Incubus – 8
…Named after the number 8.
First few moments: Seems like an attempt to appeal to the modern sound. “WOAH” choruses can only go so far in my opinion. Granted there are other lyrics in the first chorus… but with the first track of the album I want to be hooked in. Needless to say I fear the rest of the album will be a chore for me. I know that the first song doesn’t speak for the whole album but… its job is important: keep me interested in listening to the entire collection of works. I’m not feeling that here.
“Nimble Bastard” They really like reminding us of the name of the song. Not just with this track, either. At least I haven’t heard the words “nimble” or “bastard” in very many songs. let alone 11 times. It IS the strongest track on here, but it doesn’t make me want to hear it again anytime soon.
Off to a bad start
Alright, first impressions are over and I listened to the rest of the album before I finished writing. The rest of the article is written after having finished the album as a whole.
Solid performances from everyone. There isn’t an odd choice from anyone. This could be good or bad, depending on your preferences. In more opinionated terms: They play it safe. It doesn’t sound like they are looking for NEW fans. They are an established act. Once you have 100k dedicated fans you can sell just about anything. I’ll even buy the worst album from my favorite bands just to have a complete collection.
Mike Einziger’s guitar tones are ALWAYS on point. I love the variation from album to album and song to song. His work with the band is my current favorite and probably the only reason I’m willing to listen to Incubus. The playing is alright, but the TONES, man. THE TONES!
In this album……………….. he has his moments.
(the OTHER reason was the original bassist, George Alex Katunich)
One thing that bugs me when I listen to music is hearing repeated intervals, runs or specific high-notes over and over. Over the years Incubus has released quite a bit of music. From album to album I notice little repeated phrases that have been recycled or re-purposed for other songs; everyone is guilty of this to some degree but I hear little nuggets of old songs throughout this album. I know I’m being really picky… and I WANT to like this album… but certain traits have been emphasized in this album more than others. Those certain traits are the ones that lead me to not enjoy Incubus that much in the first place. When “I” (pronounced ‘eye’) sounds like “ah” (the sound you make when you find your keys) it just sounds… odd. Some people don’t mind so much but with Brad he does a LOT of this kind of stuff. E sounds like A, O sounds like UH when it shouldn’t in my opinion. It sounds like an accent that doesn’t exist.
For a more common example of vowel modification is the nasal E sounds in Track 8 (Familiar Faces). The words “lighYEEeeeet” or “fighYEeeT” or in Track 4… “remAMber.” This may be a creative decision but I don’t have to enjoy it when it happens so frequently.
My main problem with this album is that nothing does anything for me. It just kinda… HAPPENS. My interest was peaked on two points in particular. The first minute or so of track 11 (not counting the intro) and Track 7. Both stood out to me. 7 was (i think) an homage to Fungus Amongus… and despite being filler it actually ended up being the least boring track. But as a collection of songs it didn’t DO anything.
With most songs heavily repeating the title of the song frequently it is fairly difficult to forget the song names, unfortunately it is the only thing that tells the songs apart. I’ll give it a second listen but I’d rather wait a while because it was kind of a chore to finish this one.
3/10 Good musicians making “safe” music = “No Fun”
Good luck forgetting the song titles of this one. You’ll hear each one about 20 times per song.