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Close but no Didjeridoo...
on 25 October 2001
Having been an Incubus fan for quite a while, and the alternative scene for a great deal longer, this album can't help but dissapoint a fan of the very idea of Incubus... However the reason Incubus are such a joy, is that like the other two aforementioned bands, they embody the purest and most enjoyable ideals of Nu-metal, the splicing of genre's, the recognition of the importance of the emo movement's lyrics, the sampled dynamiscism of hip-hop, and overall, the feel of stretching the very skin of 'Metal' to its limits.
Through earlier works such as 'Make Yourself', and irrefutably 'S.C.I.E.N.C.E', this ideal is wonderfully toyed with, and makes for the rarest of pleasures within nu-metal; albums that bare repeated listening over a year later.
'Morning View' is certainly the sound of Incubus 'maturing', but in so, they've simply become more content to rest within the trappings of their own sound. There is little to distinguish between brash opener 'Nice To Know You' and 'Make Yourself's 'Privelige', or 'Circles' as a deflated 'Make Yourself'...and more worrying is the feeble '11am's aspirations to 'Drive's heartfelt purity. The pondering sense of musical unrest that made the sophomore release so inspirational is here in spirit but the fire of 'S.C.I.E.N.C.E' is clearly dead and buried, and the more funky offerings of 'Enjoy Incubus' and 'Fungus Amongus' are a forgotten memory; not that the passing of such moments is a reason in itself to discount the new album, it's just that you could always chart the exciting musical changes Incubus made from their earlist recordings to the present, and wonder at how they could so easily pick up (or create) a sub-genre, buckle and tear at its bindings and then leave it battered and bruised for Spineshank or Linkin Par or whoever to cut their teeth on.
To summise, its not so much that 'Morning View' is a bad album;Brandon Boyd's voice is still as pure and etheral as ever, Pasillas beats all the more virulent, DJ KIlmore's deck talents and sampling still pioneering in this field, and there are some still uplifting and glorious moments in 'Wish You Were Here' and 'Blood On The Ground'. But still, at the end of the day, this is nothing more than a 'good' Incubus album, a 'Make Yourself' mark 2, and a constant in their musical career.
Hopefully though, this album will be looked back on more as the affable filler-in between the ongoing 'Incubus' experiment's more progressive moments.