Review Summary: "There's no such thing as the good ol' days. The older we all get, the better we all were"
If Not Now When is certainly different from their other albums, however different does not equal bad. If you are a fan of Incubus only for their heavier stuff, then this is probably not an album for you. Conversely, if you are a fan of Incubus for their innovative riffs and instrumentation, and a fan of Brandon's vocals and lyrics, then this is precisely the album for you.
Brandon's voice is the cornerstone of this album. The title track at least in my opinion features one of Boyd's best vocal performances yet. The lyrics are well-written and expressive, and his tone is powerful. The vocal harmonies are great. He has come a long way since the screaming days of SCIENCE, and has evolved as a singer (much like Anthony Kiedis, however I feel that Brandon has aged better). If you prefer the vocal style found in songs like New Skin or A Certain Shade of Green then this is probably not an album for you.
The music for this album is somewhat minimalistic--you won't find any impressive solos from Mike or crazy bass lines from Ben, however this is not really a bad thing. We know that if they wanted to, they easily could have included both of the above, yet they did not. Instead, they created an album that is expertly orchestrated and engineered. The tones and mixing of the album are perfect, and deserves much more credit than its been given.
I must admit, I did not like this album much when I first got it because it did not meet my expectations. Over time, however, the more I listened to it the more intricacies I found. I would hear something like the progressive like climax in "In The Company of Wolves" and think "Hey that was pretty neat". I am still finding things out about this album. It is not an album that is easy to appreciate, you really have to listen and know something about music and recording to fully appreciate this album. But if you put in the time, you will find that this album is really quite impressive. I recommend listening when you are in a particularly "mellow" mood.