For those who’ve known me since High School, its an obvious fact that incubus has always been my favorite band, and when the new album Light Grenades was announced, I was tickled with anticipation. The band kept saying that this album was a “Really good one” and their “best evar!!!!” And then I heard “Anna Molly” and I’ve been eagerly awaiting this album ever since, mostly because that track is one of my favorite incubus songs already.
I know its wrong to download music illegally, but I own every other incubus CD and plan on continuing this trend, so when Light Grenades showed up on oink.me.uk the night before I left for Canada, I had to have it.
After listening to the entire album around ten times, these are my impressions:
First off, the music on this album is some of their best yet. Make note, I said music. They’ve gone in a few new directions, especially Mike, who whips out Snow Patrol-esque guitar lines on “A Kiss To Send Us Off” and “Oil And Water”. Some of the album is admittedly straight forward Modern Rock, but most of it is fresh to that crowd.
Now, you made that note about music right? The reason for those instructions was that while the music is fantastic, Brandon’s lyrics have become watered down from where they used to stand. His lyrics used to be full of symbolism, alliteration, and nifty counting things (see: “Crowded Elevator”), but now his words are straightforward with the meaning right on the surface. I know, an example is warranted here.
From “Echo” on Morning View:
There’s something about the way you move
I see your mouth in slow motion when you sing
more subtle than something someone contrives
your movements echo that I have seen the real thing
From “Love Hurts” on Light Grenades:
Love hurts, but sometimes its a good hurt
and it feels like I’m alive
Love sings, when it transcends the bad things
have a heart and try me ’cause without love I won’t survive
Both songs are about feelings of love, but “Love Hurts” is far more direct about what its saying. “bad things” is my second most hated lyric on this album, only beaten by the line in “Dig” where he says, “at least we dig each-other.” Not every song on this album has less than stellar lyrics, but as a whole, this is not Brandon’s best poetry by far. Almost every song is about love or at least a significant other.
That being said, Brandon’s singing is still incredible, I wish he’d knock a few of those oooos and ahhhhs from the album, but his voice is still awe-inspiring, and very distinctive. He screams again, just like he used to in the older stuff, at the end of the title track.
As a whole, I give this album 1.75 thumbs up, with points taken away for the lyrics and for a tiny bit of overproduction. I wish incubus would go into the studio and record the tracks and not edit them extensively on the computer. Maybe an entire album recorded live in a studio is what I am going for here. Sometimes the songs sound impossible to play live because there is so much extra riff-raff, but that is what the DJ’s for I guess.
Favorite songs? “Anna Molly”, “Rogues”, “A Kiss To Send Us Off”, and most definitely “Light Grenades” (one of my favorite songs, EVER, now.)