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.