Incubus: If Not Now, When?

/ 26 July 2011 /
At one point in our lives, we find ourselves on the edge of a decision. Whether it's as small as picking where to get dinner, or as life-bending as choosing a field of study, we decide, and we throw ourselves into that decision.

Apparently, one of the greatest bands of all time (at least, for me) has had one of these major decision-making moments. The result? An album so beautifully different from anything they've put out before. And it's aptly called If Not Now, When?

Photo from enjoyincubus.com
Incubus' latest album has stirred up mixed reactions from long-time fans and casual listeners alike. It is, after all, a  far cry from the edgy alternative rock sound that the band has presented since the '90s. Sure, they are a group unafraid to experiment and change. But there is no question that some will be surprised, disappointed, or confused with this new offering, especially because it's been five years of giddy anticipation since their previous full album Light Grenades -- and that album had the edgy Incubus sound.


But it's also perfectly understandable that others will be all the more drawn to Incubus with this new album. By 'others', I mean mostly those who enjoy the band's softer, lusher side, as displayed in their previous songs like "Here in My Room" and "Love Hurts".


If Not Now, When? is filled with slow, dark tunes that feel new yet familiar. The new-ness may come from the almost-fact that this album is devoid of the edge and grit that followers had grown accustomed to. Instead, it's cool, lavish, even refined. On the other hand, it's still strangely familiar in that it still has that distinct Incubus touch -- brilliant lyrics, experimental musicality, and Brandon Boyd's smooth-soaring vocals.

That said, even the band has admitted -- and embraced -- this new venture. They describe this album as a culmination of previous experiences and influences, all revealed to the world now. Brandon himself wrote in their website, "I think we began to understand that we were unearthing something new... [F]or many years now we have been searching for something different. Something unique, both to the world and to us as a band. We decided that 'If Not Now, When?’ our 6th full length studio album would be just that."

And with that decision, another fresh sound has emerged from this ever-changing band. Yet there is a feel, a tinge in it that still remains Incubus.

Incubus will perform tomorrow, July 28, at the Araneta Coliseum, as part of their If Not Now, When? tour. The album is also out now in music stores worldwide.

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