Incubus
Make Yourself


4.5
superb

Review

by Mike Allen USER (107 Reviews)
January 5th, 2010 | 36 replies | 7,046 views


Release Date: 1999 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Incubus goes mainstream, but for the better.

9 of 9 thought this review was well written

Incubus is a puzzling band. Not necessarily from the standpoint of their success, but rather how they kept fans while their music continued to changed. With an extremely talented core, Incubus produced two completely contradictory records, each with a distinct sound. The 1995 debut “Fungus Amongus” was an obscure release to say the least; an intriguing fusion of rap, metal, and funk. “Fungus Amongus” was a record that the world had never seen the likes of, and was flawed, yet enjoyable. Incubus’ sophomore effort “S.C.I.E.N.C.E.” may remain as the band’s most innovative album, by losing some of the funk, but adding a great deal of chaos and brutality. “S.C.I.E.N.C.E” is truly a wild experience, with Brandon Boyd screaming his lungs out and Dirk Lance tearing apart the foundation of the tracks with his bass. Both of Incubus’ first two records utilize an accelerated, and sometimes frenzied pace, without a great deal of variety. Despite having a somewhat large fan base with “Fungus Amongus” and “S.C.I.E.N.C.E.,” Incubus did not gain the mainstream success that they are associated with in the present day. With their third-full length release “Make Yourself” in 1999, Incubus went commercial.

I know what you are thinking. It would be easy to say that Incubus had gone downhill with this release, even to say “Incubus sold out with ‘Make Yourself.’” This however, is not the case. By 1999, Incubus had grown as a band; both maturing as songwriters and incorporating more variety into their music. Lead singer Brandon Boyd had shown a great deal of maturity as well, by abandoning his raspy and unforgiving scream, for a much cleaner and quite magnificent singing voice. As opposed to “S.C.I.E.N.C.E.,” Incubus lightened up, and like Boyd’s vocals, the music was calmed down in both tempo and brutality. Some may have considered this to be a recipe for disaster for Incubus, considering that the band thrived on Boyd’s rapid fire vocals and Lance’s fiery bass lines. The result however, was a more cohesive record than even “S.C.I.E.N.C.E.,” with more diversity than ever before. “Make Yourself” inherits what is sort of an outer space theme, in which is conveyed through turntables, volume swells, and other strange effects.

Like many others, the Incubus that I first heard was off of this very record. Single Drive was a massive mainstream hit, and even reached the pop charts. Drive to this day is Incubus’ most famous song, but is a bit misleading in terms of the sound of “Make Yourself.” Drive is an acoustic driven track with a memorable riff and a catchy chorus. Brandon’s singing is superb here, and could likely be one of his best performances. This is by far the most mellow and poppy song on the record, offering a nice contrast to the hard rocking edge of the rest. Drive is also an indication that Brandon has indeed developed as a pure singing vocalist, as is Stellar. Another single, Stellar is a spacey love song in which Brandon’s vocals are, well, stellar. Along with the guitar volume swells and turntable effects, the first line is unforgettable, “Meet me in outer space. We could spend a night, and watch the earth come up.” Stellar is a very similar track to Pardon Me, in which utilizes the same types of effects and also became a radio single. The turntables and other effects convey the idea that Incubus is still out to achieve more than the conventional rock band. A major part of this is due to the fact that the band replaced turntablist DJ Lyfe with DJ Chris Kilmore. Kilmore’s work on “Make Yourself” trumps anything Lyfe had done to date, and this proved to be a lucky break for Incubus.

With Kilmore at the helm, Incubus also attempts to break some boundaries with Battlestar Scralatchtica, a track that is most identifiable with the band’s previous releases. The smooth basslines and turntable solos create quite a bizarre atmosphere that would absolutely not be out of place on “S.C.I.E.N.C.E.” The differences from the previous releases however, come in the form of songs such as I Miss You and The Warmth. The former is sort of a sappy and lush track, and not unlike Drive focuses on Brandon’s singing. While I Miss You may have been the type of track that steered Incubus’ early fans away from the band, The Warmth is the sort of song that would keep them interested. Riding a powerful chorus with outstanding vocals and shredding lead guitar by Mike Einziger, The Warmth proves to be the record’s most awe-inspiring track.

Incubus may have reached their innovative peak with “S.C.I.E.N.C.E.” however, “Make Yourself” is a superior record for various reasons and represents Incubus’ maturity. The album from start to finish features a tremendous amount of variety; throwing at you a funky and bizarre instrumental, spacey ballads, congo drumming, unusual effects and even somewhat standard rock songs. In 1999, Incubus became a mainstream rock band, but was still able to retain the creativity and showcase the talent from their previous two records. From the eccentric Clean to the bass-driven Nowhere Fast, “Make Yourself” is a spectacular effort from a band that just refuses to remain the same.

Recommended Tracks
Nowhere Fast
The Warmth
Stellar
Clean
Pardon Me



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Comments:Add a Comment 
EVedder27
January 5th 2010



6088 Comments


Many will disagree, but I prefer Make Yourself and Morning View to S.C.I.E.N.C.E.

Blindsided
January 5th 2010



1871 Comments


Good review as always. Actually just heard Drive the other day on the radio, might have to check this out after reading your review, never been a huge Incubus fan..
Let's be honest how annoying was it to write out S.C.I.E.N.C.E. everytime or did you copy and paste it lol?

EVedder27
January 5th 2010



6088 Comments


oh god it was awful. I never thought to copy it when I wrote it, and typing it out slowed me down so much.

EDIT: thank you by the way

Romulus
January 5th 2010



8423 Comments


I've actually never knowingly heard Incubus... I'll probably look into them at some point. Good review too.

EVedder27
January 5th 2010



6088 Comments


Thanks, and really? They have been all over the radio for years now. I guess thats how it was for me and Kings of Leon though.

Ponton
Emeritus
January 5th 2010



5785 Comments


I think "Drive" was their biggest hit, correct? I hated the song for some reason though. However, I do enjoy "Pardon Me" when it comes on the radio. Great Review Mike.

Burn2Burn
January 5th 2010



2378 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice review. I prefer this and Morning View over S.C.I.E.N.C.E. as well.

WatchItExplode
January 5th 2010



3213 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Stellar review...I listened to this in anticipation of the review and it was better than I remembered...not even fucking close to S.C.I.E.N.C.E. though

Ponton
Emeritus
January 5th 2010



5785 Comments


I may check out the greatest hits thing from this band.

EVedder27
January 5th 2010



6088 Comments


Stellar review...

I see what you did there

Thanks guys. Observer the greatest hits is pretty good about covering this album to their new one, but leaves out the first two records. May be a good segue into the band though.

Xxplosive
January 5th 2010



126 Comments


Awesome review. Drive always brings back good memories. Need to listen to this one again.

Yazz_Flute
January 5th 2010



18769 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

For me

SCIENCE > Make Yourself > Morning View >>> Fungus Amongus > ACLOTM > Light Grenades

but dude Privilege should be a standout track

Digging: The Smashing Pumpkins - Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness

EVedder27
January 5th 2010



6088 Comments


Thanks XXplosive

bodominflames - Priviledge is awesome but I like the others I recced better. Whole album is spectacular so its hard to pick the 5 best.

Chewie
January 5th 2010



4531 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

great review, I really like how this are going.

I prefer S.C.I.E.N.C.E. to this, but its still got some incredible tracks.(Privilege, The Warmth, Pardon Me)

Can't wait for Morning View.

Fuff24
January 5th 2010



1118 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

if this is as good as SCIENCE I need it like kathy lee needs regis

Yazz_Flute
January 5th 2010



18769 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You haven't heard Morning View Chewie? Get it now.

EVedder27
January 5th 2010



6088 Comments


I think he meant for the review. Thanks Chewie.

BassDemon333
January 5th 2010



3358 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Album is awesome. Good review too. Agreed, this and Morning View are superior to SCIENCE.

ziroth
January 5th 2010



1252 Comments


Incubus is one of the only radio rock bands i still enjoy. Good review, it's cool that you're doing their discography. Pos.

Yazz_Flute
January 5th 2010



18769 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this is a FUCK YOU at best

someguest more like somefaggot



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