Incubus - 8
I come from a generation who were bombarded with Incubus on the radio in High School and College. Nu-Metal seemed to be taking over the world and Incubus felt like one of the biggest bands out there. This however may have been a bit of a misnomer. Incubus have always had success even scoring a number one album, but since then the fall off has been staggering. What I am beginning to realize however is it was not Incubus who changed radically, but the world. Nu-Metal's popularity faded almost as soon as it started and despite their best intentions Incubus could never recapture that same magic they had on Morning View or S.C.I.E.N.C.E. Since those records Incubus ramped up the aggression which was closer to their early work, but it was the ethereal and beautiful songs like "Are You In?" that made people fall in love with the band. This record arrives six years after their last and more or less continues on the trajectory they have been since 2001. The songs are fine and will likely please their rabid fanbase, but in terms of connecting with the world at large the prospects are doubtful. Those times when Incubus would experiment with Hip-Hop, Funk or Electronic have all but vanished and this record is simply a plain Nu-Metal outing. It is almost like they are sticking so hard to a formula that does not work anymore, and it just leaves you asking why?
The only time we get a relatively downtempo song is on "Undefeated", which just kind of hangs around for awhile not saying all that much. 8 just kinds of lumbers along leaving very few impressions and even fewer surprises. You can almost predict the next line and where the music is going to go with these songs and that is not something you want. "Loneliest" tries to blend in some electronic elements, but the songs ends up being so scattershot that it never really hits. "When I Became A Man" tries to be funny, I think, but ends up being just a lame attempt. You just would expect a band with seemingly so many different influences, their bassist used to be in The Roots for christ's sake, to bring in some of those elements and celebrate them but they never really do. Those people who fervently love Incubus will likely continue to love Incubus, but as for the faithless it doesn't seem like 8 is going to inspire any conversions. Perhaps one day Incubus will regain that magic they once had, but today is not that day.
5.0 out of 10