Incubus is a band I've recently gotten into. My first album was Morning View, which is a very mellow album, and while I enjoyed the mellow atmosphere, I craved to listen to more of Incubus's older stuff. While rummaging through my local Wal-Mart, I found this album and decided to give it a shot, recognizing the songs Drive and Pardon Me from constant airplay. What I discovered was a more raw and edgy feel than Morning View, and in itself, a quite wonderful listening experience. Since purchasing this album, I've also downloaded many songs originally from S.C.I.E.N.C.E., Fungus Amongus, and Enjoy Incubus. As usual, I shall try to keep this review as bias-free as I possibly can. However, there may be some instances where I just have to give my honest opinion. Whether you agree or not is purely of your own free mind.
Make Yourself opens with a track Privilege
, a rather grungy sounding song which is extremely catchy. Brandon's vocals fit the guitar and bass quite nicely, and the hard rock/grunge mood of the song lets you know that what you're listening to isn't going to be very similar to Morning View
. At the same time, you get the idea that it won't be the same as S.C.I.E.N.C.E. either, but there's still a little bit of funk in there. After Privilege comes Nowhere Fast
, which enters with a delay-ridden intro with a slight mellow feel, and then kicks into a pleasant distorted chorus riff. The verses have Brandon singing against delayed guitar, and bass which sort of reminds me of a horn in some areas. There is a solo which is pretty cool. It's not difficult, but the feel of it backed against the rhythmic bass is very nice. The delay really gives the verses a mellow feel to it, and Brandon's lyrics seem to explain that the reason the music sounds different is because he feels as though they needed the change, but are uncertain if it is the right choice.
I take a look around, it is evident the scene has changed.
And there are times when I feel improved, improved upon the past.
And there are times when I can’t seem to understand at all.
And yes it seems as though I'm going nowhere really fucking fast.
Coming up after Nowhere Fast is Consequence
, which enters with another delayed intro, but this time, while the lyrics and drums are upbeat, the song doesn't really seem to be as much as a important contribution to the album. The lyrics make a good bit of sense, however, and they do fit the guitar and bass. Kilmore gives a few scratches every so often. The one thing I do enjoy about this song is the "solo", which is really just the guitar giving us some harmonics(I believe), but the rhythm guitar fits the angsty sound quite nicely. The song finishes with some mad scratching from Kilmore and builds to a climatic crescendo which brings us to The Warmth
is a pleasant track to listen to because of the mellow and depressing feel to it. The delayed guitar maintains a simple intro/chorus/verse, and the bass gives a simple, yet very dominant bassline. There is a cool effect in the beginning which sounds like a whale which seems to fit everything, especially the idea about being warm as whales live in colder climates. I like the overall feel of the song, and the lyrics have a nice message.
So don't let the world bring you down
Not everyone here is that fucked up and cold
Remember why you came and while you're alive
Experience the warmth before you grow old
When It Comes
is next up, and the song is rather catchy, and a bit random, I've found. The style seems to change about six times. The intro is sort of ominous, and the verses mimic this at first, but then go into delayed guitars and smooth bass, which gets distorted before the chorus, which has a different sound than every other portion of the song so far. It starts out with a slight dark feel, but then goes light. The entire song is full of seemingly unexpected changes, but each change works. I've always enjoyed the lines...
Just when you thought, it was safe to think
In comes mental piracy, and no
What I'm looking for (for)
Can not be sold to me
I wish they all would stop trying
Cuz what I want, and what I need, is and will always be free
The song is one of my favorites and gets a spotlight as one of the highlights of the album.
Up next is Stellar
, which has a very Morning View-esque feel to it. It's a very mellow track, and the bass shines through more than it has on every other track so far. Brandon's lyrics make it a bit of a love song, and Mike's guitar lines are really interesting. This is recommended for anyone who needs to mellow out for any reason.
The title track Make Yourself
enters after Stellar, and has a very grungy feel to it as the intro reminds me of the tone I would get from my Yamaha practice amp. Eventually, the song comes in and the distortion quality is much better(symbolizing making something better?) and the song ends up being a very nice contribution to the album. There aren't too many highlights with this song other than the lyrics.
You should make amends with you
If only for better health, better health
But if you really want to live
Why not try, and make yourself
If I hadn't made me, I'd have fallen apart by now
I won't let them make me, It's more than I can allow
So when I make me, I won't be paper mache
And if I fuck me, I'll fuck me my own way
The popular single Drive
succeeds the title track, and this acoustic/electric number is the most mellow song on the album. Brandon's vocals are excellent and the guitar and bass, no matter how simple, fits the entire mood of the song. The drumming and turntable work is also very noticable, and everything just comes together. This song is one that many beginning guitar classes will end up learning because of its easiness, but awesome sound. This song is another highlight of the album. I also must add that it truly is a nice song to drive around to.
follows "Drive" and it starts with bongos, courtesy of Brandon. The song has an edgy feel to it with the intro being laden with effects and distorted guitar with harmonics. Brandon is doing some watered down funky vocals for the verses, which has more delayed guitar. The delayed guitar has made a nice appearance on the album, but it almost ends up giving too many songs the same feel. This song is the first one where it seems a bit overplayed, but the vocals and effects are something interesting. Even with what seems to be repetition, Incubus somehow makes every song quite unique. This song isn't as great as the others, but it's no necessarily bad.
is next, and it's duelling turntables to the max. The bass and guitar gives it a very jazzy feel, and Lance shines through on this track. It is the best display of bass on the album, and it seems to hone into some of Incubus's earlier jazzy works. A very pleasant listen which ends at 3:49. I consider it a highlight of skill fo this album.
I Miss You
is the most poppy sounding song on the album, and the title tells you exactly what it's about. Brandon is missing someone and the guitar, bass, drums, and turntables give the entire song a poppy uplifting feel. While I do enjoy it, it doesn't seem to fit the other mellow tracks on the album. Perhaps this could have waited for &Morning View. Excellent vocals and lyrics by Brandon.
is after this track, and here comes some bias...it's my favorite track. The intro is delayed with Mike fading the volume in and out and then comes a heavy rock chorus riff which stops for Brandon's watered down rapping in the verses. You hear it fade in and out, and the bass, while simple, gives the song's intro a near Nice To Know You
feel. The lyrics are about Brandon apologizing while he changes and becomes stronger, seperating himself from people's mindlessness and becoming something more. The entire feel of the song is dark, but the bridge before the chorus almost gives you a feeling of rising up, and as Brandon sings..
Pardon me while I burst into flame
I've had enough of this world
And its people's mindless games
So pardon me while I burn
And rise above the flame
I'll never be the same
While it is my favorite track, there aren't as many technical highlights to this track. It's simply one to enjoy whenever the world seems to be overbearing. The closing track is Out From Under
. The intro starts out very chaotic sounding, and it's remeniscent of the work on S.C.I.E.N.C.E. It has a funky feel to it, in both the bass and Brandon's vocals. The whale effect is back, and the song is about hypocrites, I believe.
To resist is to piss in the wind
Anyone who does will end up smelling
Knowing this why do I defy
Cuz my inner voice is yelling
There is a fist pressing against
Anyone who thinks something compelling
Our intuit we’re taught to deny
And our soul we’re told is for selling
Get out from under them
Resist and multiply
Get out from under precipice
Bless and see the sky
It's a very powerful finish to the album, and in Brandon's chatoic screaming...you can tell it's a very angry track. Always an excellent choice if you want to blast someone to Hell.
Individual track rating:
Privilege - 4.5/5
Nowhere Fast - 4.5/5
Consequence - 4/5
The Warmth - 4/5
When It Comes - 4.5/5
Stellar - 4/5
Make Yourself - 3.5/5
Drive - 5/5
Clean - 2.5/5
Battlestar Scralatchtica - 5/5
I Miss You - 3/5
Pardon Me - 4.5/5
Out From Under - 4/5
- excellent guitar work
- excellent sound all the way through
- great lyrics
- Battlestar Scralatchtica
- occasional repetition of the delay effect, but that's not really bad
- the bass doesn't shine through on as many tracks as it should and could
- lack of guitar solos
Overall rating - 4.0
In my personal opinion, this album is a very fine album. I've found that I prefer "Morning View" and "S.C.I.E.N.C.E." over this one, however, and the fact that it's the inbetween for those two albums is actually fairly obvious. The sound is good, the singles were good, and the overall album is exceptional. I recommend it for anyone who not only loves Incubus, but is angry and not only wants to relate, but mellow out.
This is my first review with paragraphs, and I really think I made it too long. My sincerest apologies.