Monuments and Melodies



by hitman USER (5 Reviews)
August 20th, 2009 | 19 replies

Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A compilation of both the greatest hits from Make Yourself through Light Grenades and some rare/new tracks that can appeal to both long-time Incubus fans and new Incubus listeners.

Incubus went through some sound changes over the years. They started off as a heavy funk metal band including elements of hip-hop, alternative, jazz, and even nu-metal in their sound. They now progressed to a more mainstream alternative group. Now Monuments and Melodies is essentially a greatest hits compilation, but they threw in some rare tracks and even some unreleased and new ones. Sadly, on the greatest hits portion of this compilation, the early funk metal Incubus is absent. They basically took the singles from Make Yourself, Morning View, A Crow Left of the Murder…, and Light Grenades to give new listeners a feel for Incubus’s music . Some songs such as ‘Pardon Me’ and ‘Anna Molly’ do give the listener a taste of their funky roots which is great, but a couple of songs from S.C.I.E.N.C.E. or even Fungus Amongus would’ve been more than welcome.

Now, here’s the track-by-track review for the new/rare tracks:

Disc 1

Black Heart Inertia: The greatest hits compilation begins with this new song. This is an interesting choice for a starter, but it does have the new-Incubus style to it. The song doesn’t really stand out to me since background effects are non-existent except for the very end where there are faint wah-wah sounds. Brandon Boyd’s vocal performance is perfect as always and the song is pretty catchy with a cool guitar solo near the end so I’ll give this song a 4.2/5.

Midnight Swim: After the greatest hits portion, they close Disc 1 with ‘Midnight Swim’ and it was a very, very good choice for a closer. From the start you would think it’s just another typical and average Incubus song, but about 20 seconds into the song the chorus comes in. This is definitely one of my favorite choruses of any Incubus song being both catchy and upbeat. The bridge section is heavy and leads into a mellow verse and beautiful chorus with piano and nice effects going on in the back to give it a relaxing atmosphere. The song closes with another bridge section and a guitar solo. Excellent song and one of Incubus’s best earning it a 4.7/5.

Disc 2

Neither of Us Can See: ‘Neither of Us Can See’ starts off with a mellow guitar riff which leads into the major-keyed verse. Similar to ‘Midnight Swim,’ the song doesn’t show much personality (if you will) until the chorus. The chorus in this song is simply beautiful; especially the way it seamlessly goes into a minor key the instant the chorus starts. The back-up vocals are phenomenal and a compliment to Brandon’s already flawless vocals. Piano is in the background throughout this song and adds gives the sound a nice texture. A great minor-keyed guitar solo takes place around 2/3rds into the song, another verse + chorus is played and the song ends with the last note of the chorus being held out. ‘Neither of Us Can See’ is a beautiful song and probably the best on the compilation. 4.8/5.

Look Alive: Starts off with some ambience which finally settles on a guitar (and later bass) melody which is continued through the verses. The verses are very good, more upbeat than the verses in ‘Midnight Swim’ and ‘Neither of Us Can See.’ The chorus is excellent and very mainstream sounding which could be both a plus and a minus. The verses sound like Make Yourself while the chorus sounded like Light Grenades which is an interesting combination, but comes across very well giving this song a 4.6/5.

While All the Vultures Feed: There aren’t many stand-out qualities to this song. Probably the thing that stands out most about this song is the bass. Overall it’s an average song from beginning to end so I’ll give it a 3.2/5.

Pantomine: Starts off with some weird noises which leads into an unusual guitar riff that reminds me of RV by Faith No More. The amazing chorus pretty much makes the song. The bass during the chorus is the focus and shows that Ben can come up with great basslines. The song ends with some harmonized vocals and some nice ambience. 4.5/5.

Anything: Another filler track. The guitar solo is nice, but the chorus and verses aren’t anything special. Nothing really stands out about this song but it appeals to me a bit more than ‘While All the Vultures Feed’ so I’ll give this a 3.4/5.

Punch Drunk: The guitar is very relaxing from the start and Brandon uses falsetto on top of that to give it a peaceful atmosphere. Awesome chorus in this song that features almost Cynic-like vocals with the two tones being harmonized an octave apart for a little bit. A distorted guitar solo takes place about half-way through the song and leads into another mellow verse. The final chorus has some effects in the background which make it truly excellent and the song closes with dreamy vocals and keyboard. 4.6/5

Admiration: This song has a nice chorus and some violin throughout the song and also some effects that sound like the ones from ‘Aqueous Transmission.’ It’s a nice song but comes across as filler so I’ll give it a 3.7/5.

Martini: The verses in this song are interesting in a good way. Doesn’t really sound like something Incubus would do but it sounds very good. The chorus is pretty average with a little bit of pop in it. The song would be average if it weren’t for the cool guitar solos that increase the score to a 3.8/5.

A Certain Shade of Green (Acoustic): I love the guitar in this song. It sounds very bluesy and laid back which is the complete opposite of the original ‘A Certain Shade of Green.’ The guitar solo is extremely bluesy and Brandon does some whistling over it for a little bit. This is a great song to just kick back and relax to. Brandon’s vocals fit the jazzy guitar perfectly and the song ends with some clapping. 4.5/5.

Monuments and Melodies: The softest song on this compilation. The guitar is nice throughout, bass is very simple, drums are faint and sound like brushes. The focus of this song is vocals. The lyrics during the chorus are pretty cliché but that doesn’t faze me since the music is nice and relaxing. The harmonized vocals in the chorus are a great addition to the song. 3.9/5

Let’s Go Crazy: A Prince cover. It starts off with some organ and Brandon saying stuff about life. The song is very funky and reminiscent of their older material. The riffs during the verses are great, the chorus is great, the guitar solo is great, just an all around great song. The song closes with some crazy guitar work and a big rock ending. I’m not too big into covers, but this is one cover I can say that I thoroughly enjoy. Great end to the compilation. 4.2/5

Monuments and Melodies is a great compilation album and an excellent way to see what Incubus is all about. A couple of filler tracks here and there but for the most part this is an excellent release and has some stellar (no pun intended) Incubus tracks.

Recommended listens:
- Neither of Us Can See
- Midnight Swim
- Punch Drunk
- Pantomine

user ratings (169)

Comments:Add a Comment 
August 20th 2009


Album Rating: 4.0

Martini and Let's Go Crazy are among my faves. Also A Certain Shade acoustic, that's so smooth

I know people are going to say it's bad to do track by tracks, but for this album I would actually prefer it. It acts like a greatest hits/cover album so I'd want to know how the new tracks stand.

Great job!

August 20th 2009


Nice review. I've heard a few of these new/rare songs before and I think ill give the rest of it a look. In terms of a greatest hits album I think they went too heavy on the more recent albums. I can't believe there is no SCIENCE on here.

August 20th 2009


That album didn't have any hits and it didn't even chart, so you shouldn't be that surprised. The review is okay, but I like Admiration and the title track a bit more than you do.

August 20th 2009


Album Rating: 4.0

The best songs from S.C.I.E.N.C.E don't really gel with Incubus's later hits. They just totally switched sounds from Make Yourself on. I think it'd be kind of weird to have anything from SCIENCE on here. Except maybe A certain shade of green which was a (very) minor hit.

August 20th 2009


Yeah true. You see this happen with a lot of bands when they do a "greatest hits." Personally I would like to see another studio album rather than a compilation. I'm better off making my own Incubus greatest hits.

August 21st 2009


Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Pantomime is my favorite, but the acoustic version of A Certain Shade of Green is really good. I really like While All the Vultures Feed though, and Neither of Us Can See was one of my least favorites.

August 21st 2009


Band are fantastic; though slightly lacking in their later years.

August 21st 2009


Well done hitman as I really like this review. Firstly, your opening paragraph says a lot & is a great summation of the album. And you then give good reason for a track-by-track & pull it off well. The only thing I could have suggested is just one more paragraph before the t-b-t where you briefly run-down some of their more well known songs (EG: Drive & Wish You Were Here). That would just give a little bit more info to those people who have not heard much of the band at their height of their success. I'll pos anyway.

August 26th 2009


As a Prince nerd, I kinda like the cover, even though when you do a Prince cover, youre basically throwing yourself into the wolves. Im surprised they didnt do a FNM cover since Incubus has been trying to emulate King for a Day for I dunno just over ten years now. Not a diss at them, just saying.

August 26th 2009


There are some awesome tracks on the 2nd disc.
Good review.

September 28th 2009


Black Heart Inertia is terrible.

May 28th 2010


Album Rating: 4.0

review stinks, some killer b-sides on here though

September 12th 2010


thisis what got me into incubus it was a gift from my brother and i din't have any incubus albums at the time. I listened to black heart inertia once and was like mehh.. then i shuffled my ipod and landed on stellar and fell in love and black heart inertia is actually good.

September 12th 2010


Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Punch Drunk is so good and way better than anything off of Light Grenades.

June 11th 2011


"I’ll give it a 3.7/10."

Think that was meant to be a 5. Or you just really hate that song, enough to change the scoring system itself..

February 5th 2012


Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Disc two is probably better than any of their albums since Morning View. Pantomime, Punch Drunk, While All the Vultures Feed, and Look Alive are all top-tier Incubus songs.

October 22nd 2012


Album Rating: 4.0

Disc two is probably better than any of their albums since Morning View. Pantomime, Punch Drunk, While All the Vultures Feed, and Look Alive are all top-tier Incubus songs.

agreed. while all the vultures feed really grew on me but punch drunk is still my fav off disc 2

March 13th 2014


""I’ll give it a 3.7/10."

Think that was meant to be a 5. Or you just really hate that song, enough to change the scoring system itself.."

lol mah bad

March 2nd 2016


Admiration doesn't sound like filler though, love that song. Great stuff here.

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