Sound — 9
The band took a somewhat different route on this album. They went to Malibu & lived in a house there near the beach. This is probably why "Morning View" has a very beach oriented sound. The sound is very inspiring & at times very relaxed & laid back. Although there is nothing innovative in this album, it is still very interesting to listen to. Also some of the songs have this eastern vibe/sound to them. Like in the songs "Echo, 11 A.M. & Aqueous Transmission" they added a string section in the background to make the song very soothing. "Aqueous Transmission", especially, sounds like something you would be listening to in a spa. Overall, beautiful/calming sound. Which is probably why most "S.C.I.E.N.C.E." fans hate this album.
Lyrics — 9
I have always been a fan of Brandon's lyrics. Although his most impressive work was on "S.C.I.E.N.C.E.", this album shows a more poetic side to him. This is most evident on the song "Wish You Were Here", which is arguably the most beautiful set of lyrics on the album. So rarely have I come across a song that induces imagery quite like this one. Brandon sings about lying on the beach & reveling in the view while wishing someone was there to share the moment with him. But he does seem to get lazy in some of the songs. For example, in "Are You In?" Brandon just sings 3 lines over & over again. Also, even though "Wish You Were Here & Nice To Know You" have very creative verses, the chorus to both songs are composed of one line alone. But even so, "Morning View" has the most philosophical & poetic set of lyrics out of all of Incubus' albums to date.
Overall Impression — 10
Here's a rundown of all the songs:
01. Nice To Know You - starts off with an unconventional sound probably made with a phaser & Mike Einziger's infamous "volume swells" which gives the impression that this might be a slow ballad. But then out of nowhere Brandon starts to beatbox & the bass starts playing. It keeps it's low key/mellow sound for a few more seconds & then everything stops. The whole band then comes back with a full distorted rock section. The best part would have to be the pre-chorus where the song transitions to a very mellow sound with Mike on backing vocals.
02. Circles - maybe the only true "rock" song in the album. Drop d tuning & lots of distortion.
03. Wish You Were Here - probably my favourite & the most recognizable on the album. Starts of with a clean guitar tone which sets the mood. The verse just sounds very spacey which really makes the song as good as it is.
04. Just A Phase - an experimental track. Has a very long intro, about 2 minutes. Has a seductive verse & the chorus is whispered by Brandon. The 1st chorus builds up to nothing & goes back to the verse. The 2nd however explodes with a wall of guitars.
05. 11am - mellow & kind of dark. The intro has what sounds like a mandolin. Has a very memorable chorus.
06. Blood On The Ground - loud & angry. The lyrics really speak for themselves. Nice song to rock out to.
07. Mexico - a full acoustic song. Has a nice bridge where Brandon sings "oh" repeatedly. This adds to the softness of the song.
08. Warning - makes full use of Mike's volume swells. The pre-chorus & bridge has this nice build up which makes you even more anxious to get to the chorus. A very conservative rock song.
09. Echo - has a very asian feel. I didn't like this one at 1st but it grew on me. Very mellow & laid back. Sustains it's low-key sound throughout the whole song.
10. Have You Ever - fast & Very catchy. Most people see this as filler. However this song injects a more "rock" feel to the album rather than just having slow ballads.
11. Are You In? - the certified "chill out" song in the album. The voices of people talking in the background adds a kind of party feel to it. I was surprised how a song with such a simple structure & which has about 3 lines in it could be considered good & not filler. Perfect for a cocktail party.
12. Under My Umbrella - a bit on the experimental side. the verses have an almost ghostly feel to it. Not one of my favourites though.
13. Aqueous Transmission - the highlight of the album. Probably the most experimental Incubus has ever been. Has a very distinguish asian feel to it. I could imagine this song being played in a spa or something. This song features Mike playing the pipa. The fusion of Kilmore's turntables with the orchestration adds a unique twist to the song. The song ends with the instruments slowly fading away one by one until the sound of frogs croaking is all that's left. Good closer to a good album.
My favourites in the album would have to be: "Wish You Were Here", "Are You In?" & "Nice To Know You". But songs like "Echo" & "Aqueous Transmission" add to the overall feel of the album & should not be overlooked. This would have to be my all-time favourite Incubus album next to "Light Grenades". Overall, a good album to chill out to.