“Crawling” by Linkin Park

Linkin Park’s early work was their most commercially successful period, but there’s a reason that it’s now thought of mostly as a punchline about angsty white suburban teenagers wallowing in self-pity. This doesn’t necessarily mean it was bad music per se: from a purely musical perspective they were rather interesting, with a highly unique sound that blended standard Nu-Metal influences with electronics and turntables. Unfortunately, their ridiculously melodramatic lyrics and Chester Bennington’s hysterical screaming too often make them impossible to take seriously. This song in particular is the ultimate self-parody of the Emo movement, beating out even “Untitled (How Could This Happen To Me?)” by Simple Plan in terms of sheer silliness. I actually feel a little bad for laughing at it, because it was apparently supposed to be about Bennington’s real-life molestation as a child, but I can’t help but wonder how he possibly failed to notice the fact that this song’s screaming hook of “Crawling in my skin…” is unintentionally hilarious on its face. Interestingly, there is a song on Korn’s debut album called “Daddy” that is about almost the exact same thing. Now, Korn would make their share of bad songs themselves over the course of their career, but their song deals much more explicitly with the subject than “Crawling”, and comes across as filled with genuine rage and agony rather than mere melodrama. I don’t want to take anything away from either man’s tragic experience, but there’s really no way to deny that Korn frontman Jonathan Davis did a far better job of capturing the pain and fear of that situation in a Rock song than Bennington did here.

Verdict: There’s some interesting musical ideas here, but the unintentional comedy definitely outweighs any of the potential positive qualities.

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