Oh man, this one's bad. To you, Linkin Park may be just another top 40 Nu-Metal act, fodder for Y-100. But as a metal fan, liking Linkin Park is akin to someone finding a collection of Lionel Ritchie records under my bed (I got rid of those years ago, I swear).

Musically and intellectually, Linkin Park take it back to seventh grade with lyrics like, "You like to think you're never wrong / you try to act like you're someone." The angst is palpable, or maybe that's just the guilt I feel while I headbang, still seated at my desk, finishing a paper. Come to think of it, not a whole lot's changed since seventh grade.

Liking Linkin Park displays not only bad taste, but a feeling of sleeping with the enemy. Metalheads try to resist the influence of Nu-Metal, but it's hard: it can be heard everywhere, even in Metallica's new single "St. Anger" ("it's flushing out, it's flushing out").

How can I appreciate self-indulgent glorious metal acts like King Diamond and the aforementioned Metallica (from the ...And Justice For All and Master of Puppets days, of course) and still rock out to Linkin Park? I don't know. But it could be worse. At least I can safely say that I have never owned a Papa Roach CD and never will. As for their MP3s, well... no comment.

-Eliot Sherman