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92 of 109 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Leave your expectations behind
For all the fans that are lashing out at the lack of heavy music here, I can understand your concern. The heavier element of this band is a part of Incubus which is amazing and a part I agree they have not explored to my satisfaction. It is frustrating to see a band with so much obvious talent and vision move away from what you loved so much about them and what you could...
Published on July 12, 2011 by C. Talbot

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42 of 55 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A different direction indeed...
It's no doubt to anyone who (even remotely) knows me that I am a huge Incubus fan. I have been since high school; in love since that first Incubus concert I saw in 2002. If any regret, I wish I had been listening to them sooner on. My obsession and love for Incubus has been the same as it always has since day one. Even after this album's disappointment, I doubt there will...
Published on July 16, 2011 by Kimi


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92 of 109 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Leave your expectations behind, July 12, 2011
This review is from: If Not Now, When? (Audio CD)
For all the fans that are lashing out at the lack of heavy music here, I can understand your concern. The heavier element of this band is a part of Incubus which is amazing and a part I agree they have not explored to my satisfaction. It is frustrating to see a band with so much obvious talent and vision move away from what you loved so much about them and what you could see them doing. I love a good guitar thrashing from mike just like anyone else and I can always use an upbeat incubus rocker which shows how useless most mainstream junk really is.
That said, I cannot honestly listen to this album and write it off because it is not what I wanted or expected. If this band were to produce only what everyone wanted, there would be no expression or art to the work. You cant very well ask an artist to create something they dont feel like making. Listening to this album reminds me that Incubus is one artist who is still willing to follow their interests and give us something honest and real. This album expores a whole different side of Incubus, one we have seen on occassion on the last few albums. This softer more personalized album gives us a taste of what Mike can do outside of the large chord world. It shows Brandon's voice and message very clearly, while maintaining a musicial interest with strong core structure to each song. This album is filled with melody and purpose and is built as a whole piece. I think it is unfair, to say the least, to judge this without the perspective of time. All Incubus albums need time to grow and build and there really is so many layers of material here that it will take time to really dig in and see what this album has to offer. Its lush soundscapes and open unashamed honesty may come across as simple and lazy but really I feel like you have to take it as it is and not as you would have it be. It stands on mature song writing and builds its appeal not by being showy or heavy, but instead by pulling melodies together into interwoven staggering tunes which emphasis the use of space and minimalism. Each member still contributes significantly to this release but not by push their skill but instead by pushing their emotional boundaries. Giving up a solo to keep the focus on the melody. Drumming tightly but calmly to maintain and accent the song. This album reminds me of classical music structure in that their are such large chord transitions without being obvious and flahy. The ideas presented in the lyrics are still thoughtful and ask the listener to think and consider their meaning. Ultimately this album reminds me that sometimes less really can be more.
Like most Incubus fans I am waiting for album on which Incubus decides to let loose and show the world what they can truely do as musicians. I long for the energy and experiment of SCIENCE or the smashing anger of Make Yourself. But until these guys decide to channel that demon, I am enjoying their turn at showing their softer side and penning some very interesting and well written ballads and melodies.
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42 of 55 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A different direction indeed..., July 16, 2011
This review is from: If Not Now, When? (Audio CD)
It's no doubt to anyone who (even remotely) knows me that I am a huge Incubus fan. I have been since high school; in love since that first Incubus concert I saw in 2002. If any regret, I wish I had been listening to them sooner on. My obsession and love for Incubus has been the same as it always has since day one. Even after this album's disappointment, I doubt there will be a day where I will up and boldly say, "Incubus blows."

I placed my hopes for this album, oddly enough, on a song that isn't even on the track list. Incubus was headline band for Cypress Hill Smokeout 2010 in San Bernardino, California. They performed "Surface to Air" and I was looking forward to the new album from that point on based on that song. I heard "Adolescents" a while after that and thought it was alright...maybe more appropriate as some sort of Morning View b-side. I hoped that the remainder of the album would move in the direction of what "Surface to Air" had in it.

It didn't.

There have been numerous statements from various members of Incubus talking about this new album and from the start everyone knew it was something that was going to be different than anything they have done in the past.

Lead singer Brandon Boyd dedicated a blog to this topic specifically; [...] ...and that's exactly what it is. Someone listening to the new album might think, "am I listening to the same band that created S.C.I.E.N.C.E.?" I know that thought ran through my mind more than once while listening to If Not Now, When? for the first time. I had to listen to the album while reminding myself that the year is 2011, not 1997.

Mike Einziger, guitarist of Incubus, attended Harvard to study musical composition and impressively infused components of science into his music, notably physics. He premiered his piece "End. > vacuum" at UCLA only a few years back where he experimented with a variety of sounds and how they would combine. He had a large hand in the direction of the music and the composition of this album. It leaves me wondering what his inspiration was for this album's composition. I'm a little lost and slightly disappointed because they have plenty of songs which demonstrate more complexities than there seemingly were in this album but Einziger would likely disagree with my sentiment. He said recently that he feels this is their most solid and concise work yet and he feels it is the best. To be fair, if you have the time to sit down and listen to any of Einziger's work you'll see it is a different sound than that of Incubus.

As far as Jose Pasillas, Ben Kenney, and Chris Kilmore all seem to be in agreement that this is their best record so far (there are some various interviews easily found on YouTube). My guess is this is the direction we're going to be seeing in the future for this band and I reluctantly have to accept this reality.

Despite my initial disappointment of If Not Now, When?, I knew I would have to go back and give it a fair chance. I had to keep in mind what was said by the band members about this album. I still felt as if there were a lot of songs on here that just lacked that something. I didn't feel like Incubus. It lacked the intricacies of bass lines running obscurely under the main melodies. I found the beats basic. I found the music undynamic and even boring at times.

With everything said by this point, I'm trying my very best to look at If Not Now, When? as its own entity separate from anything prior to this album. To have a fair evaluation, I would have to look at this album as if it were by a band I didn't know. Though if I were trying to convince someone that Incubus is a great band, this is not the album I would use. The Incubus on this album is definitely not one I know well, but it is still undoubtedly Incubus.

Track list
1. If Not Now, When?
2. Promises, Promises
3. Friends And Lovers
4. Thieves
5. Isadore
6. The Original
7. Defiance
8. In The Company Of Wolves
9. Switchblade
10. Adolescents
11. Tomorrow's Food

1. If Not Now, When?
As an opening track, I found it to be boring and almost painful to get through. Though, listening to this track with what Boyd had said in his blog, you can see the visualization of "ripples" throughout the song pretty easily.

2. Promises, Promises
At this point, I was getting panicked. I wondered if anything was going to pick up. There are a few phrases in Promises, Promises that I listen to and expect them to go somewhere, but they end up falling flat. In fact, the whole song starts out sounding promising, no pun intended, but it builds (or doesn't) to a sort of anti-climatic chorus with layered vocals that sound a little bit cheesy and out of place. I would sum this song as being a piano rock-type that is a bit monotonous and drags.

3. Friends and Lovers
This was the first song that was written for this album...but that's irrelevant. This is a ballad that has unenthusiastic, drawn-out verses leading to a rather mundane chorus. The musical aspects of this song are quite lovely and surprisingly the vocals take away from that beauty (composition, not Brandon's voice in itself). The bridge is somewhat redeeming. The bridge comes together well and provokes a little more feeling and emotion than the other parts of the track. Unfortunately, the bridge also leads you to believe that something amazing is about to unfold but never did.

4. Thieves
The fourth song in we have something with a little more drive that the previous three songs seemed to lack. The moment Brandon's vocals begin you catch a glimpse of the older Incubus. At first listen, the verse is much less impressive than the chorus, but when you reach the chorus familiarities of an old band return but with a very modern sound. After those few listens the verse is fitting and builds nicely into the chorus. Overall it's a nice song.

5. Isadore
This song was a wonderfully redeeming factor of this album. It was a great surprise embedded in the middle of this track list. I was enamored the first time I heard it. Everything about it, to me, is quite beautiful. It's beautiful and it's tragic all at once. Weird, but this song sounds a lot like "She Will Be Loved" by Maroon 5...

6. The Original
The drum beat reminds me of the 90s or 80s. Maybe it's just me. The song initially catches attention but it doesn't feel like it goes anywhere. It's ok. It feels like it drags more and more as the song progresses.

7. Defiance
This song just has the acoustic guitar and Brandon's wooing vocals; it sounds as if it belongs on an acoustic record. It's not a song to write home about, but it is nice. It has energy but simultaneously edges on being a little boring. It's the shortest track on the record at 2 minutes and 19 seconds.

8. In The Company Of Wolves
When you have the "long songs" (as I refer to them as) such as Just A Phase, Sick Sad Little World, and Vitamin (live performances) then followed by In The Company Of Wolves, I was a bit let down. The first 3 minutes of the song is kind of boring. I'm not going to lie. Shortly after the 3-minute mark is where the magic starts to happen. The second part of the song, as I refer to it, is a musical and lyrical journey. It has a seductive sort-of groove to it and makes me wish something different preceded it. I have just ended up jumping in 3 minutes just to hear the last 5 minutes or so of the song.

9. Switchblade
This actually starts out like something you just might find stuck in between some tracks on Light Grenades. It starts out like it could be going somewhere from the verse and into the pre-chorus but it digresses into a cheesy series of layered vocals. The verses are the best part of the song. However, the absolutely best part about this song is the guitar line.

10. Adolescents
This is the single. It's all over the radio. It is everywhere. And it is deceptive. Nothing on this album is like this song. This song sounds like it should come from Morning View. It's a decent song, but not amazing.

11. Tomorrow's Food
There are definitely some very pretty aspects of this song. It's a bit undynamic like the opening songs. It's a very pretty song, but I'm still unsure of the vocals. Musically it's a nice way to end the album.

I tried. I tried my best to create a review sans comparisons to earlier albums. I flopped a few times on that, but I feel it was necessary.

Here is what Mike said in an interview: "I think we're asking a lot of our fans," he says. "We're asking them to listen for things that they normally wouldn't listen for. We're not leaning on the strengths of our last records either. It's that much different than our previous work. I think we took a risk by making his type of album. But it's not some crazy, experimental album. It's a very straightforward concise album. And it's a lot more focused than anything else we've ever done. So naturally I think this might disappoint some people, because there's a pretty obvious lack of heavy rock music on this album."

...and he's completely, 100% accurate. Maybe when I get to be the age they are all around now I'll get it. Perhaps there's something I'm missing because I'm not at the same point in my life as the members are. Until then, time will tell.
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32 of 43 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Where has all the magic gone?, July 14, 2011
By 
Darius Jackson "Action Jackson" (Rocklin, California United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: If Not Now, When? (Audio CD)
If you heard the song "Talk Shows On Mute" then you've heard this entire album. While I'm a huge Incubus fan and have been since High School, I just can't help but feel alittle underwhelmed with this release. For the record, I have always been in favor of Incubus changing there sound each album, it's what musically keeps them fresh and keeps the fans guessing, I still remember with great anticipation the release of "morning view" "a crow left of the murder" and "light grenades" and with each of those releases I always felt initially indifferent to what I was hearing, but each album grew on me over time and they turned out to be real gems for our generation of music.

I don't know if the same could be said for this album.

This album is really, REALLY slow, the only "banger" on this album might be "Switchblade" & "Adolescents", and even that is pretty mellow considering what Incubus is capable of. The lyrics on the album are interesting, but the silly tongue-in-cheek lyrics that Mr. Boyd use to write in the past has been replaced with one love-ballad after another (yawn). Even the political antic song "Thieves" while having a good message, just seems bland and boring. I found myself thinking "thats it?" after each song in this album. Some songs show alot of promise, like "Switchblade", I initially felt excited when I heard the tempo of the song, it had potential to be a real uplift-er, but then the song ends and your left feeling empty. Where is the magic? "In The Company of Wolves" which is an obvious Pink Floyd influence, is a saving grace on this album, the build up, bridge and the climatic ending is a good example of what this band is capable of, the same is almost said for "The Original" but not as climatic. "Promises, Promises" "Isadore" "Defiance" "If Not Now When" "Friends and Lovers" "Tomorrows Food" all literally sound the same and are easily forgettable, I had a hard time telling them apart, although now I can since I've listen to this album over 100 times - and while none of the song are necessary "bad" they are just underwhelming and boring, granted you expect a few songs like this on each album, but to have half your album sound like this? It's just overkill.

"If Not Now When?" probably won't be a stand out in the Incubus catalog, it certainly doesn't dethrone Make Yourself or even SCIENCE, and doesn't capture any excitement that was brought with "A crow left..." and "light grenades" a five year in the making album like this certainly is an underachievement for Incubus. While I still remain a fan, and this album does satisfy my fix for alittle while, I'm already looking forward to there next album and ready to move on past this release.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars i get it, July 25, 2011
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I get it that long-time fans are disappointed. But I am not. I choose to let the artist express themselves however they want to. That is the beauty of creativity and expression. I am sure Incubus went into this knowing full well that this new album would not satisfy the hard-rock fanbase, but they went for it anyway. That's fine. Simply put, I am glad they are still making music! This new record has grown on me and it didn't take long. I respect them for making what THEY obviously wanted to make, even though I also would have enjoyed a more heavy sound, at least on a few tracks. 5 stars because the lead vocals are 'stellar,' as usual.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Really wanted more rock from these guys, June 29, 2013
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This review is from: If Not Now, When? (Audio CD)
Instead I got another album like Morning View. Love Brandon's voice and the band is as tight as always, but where are the guys who made S.C.I.E.N.C.E. and Light Grenades? Is BB in love again? lol. It's a good album, but not what I wanted to hear. Maybe it's me who changed....
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sorry Incubus, but it's not my fav., May 9, 2013
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This review is from: If Not Now, When? (MP3 Music)
The tracks are ok, but since I've been listening to Incubus for years In my opinion I wouldn't put it at the top of their list as the best. The songs are pretty good.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely lovely record!, April 11, 2013
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This review is from: If Not Now, When? (Audio CD)
Short and sweet, Incubus is all about constant evolution and their unapologetic shifts in style are what keep them relavant and interesting in my eyes. As most new records from a highly anticipated album, I was a little thrown off by my expectation of what I thought the record would be VS what it is... It grew on me exponentially and it's one of my favorite Incubus records. Buy it!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Solid Release That Could Have Been Better, August 10, 2011
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This review is from: If Not Now, When? (MP3 Music)
This release may not be a masterpiece but is definitely worth a listen. Most obvious complaint is the tone of the album. It is very consistent and not much stands out from the rest. There are a few highlights however. These include Isadore and Switchblade. Brandon Boyd's individual release is perhaps a bit better than this but overall it was ok.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If not now...., December 20, 2011
This review is from: If Not Now, When? (Audio CD)
This is mostly a mellower cd than what they've done in the past. At first I was a little shocked as to how mellow the songs are. But the lyrics are so good, and the songs have a nice flow to them. I honestly think that this is a great cd once you've opened up and accepted the fact that this band is not going to make the same cd twice. This cd proves that these guys are evolving as musicians and that the lyrics are really good and the music supports the mood.
Look at the guy on the cover, walking the tightrope. He knows he's taking a chance at something that he needs to concentrate and take his steps slowly in order to successfully get to the other side. This cover describes how the band thought about making this type of album. They knew they were taking a chance. Most people would rather see a football game versus a man walking a tightrope. I see beauty in both and the more you listen to this album the more you hear how great it is.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best is yet to come!, October 19, 2011
This review is from: If Not Now, When? (Audio CD)
Incubus is one of the more interesting rock/alternative bands around. At first listen I was disappointed with the album as a whole, but after listening to it multiple times I believe this is one of their best and is a sleeper for one of the best albums of the year. It is brooding, moody, dynamic, and though most of the songs are slow doesn't mean they don't rock. "In the Company of Wolves" is a dark cinematic-esque piece of work as well as the opening track, which is my favorite. And "Promises, Promises" is a better single than "Drive" was. This band is ever changing their sound, that's what I love about them. You never know what to expect from these guys, except for quality music, and with this album they've transcended making rock music to creating beautiful art for the ears.
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If Not Now, When?
If Not Now, When? by Incubus (Audio CD - 2011)
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