Words by Amanda Remling

It’s been 5 years and I can still feel the new album in my hands. The case had never been opened. The CD had never played in my car. Light Grenades was called the ship of dreams….and it was. So I might be ripping off an awesome quote from Titanic, but upon hearing that Incubus was releasing another full length album after Light Grenades five years ago, I had a mini freak out (that included squeals and jumping on the bed).

The band didn’t leave fans cold turkey after releasing Light Grenades in 2006. In 2009 Incubus released their greatest hits album, Monuments and Melodies, and lead heartthrob singer Brandon Boyd released his first solo album, The Wild Trapeze in 2010. Incubus has finally reunited though to release their seventh full length album If Not Now, When?

Immediately upon listening to the title track, you’re hit with this feeling of Zen. The band with rock roots seemed to have drifted into a more peaceful, aggression free zone. If not for the distinct sound of Boyd’s voice, you might not even realize that you’re listening to the new Incubus album. While If Not Now, When? is much different from their former albums, the band really seems to have put a lot into it, and in doing so, truly found their sound.

If Not Now, When? is somewhat of a love letter. The songs are slow, yet have a rich, heartfelt sound to them. “Friends and Lovers” fuels this love letter of an album. “In this song it was my attempt to share a different idea of what modern love might look like,” said Boyd in a letter to his fans on Facebook. I’d like to think that the inspiration for this song came from Boyd watching too much TV while on hiatus (Jim and Pam, Rachel and Ross, Ron and Hermione….the list can go on).

What’s cool about Incubus, is that their music makes you think (and not just about fictional relationships). “It’s not who you were, it’s who you are,” Boyd croons in “Isadore”. It could be the mixture of sangria pumping through my veins and the sun beating on me for too long, but I’m pretty sure that when the band fell off the face of the earth for a couple years they gained some spiritual knowledge. Someone ask Boyd the meaning of life…I bet he knows.

While the overall feel of If Not Now, When? is very chill and relaxed, Incubus shows that they still know how to rock with “Adolescent”, their first single off the album. The fast paced track with Einziger’s whimsical guitar work and Jose Pasillas’ solid drumming sounds like it could be off of one of their earlier albums. And of course Ben Kenney on bass and Chris Kilmore on the turntables and keyboard are just total bad asses that pull it all together.

The last track “Tomorrow’s Food”, was actually written two years ago, and was the first song for the new album. A perfect song to end the album, Boyd leaves you in a trance, thinking about us being “tomorrow’s food….today.”

A new sound from a seasoned band can be pretty frightening, but If Not Now, When? is nothing to be afraid of. If you weren’t already itching to see them perform this summer, you will be after listening to this album.

“If Not Now, When?”
Epic Records
© July 12th, 2011



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