Top critical review
4 people found this helpful
Different, interesting follow up.
on 28 January 2004
Being a pretty big Incubus fan (have all the bootlegs, including the excellent 'enjoy incubus'), I was very pleased to get my hands on an advance copy of this CD.
First of all, in keeping with Incubus' approach to making their new albums, their are hints of new musical direction here, while keeping the distinctive styles of such a diverse band.
Out of all the incubus albums though, this is the one I have been looking forward to the least and that is because of the leaving of one of their founding members - bassist Dirk Lance - who left the band last year. On first listens it certainly seemed that my suspicions had some truth in them. Admittedly opening track 'meglomaniac' is a brilliant starter, but the rest of the album is most definitely not a grabber, so those expecting another 'make yourself' or 'morning view' are likely to be disappointed. However 'megolmaniac' is a glorious opener, a track that bridges the gulf between 'morning view' and this new release. The always colourful palette of guitarist Mike Einzigers playing is very evident here, as is Brandon Boyd's howling vocals (You're not Jesus, You're no f**king Elvis he screams in what is one of the best anti- bush songs I've heard in a while).
After that the album seems to settle into a much more gentle rhythm, though that is not to say it is anything but quiet. bass lines rumble over some superb improvisation by Einziger and drummer Jose, whose latin-flavoured drums are as welcome here as ever. Highlights are difficult to pick out, but 'Southern Girl' is a warm track in a similar vein to 'Echo' from the last album, while 'Agorophobia'is almost hypnotical in its simple rhythm.
It could be said that the album lags a bit towards the end and certainly in comparison to their early material that seems to be the case, but final track 'leech' is full of exotic work and a very strong closing track. It is interesting therefore, that INcubus, who have constantly been accused of 'selling out', have produced such an understated and uneasy album. And for that, they should surely be commended very highly.