Some people around here seem to enjoy complaining that Morning View doesn’t “rock” as hard as Incubus’ previous albums. I bought this with that in mind, and was pleasantly surprised to find that there is a lot of good solid rock material on here. The first three songs – including the single ‘Wish You Were Here’ – are fine forays into the heavy, energetic pop-metal that the band has heretofore specialized in. It does become a little weirder after that. There are druggy moments (‘Just a Phase’), jazzy jams (‘Are You In?’) and an all-acoustic song (‘Mexico’). But really, the varying textures, tempos and moods all serve to maintain interest over this near-epic album. The closing song probably draws the most disparate reviews. ‘Aqueous Transmission’ is a seven-minute piece featuring a ko-kyu (sort of Japanese mandolin) and a string section, dreamily hypnotic. It is a nice counterpoint to the rest of the album. Some of the things that make this disc nice are what it isn’t – there’s no rap, no sludgy detuned guitars and not much whining angst. I would say that Incubus are one of the few bands today that continue to follow their own instincts, and for that they should be praised.
Though Morning View follows hot on the heels of Incubus’s breakthrough single, ”Drive,” it doesn’t feel rushed. After all, their previous album, Make Yourself, was released nearly two years ago. Like fellow Los Angeles metal pioneers System of a Down, Incubus find themselves lumped in with the nu-metal fraternity merely because they’re young(ish), angry, and very loud. That’s more than a little unfair, because their sound owes more to the clever and creative funk-metal of Faith No More and the Red Hot Chili Peppers than the faux-rap posturing of Limp Bizkit. In fact, songs like ”Nice to Know You,” ”Circles,” and the excellent ”Blood on the Ground” display real maturity. But that’s not all that sets Incubus apart: on ”I Wish You Were Here,” ”Just a Phase,” ”11 a.m.,” and ”Mexico,” they show an uncharacteristic willingness to tread softly, using acoustic guitars and touches of strings to make less noise, but more impact. Some could call it selling out, but it sounds more like growing up. Morning View is a leap forward for a band that continues to get better with each release. –Robert Burrow
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I’ve been an Incubus fan for so long that I can’t remember when I first listened to them… Fungous Amongus and Enjoy Incubus were great albums, when they were into their earlier funk and freestyle influences. S.C.I.E.N.C.E was the first full-length album that carved a niche for Incubus in the “alternative” mainstream, and was IMHO their best offering up until “Morning View.” This album is amazing in all sense of the word. Incubus has evolved throughout the years, and through this evolution, they have become become the future sound of rock. SCIENCE was my favorite album, up until today…Here’s the skinny on this album, track by track:NICE TO KNOW YOU: a perfect opening song, reminscent of “SCIENCE,” yet smooth and full of flow like “Make Yourself.”CIRCLES: another track reminsenct of Incubus’s harder, edgier style, destined to be a chart-topper.WISH YOU WERE HERE: if you haven’t heard this tune yet, you are missing out on something special. perfect harmonies and subtle yet powerful and visceral acoustic guitar on this song that will have you singing along in no time.JUST A PHASE: edgy power-rock with poetic vocals, great tune.11 AM: least favorite song on album, but that doesn’t mean anything because I admire the musical complexity that Incubus has to offer… you’ve probably heard this (…) before, but, there really isn’t a “bad” song on the CD.BLOOD ON THE GROUND: second best song on CD. Incubus’s maturity can really be seen with this song. Brandon has a knack for writing lyrics that make people think, this song is proof of that special knack.MEXICO: Many of the songs on this album have been toned down from what we come to expect from Incubus. This is a great thing, because it shows that this band can do much more than blow your eardrums off. Their talent is so diverse. Mexico is a great slower song,and the lyrics are fantastic.WARNING: 3rd best song on CD, great tune, with catchy lyrics. another destined to be a chart topper.ECHO: more of the lighter side of the band, good tune with a great melody.HAVE YOU EVER: back to basics with this song. back to their harder edgier stuff… definite head bobber.ARE YOU IN?: funky, funky, now… great funk flava for the homies. 4th best song on the album.UNDER MY UMBRELLA: i really love their harder tunes because it hits me right square in my dome… sometimes i need that, i think we all do.AQUEOUS TRANSMISSION: hands down the best song on the CD. maturity level is through the roof here. with far-east sounding background ambience, and all those damn crickets, this song will transcend all other experimental tunes they have tackled. put this song on, and drop out for a while…. you’ll see what I mean……I hope that helps. This CD was one of the better investments I have made in recent memory… 5+ stars…. go get it nowI said go get it, what are you waiting for????
I never thought I would be able to say that with a straight face, I guess the pigs are flying now…But anyways, Incubus really achieved their pinnacle of success last year with the hit “Drive”, and though I did enjoy the song I never thought to buy the album. Until one fateful day in the record store, there was “Morning View”…hmm interesting hey why not…so I picked it up and gave it a listen. Lyrically very impressive, unlike other “Rap Metal” bands (I don’t put Incubus in their category, being that there is no rap involved besides the DJ influence) Incubus puts effort into what they do, not garbage. Brandon Boyd’s vocals are definetly something to be admired, the guitar and bass playing will also delight any rock fan. And believe it or not, the sampling and scratching mixes in quite nicely and adds to the unique sound of Incubus. 2001 was rocks come back year, and Incubus was there to help see it through
Well, after some of the reviews I have read, I see that alot of people failo to notice the real musicality of this album compared to their previous efforts. Sure, Make Yourself (M.Y.) was their breakthrough album, which is good, but Morning View (M.V., for short) stands high above the rest. Although cheesy, I’ll do a run down of the songs in a 0-5 basis.1. Nice to Know You (4.9/5) This was the perfect opener, it shows that DJ Kilmore is more about sculling the water, not necessarily making splashes. 2. Circles (5/5) I love the guitar line.3. I Wish You Were Here (4/5) Good song, too much airplay ruins this song for me. The same thing happened with Hash Pipe (Weezer). It’s a great song, but with MTV and the radio networks, it gets overplayed, and when you hear it on the album, it isn’t the same. Oh well.4. Just A Phase (5/5) Finally, something experimental. The first 3 songs basicall followed the Incubus tried-n’-true method, which is good. Phase uses different elements that the previous albums haven’t.5. 11 A.M. (5/5) No explanation necesasary.6. Blood on the Ground (6/5) This is byfar the best song on the album. Its upbeat, it displays all of their talents, especially Brandon’s singing and songwriting abilities. I’m such a loser that I write the lyrics of this song on my text books when I get bored….7. Mexico (5/5) Similar to Drive, but better, because once again, it displays Brandon’s improvement of being a songwriter and a singer, not a screamer/yeller, like what happens in most rock bands nowadays. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but this album takes the road less traveled.8.Warning! (4/5) This song is pretty cool, but it gets kind of annoying after awhile for me, and compared to the other songs, its not as high caliber as the other tracks…9.Echo (5/5) This is close to pop, but I like it all the same. It’s catchy!10.Have You Ever? (4/5) Trying to get a little back to their roots, this song is pretty cool… I like the other “hard” songs on the album better.11. Are You In? (5/5) The other poppish songs, I like this one too, it is relaxing, but not as much as others…12. Under My Umbrella (5.5/6) This is my 3rd favorite track… It just sounds awesome. ‘Nuf said.13. Aqueous Transmission (7/5) Props to being original, and really pushing the envelope. This is one of my favorite songs on the album. The kyoto makes you want to fall asleep, and the string section adds the perfect touch. It’s a beautiful thing.When the smoke has cleared, if you respect yourself at all, you’ll go buy this album…
I love Incubus. You know what song made me a fan?..*gasp*..”Drive”! I know there’s a tendency with Incubus fans to think that everything they did before “Drive” became popular was awesome (which it was), and everything they’ve done since then has been terrible (which is hasn’t). When “Morning View” came out in October of 2001, lots of people accused them of “selling out” or “going soft”. The album definetly has a consistent mellow tone that their previous albums lacked, but it was expected; the album was recorded at a beach house in Malibu (or some exotic location). It’s kinda tough to be angry in that type of picturesque setting. People also accused them of purposely trying to replicate the sound of “Drive” by writing softer songs, but “Drive” didn’t blow up in popularity until spring/summer of 2001, when this album was probably 90% completed already.The point is, it’s a natural evolution in sound. Either embrace it, or go listen to S.C.I.E.N.C.E and stop whining. I’d much rather see a band evolve and expand their sound, as opposed to making the same album over and over again (kind of like Godsmack, Linkin Park, and other modern rock mainstays do).Anyway..1. Nice To Know YouThe second single, IIRC. And it’s a perfect example of what makes Incubus such a great band – here’s a song with an unusual mixed time rhythm, lots of tempo changes, and weird lyrics (about lead singer Brandon Boyd regaining feeling in his arm again after an extended period). Yet, the chorus has an incredible hook, making the song totally radio friendly. 2. CirclesHeavy verses with a heavy melodic chorus. Nice harmonies in the “What would it mean to you” part. Like another reviewer said, it’s reminiscent of the Chili Peppers.3. Wish You Were HereThe first single. Not a Pink Floyd cover either. The verses are mellow, and full of metaphorical imagery by Brandon Boyd (a highly creative and underrated lyricist), which lead into the catchy, anthematic chorus. 4. Just a PhaseThe best Incubus song ever, in my view. After an extended turntable/piano led intro, the song switches tempo (from 4/4 into 6/8) for the verse. Then it switches tempo again for the pre-chorus, etc. Basically, the song builds and builds, then the final chorus explodes with a wall of guitars. It’s a wildly successful experimental song.5. 11 AMI kinda expected this to be a single. Like “Wish You Were Here”, another mellow mid-tempo song with a memorable chorus. 6. Blood on the GroundThis sounds like something from “Make Yourself”. Brandon Boyd rapidly spits out great lyrics in the verses, leading into the explosive, angry chorus. 7. MexicoA totally accoustic number – no percussion or anything. It’s actually a pretty heartbreaking ballad, with great emotional vocal delivery. 8. WarningThis was another big hit single. Again, it’s radio friendly and catchy, but unlike other rock bands that get heavy rotation today, it’s not full of generic power chords and angst-filled lyrics. 9. EchoI didn’t care for this one initially, but after 4 or 5 listens, it became one of my favorites. It’s actually a little reminiscent of “Stellar”, but mellow the whole way through.10. Have You EverA heavy song..probably my least favorite on the album. Musically, it doesn’t stand out much, but the lyrics are really good.11. Are You In?This one makes you feel like you’re in the midst of a party with all your friends. Catchy, cool, and very jazzy (jazz pop I suppose). It gets a little repetitive after awhile, but still a good song.12. Under My UmbrellaOf all the heavier songs on the album, this is my favorite. It works the soft/loud dynamic perfectly, and the bridge is really cool.13. Aqueous TransmissionAlong with “Just a Phase”, the most experimental song on here. And it’s another success. It’s 8 minutes long, *extremely* mellow (you’ll feel like you’re floating down a river at night as you listen to it), and features a sitar (the main “riff”), a Japanese pan flute (giving it a very oriental feel), strings, and even crickets chirping at the end. It’s totally ethereal and wonderful. And that wraps up “Morning View”. Don’t listen to some of the harsh criticism for this album. It’s a fantastic collection of songs that takes creative guitar licks (from the also highly underrated Mike Einziger), creative lyrics, and overall creative musical ideas, and combines them with lots of memorable melodies and hooks. Thus, it *is* a radio friendly (or “mainstream”) album..but it’s also innovative and experimental at the same time. That’s what makes “Morning View” such a great success.Best Songs: Just a Phase, Echo, Under My Umbrella, Aqueous Transmission.