on November 28, 2006
Brandon once promised that A Crow Left Of The Murder would be like "melted choclate on your chest and neck." To many an Incubus faithful, this didn't hold up. The "old stuff, but older" feel didn't work the way we wanted it to. It didn't sound like warm, melty chocolate. It was original, but it wasn't ground-breaking. It wasn't a cocoon of awesome. And it made me sad.
Here In My Room was the one-off: The gorgeous, extemporaneous exploration into piano that Mike would sit playing, with a pick in his mouth, because he's just that awesome and about to start on the guitar solo. Nothing else compared.
But that was then. And Light Grenades is now.
Incubus is an incredible group. Every album has a different flavor, and a different feel. Each song is its own invention, its own destination and each album, the journey. Very, very few bands accomplish this. Fewer still make you pine for more, year after year. Incubus is the quintessential, "professional awesome," in spades. They've evolved with their listeners, they've shown their own brilliant growth and they've truly gotten better with age.
Quicksand will throw you for a loop as a starting track. It possesses a milquetoast, somber 2:14 look at piano, faded guitar and staple Brandon vocals.
A Kiss To Send Us Off starts with a callback to Final Countdown by Europe. Albeit not intentionally, we'd like to think. It combines a bit of a grunge-feeling intro with a melodic, driven verse. It breaks down into a beautiful, deep bridge that blends back into the chorus perfectly.
Dig is my absolute favorite on the track. It is deep, its message is spot-on, and it gets inside your head, in the best of ways:
"If I turn into another,
Dig me up from under what is covering...
The better part of me.
Sing this song, remind me that we'll always have each other...
When everything else is gone."
Its sound is new for Incubus in a way that only Incubus can reinvent themselves. Its melody will resound with you, the dual electric-acoustic guitar, with even more piano laid over it will engulf you. It's truly gorgeous piece. It's more substantial than Here In My Room, or Aqueous Transmission, but it still maintains that ethereal, purely beautiful quality to it.
Anna Molly is one you should be well familiar with by now, as it's the first single from the track. I was fortunate to hear it back in September, when they played here in Tempe. (I believe it was the first stateside performance in 2+ years for them.) It's an interesting song, but it started to wear on me, through the verse, at least. I'm not sure why, but the lick Mike plays bugs me just a bit. The chorus is great and driven and I love the bridge build up.
Love Hurts. It's true. More genius guitar work from Mike. Mike's fantastic in a way that few other guitarists are. He re-invents himself, he makes careful use of a well-selected array of pedals, but he never over-uses any effects. He seems to have the most perfect ear for how he wants to make his guitar sound, and he speaks and it is so. So much flexibility lives in Mike's execution, and it's why you'll never tire of listening to Incubus' entire catalog from SCIENCE to Make Yourself to Morning View to ACLOTM through Light Grenades. I'm not sure how someone grows from "amazing guitarist" but Mike continues to wow with every new piece. And I tip my hat to that--a constant exercise in incredible creativity, perfect execution and sublime, flowing-over-you-warm-and-tingly music.
Light Grenades: Welcome back to grunge. Incubus always had their roots in some crazy funk-grunge blendings. Enjoy and Fungus show this in spades, and Light Grenades reminds you where they came from. It's tight, it's fast, it's just what you need in the middle of the soft.
Earth To Bella (I) surprises. It starts acoustic, but quickly takes a turn at the chorus. It's not my favorite, but the chorus and the light... is that an accordion in the background? It works. And I love them for it. Also, kudos to Ben for churning out fantastic background vocals.
Oil and Water, more Mike, more unfettered greatness. I love that each song Incubus produces is a complete thought. It's what you expect when you put a group of absolute professionals who are in love with what they do in a room for a few hours. It's that you can see the look on their faces as they built the song, watching things fall into place and catching each and every piece as it came tumbling right where it belongs. A catchy chorus, another good story told, and more of what you love.
Diamonds and Coal. One of these come from the other, and you'll get that through by the end. Though a bit repetitive, you'll start to appreciate it. You won't find people layering two Incubus songs on top of each other to ill-effect. Every track is different. Every song a certain shade of...
Rogues reinforces a bizarre concept becoming more and more clear throughout the cd: Mike wants another guitarist in the band. I'm curious to see how a few of these tracks execute live. It's a *bit* grunge, but it's so post-modern, you'll love it right out of the gate. Brandon has intensity that draws you in, and you'll find yourself surrendering, just like to the rest of the CD.
Paper Shoes, size 9, and more acoustic. Jose keeps it fresh and fast, and you'll really appreciate it. More beauty, rather like a bubble bath. Let yourself get wet, kick off your paper shoes.
Pendulous Threads builds for a solid minute into a heap of suspense that pulls through, like a rocket out of the pull of earth. Free of all that noisy atmosphere, watch what happens. Beautiful vocals, claps, and a slight tinge of Minus the Bear, I swear. The chorus is positively SCIENCE-lite, and you'll love it.
Our last stop, at least for the next few years, is Earth to Bella (II). I dig the chorus... The harmonies are fantastic and it feels like the right way to go out-not with a bang, but with a long, drawn out exhale. The pin's been put back in, breath easy, let Mike do his thing, and watch them live. It'll be the best concert you'll go to.
on January 18, 2007
Everyone here seems to be unbelievably pretentious. All this music snobbery about the "great era" of music. Come on.
This is a profoundly good album. I don't say that because I like Incubus...it's because it's true.
The best tracks would have to be Quicksand, Dig, Diamonds and Coal, and finally Rogues.
The songs are performed with power and gusto. Brandon has really come into his own with his lyrical and vocal ability.
As a huge music fan myself (including Radiohead, The Shins, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Sigur Ros, and others) I rate Incubus right up there.
Sure they still have the old reputation as a radio-friendly band, but who cares? It's the music that matters not the "reputation" or all of that other white noise (or b.s.)
Back to the songs though...
Quicksand (the first track) is beautiful. Brandon's voice kills all your anxiety, your fears, the things bothering you. As I drove down the freeway I just melted at the sound of this song. And then it ends....All of a sudden. This song clocks it at under 2 min. Tragedy. It could very well be the best song on the CD if not for its brevity.
Dig is brilliant as well. This song is mellow and sad. I'm not really a ballad man myself, but this song is damn good. Incubus had a song awhile back called "Miss You," or "I Miss You." A lot of people like it. Terrible song. This song though, is the ballad of ballads. It's lovely. It's a Radiohead song. Not as dark though.
Diamonds and Coal is another mellow number. I like the fluidity of the song and where it takes me. Think about either driving or writing while listening to this one. See where your mind goes.
Rouges is the best song for sure. It's a rocking track that illustrates everything good about this band. Brandon has a lot of power in that voice and he demonstrates it on this track. I can't imagine how many times I've listened to this song. It's a booming, thundering shock.
Please listen to this album before writing the band off as "radio-friendly" or whatever other cliche is used today by lazy music listeners.
on January 12, 2007
I have listened to their music for years. I didn't like their last album as much as I did any of their previous... including Fungus Amongus. The point being... I couldn't really put my finger on why I didn't like the last one as much as any other.
You like different groups because of different things. With some you like the music, some you like the words, some transport you to a different time, and some just make you smile or laugh. They pull emotion out of you that many others cannot manage to come close to even festering.
To me Incubus has always been about their words. I mean... I love the music, beat, or riff... however you want to put it. The thing is that I originally got hooked because of their words, passion, and utmost honesty.
This album really wraps up their past and present. It is a mix of all of the sounds they had through the years.
I will be at one of their next concerts, in the pit, throwing someone over the first row of seats! (O:
on November 28, 2006
It's no secret that Incubus like to surprise listeners with each album they release. Dating back to 1999, when they made a huge stylistic change from the speed-funk of "S.C.I.E.N.C.E." to the more mature, introspective hard-rock of "Make Yourself," Incubus have built a career on being both original and unpredictable. Therefore, anyone who has followed them this far has learned to expect the unexpected. "Light Grenades," the band's sixth full-length album, stays true to Incubus form. There are moments that call back to their roots, but for the most part, it's a fresh experience. Love it or hate it, you can't deny that it's something you haven't really heard before.
Sounds Like: Everything you expected and everything you didn't.
- As with all Incubus albums, this one is all about diversity. Music fans from all walks of life can find something to enjoy here.
- Brandon's stellar voice has not worn down one bit and Mike's guitar-work just keeps getting bolder and better.
- It's not as high-concept as "A Crow Left Of The Murder" (their previous affair) and in turn, it's far more accessible.
- While the album has an undeniable energy from the get-go, it fades away in the last few songs.
Hits: "A Kiss To Send Us Off" and "Light Grenades" are vintage Incubus, while "Anna Molly," "Love Hurts," "Dig" and "Paper Shoes" are new, instant classics in their own right.
Misses: "Earth To Bella" (both parts) doesn't do much for me, to be honest, and the second part provides an extremely anti-climactic ending.
Future: It's Incubus, so of course it'll get it's share of spins. There may not be any crossover hits here, but it's definitely something we'll be hearing a lot of for the next year.
Personally: I love Incubus, always have since "S.C.I.E.N.C.E." so maybe I'm a bit bias. To me, everything they do is gold. I admire that they always change things up. Their sound is never a stale one, and "Light Grenades" carries on that tradition. It takes a few spins to fully appreciate, but it's worth it.
Best Listened To When: In the mood for something different.
on November 28, 2006
I'd first heard of Incubus about 6 years ago, initially scoffing at their pop-rock singles like Stellar and Drive, but after a friend introduced me to SCIENCE, I'd fallen in love, and every album since had become a classic to me. A Crow Left of the Murder took some time to really grow on me, but once it did, I realized how amazing it was, both musically and lyrically (even if it doesn't exactly flow well at times), and what a major step up it was for the band. But now I found myself at a point where I thought - how could Incubus tops itself once again? There's no way the next album could top or even equal up to their previous efforts.
Well I guess I was wrong for doubting them, but Incubus has once again done it with Light Grenades, their most diverse album to date. Where as ACLOTM had a few songs that matched each other, very few songs here sound anything similar to any of the others, unless of course you're considering both parts of Earth to Bella.
The opening track, Quicksand, is very atmospheric and spacy sounding and reminiscent to mid-70's Pink Floyd. Coincidentally, in Floyd fashion, the song segues into A Kiss To Send Us Off, a hard-hitting track that's sure to please many fans of Incubus' harder material. The track bears a lot of resemblence to Megalomaniac, which makes it probably the closest thing to old Incubus on the whole album, but it still very unique in it's own right.
Next up is the very catchy "Dig," laced with acoustic guitars and piano, and would probably make for a very successful single. Then comes the current single, "Anna Molly," which I think needs no explanation amongst a lot of Incubus fans. Very awesome song, and is something very new to the band, without losing the Incubus feel. "Love Hurts" is a very spacy ballad-like song, and probably the catchiest on the whole album, and is one of my favorites. Oddly enough, it's followed by the album's hardest song, and possibly Incubus' hardest song thus far, "Light Grenades." Another sure pleaser to fans of old Incubus, and almost a throw back to the days of SCIENCE.
"Earth to Bella (Part 1)" starts off as a nice acoustic song, before erupting into an explosion of guitar, bass, and drums, then going back into acoustic mode, and eventually building up into the songs climax, before finally fading with a nice acoustic riff into "Oil and Water," another great song which defies explanation. "Diamonds and Coal" is one of the most unusual songs here, as it sounds almost like an 80's pop-rock throwback, similar to The Police, but is very catchy, and Incubus makes it work as usual. "Rogues" is another Incubus rocker which packs a lot of energy, and would definitely be great to see live. "Paper Shoes," with the exception of Brandon's vocals, has a Led Zeppelin acoustic feel to it, Mike even admitting it had a Led Zeppelin III acoustic sound to it.
Pendulous Threads has to be the most experimental song on the whole album, buidling up with an odd-sounding guitar riff. About halfway through the song, Mike goes into a very spacy sounding solo. Finally, the song fades out on the same riff it came in on, then leads into Earth to Bella (Part 2), which is just a reprise of the first, more mellow sounding than the first one, and finally draws the album to a close.
In my opinion, this is Incubus best album yet. If you're a fan of music that tries new things, this is definitely worth checking out.
It's only been a mere 2 years since a full length Incubus CD has hit shelves, and only a year since we got three new tracks thanks to the Stealth soundtrack, but somehow it felt like it's been forever. However they have not missed a single beat. This is a version of Incubus that doesn't single any single fan out. If you loved S.C.I.E.N.C.E. there's a few tracks here that are just calling your name (A Kiss To Send Us Off, Light Grenades, Rogues). If you liked Make Yourself and Morning View, a good portion of Light Grenades is for you. And then there's the seemingly few of us who loved A Crow Left Of The Murder as well. They still have that 'sound' and a few songs call back to it successfully (Love Hurts, Oil And Water, Paper Shoes). As much as this CD beckons back to those days, it's still easily identifiable that they grew a lot and have certainly evolved so Light Grenades serves as it's own CD as well.
If it was even possible, Incubus sounds as good as ever. Brandon still proves to be one of the elite few who sounds good in everything he does. Mike finds a way to better himself even after that awe-inspiring solo on Sick Sad Little World. Jose has more great beats in store. Ben offers up some truly catchy bass lines. And Kilmore actually serves a fairly big part this time around(!). So if you've been a longtime fan then your appreciation for them is only going to grow, and heck, if you're new they welcome new listeners with open arms.
From the very beginning it's obvious that Incubus took their time crafting Light Grenades to have an excellent flow. Quicksand flows into A Kiss To Send Us Off like no other track they've ever made. From there they don't stop. The almost overwhelming heaviness of songs like Light Grenades and Rogues are something I didn't expect but they fit perfectly. A Kiss To Send Us Off and Rogues are also more in the hard rock variety, both serving as true highlights. The mid-tempo songs like Dig, Anna Molly, Oil And Water, Diamonds And Coal, and Paper Shoes keep the pace going swiftly and aren't without Incubus' now trademark lyrical prowess. With this being Incubus you know the slow songs included such as Quicksand, Love Hurts, and Earth To Bella parts I and II aren't going to drag down the overall listen either. What's really nice about Incubus is the fact that they have so much emotion in each track without it being overbearing and unwelcomed.
Seeing as how this is the import, we get two unreleased songs, Punchdrunk and Look Alive. Punchdrunk has Brandon sporting some insanely catchy vocals throughout. It's a strange song, mainly lyrically, but serves the Incubus catalog justice. The latter of the two unreleased tracks, Look Alive, is much more upbeat than it's counterpart, again complete with oddly intriguing lyrics. The guitar and drum work are particularly excellent. As to whether it's worth paying 30 or so more dollars just for these two tracks, nah. I love them and I bought this, however it'll serve more of a collector's purpose than anything else. So it's up to you in which way you go. Just know that these two songs are awesome and shouldn't be looked over.
My favorite songs are A Kiss To Send Us Off, Dig, Light Grenades, Earth To Bella (I and II), and Pendulous Threads. I was lucky enough to have gotten my copy a few days before the release date so I've heard Light Grenades countless times already and I've still yet to find a song I don't completely love. If that's a testament to how good the band is, or how good the CD is, I don't know, but this is sure to be in the ol' CD player for a good long time. Past that, if Incubus has even piqued your interest in the least Light Grenades is going to be chock full of everything you'd ever want. As an addition, I may be in the minority on this, but I think we just found our `CD of the year'.
on November 28, 2006
First of all, this review is from an overall view of all of Incubus' discography, not just the 13 songs in the album. Im not going to say that Light Grenades is the best Incubus album, or that this makes the top 5 list of the decade. This album represents another step in the long ladder to greatness Incubus intends to climb. This is another chapter in the constant evolution of their music. You cannot possibly expect them to sing the same funk-metal from SCIENCE at age 30, the same way you wouldnt expect the 1969's Beatles to write songs like "Love me do" for every album. Each band gorws, evolves into something else after each experience, they tend to explore new grounds, not just to please the one-album-hooked fan, but to leave a mark in musical history. The great achievement of this band is that in 10 years, they have released 5 excellent records; every one different form the others, and not one of them is mediocre. And whats so good about Light Grenades? It never bores you. Its soft and hard, its weak and strong, its fast and slow, its a dynamic piece that doesnt wear out. If you like bands that change in time without selling out, bands like Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Nine Inch Nails, Radiohead and Placebo, bands that after 15 years still have guts to give and sounds that matter, you will not be dissapointed with this album, trust me.
on November 28, 2006
First of all let me start out by saying you are a `vintage' incubus fan clearly means that you do not understand the band. Incubus always goes against the grain of their previous albums...you should expect that by now. Every single album has been drastically different from every other album.
Second, for all of you that are saying that this album is over produced....you seem to have absolutely no concept of what production is. Make Yourself was clearly the pinnacle of polish in the Incubus catalog. Every song on that album has ProTools Magic written all over it. Still a great album, but produced completely differently. For ACLOTM and LG they used producer Brendan O'Brien who is a FANTASTIC producer, however he has a very different production style than Incubus previously used. As proven by his work with bands like Pearl Jam and Rage Against the Machine, he is all about the live and edgy feel that gives music much more life than a ProTools record. These songs would not have sounded right (musically AND stylistically) with that type of production. It worked perfectly for the Make Yourself style of rock they were writing at the time, however these songs call for something different.
Also, as far as instrumentation goes, one thing that continuously bugs the heck out of me is the claim that Kilmore seems to be doing less and less. As a DJ in a nationally touring Incubus tribute band, I can assure you that is definitely not the case. Though he is doing less `scratching' he is actually doing more work than ever. If you hadn't noticed, his live setup has gone from two turntables (S.C.I.E.N.C.E. days) to three turntables, a cd turntable, a Moog Voyager, Rhodes Keyboards, Theramin, Marxophone, and many other Dulcimer and piano type instruments. Though his scratching has significantly decreased, his DJ parts are certainly as complex and involved as ever (and in my opinion are harder now than ever!) This is exactly why they parted ways with DJ Lyfe, he only did hip-hop style scratch DJing, they were looking for someone who could blend in better and be another musical layer just like drums or guitar would be.
I personally feel that this album, musically, rivals anything that they have done to date. Though it may not be as radio friendly (I have yet to hear a current radio station that doesn't suck completely!) I think that this album pushes all the same boundaries that they love to push and expands the Incubus song catalog in new directions that they have yet to touch. The way I see Incubus is, inevitably, they will write a song or two that you will love. With their ever changing style, they will assuredly touch on something that you like. This will undoubtedly get you to check out some other Incubus tunes to see what else they have to offer. Since their song catalog is so diverse, hopefully the experience will open you eyes to new styles and musical ideas. I mean, this album made me want to listen to my Police and Pearl Jam records...neither of those bands sound anything like Incubus, but with the introduction of Light Grenades, they touch on some musical concepts that are fantastic references to those styles and ideas.
Finally, I would like to bring this review full circle and point out how every Incubus album to date has had an extreme backlash immediately following its release by many `old school' or `vintage' Incubus fans. INCUBUS ALWAYS CHANGES, DON'T EXPECT IT TO SOUND EXACTLY LIKE THEIR OTHER SONGS THAT YOU LIKE!!! Also, if this many people are really losing their taste for Incubus, you would think they wouldn't have many fans left...yet they continue to gain more and more new fans by touching on new musical ideas and not just pleasing the fans that `already like them'. This proves my idea about their pursuit of new music and how they will always write a couple songs that anybody would like.
As a final note to anybody who is talking crap (for whatever reason), I would just like to ask this question...
How many millions of records have YOU sold?!
on March 21, 2008
but what some may say shows that they "sold out" or are "losing the magic" I just see as change which has always been in their catalog and varied ways to get there point across.
It's weird but Oil and Water and Anna Molly are pretty much the first Incubus songs that I can shake my butt to! Sure, that's a bad thing to some but I love it!
Incubus has always put their emotion in the forefront with the awesome vocals and that is still here. The production to most of the songs is varied to a tee. (Check out Quicksand and then Dig and then A Kiss To Send Us Off).
But most of you know what this album entails so far. It did come out in 2006 and many of you have had the pleasure of it being ingrained in your very minds or having to live with this "disappointment".
Thank goodness that I am on my way to join the former and that this is my second favorite album by Incubus. The underrated A Crow Left Of The Murder being my first. But honestly, this one might grow to being the best.
The only "weak tracks" in my opinion are Light Grenades (it's just there) and Pendulous Threads which just goes on. They are both heavy ??? but don't go anywhere really, especially LG. But that's my opinion.
Earth To Bella Part II is another headscratcher but it's tolerable. It's just nothing like the first. It's quieter and then you hear Brandon harmonizing over and over. It's kinda freaky. LOL
Key tracks thus far are:
Oil And Water
Earth To Bella Pt.I
I think the biggest surprise for me is how almost all the songs sound different. Yes, we're used to that with my favorite band ever. HOWEVER, it has a bit of everything for all old and new Incubus fans. HOWEVER, if you didn't like A Crow Left Of The Murder, I'm afraid that you should pass on this. It's all about the slower mid-tempos focused on love gone bad. I have always loved the softer side of them and this is why this album is my second favorite, possibly on the way to being my favorite.
on December 23, 2006
The word of the day here is "consistency". Since the beginning, Incubus has consistently given us album after album of innovative, clever, and all around COOL tracks. Brandon Boyd consistently leads with celestial articulation, more so in this album than any other, I'd say. Boyd remains one of the few male vocalists in modern rock that can not only hold a tune, but hold it well, and this album showcases his talents faultlessly. While this album exhibits many members' skills and dexterity, it also makes their songwriting abilities LOUD and clear. Jose Pasillas II, colliding drumsticks with cymbals and the fabric of his instrument, with Mike Einziger close behind on guitar, tearing it up as always, Ben Kenney's battering bass, and DJ Kilmore (`nuff said!) complete the seraphic dynamic that defines Incubus' experimental, memorable, and indestructible essence.
From the get-go, they have set the bar very high for themselves, as well as for any band that's looking to create something worthy of comparison to the creative, virtuosic overlords of "good music"... Incubus. But, keeping with the word of the day, they remain consistent, all the while reinventing themselves once more for another rollercoaster of brand new sounds, styles, and emotions.
To those of you who may be left wondering if this album is, in fact, memorable... I challenge you to name two Incubus songs (from any album!) that sound alike... or, for that matter, sound like any other band around these days. Do your ears a favor and buy this album. It's a perfect change of pace from all the unworthy bands that somehow manage to take a seat in the limelight these days.
Incubus brings you home again.