Incubus (USA-CA)
Morning View


5.0
classic

Review

by Brendan Schroer USER (113 Reviews)
February 5th, 2018 | 22 replies


Release Date: 2001 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Peace of mind.


From time to time, you have that certain album that just defines you. Whether it’s from the standpoint of location, personal history, or correlation with friends, some music becomes an extension of our personalities and identity. And with this particular record, we’re talking about a piece of music that introduced me to an entirely new world (figuratively speaking). Not only is Morning View a beautiful throwback to my extensive history in California, but it was basically the impetus to alternative rock becoming one of my all-time favorite genres. This was a serious game-changer upon first listen, and every subsequent listen just revealed more manifold layers of meaning and technical prowess. Even today, it’s hard not to be impressed by how many levels Morning View entertains and impresses on.

But let’s backtrack for a second. Earlier on, I stated the album is “a beautiful throwback to my extensive history in California,” and that doesn’t just apply to my own history with the record. This applies to the sound as well. There’s a distinct vibe Morning View brings out, one of waves and sunny skies. Even in its most heavy and distorted moments (and there are several, as the album still warrants the “alternative metal” tag), a calm zen-like atmosphere still reigns supreme with this experience; it’s meditative and tends to ebb and flow like the aural representation of a quiet ocean. But that’s not a knock against the diversity that Incubus brings to the table… in fact, this might just be their strongest balance of soft and heavy elements to date. Whereas S.C.I.E.N.C.E. wore its eccentric influences on its sleeve (although in some incredibly cool ways) and Make Yourself still carried over some faint traces of the band’s nu-metal roots, Morning View just feels like a more centered and balanced piece of work. It’s often gorgeous, such as the pipa-driven ebbs and flows of the oriental ballad “Aqueous Transmission” or the delicate clean-guitar intro to the expansive power ballad “Just a Phase.” But these moments are almost always offset by the strident, heavy power chords that define many of the other numbers here. Opener “Nice to Know You” doesn’t take much time making itself known, storming the speakers with a crunchy Drop-D riff that really sets the mood for the album to come. “Circles” is even more intense, immediately diving into a groove that’s almost impossible not to headbang to - even in the most melodious moments of the piece. But when the fantastic power ballad “Wish You Were Here” comes in, we get a lot more perspective on the album’s strengths. Basically, it’s all a yin/yang thing. Both extremes are respectful of each other and don’t interfere with each others’ boundaries.

If anything, many of the heavy moments are used as building blocks on the quiet foundations, performing in a fashion not unlike a good deal of post-metal. There are certainly short bursts that come around, such as the metallic banger “Have You Ever,” but much of Morning View’s beauty lies in how the dynamics blend. It lies in how each volume level communicates with one other to get to the finish line, much like how instruments “talk” to one another in improvisational jazz music. Perhaps the reason this album was so resonant with me was because it taught me the importance of atmosphere and how it can be created. In both concept and execution, Morning View is a true cornerstone as far as combining atmosphere with songcraft goes. It simulates the crashing of the California waves and the serenity of an empty beach with its own interpretations, giving us powerful slabs of alternative metal with strong doses of melody and expansive arrangements. Even one of the tightest, funkiest songs on here, “Are You In,” compliments its catchy groove with a laid-back and peaceful vibe that fits the rest of the tracklist. And really, that’s what Morning View gives me every time I hear it: peace. Relaxation. Ease. It feels like a burden being lifted off the shoulders and into the ocean. It sounds like a spiritual and mental cleansing. And it plays like the best moments of one’s past returning in an overwhelming emotional release. This is musical rejuvenation.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
SoccerRiot
February 4th 2018


5350 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I wanted to make my first contrib review a review of an album that was really dear and personal to me, so here it is

onionbubs
February 4th 2018


9646 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this and make yourself are the reasons why i blew like all my money on pedals. good review

FadedSun
February 4th 2018


1860 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This was the last Incubus album I cared about.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
February 4th 2018


8864 Comments


Stop showing off B : ]



MrSirLordGentleman
February 5th 2018


11872 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

cool review m8



best incubus

Divaman
February 5th 2018


2868 Comments


Nice. I like the idea of starting your new position with an album that's special to you.

Digging: Yes featuring Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin, Rick Wakeman - Live at the Apollo

SoccerRiot
February 5th 2018


5350 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks everyone :] Yeah, this is my favorite Incubus album as well

SoccerRiot
February 5th 2018


5350 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

"this and make yourself are the reasons why i blew like all my money on pedals"



I think Smashing Pumpkins was that band for me, but I can definitely understand it for this band too

BigPleb
February 6th 2018


55001 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great rev man, mindpos!



Definitely Incubus' finest hour.

Davil667
February 6th 2018


3516 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Not their best by quite a bit for me but it still rules. Very good read Brendan, makes me feel the love you have for this one.

Ocean of Noise
February 6th 2018


10333 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Definitely the best Incubus. Great review.

Digging: Winterfylleth - The Mercian Sphere

Gyromania
February 6th 2018


25902 Comments


Yeah this was always my fave. Aqueous transmission is probably their best song

SoccerRiot
February 6th 2018


5350 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks guys!



Aqueous Transmission is such a gorgeous track

BigHans
February 6th 2018


29378 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

My favorite moment from this album was I bought my first real car the day before it came out, and it had a Bose system. I made sure that the first song I played at max volume in the car was Wish You Were Here, which had just dropped.

SoccerRiot
February 6th 2018


5350 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Damn, that must have been amazing. Especially when it got to the main riff

BigHans
February 6th 2018


29378 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah it was. Also, at the time, I was just coming off Make Yourself, which was then a top 5 all time album for me and is still probably top 20

SoccerRiot
February 6th 2018


5350 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Yeah, Make Yourself is quite incredible too. Honestly, that trio of SCIENCE, Make Yourself, and Morning View still remains my three favorite Incubus albums to this day. I liked the band a lot more during their heavier era

BigHans
February 6th 2018


29378 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

They completely fell off the truck after this album. It was actually hard to deal with as I was a huge fan.

TheSpirit
Contributing Reviewer
February 6th 2018


24211 Comments


it slays me that these guys need a (CA-USA) tag just because of some small time dm band that has the same name

SoccerRiot
February 6th 2018


5350 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

@Hans: I agree, honestly. I do still enjoy The Crow Left the Murder and Light Grenades, but this stuff is just miles ahead tbh. I always considered early Incubus to have a lot in common with bands like Chevelle and Deftones... that whole "alternative metal with light atmospheric prog elements and percussive riffs" thing. I always enjoyed that particular sound



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