Linkin Park Meteora (Warner) Linkin Park are a sad commentary on the unadventurous state of alternative metal. The geek chic, radio-friendly unit-shifters with the hostile, nobody-understands-me attitude found millions of like-minded souls with 2001's global best-seller, Hybrid Theory. Last year's remix set, Reanimation, bought them time between albums - and a measure of credibility - by proving that these middle-class brats were prepared to take risks with some dark and sinuous excursions on the originals. Unfortunately, that's as intrepid as Linkin Park get. No surprise then that nu-metal's brightest sparks chose not to meddle with the cut-and-paste formula of their debut smash for this sophomore effort (it even clocks in at an identical 37 minutes). Meteora (the name of the region in Greece famed for its mountain monasteries) peddles more of the same - heavily produced, multi-layered tracks in which power chords vie with trip-hop beats and earnest rap for the listener's favour. That's not to say the sextext don't know how to grind out a likable enough tune with a hook-heavy chorus, as the first single, Somewhere I Belong, testifies. And it's true that Linkin Park do the rapcore thing more convincingly than rivals Limp Bizkit or the interminable Papa Roach. But it's the distinct lack of freshness, or any element of progression, that ultimately drags this album down and will eventually spell Linkin Park's fall from grace. Still, it's life-affirming stuff if you're 15 years old, hate your parents, and the girl of your daydreams doesn't even know you exist. Otherwise, keep your distance.