If Not Now, When?

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Mixed or average reviews - based on 15 Critics What's this?

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6.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 57 Ratings

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  • Summary: The California band releases its sixth full-length studio album of soulful alternative rock.
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  • Record Label: Columbia
  • Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Alternative Metal, Funk Metal
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 15
  2. Negative: 4 out of 15
  1. Jul 11, 2011
    80
    Overall, If Not Now, When? is the sound of Incubus coming of age. It's not particularly experimental nor is it completely straightforward but it is concise and a risk that's paid off.
  2. Jun 30, 2011
    74
    It's a worthwhile reinvention, but a little more noise wouldn't have hurt, either.
  3. Dec 6, 2011
    70
    The end result is an album on a shaded, comfortable grayscale, music that's suitably mature yet sidesteps stultifying notions of middlebrow class.
  4. Jul 5, 2011
    50
    If Not Now, When? is frustrating in many ways, chiefly because it feels like a step in the wrong direction for a band that can still pen enthralling tunes.
  5. Jul 14, 2011
    50
    Incubus retain some of their early, macabre nerdiness (the harmony-bedecked "Tomorrow's Food" reminds us of our dirt-bound mortality), but, for all the energy, the melodies fail to ignite.
  6. Jul 28, 2011
    40
    They're no longer teetering on the edge anymore; with this record, Boyd and Co. just fell hard.
  7. It seems as though the band has completely forgotten to keep up with music in the years they've been off, instead producing some of the most banal songs by any rock band in recent memory.

See all 15 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 21
  2. Negative: 5 out of 21
  1. Aug 2, 2011
    10
    I absolutely love Incubus for their integrity, ambition, talent, musical quality, and, most of all, for their album-to-album evolution. ThisI 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
  2. Feb 25, 2012
    10
    Like many others I was at first feeling disappointed with this album because it wasn't what I expected, but since Incubus is one of myLike 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! Expand
  3. Jan 25, 2013
    9
    Even 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 recentlyEven 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.
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  4. Oct 31, 2011
    6
    Their politics are bad; simply bad. But when it comes to the human condition they do very well. I have to stretch this out to be anTheir politics are bad; simply bad. But when it comes to the human condition they do very well. I have to stretch this out to be an acceptable criticism... as if the above isn't enough and people actually read these. Expand
  5. Aug 10, 2011
    5
    After completing my first listen of "Morning View" back in my mid-college days my first impression was that Incubus was both expanding beyondAfter completing my first listen of "Morning View" back in my mid-college days my first impression was that Incubus was both expanding beyond their initial category as well as lightening up a little. Although in that first listen I immediately liked/loved a few songs (Nice To Know You, Are You In?), eventually I grew to simply love the entire album. Stepping back to one of those impressions 'lightening up a little', I had to re-think about why I liked this band, because it was obvious that they were not going to sit still in the years to come.

    Moving forward to their recent release "If Not Now, When?" I again had to re-think why I liked this band. After 10+ years of loving their music could I really decide that this was their worst? That this time the album wouldn't grow from an initial 'meh' to 'Absolutely Loving it'? I think it is, and unlike some reviewers that want to write off the band as lost or past their prime, I am ok with "If Not Now, When?". I'm ok an 11 song LP that has no true stand outs, and I'm ok waiting another few years for their next attempt. But then again, this album is simply that: just ok.

    It isn't terrible, but it definitely isn't great and barring another ten or twenty more playthroughs I don't expect that impression to change. There are guitar parts that are immediately recognizable Einziger/Incubus style, but the funny thing that struck me this go around was the new instruments that were spread throughout the tracks. Unlike the marxophone that introduces "Anna Molly", on "Promises, Promises" it is simply a piano, and I think that characterizes many of the other tracks. Simple. Simple isn't bad, it's just simple, and it does have it's moments such as on "Defiance" where the acoustic guitar is the only accompaniment to Boyd's falsetto and melodic vocals. But this sort of track used to be the interlude between sides A & B on previous albums (i.e. Earth to Bella 1/2) and is now the climax if you had to state that there is one.

    Let Incubus be, if anything they've got this out of their system or at least allowed themselves the pleasure of exploring the idea of easy-does-it. Because regardless of the result doing something is not as easy as doing nothing.
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  6. Sep 17, 2013
    4
    I absolutely adore Incubus, but I was terribly disappointed by this effort. The album features a couple of gems, namely "Isadore" and "In theI absolutely adore Incubus, but I was terribly disappointed by this effort. The album features a couple of gems, namely "Isadore" and "In the Company of Wolves," but they are nowhere near enough to salvage this overall bland album. I understand that artists change and evolve, but that usually (hopefully) involves a retainment of quality. I hate myself for saying this, but oh how I long for the days of Make Yourself and Morning View. Expand
  7. Oct 9, 2012
    2
    As a huge Incubus fan, I tried really hard to like this album. Really, really hard. And I understand the idea of "evolving" or changing stylesAs a huge Incubus fan, I tried really hard to like this album. Really, really hard. And I understand the idea of "evolving" or changing styles as a band. I've liked that Incubus has striven to do something new on every album. But there's a difference in changing and regressing, which is what Incubus did for this one. On every previous album, listeners can sense the amount of effort and creativity the band spent on writing their music. Even if their music style changed, one could still appreciate the music for its complexity and, for the most part, originality. However, on "If Not Now, When?," the majority of the songs are mind-numbingly simplistic and bland. Some of the songs may even start out promising, or may have a short lick of something that sounds experimental or complex, but they then reduce down to a soft pop/ easy listening rhythm and style, reminiscent of vapid, easily-forgotten radio tunes from the 80s and 90s. To put it simply, this album was not only a disappointment, but a complete shock to fans who expect so much more from this band. I usually judge disappointing new albums from my favorite bands from a perspective that they may be, for example, "Incubus bad," or "Tool bad," meaning that they're not best quality of music put out by that particular band, but the music is still better than the majority of music out there. Unfortunately, this album was just plain bad. Expand

See all 21 User Reviews