Review this album
Jan 25, 2013Even though Incubus hasn't been one of my long-time favs, (Our Lady Peace, The Black Keys, and Kings of Leon take those spots), I recently collected their whole discography to see why my brother liked them (until now, for some strange reason). Seeing as how he stopped listening to them after Black Heart Inertia, I decided to give this album the full few listens first - and I've been aware of this band since the Make Yourself / Morning View days.
At first, I didn't know what to think. after hearing a lot of harsh criticism and hate, and hearing all of the slow-tempo offerings for the first time. But after giving it a few more runs (and the odd skip) I have to say I really enjoy this album. It's a breath of fresh air, a further evolution of the band. They purposely took a minimalist approach, and they do so without hiding too much talent shown in previous albums. At the same time, this doesn't show that they've lost their creativity or talent or talent; saying they have is just idiotic.
When you look at it by its own merits, there really ISN'T ONE SONG that is "bad", unlike some of their pre-ACLOTM stuff. Though the first half starts slow (it almost feels like a snails pace at time), they are all well-crafted. The title track starts with a great mix by Chris and makes a bold statement. Promises Promises, while pop-ish, is simple and catchy; great to sing/play along. Friends and Lovers is very melodic, and Original brings a good vibe and a nice transition at the end. Thieves is my personal favourite in this first half, bringing a good melody and interesting lyrics.
The second half is where Incubus goes way outside the box to make a statement, and I only say this in a good way. Defiance is simply jubilant, and very reminiscent to the 90's grunge days. In The Company Of Wolves is probably the standout song of the album, and is quite possibly their most epic song to date. After the second chorus, the band takes the song on a dark turn, which - from the start of Kenney's simple but nasty bassline, to the big rock ending - never lets you go. The next song, Switchblade, is an immediate change-of-pace from ITCOW, and is at the same time the catchiest song, full of sweet melodies and light-hearted lyrics. Asolescents, undeniably their best song of the album - and one of their best period - showcases every member of the band at their best, before ending with the soothing Tomorrow's Food.
Say what you want about Science & Make Yourself, and how much harder, faster, and experimental they were compared to this, but they are NOT Incubus' best albums (reserved for their last 3 offerings before INNW). I don't think If Not Now, When? is not by any means their best, but it surely is their most underrated album, and deserves so much more praise. For a band that was basically away from making music for 5 years, they managed to make a deliberately bare-bones album that works, and is a monument to their intriguing evolution. The band shows enough talent to satisfy true fans, and still keeps their signature sound. Brandon still sounds like he's in his late 20s, Mike does great work that's just more subtle, Kenney keeps up with Brandon and the band well, Jose does what he can for being "limited" in a sense, and Chris? Let's just say I'm quite content with him being the band's keyboardist.… Expand
Jul 12, 2011Several fans may have been disappointed, but let's face it, the SCIENCE and Make yourself days are over a decade in the past. In a way, I'm kinda glad the band did this. It was a surprise nonetheless, but its a surprise that grows on you. Every song has this kind of magic to it that usually kicks in after the second or third listen, but never the first. That is why you have to let it grow on you. Personally I think some of the tracks in this album are some of the band's most creative material. Tracks 7-10 stood out to me the most. The jovial acoustic melody of "Defiance", the length and bipolarity of "In the Company of Wolves", the upbeat tempo of "Switchblade", and the stunning atmosphere of "Adolescents" is what truly made this a great listening experience for me, and a factor to still appreciate this band for everything it has to offer.… Expand
Aug 1, 2011It's another progression for the band and looks like each member's time off, specially Mike getting additional Harvard music, paid off. The band doesn't really have two identical albums so it's not a surprise that the songs will take time to grow on you (about 3 loops each). For listeners who are true fans of the band, it's not new that they need to adjust a little following the latest release of the band since the most important ingredient is how well the lines are played and the explosion of different instruments, which cannot be heard from other bands. Adding to this, I can barely remember any band who sounds a lot better when playing live than the radio edit and studio version of their songs.… Expand
Aug 2, 2011I absolutely love Incubus for their integrity, ambition, talent, musical quality, and, most of all, for their album-to-album evolution. This is their best album to date, in my opinion. It's a lot more laid back than their previous releases - they've definitely taken the minimalist approach to their music on this album - but there's more going on on this album compositionally than any of their other albums. If you put this album on with a good pair of headphones, you will hear every ounce of beauty and passion infused in these songs. I personally love the tracks "Promises, Promises", "Isadore", "In The Company Of Wolves", and "Adolescents" the most. This album really is a perfect soundtrack to the summer. I recommend going outside on a beautiful, slightly cloudy day, laying on your back in the grass, putting your headphones on, and playing the album from front to back while watching the clouds go by. If you're a true fan of all of Incubus' previous albums and you don't own "If Not Now, When?" yet, you need to go out and buy it right now. You will not be disappointed.… Expand
Feb 25, 2012Like many others I was at first feeling disappointed with this album because it wasn't what I expected, but since Incubus is one of my favorite bands I kept playing it. As you can tell from the score, this album, unlike any other, has grown on me. This is one of my favorite "chill" albums. Just sit back and enjoy!
Jan 5, 2012I think lyrically and melodically this album is incubus' best so far (especially lyrically). While "I am the same old incubus" song might only sound like "adolescent", other songs (well atleast for me) stood out neck to neck with it. I am very happy regardless of the shift of musical gear incorporated by the band. BTW, been a fan since FungusAmongus.