I've been keeping my ear to the ground for the last few months, and hearing little bits of info here and there about the new Incubus album. Such as, the band members comparing it to their earlier work, the classic 'S.C.I.E.N.C.E' (which was the album through which I discovered their music), so to say I was very, very excited about their forthcoming record is something of an understatement.
Alas, as with many great bands, their new album is not as good as what they were producing at the peak of their career, i.e the seminal 'Make Yourself', but every band has their zenith and Incubus are just past theirs. That being said, this is still a pretty good album and it's unfair to expect that every record they make will be sheer brilliance. On first listen to 'Morning View' I was a little disappointed, but now I love it. And so it was like that with this album, although I think this album is more accessible than 'Morning View'
Incu-fans will know 'Megalomaniac', Brandons political rant against the evils of the leaders of western democracy, and this is a good opener for the album. The 3 best songs are (in my opinion) 'A Crow Left Of The Murder' (happy, energetic, punk-like sound), 'Pistola' (more like classic Incubus) and 'Priceless' (loud & heavy). After these three stand-out offerings, the next best songs are 'Agoraphobia' (has a early 90s seattle grunge band feel to it), 'Talk Shows On Mute' (pretty mellow, with the amusing line 'The electric sheep are dreaming of your face'), and the song that seems to be most fans overwhelming favourite (according to [...]) 'Sick Sad Little World' which sound-wise is in a similar vein to 'Pistola' and 'Priceless'.
The rest of the album is good as well. 'Here In My Room' is a slow, sensual love song. I have a soft spot for 'Beware! Criminal', which is a a good, fast-paced track. I only really like the chorus of 'Smile Lines' but it's not a bad song. And the closing track 'Leech', is an awesome kick-ass track and is well-placed as the last song containing the line 'The ride's over, did you enjoy yourself?'The verdict from this listener is a resounding 'yes'.
The album only dips into mediocrity on 2 songs; 'Zeedeveel', a song warning against the evils of materialism. Although I like the sentiment behind it, I just don't like the song. It's a little different to what they normally do but it just comes off as being a teensy bit pretentious and irritating. 'Made For TV Movie' is a bit bland and dull.
But if on an album of 14 songs, 3 of them are genius, 6 of them altogether are amazing, and 12 in total are pretty damn good, then that's value for money!
The DVD is alright too. The best bits are showing the making of the album, and the surreal film with Mike Einzieger. They even show a bit of footage from when fans from all over the world rang in to speak to Incubus for the Fan Conference.
If you love Incubus, this is a must have. For those whose favourite album is 'Make Yourself' or 'S.C.I.E.N.C.E', you won't like this as much. For those whose favourite is 'Morning View', you will probably like this more.
And lucky, lucky me, I have standing tickets to see them at the B'ham NEC when they do their UK tour! Woo hoo! Try and get some tickets to see them if you know what's good for you.