Garpo3000 wrote:It's the least ambitious, least conceptual and least progressive Incubus album to date. I don't hate it. Some of it is catchy. But it's a really obvious attempt reaching for a low bar to create a mainstream album with mass appeal. No risk. No bold statement.
I feel like something like this has always been said about the band after every album they've released from Make Yourself onward. It might be worth digging up old album discussions to compare reactions. Difference now might be that fans can express their dislike for an album in a more sophisticated and well-informed manner without blatantly disrespecting them or passing harsh judgments on them as human beings. Back in '99 or '01, fans were quick to just call the band "sellouts".
Can't really be done with S.C.I.E.N.C.E though, because the band probably had no fans outside of Southern California during those days, and the internet wasn't really much of a thing.
I can pick apart 8 for not having songs as epic or adventurous as "Nebula", "The Warmth", "Just a Phase", "Sick Sad Little World", "Pendulous Threads", etc. I can point out the consistently simplistic lyrics on most of the choruses and bridges throughout the album. I can cast doubt as to whether most of these songs were performed collectively by the band prior to recording them, and that maybe the first time all 5 of them played the songs was only after the album was done and while they've begun rehearsing for their upcoming tour. I can worry over Jose, Kil, and Ben's diminishing roles within the band based on what I hear on the album. I can get slightly annoyed with the band's desire to continue being an "arena rock" band, and them intentionally making music that would help them maintain such a status within the industry. I can feel disappointed over the band's willingness to make certain compromises as artists.
Regardless of everything I can objectively assess with regards to the band after having followed their career for so long, they still make music that makes me happy, keeps me entertained, and inspires me. Even some of their alleged lackluster efforts are fascinating to listen to.
Admittedly, out of gratitude for them continuing as a band, I do not hold them to as high of a standard as I would have a decade ago. That's not me saying I don't think 8 is great, because it is in my book. I just can't get mad at them for not making an album that can make me feel the same way as when I first gravitated to them 15+ years ago.
Don't know if this is the best analogy, but it's kind of like how I felt watching The Office after Steve Carrell left the show. Sure, the show may not have been considered as good, but I still loved it and was happy they found a way to still keep it going without him for two more seasons. There were also a number of intriguing storylines and character developments they were able to explore without the Michael Scott character being around.
For now, the story of Incubus continues, and I'm looking forward to seeing where it goes from here.