Incubus: An Ever-Changing Sound

By Kaylin Sullivan

If not now, when is incubus going to bring out an album nostalgic of
the good old days??? Vocalist Brandon Boyd claims that, ?This [?If
Not Now, When??] is a much more focused offering for us. We were
being more deliberate than we have ever been. We started to see the
way the songs were trending and rather than trying to pepper the album
with variations, we instead decided to hold to a handful of mantras
that wanted to be heard. Space. Elegance. Economy. Slow is the new
black.? While the band is completely happy with the course this
album took, they have left many a fan disappointed. For those incubus
fans who became captivated right from ?Fungus Amongus? by the
forceful and passionate and disjointed and all around heavier sound of
the (very broadly speaking) alternative rock band, ?A Crow Left of
the Murder? was the last remotely exciting release for incubus.
While they haven?t necessarily become worse, they?ve definitely
lost the aggressive edge that was prevalent in ?Fungus
Amongus?,? S.C.I.E.N.C.E?, ?Morning View? and ?A Crow Left
of The Murder?. ?Light Grenades? disappointed many an Incubus
fan with its relaxed ambience; although personally, I do really enjoy
?Anna Molly?, ?Love hurts? and ?Oil and Water?. But those
songs don?t really appeal to me when I?m in an incubus mood. Or
what I define as incubus at least. But the greatest let down thus far,
is definitely the latest release ?If Not Now, when??.

Although peaking at number 2 on the US charts, it was definitely and
unfortunately a number 2 in my personal opinion. The only song vaguely
reminiscent of the old incubus is the slightly heavier Switchblade and
one song like this on an entire album just isn?t enough. The quality
of the music on this album isn?t bad at all, however. I mean, at the
mention of the name Incubus, the mind of anyone who is musically
informed will resonate with the idea of musical geniuses. I think the
real problem with this album is its attempt to tamper with a new
sound. While this is almost a trademark of the band (they can divided
into genres from nu metal, to funk to hip hop to techno to jazz) it
has failed them this time with its result being monotony and almost
sappiness (listen to ?Friends and Lovers?). The album can almost
be classified under the Pop genre. Most of the lyrics consist of love
analogies which are a disappointing contradiction to Boyd?s famously
philosophical, spiritual, ?screw you? type lyrics (listen to
?Nebula? and ?Megalomaniac?). For me, the older, true Incubus
takes hold of my mind and takes it on a journey where I am forced to
see and feel things I never did before the words of Brandon Boyd
captured me.

But who am I to define what Incubus is? They have obviously grown and
moved on to a different place within their music. If ?Not Now
When???? has without a doubt done well in the ?mainstream? music
world because they have given the majority what they want to hear and
the album definitely doesn?t fail in the respects of the angelic
voice of Brandon Boyd and hypnotizing guitar melodies of Mike
Einziger. Boyd?s vocals only gets better over time and, on a
positive note, are used to their full capacity and are more prevalent
in this album than in any other. It can be really satisfying to hear
his clean singing without the other wild things he does like his
rapping. Einziger?s guitar sound has also developed a lot over the
past and again, more prevalent in this album than in any other is its
intricacy which is always impressive.

That being said and out of the way, I stand by my adoration of the
older incubus and wait in hope that they decide to change things up
again and go all out with a sound closer to their roots for the next
album, just for the die hard fans.??[1][2] [3]



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