• The New Counterculture

Album Review: Morning View

Updated: Nov 27, 2018

Morning View has played an instrumental role in shaping and transforming Incubus' sound. Before they came out with Morning View, Incubus was known for "Nu-metal." Rediscover their influences and how they shaped their music. 

Morning View is the fourth studio album by rock band Incubus. Released in the year 2001, Incubus reached a level of maturity not yet accomplished in their previous albums. Straying from their heavy nu- metal sound, Incubus arrives with refreshing and ambiance melodies that ultimately elevates their music to a new plateau as well as making it the band’s highest selling album.

Coming off the high of their previous album, Make Yourself , and their single, “Drive”, being a smash hit on airwaves, Incubus has not only broke away from their nu-metal stereotype with Make Yourself , but also attracted a much more diverse group, noticeably female, who suddenly found themselves enthralled with lead singer, Brandon Boyd charming good looks. These combinations set Incubus up for a soft-rock progressive album that was sure to please everyone.

Morning View is a stand alone in the artistic piece from Incubus albums for many reasons. To start, the album itself was given birth under the most enlightening experiences: living in a mansion with your band mates/ friends for three months right off the beach and your only job is to create music. The ability to not only create music in a space that is stress- free, but also the lack of pressure from the studio to sound a certain way, give leniency to a band that was ready to make their own sound.

Even though the turntable has been used throughout Incubus career, DJ Kilmore use of  the turntable is more melodic instrument verses having it being a stand alone sound. This is best exemplified in their track, “ 11 am” where Kilmore is scratching in the intro with a mellow riff as Brandon Boyd bellows out an echoing.

The use of various instruments another part of the uniqueness of the album as well. The pipa was used in the album’s last song, “Aqueous Transmission” creating a noticeable Asian motif, not yet heard in their music before which is best shown in their track, “Echo.”

Brandon Boyd is appointed head songwriter for Morning View creating lyrics centered around themes of heartbreak, maturity and being happy in the moment. These themes come together in perfect syzygy with their hit single, “ Wish You Were Here." with lyrics, “ I dig my toes into the sand/ The ocean looks like a thousand diamonds strewn across a blue blanket/ I lean against the wind/ Pretend that I am weightless/. And in this moment I am happy.” These lyrics reminds us of that moment where you wish you can just share with a significant other. Other songs like, “ Just a Phase” comes in as a more somber toning song, yielding truth of temporaryism: “ Who are you? // And will you be though // Yeah, it’s just a phase // It will be over soon // Yeah, it’s just a phase.”

There is definitely a resurgence of musical fusion that is happening today, yet Incubus was able to tap into this way before their time Perhaps it was the sudden fame or the creative freedom that allowed Incubus to mature artistically. Whatever the case may be, this album signals the entrance of Incubus artistic journey into the unknown in which they are still exploring today.

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