The second disc is okay. Here is my problem with greatest hits packages. The first disc could have included more songs and should have been filled up to 79 minutes. Thats a compliment to the band as they do have more songs that should have been included. But, overall their biggest songs are here.
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To start off I am one of those vigilant Incubus fans that have been with them since Closet Cultivation and Fungus Amungus but have remained with them through each new release. That being said, lets get down to brass tax.
Greatest Hits CD – SINGLES
It is very important to remember that a Greatest Hits album is all the singles that helped the band gain recognition through the years. This is not their best music (they even admit to that). So if you are expecting some classic SCIENCE or maybe some of the better songs from their other newer albums, then forget it… but that doesnt mean you shouldn’t get this album. The second CD holds much to be admired.
We all know the singles so, let us move onto the second CD:
This is the best new Incubus available. With the exception of Light Grenades, Incubus has constantly pushed their music and their evolution with each album released, and this is no different. Some truly great material is found on this album. I won’t review each song, but I will rate the musicians themselves:
Brandon Boyd (Vocals) – Smooth as ever. I was worried with Light Grenades that he was starting to force his voice, become a little too whiny and not singing naturally. All those worries are now shattered as he hits the highs and lows of his intricately written lyrics.
Mike Einziger (Guitar) – Let’s just say that studying music theory at harvard has paid off. The chord progressions from Anything are very reminiscent of the early days, but much more structured and patient. From strong chords, blistering soloing and intricate picking Mike remains the melodic backbone of the band.
Jose Pasillas (Drums) – I have been drumming for 16 years, and Jose is one of the reasons I continued to drum in a down time in my drumming life. This album shows his creativity while also showing his restraint on playing too much (something too many players do). Still the driving force for the band, and the master of layering textures, Jose will not disappoint you.
Chris Kilmore (Tables and Keys) – He is the single element that sets Incubus above the rest. While his accents are often subtle, they always essential to the sound that we call “incubus.” While the rest of the band is providing the groundwork for the music, Kilmore is creating the atmosphere, and he does this oh so well.
Ben Kenny (Bass) – Took me three albums to appreciate him. ACLOTM was pretty good, Light Grenades was disappointing, but MaM shows that he has truly melded with the band is now a truly creative force in the band. Most people do not realize it, but most people respond to the bass of a song more than anything else. I will say that while I was a diehard Dirk fan for the longest time, that riffs like those found in Pantomime put my mind at ease and just sit back and enjoy the band I fell in love with many years ago.
So enough with the long essay… how is the album?!?! Well in short, the singles does it’s job documenting their fame claim hits – however, I do think they should have thrown a few things from SCIENCE and/or Enjoy or Fungus onto the album (ie – azwethinkweis or nebula). The second CD is truly great, I haven’t not enjoyed a song on it yet (and I have listened to the whole thing) – gives me much hope for where Incubus has allowed themselves to wander in their musical pursuits. Buy this, if for no other reason than to show the band that you still love and appreciate them and that you want them to continue doing what they do best – brightening our lives with fantastic music.
This Incubus CD has all the big ones, as well as new songs like “Black Heart Inertia.” If you’re looking for Fungus Amongus or S.C.I.E.N.C.E tracks, you find any but if you want Morning View, Make Yourself, Light Grenades & so on you’ll find it in here. Nevertheless this is a great CD, for fans new & old.
Incubus has closed the chapter on the first phase of their career. What an awesome celebration of sustained excellence. Disc 1 really has no surprises other than Oil and Water (great song). The two new tracks on Disc 1, “Black Heart Inertia” and “Midnight Swim” provide a hint of where the band is going in the future. I’m a fan of each song, but “Midnight Swim” is an absolute Incubus classic. Just an all out violent/melodic rock song. Can’t wait to hear that live.
Disc 2 is a rarities collection of previously recorded songs over their illustrious career. This is truly a gem for the Incubus fan because it is a testament to the quality of music they have been putting out for over 10 years. “While All the Vultures Feed” was recorded during the Crow Left of the Murder album and is unreal!! One of their better songs all time in my opinion. “Anything” is another stand-out with a clear Police influence. “Punch-Drunk” and “Pantomime” are my two other favorites. These songs would be on 99% of rock bands greatest hits albums.
Incubus is one of the defining rock bands of a generation. I would highly recommend this to long time fans, but especially those who are just discovering their music. Awesome way to get into Incubus. ROCK ON!!!!!!
Usually when ‘greatest hits’ releases come out I don’t end up having a whole lot of excitement for that bands’ future, however recent trips down the hits corridor have proven to only give the band more momentum to come out with a new CD (see Pearl Jam). So with that in mind I’m not too worried about Incubus’ future, especially given the fact that the second disc of this 2-disc adventure will prove to be all new for the normal Incubus fan.
For those of us true followers, though, the second disc alone still proves to be worth the price of admission. With four new songs on the second disc alone (plus two others on the first), not to mention Pantomime and Neither of Us Can See both have been rerecorded to inject a bit more flair than their original counterparts, that’s all I need to be happy.
The two new, original, songs are what will draw most normal fans in. Black Heart Inertia stands among my favorites of their released ‘hits’ simply because when you hear it you know without a doubt that it’s Incubus. Midnight Swim, after a couple listens, grows on you to the point that you’ll randomly start belting out the chorus throughout the day. On to the meat and potatoes, and the main reason to pick this up….the rarities and covers disc. The rarities, which really aren’t all that rare, consist of Neither of Us Can See, Look Alive, Pantomime, Admiration, the acoustic version of A Certain Shade…, and of course, the CDs namesake, Monuments and Melodies. If you wanted to, all of these ‘rare’ songs are easily found. I came across all of them without having to pay an arm and a leg.
BUT! The covers are the best part. While The Vultures Feed starts off with a huge riff that’s really unexpected from Mike. Anything, the shining moment of the package, is nothing but simple but does what it should. Martini is a great sing-along type of song, and Let’s Go Crazy, the out-of-left-field track, ends the CD nicely enough.
What separates this greatest hits package from others? The Vault. If you buy the physical copy you get a code to Incubus’ site in which they claim over 500+ mp3s, videos, what-have-you’s, spanning their entire career will be available…little by little. Give and take though. I’ve seen the line-up for future weeks and it’s gonna be worth it.