This best selling album from Incubus is full of aggressive noise tunes, r&b grooves, and relaxing songs to mellow you out. Every song on the album is a hit. There’s never a point in the record where it gets dull and there isn’t a track you want to skip. Some of the band’s best songs are found here along with some long fan favorites. Either way, this album shows why Incubus was one of the best bands of the early 2000s.
The album opens with the aggressive “Nice to Know You.” This song will definitely wake you up and make you pay attention. It’s starts with a smooth bass riff, followed by hard guitar licks. The song is very in your face, especially when Boyd sings “Nice to know you, goodbye!” There’s so much energy and attitude in this opener. You can also hear other musical elements like record scratching in this song that really adds some flavor to it. This is just one of a number of aggressive tracks on the album.
The energy keeps going with the next track “Circles.” It has this cool guitar riff that jumps around the song. It also has a good groove to it, which will get you moving in no time. You can really feel the frustration in this song in the music and in the singing. Also, the song flawlessly slows down and changes tempo before it abruptly picks up the pace again.
There are so many good songs on this record it’s hard to only pick a few to talk about. Every song has something unique about it that will get stuck in your head. “Mexico” is a slow, somber song that still manages to relax you, while “Just a Phase” constantly switches between tempos as Boyd softly croons. Every song is great. They all stand on their own and there’s something about each of them that makes them standout. You’ll never have to get up to change a song on this record.
One thing that makes the album so good is the music itself. The guitars here are just badass, even though it may be hard to associate that thought with the band. They are aggressive, harsh, playful, memorable riffs that will get stuck in your head. But not only is the guitar amazing, the bass playing is skillful too. “Have You Ever” has a looping, racing bass riff that keeps the song going. Songs will often have other sounds going on, such as weird beeps and boops and of course the record scratching. It’s like there’s so many layers found in their music, that the more you listen to the album the more you discover different sounds you didn’t notice before.
There are different musical styles found here that keeps the music exciting. Not every song is full of hard guitars and loud vocals. The track that stands out musically from the others is “Are You In?” It begins with weird, spacey music before a cool drumbeat steps in to get the song going. It has a r&b/soul feel to it and it really gets you moving. It’s just a feel good song surely to get you out of a rut. And “Echo” gives off a cool, jazz/lounge vibe. The closing track “Aqueous Transmission” is all about relaxation. It has Chinese inspired music playing throughout and the vocals are sung in a hushed manner. It’s a cool, soothing track that will relax you even though the frogs chirping at the end is a bit odd.
The vocals here are really good as well. It’s not as if Brandon Boyd is a classically trained singer who could sing the pants off of Whitney Houston, yet his voice still stands out. It manages to perfectly fit the mood of every song. He can sound angry on the more aggressive tracks and be quiet on the slower ones. And when he croons it sounds really soothing. Just listen to “Just a Phase” to see what I’m talking about. He’s a talented singer who has an impressive range and it shows on this record.
Overall, the album gets 9/10. Every song is amazing. Everything from the music to the vocals is just about perfect. While the album is mostly filled with aggressive songs, there are a few that are slow, mellow and filled with grooves to get you moving. This is probably Incubus’ best album to date. It’s filled with some of their most well known songs, along with other tracks that will soon become your favorite. The album has aged incredibly well and will still have you singing along to this day.
Do you have a favorite track from this album? What’s your favorite Incubus record? Do you even listen to Incubus anymore? Let me know in the comments!