'8' - Album discussion

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Jelger
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Re: '8' - Album discussion

Postby Jelger » Fri Apr 21, 2017 5:50 am

Another review, another C-rating. But this one has a different tone than the COS one. I really get what the reviewer is saying, while I don't agree with it completely.

http://www.avclub.com/live/charly-bliss ... /entry/542

On album 8, Incubus revives the power chords, but not the personality, of its heyday

Grade: C


Even before the heavy-rotation balladry of “Drive” drove them up the charts and out of the mosh pit, the sensitive California rockers of Incubus didn’t quite fit the nü-metal profile. They were lovers among fighters, wedged uncomfortably onto the undercard of traveling aggro package tours, warming up crowds of sweaty teenagers with soaring self-actualization anthems. Over the two decades that have elapsed since the band’s major-label debut, S.C.I.E.N.C.E., every new album has inched further away from the seething thud of late-’90s mook rock—an evolution that culminated, in 2011, with If Not Now, When?, closer in mid-tempo sound to late R.E.M. than anything you’d ever hear at Ozzfest.

8 walks that sonic progression back a little. From the FM-courting, one-two punch of openers “No Fun” and “Nimble Bastard,” Incubus announces renewed arena aspirations. Big riffs snake their way through various tracks, like the fuzzy dystopian waltz of “Love In A Time Of Surveillance,” which commences with some shredding straight out of a lost Rage Against The Machine rager (or, okay, at least an Audioslave outtake). Returning to crunchy alt-rock isn’t the worst move for Incubus; these guys may be big softies at heart, but they never seem more confident than when setting their breakup blues or carpe-diem affirmations to power chords. But if 8 puts a little muscle back into the band’s sound, it lacks the constellation-sized hooks that made 2001’s Morning View a singles machine that kept on giving.

Too many songs get halfway there, starting promisingly, then petering out quickly. Both “Familiar Faces” and “Glitterbomb” squander guitarist Mike Einziger’s earworm intros, building something bland around the bright, shimmering blast of the former and the isolated desert reverb of the latter. Elsewhere, the hard-charging opening track stops cold for a woozy interlude, killing its own momentum. What’s missed, unusually, are the elements that used to feel like affectations, but might have given these songs a little personality: the spacey sound effects, the stray appearance of a bongo or a didgeridoo, the DJ showboating that once superficially linked Incubus to rap-metal. (Given that Skrillex mixed and co-produced 8, the general lack of electronic flourishes is perhaps especially surprising.)


The band’s greatest strength and liability remains its frontman, ab-flashing surfer loverboy Brandon Boyd. Time has been kind to his powerhouse pipes; the best song on 8, “Undefeated,” builds its reasonably stirring chorus around his passionate yelp, to the point where it scarcely matters what he’s singing about. That’s fortunate, because Boyd hasn’t outgrown his weakness for clichés (“I swing and I miss”), tortured metaphors (“You’re a payphone on a 1-a.m. sidewalk”), and goofy political commentary (“Please, do explain to me brother, why all the spying on each other?”). At minimum, he should be more careful about inadvertently arming his critics: “You’re no fun / You’re a song I never want to hear again” is a pretty ballsy chorus for a song plenty won’t want to hear again.

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Re: '8' - Album discussion

Postby Look_Alive » Fri Apr 21, 2017 5:55 am

Yeah that was a well written review, at least they were willing to give some aspects of it credit.
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Re: '8' - Album discussion

Postby The Idler Wheel » Fri Apr 21, 2017 7:35 am

Yeah, better review than COS. I respect it. Don't agree 100%, but respect.
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Re: '8' - Album discussion

Postby Roger » Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:12 am

The official iTunes review is pretty warm

Whoever wrote that Brandon's lyrics don't seem to fit the structure...this is something that has occurred to me on more than a few occasions over the years, especially in recent history. I'm still pretty pleased.
Last edited by Roger on Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: '8' - Album discussion

Postby Jelger » Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:14 am

I'm still not sure how I rate this album. I like it a lot, but I think it only tops INNW and Fungus for me. I really get what the reviewer is saying when he says this disc doesn't have the same personality like their other work.

That being said, there is some killer stuff on there and I'd love for them to explore stuff like Make No Sound more. Hell, even if they would've put two interludes like that on the Trust Fall EP, that would've made it heaps better. And I have to admit, within the album I don't mind Undefeated that much. I feel Loneliest is in terms of feel/sexy-ness what Make Out Party wanted to be, still not a big fan of the song tho. This whole album does feel like the band has found new energy and I'm excited to hear some of these songs live. They should either start shows with No Fun or with Make No Sound -> Throw Out The Map. Killer.

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Re: '8' - Album discussion

Postby Look_Alive » Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:32 am

Jelger wrote:I'm still not sure how I rate this album. I like it a lot, but I think it only tops INNW and Fungus for me. I really get what the reviewer is saying when he says this disc doesn't have the same personality like their other work.



I do see that point. Every other album, even INNW, has had a feel to it, almost like a warmth, that has been unmistakably Incubus. There's a few times in this that it feels a little more sterile than previous albums, which could well come from Skrillex's modern production techniques (having said that I don't actually mind the production on this).

This is my third Incubus album in real-time, if that makes sense, though, and I have to say I've enjoyed it more than INNW and LG. Obviously doesn't top Crow, MY or MV but I can definitely see myself listening to this more than SCIENCE in years to come.
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Re: '8' - Album discussion

Postby Jelger » Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:52 am

This is only the second for me, INNW was the first. And on first listen I knew this was different. I remember sitting alone in my room, drinking a butt load of tea while listening to the INNW leak and thinking: 'Well... this is... different...' I was disappointed. Not this time, as soon as that No Fun-riff kicked in, I started bobbing my head.

I get what you mean with sterile. The song that gives me the most Incubus-feel is Make No Sound, weirdly enough. That's where I hear the music open up, there's room to breathe, there's a relaxation to it that reminds me off the previous music. Again, not saying this album is bad, just that there is still room for improvement. But this really gives me the confidence that they can make another album that will challenge those first five major records for me.

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Re: '8' - Album discussion

Postby VTDave » Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:14 am

It's a great and respectable effort, I'm really pleased with it and think it's the most consistent project they've put together since Crow. I'm not necessarily saying it's better than LG, I'm just saying it's more consistent and I think it flows better.

I'm really trying hard not to compare all of the albums too much and say this albums better than this album, etc., because depending on the day and my mood, my favorite album of theirs changes constantly. A few weeks ago I was feeling pretty mellow and threw on my INNW vinyl and listened from start to finish, which was very satisfying to me in the right setting. Another day I needed some energy to get through a rough day at the office and I threw on both Science and MY.

I understand where some of the negative opinions come from here and from some of the other recent works, but to me I don't know many other bands that have consistently put out such strong efforts from album to album and have held my interest for almost 20 years now (I became a fan during the MY era). Maybe that's my own bias and poor taste in music kicking in, but I listen to a lot of other bands and genres and have never found myself coming back to albums over and over and over again like I do with Incubus. There's something refreshing about their sound that grips me with each album even though they continue to change it up and reinvent themselves all the time. I just have a huge appreciation for their creativity and ability to do that, so I'm admittedly less harsh critic than some others.

Favorite songs here are No Fun, State of the Art, Familiar Faces, Surveillance, and Throw Out The Map, but there's nothing on here that I can see myself always skipping over and never playing again. Can hear influences of RATM, The Police, Prince, Bowie, and punk music, which is a pretty odd combination to have across one album but it works for some reason. My only complaint is the release of so many songs before the album came out, which spoils the experience of listening through the first time because I just wanted to skip over everything I had already heard to get to the new stuff. I have played the fucking hell out of the pre-released four songs so I know how much I would have really loved this album had I not heard any of it or even just NB going into my first listen.

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Re: '8' - Album discussion

Postby tingky » Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:15 am

*Brewing some coffee before diving in*

yay

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Re: '8' - Album discussion

Postby Jelger » Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:18 am

Ever since release I've been really curious to hear what you think of it, Tingky, since you weren't keen on the songs already released.

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Re: '8' - Album discussion

Postby BG3eb » Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:42 am

Are there any updates to NB acoustic showing up yet?

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Re: '8' - Album discussion

Postby tingky » Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:44 am

Juan. wrote:I wonder if Anthony Fantano will review the album.

Haha. That guy's become really popular lately. I used to find his reviews amusing, but I completely lost trust in the guy the moment he declared Sugar Ray's "Fly" one of the worst songs of his adolescence. I mean seriously? There are clearly far worse songs out at the time, so I find his fixation on that particular song odd. He probably got beat up to it blaring in the background or something.

Ever since release I've been really curious to hear what you think of it, Tingky, since you weren't keen on the songs already released.

I'm halfway. The album's not too bad. I've taken some liking to "Loneliest". I also liked how they recorded Brandon's vocals in "No Fun". Also, this is the first time I mildly enjoyed Nimble Bastard as a song - probably because of the new mix.

I was pleasantly surprised by Digital Forest.

I'm not a fan of how the drums were mixed in this album.
Last edited by tingky on Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:08 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: '8' - Album discussion

Postby Juan. » Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:03 am

tingky wrote:
Juan. wrote:I wonder if Anthony Fantano will review the album.

Haha. That guy's become really popular lately. I used to find his reviews amusing, but I completely lost trust in the guy the moment he declared Sugar Ray's "Fly" one of the worst songs of his adolescence. I mean seriously? There are clearly far worse songs out at the time, so I find his fixation on that particular song odd. He probably got beat up to it blaring in the background or something.


I might not always agree with him, but I mostly watch reviews of artists/albums I don't know, just so that I have new music to discover.

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Re: '8' - Album discussion

Postby GatorWP » Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:07 am

I preordered the MP3 version of the album yesterday morning from the band's site and still haven't gotten the album or even a confirmation email (CC has already been charged though). Anyone else buy the MP3 on their website and receive it already?
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Re: '8' - Album discussion

Postby tingky » Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:11 am

Juan. wrote:
tingky wrote:
Juan. wrote:I wonder if Anthony Fantano will review the album.

Haha. That guy's become really popular lately. I used to find his reviews amusing, but I completely lost trust in the guy the moment he declared Sugar Ray's "Fly" one of the worst songs of his adolescence. I mean seriously? There are clearly far worse songs out at the time, so I find his fixation on that particular song odd. He probably got beat up to it blaring in the background or something.


I might not always agree with him, but I mostly watch reviews of artists/albums I don't know, just so that I have new music to discover.

I go to sputnikmusic.com if I'm feeling adventurous. :) They're like the iMDB for music.

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Re: '8' - Album discussion

Postby tingky » Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:19 am

A staff member from sputnik gave the album 0.5 out of 5. Geez. The guy was clearly out for blood. On the flipside, we both found Digital Forest and When I Became a Man good.

http://www.sputnikmusic.com/review/73520/Incubus-8/

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Re: '8' - Album discussion

Postby Roger » Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:23 am

tingky wrote:A staff member from sputnik gave the album 0.5 out of 5. Geez. The guy was clearly out for blood. On the flipside, we both found Digital Forest and When I Became a Man good.

http://www.sputnikmusic.com/review/73520/Incubus-8/



This individual loses any ounce of perceived credibility to be had heading into the review. If you're going to insult the band for a lyrical metaphor, at least be accurate. It's a "blind archer" not doctor. Asshole.
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Re: '8' - Album discussion

Postby The Idler Wheel » Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:29 am

Did one of the bandmates sleep with this guy's girlfriend or something? Seriously. Geez!!

*In my best Jemaine Clement voice* "Be more constructive with your feedback, please!"
Last edited by The Idler Wheel on Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: '8' - Album discussion

Postby Roger » Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:33 am

Roger wrote:
tingky wrote:A staff member from sputnik gave the album 0.5 out of 5. Geez. The guy was clearly out for blood. On the flipside, we both found Digital Forest and When I Became a Man good.

http://www.sputnikmusic.com/review/73520/Incubus-8/



This individual loses any ounce of perceived credibility to be had heading into the review. If you're going to insult the band for a lyrical metaphor, at least be accurate. It's a "blind archer" not doctor. Asshole.


Can we all unite and create an account on Sputnik JUST to leave a comment on that review thread? I did, but beware folks. I was quickly put in my place for critiquing a "joke" review and highlighting an error.
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Re: '8' - Album discussion

Postby Cottonete » Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:47 am

First time I hear about "Sputnik Music". Now I know why.
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