Incubus
Morning View


4.5
superb

Review

by Mike Allen USER (107 Reviews)
January 6th, 2010 | 409 replies


Release Date: 2001 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Are YOU in?

As Incubus fans realized by now, the band had released three utterly disparate records throughout the 1990’s, each heading in entirely different musical directions. Their debut album “Fungus Amongus” received mixed acclaim, due to its merely odd song structure and combination of musical genres. “S.C.I.E.N.C.E.” continued on the path of change, and introduced a much more hectic and “in-your-face” type of sound. This particular record was successful, but did not reach the jurisdiction of the mainstream, which is something that its predecessor “Make Yourself” achieved. Despite its commerciality, “Make Yourself” marked a high point at the time, for an ever-changing band. Harnessing a tremendous amount of talent, these three records were major surprises for a band, which never seemed to run out of ways to stun the listener. With their first release of the new millennium, Incubus shocked their fans again. They didn’t change. Well, that much.

“Make Yourself” proved to be the perfect fusion of commerciality and much calmer sound, and did not suffer a great deal in terms of creativity. “Make Yourself,” and Incubus’ 2001 release “Morning View,” are the most similar of the band’s records. Throughout the record, Incubus utilizes the unique turntable and volume swell effects that are so apparent on “Make Yourself,” to create a spacey ambience. Opening track Nice to Know You is evident of Incubus’ creative approach, riding the effect of DJ Kilmore’s turntables and Mike Einziger’s signature volume swells. These distinctive sounds are featured in nearly all of “Morning View’s” tracks, and serve as a major outlet for the album’s success.

In regards to lead singer Brandon Boyd, he continues to demonstrate his growth as a vocalist, and expresses the fact that his new “singing” style has been adapted beautifully into the band’s latest work. While Boyd’s rap and screaming technique complemented “S.C.I.E.N.C.E.” with great virtuosity, his pure singing method has proved to be more effective and directly linked to the band’s success. With that said, Brandon has been able to channel his remarkable versatility, and is efficient on all parameters. When the music is mellow, Brandon is soothing and emotional, even showing off a falsetto from time to time. Despite the fact that he does not display the anger that he once did, Brandon’s voice is quite powerful and aggressive when it needs to be. Just a Phase is simply a flawless representation of Boyd’s vocals; his intensity grows as the music grows, and is at the top of his game with falsettos and tones.

Not unlike “Make Yourself,” “Morning View’s” success was propelled by several exceptional singles. Wish You Were Here is somewhat of a standard rock song however, is uplifting and has a warm feeling to it. Boyd’s lyrics do a tremendous job of painting the picture for the listener, and the track that seems like the perfect song to listen to reflecting on the beach. “I dig my toes into the sand, the ocean looks like a thousand diamonds strewn across the blue blanket.” Warning plays the role as exceptional single as well, utilizing the signature sound featured on both “Make Yourself” and “Morning View,” and highlighting what is a stupendous performance by Brandon on vocals. The hardest rocking of the singles Nice to Know You is one of the more famous Incubus songs to date, and is the best opener in the band’s catalog. Although presenting fairly straightforward singles, these tracks in particular are what brought new listeners to the band and serve a vital purpose on the record.

“Morning View” is a much mellower release than any of its predecessors, and in this light is the most impressive. Despite the high-fueled energy of Circles and Under My Umbrella, the lighter tracks seem to bring more to the table. Aqueous Transmission could very well be the most intriguing track that has ever been written by Incubus; its floating ambience like none other. To say that Aqueous Transmission is relaxing would be an understatement, for this song is elevated by the perfect fusion of soothing vocals, strings, a flute, and a ko-kyu (Japanese mandolin type instrument). The experience is quite interesting, and has a tremendous purpose as the closer of the record. Echo to a lesser extent has the same effect, but could be the most heartfelt track that “Morning View” has to offer. The record’s underscore however, comes in the form of builder Just a Phase, which is brilliantly written and combines the band’s mellow and aggressive approaches. Riding several acoustic riffs, strings, and Brandon’s tone singing, Just a Phase smoothly develops into a completely conflicting track over four minutes in. After Brandon proclaims, “It’s just a…PHASE,” the song explodes with energy, and is how it remains for the final minute.

Although “Make Yourself” and “Morning View” appear to have irreparable similarities, “Morning View” presents enough superior material to surpass what was Incubus’ greatest record. Incubus proves to deliver enough original material to make “Morning View” stand on its own as the band’s best; where the record is situated at the present day. From the raw energy of Under My Umbrella to the groovy as hell Are You In?, “Morning View” is a record that Incubus will struggle to exceed.

Recommended Tracks:
Nice to Know You
Wish You Were Here
Just a Phase
Echo
Are You In?
Aqueous Transmission



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Comments:Add a Comment 
EVedder27
January 6th 2010


6088 Comments


my favorite

Relinquished
January 6th 2010


25214 Comments


You have a coding error on the Recommended Tracks thing.

I have to listen to this again, it's been ages.

EVedder27
January 6th 2010


6088 Comments


thanks for telling me man, totally missed it when I was reading it over.

dylantheairplane
January 6th 2010


2170 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

good review man.

this is the only Incubus album i've liked

Yazz_Flute
January 6th 2010


18812 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Just A Phase is my favorite definitely. Under My Umbrella might be my second favorite though. Hella underrated song.

Digging: Kayo Dot - Coffins On Io

EVedder27
January 6th 2010


6088 Comments


Thanks for the pos' guys. Under My Umbrella is definitely underrated, again the recommended tracks were extremely hard to pick.

PuddlesPuddles
January 6th 2010


4786 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

You know what...I need to bump this to a 4.5. I've seen the light

PayneTiger777
January 6th 2010


4404 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Haha, I just put Are You In on a mix cd I made today. This is my favorite Incubus album.

Yazz_Flute
January 6th 2010


18812 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

THESE EYES ARE NOT YOUR EYEEEEES AND THESE EYES ARE NOT THE COLOR THAYHT, YO ARIDDD EYES SHOULD BEEEEEEEEEEEE

I ranked this a few months ago didnt I...

cirq
January 6th 2010


9264 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Ehco is the best song ever haha

Chewie
January 6th 2010


4532 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

nice review again, you're representing the band's sound and direction very very well with these reviews. Make sure you talk a lot on how they change with A Crow..., considering that Dirk left the band at that point.

Album's good, but the heavy tracks kinda throw the mood a bit for me. It's a shame since the mellower tracks(Just A Phase, Warning, Are You In?, Aqueous Transmission) are so well refined and purrty.

BSX
January 7th 2010


1633 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I got this for christmas!

AtavanHalen
January 7th 2010


17927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice. This is a great album.

pride
January 7th 2010


227 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Cool review, This is my favorite Incubus Album

BrahTheSunGod
January 7th 2010


1279 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

About as close as there is to a perfect album.

Good review, fix the "9) Ehco" typo in the tracklist and i'll pos haha

Emim
January 7th 2010


26646 Comments


Under My Umbrella is an awesome track, first song I ever heard from them.

WatchItExplode
January 7th 2010


3273 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm with chewie in that I enjoy the mellower tracks on this...

Digging: Giant Squid - Minoans

Taxt
January 7th 2010


660 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I lurve this album.

Titan50
January 7th 2010


4588 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

pins and needles, nice to know you...GOODBYYYYYYYEEEEE

BrahTheSunGod
January 7th 2010


1279 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

No matter how shitty things are going, no matter how cold it is outside (i'm from Minnesota, land of the ice and snow), listening to "Wish You Were Here" puts me on a peaceful CA beach. Perfect song, will never get old.

I know, cool story bro.



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