Incubus is sacred. Although they have received more attention with each CD they create, they are never given the credit they deserve. Their new release, “Morning View,” is the first to perhaps get close.
Each Incubus album is softer and less pissed-off than the last. Many of this band’s avid fans wish they would return to the harder music and lyrics of 1997’s “S.C.I.E.N.C.E.” In 1999, “Make Yourself” was released, displaying a mix of both hard rock and softer music.
“Morning View” is less hard-core than the last album, and lacks the blatant swearing the others contain. Although it has enough hard rock sounds and words to satisfy the anger and angst their fans may have, it primarily celebrates the beauty of life.
The melodic tones of ecstasy this album produces prove that the band is on the same spiritual level as Live’s “The Distance to Here.”
At certain points the first song, “Nice To Know You,” has an air of extreme euphoria ? almost like an orgasm. The music blends colorful vocal lines, soft guitar strumming and inspiring lyrics.
This same musical feeling is created in songs such as “11 a.m.,” which begins with pleasant, mellow notes and transitions into an explosion of rapturous sounds.
The album’s first single, “Wish You Were Here,” seems generic at first, but in reality is nothing of the sort. If you listen closely to the blissful words and brilliantly layered music, it makes for an awesome song. The band shows their completely off-beat and original sense of imagery when vocalist Brandon Boyd sings, “The sky resembles a back-lit canopy / with holes punched in it.”
The songs “Circles” and “Under My Umbrella” are among the hardest on the CD.
Although these songs rock, and therefore let people get anger out of their system, they seem very one-layered compared to many of the softer songs. This isn’t necessarily a bad quality, since sometimes it’s better just to let go and be mad than to be moved by music.
“Just A Phase” begins with the band’s weird, futuristic trademark sounds and flows into a beautiful fusion of Boyd’s boyish voice, stringed instruments and guitars.
Boyd sings, “Call it women’s intuition / but I think I’m on to something here. / Temporaryism has been the Black Plague / and the Jesus of our age,” where he is unashamed to get in touch with his feminine side.
Sometimes the rhymes in this song are rather predictable, but they seem innocently nave, and are therefore, enjoyable.
“Warning” is, by far, one of the best releases of this era because of its thought provoking lyrics. To get the full effect, one must listen to it.
The softest songs on the album are “Mexico” and, the last song, “Aqueous Transmission.” While the first is gorgeous in its sincerity and elegance, the latter creates a calm place filled with meditative music. This is a great song with which to end the CD, because it leaves the listener with a sense of relaxation and absolute calm.
Incubus is one of the few bands around these days with actual artistic integrity. They are not “selling out” when they alter certain aspects of their style ? if they produced the same CD over and over again, what would they or their fans gain?
Bands must evolve mentally and musically in order to produce a piece of art that has the ability to achieve greatness. “Morning View” has done just that.
It is full of soul, truth, creativity, introspective thoughts and kick ass music. I feel alive again.
Schaefer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.