I have been a fan of Incubus for 10 years now, so you’d understand how i’d be able to answer any questions about them. I’m not the Startrek-ish fan, I can safely say that, I think. Yes, check my room out, I don’t have any huge Brandon Boyd poster or anything close to a cult follower shrine. Seriously I don’t. Really. Anyway, this is not about that, I’m here to talk about the new album, a review if you will.
Let me tell you now that the album has not come out yet, at least here in Manila. So don’t tell the authorities I’ve downloaded the entire album before being released. I WILL BUY THE RECORD I PROMISE! I SAY NO TO ANY FORM OF PIRACY.
I’ve always enjoyed Incubus’ evolution as a band, they’ve matured musically in my opinion. What I like about them is how they always manage to keep my interest level up, there’s always something new to expect. I’m sorry but i’m going to name some bands that have pretty much stayed the same over the years. 311 have sounded the same since they started out, “hey, this sounded like the very first track!”- listen to them and you’d know what I mean (sorry for any 311 fans out there). Hey don’t get me wrong, I love Amber, I’ll be here a while and the cure cover song- Love song. Again, to stress my point out, they have not changed over the years.
Ok, let me get started with the If Not Now, When review. If you’re an Incubus follower, you’d really find the album so different, it’s either you hate or you love it (I love it from the first note). This is not anything like their old records, nothing like Make Yourself, Morning View, SCIENCE etc. You’re going to hear a different Incubus, this is more, hmmm i should say, easy listening. A number of their interviews, they’d usually say the new record is different from the last, and they’ve stayed true to that. Brandon’s writing has been one of Incubus’ strength (he could be cheesy sometimes), the lyrics really showed where they are in their journey as a band and as individuals. Mike’s musical direction has been a constant solid factor. The first time I heard the record my reaction was like “oh ho!! these guys are brave for going in this direction!!”, then followed by “is this a Madonna record?”.. If you listened to the last release, “Light grenades” you’d see a picture of what they’d become.
The first track If Not Now, When started with their signature “ambient” sound effects, then went up a notch with the “I’m Crazy for you” reminiscent drums. Listening to the first track gave me an idea that this record won’t be anything like their previous releases. They still have that political thing going on with their lyrics.
Here’s the track List (I’ve marked the ones I enjoyed with an *):
1. If not now, when? *
2. Promises, Promises *
3. Friends and Lovers * (we should never have to defend being friends and lovers-love that line)
4. Thieves – this one’s growing on me *
5. Isadore *
6. The Original *
7. Defiance – don’t like this one that much, but i’d let it grow on me, always going to be the track i’d skip every now and then.
8. In the company of wolves – I still can’t put a finger on what this song is to me. I’m not sure how to appreciate this song yet. This is like that one last bit that’s hard to swallow.
9. Switchblade *! – this one’s a little frustrating to listen to, I always find myself thinking of what band they sounded like.
11. Tomorrow’s food *
All in all, this record is not for the “I’m-all-solid-rock Make-Yourself-and-all-the-hard-rock-incubus-records-of the past” dude, I’m setting your expectations low as early as now. This is not a hard rock record. It has offended a lot of “fans” in the process, but that’s how they are as a band, they challenge us to embrace change.