The first question everyone asks about Collision Course is “Is this album more Jay-Z or Linkin Park?”
The wrong answer is that it’s Jay-Z with a loud band or a back-and-forth of covers where one rearranges the other. The right answer is that this CD/DVD set is quite possibly one of the best cross-genre pairings of its kind.
What started off as an exercise at “mashing” a Linkin Park track with a Jay-Z track turned into a fantastic pickup game between two artists at the top of their worlds. Each brought a short list of their best songs to the field and walked away with a six-song trophy. This is recess in the supergroup sandbox, and the boys shared their toys. “Numb/Encore” and “Izzo/In the End” are near-perfect plays of seamless sonic moves and mic assists from heavy metal to hip-hop and back. Both artists have spent a little time in the other camp on various parts of their records, but it’s the collaboration that makes this album a winner.
It may be true that Linkin Park is less than convincing than J-Hova on “Big Pimpin’/Papercut,” but there’s no evidence of “I” on this team. In fact, the DVD clearly shows Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda taking on the role of head coach as he commands the digital workstation, the mixing desk, and all the players with a collective spirit.