Incubus's Morning View is refreshing
Morning View, Incubus's third major-label debut, is a diamond
in the rough. At a time when the hard-rock scene is populated with whiny,
bland groups like Korn and Papa Roach, this album is a breath of fresh
air. The record combines the scratching of DJ Kilmore with hard-driving
riffs and excellent songwriting to create a brilliant end product.
The album deserves all of the hype it has generated. One can listen to
it from start to finish without skipping a single track, and the songs
are consistently interesting and well-written. It has a nice mix of slow
and acoustic songs in addition to fast-paced, heavier ones.
Standout tracks include "11 a.m.," "Blood On The Ground,"
"Mexico," and "Circles." The beauty of these tracks
is that each one is quite different musically, yet each have insightful
lyrics. For instance, in "Blood on the Ground" lead singer Brandon
Boyd waxes poetic: "I bite my tongue every time you come around,
cause/ blood in my mouth beats blood on the ground."
Incubus may not be the most talented band out there, but what they lack
in skill, they make up for with passion. Boyd is a versatile singer who
is just as comfortable yelling at the top of his lungs as he is singing
soft high notes for acoustic ballads. He is also one of the few songwriters
in his genre who can write lyrics that are both emotional and intelligent
at the same time.
The album is quite diverse in terms of its sound. "Mexico"
is a slow acoustic song that will bring tears to your eyes, while "Nice
To Know You" is an edgier electric song that will get hearts pumping.
The album's one main flaw is its lack of innovation as compared to past
Incubus albums. The band's first independent release featured funk music
reminiscent of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and their second release, S.C.I.E.N.C.E.,
was a breakthrough work that combined surprisingly heavy riffs with creative
turntable work. Their most recent release was not as creative as the previous
two, but it incorporated the DJ into the songs much better.
On Morning View, the DJ's effects add to the music on the few
songs when they are noticeable, but they seem somewhat forced. The release
would have been close to perfect if Kilmore's scratching talents were
With that said, this album is still more creative than most of the drivel
getting played on MTV these days. "Aqueous Transmission," for
instance, sounds more like a track you would hear in Asia than one produced
by a mainstream American rock band. Eastern strings, combined with Boyd's
excellent vocals, create a touching song that is almost eight minutes
While Incubus may now be considered mainstream, few bands have the creativity
to write such an album, let alone pull it off successfully.