the Deftones zone, as both groups remain committed to making hard rock that is on some level meaningful and weighty. From all the early hits, including "In the End" and "Numb," to the recently released singles "Guilty All the Same" and "Wastelands," our Artist Spotlight playlist covers the full spectrum of Linkin Park's impressive career.