Friday, October 8, 2010
Incubus - Light Grenades (2006)
The good news: Light Grenades is a decent album. You'll probably like about half of it. The bad news? The other half of the disc.
Light Grenades didn't make me regret listening to it a couple of times for this review. It's a good album, and one I'll certainly listen to again at some point. I'll skip Love Hurts every time (because even before it was overexposed on the radio, it sucked), but it will find its way to my ears again someday. I like this release. However, it's not without its problems, and that's why I'm not going to be listening to it again, say, tomorrow. More like next month.
Part of my problem here is that this album feels more like a compilation or B-sides album than a real release, in a way. While it has it's great moments - tight, locked in grooves and extensive vamping where the band harnesses the energy they have for their craft - it also has some real flops that take away from those brilliant flashes somewhat. Most of the solid pieces are on the first half of the disc (A Kiss to Send Us Off, Anna Molly), and most of the more unfocused compositions are in the latter half (Pendulous Threads, Paper Shoes).
I love experimentation in music, and I love a band that tries to break new ground, but when an established group wants to evolve, they can't do it halfway. If the group doesn't fully commit to a cohesive total package in terms of the album as a whole, instead of the end result sounding like the group's new, innovative sound, it usually sounds like some good ideas mixed in with a lot of hazy mediocre leftovers. To me, this is one of those albums. While Light Grenades is a solid effort from the SoCal quintet and an interesting milestone in their history, I'd pick S.C.I.E.N.C.E. or Make Yourself over it any day.
Pros: Heavy, tight grooves, classic Incubus feel on some songs, takes artistic risks
Cons: When it fails to deliver it really fails to deliver.
Standout Track - A Kiss to Send Us Off
Check back at midday
for the Track-by-Track rundown, and a little bonus flaver later on in the afternoon before I leave the office to enjoy the weekend. Have a great Friday, everyone!