After getting hooked on Make Yourself and Morning View, i decided to take a step back towards Incubus’ more humble beginnings. I was afraid that i wouldn’t like S.C.I.E.N.C.E., but within an hour, I was hooked again! In my opinion, DJ Lyfe’s presence was too obvious (too much mixing) but that is the only criticism i can come up with. Each song has it’s own unique beat and lesson. “Redefine” tell us that we should take life into our own hands and “paint whatever picture [we] like.” “Idiot Box” exposes our dependence on television, and “Favorite Things” reflects the belief that religion confines our lives. These are great songs to start a conversation! Not to mention great to listen to! There are great guitar riffs and steady drum beats and vocals that hypnotize. Incubus can’t be beat! For ANY INCUBUS FAN, BUY THIS CD!!!
Metal Album Reviews[RSS]
Incubus is now riding a wave after their Make Yourself album, so they have re-released Fungus Amongus and Science. There is nothing different than the CD, which was previously released, but the CD itself is simply great. Then never rerecorded Calgone, which was cut suddenly four minutes into the track with a speech about who’s fault the cutting of the track was. Mainstream songs in an album before anyone knew about them! Full of great funny vocals, rock, unique tracks, like Magic Medicine which is a fantastic track for those of you that like turntablists! Some other great songs on the CD are Favorite Things, Calgone, and New Skin (which a live version appeared on Family Values 98). Another song to note is A Certain Shade of Green, which is a very sarcastically funny song of how slow things move in the singer’s world. Even the hidden track after Calgone is hysterically funny, original and must be heard!
This is currently my favourite album to listen to, and most certainly the most interesting; which of course means its my favourite of all their CD’s. Now the others I’ve listened to, I would give 5 stars, but this is easily 6, and slips into my top 20 alltime albums (and I have alot of albums to choose from).This a fantasic debut album, taking me back to the craziness of the 1st two Roxy Music Albums (yes I know that was a long time ago, but I remember them, and still listen to them)Initially, after having enjoyed Morning View, I thought, ‘no, not as good’, but after the 2nd listening, Redefine and Vitamin caught my ‘ear’ and then after further listening I realised that the initial problem was the sear variety of music styles played, the sear scale of ‘orginal ideas’; however the more I listen the more that variety made the album much more interesting listening for the longer term. In fact the opening track trio are probably my favorite combined opening on any album.Yes, not everything is perfect, and some styles don’t quite gel as well as they might, I wish they had split up Calgone (I always end up laughing though): this is just ‘nit’ picking. Originally I couldn’t understand the point of ‘Medicine Magic’ (which seems to be the case with most people; actually I still don’t see the ‘point’), but now I love it; the drums and bass are fantastic and everything else just fits, enjoy the words, but marvel at the music.From a musician’s point of view, great bass, great syncopated drums, the odd jazzy guitar, then there’s, funk, metal, hip hop melody, etc. These guys obviously have great diverse musical tastes.Summary: Original, Eclectic, Continually interesting, Great Musicianship, Fun, No bad tracks, Superb.
The most adventerous effort by Incubus to date, S.C.I.E.N.C.E. finds the band exploring territory now solely explored by bands like 311. Proving that all the hype is not in vain, this release is excellent at showing a talented band while letting you enjoy the wicked tunes and hard hitting guitars. The turntables are predominant compared to newer releases and help the rap become more effective. Although musically Make Yourself blows me away everytime, this disc is probably the best way the incubus experience comes across. That is, they seem so much more apt at creating a groovy record like this than a bland mainstream attempt such as Morning View. My personal favorite from the album is the infectious “a certain shade of green”. While it has its competition from some other tracks, the melding of heavyness and funk creates a must hear track. Brandon expresses himself best on this album lyrically as well. They are not only thought-provoking, but portray an entire picture for the music of the album to rest upon. And you were about to say that incubus [stinks], shame on you. One word you can’t use to describe the recent incubus efforts is CREATIVE. One listen to “calgone” will have you thinking Incubus is one of the most creative bands you have listened to lately. Look, I don’t know what happened either. Their recent efforts lack the glory of brandon boyd “doing his thing”. Songs like “new skin” and “idiot box” have dang good hooks, and will have you returning for listen after listen. The band seems to hit their apex right here, and halfway through the song “nebula” you realize that this band is pretty freakin awesome. There is always more than meets the eye with incubus, and no matter what album you choose to scrutinize, you will always find that something that makes it all the better. “Anti-gravity love song” is that track on this album. The coffee shop feel gives the jazzy track all the more power as it grabs your attention with the catchy sing along verse and quotable lyrics. There was potential hidden in incubus, and it came out on S.C.I.E.N.C.E. They have gone on to put out more decent records, but this album will always be the landmark where they hit it big creatively, and not commercially.
If you’re only familiar with Incubus’s recent work, and haven’t yet heard this album, then you’re in for a total shock. This Incubus was a much different one. While they’ve recently moved to a more catchy and accessible (but still great) sound, they were once a much heavier and more experimental band. “SCIENCE” is probably the best and most creative thing they’ve ever done. The music has a very heavily funk-influenced style, similar to early Chili Peppers and Faith No More. However, their sound was still very distinctive and unique.
Frontman Brandon Boyd puts on what is easily his best performance to date. His quality melodic voice is still there, but his performance overall is more aggressive and eclectic. He effortlessly toggles between singing, rapping, and screaming, and always keeps it interesting. The musicians all put on fine performances, particularly Dirk Lance and Jose Pasillas, who stand out much more here than on later releases. Lance is a super-funky bassist, who can drive the song with power and groove, and Pasillas is an extremely dexterous and versatile drummer, who can combine many different styles with precision and finesse. Mike Einziger is an extremely creative and talented guitarist, excelling in both metal and funk styles. And, the mighty scratches of DJ Lyte give a bit of a hip hop flavor, which melds well with their brand of metallic funk.
The album is full of diversity, and fun twists and turns. “Redefine”, “New Skin”, and “A Certain Shade of Green” are hard-hitting funk-metal, with catchy melodic choruses to balance things out. “Vitamin” is kind of a straight-ahead hard rocker, with a wacky instrumental breakdown to shake things up. “Glass” features a jangly Primus-like bassline, mixed with a crushing guitar riff on the chorus. “Idiot Box” is sort of a slow funky groove, with some pretty wicked time changes. “Nebula” and “Calgone” are pure insanity, with some very jazzy drum work, and a lot of weird rhythms and time changes. “Deep Inside” moves back and forth between a funk/hip hop groove, and crushing metal, with a really cool bluesy guitar solo. “Magic Medicine” is sort of an instrumental, with some interesting drum beats superimposing some weird dialogue samples. The highlight of the album comes with “Summer Romance (Anti-Gravity Love Song)”, the ballad of the album. This song is basically straight-up oldschool soul/funk, complete with Temptations-like backup vocals on the chorus, and a nifty saxophone solo. Definitely one of the coolest songs they’ve done. Great feel to it, too. Really puts one in the mind of meeting up with a cool chick on a hot summer night.
The album also features a hidden track, roughly ten minutes in length. The track is mainly driven by Pasillas, and his wildly eclectic and always engaging drumwork. The song moves through several musical styles, from hip hop, to melodic rock, to funk, to jazz, and is interspersed with wacky sound samples, and a guitar riff and bassline here and there. One of the technicians apparently screwed up the ending of the last song (you get to hear one of the bandmembers, probably Brandon, scold him , so this hidden track was most likely thrown in to make up for it. Sometimes mistakes are blessings in disguise.
Anyway, this is an extremely well-made and fun album, one of the finest rock albums of the 90’s, no doubt. Even if you hate newer Incubus (which I don’t), you should definitely look into this, as this is quality music that anyone with an appreciation for the creative and unconventional can appreciate. Buy now.