Morning View Review

artist: Incubus date: 02/04/2008 category: compact discs
Incubus: Morning View
Released: Oct 23, 2001
Genre: Alternative Rock, Funk Rock, Alternative Metal, Post-Grunge
Label: Epic
Number Of Tracks: 14
Incubus 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.
 Sound: 9.4
 Lyrics: 9.4
 Overall Impression: 9.6
 Overall rating:
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reviews (13) 10 comments vote for this album:
overall: 9.3
Morning View Reviewed by: turnfoot, on february 04, 2008
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: 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. // 9

Lyrics: 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. // 9

Overall Impression: 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. // 10

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overall: 9.7
Morning View Reviewed by: Azraelclaw, on june 10, 2006
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: Incubus has always been an amazing band, and while some have thought they have left their more agressive sound to pursue their "more poetic" side, I love what they have done with this album to establish themselves in more than one genre. Their original sound was best established on "S.C.I.E.N.C.E." and made people realize that they had a very different sound from anything else out at the time. When "Make Yourself" came out they were still at the top of their game, but were moving closer to a more alternative mainstream sound. And then there was "Morning View". Moving to a calmer sound, they disappointed many of their more agressive-loving fans, while gaining many fans that enjoyed their softer side. I am both. I have loved almost everything they have ever done, and was not disappointed by anything on this album. This sound, while still remaining heavy and fast in some points, sounded nothing like their other albums, mostly because of the less-agressive sound, and more poetic lyrics. Mike (guitar) weaves his guitar effortlessly through Brandon's singing and plays well while sharing the spotlight with Dirk, who is one of my favorite bassists, while doing really intricate things on "Echo" and "Just A Phase", solid sounding guitar work on tracks such as "Nice To Know You" and "Under My Umbrella", a nice acoustic ballad on "Mexico" and some neat harmonics on "Are You In?". Dirk (bass), once again, plays superbly on "Morning View", and keeps the focus on the music as a whole. He really shines on the tracks such as "Nice To Know You", "Under My Umbrella", "Are You In?", and "Echo." Jose (drums and percussion) keeps the beats alive and quick with his expert drumming, and quirky style. Although all of beats are solid my favorites are: "Circles", "Just A Phase", "Warning" and "Are You In?" Chris (DJ) didn't get as much recognition on this album as he did on some of the others (i.e. Battlestar Scralatchtica, and Drive), But his most noticeable works on this album result in the tracks "Just a Phase" and "Warning." // 9

Lyrics: The most poetic and touching lyrics they have ever written, along with some thought heavy lines such as Circles: "Hey, what would it mean to you, to know that it'll come back around again? Hey, whatever it means to you, know that everything goes in circles, yeah." There are just moments on this album that keep you thinking and some that let you know exactly what he was thinking when he wrote and sung them. My favorite lyrical tracks would be: "Just a Phase","Blood on the Ground","Are You In?" and "Mexico." As you should know, Brandon is an excellent singer and lyricist, and shows through on tracks such as "Mexico" and "Are You In?" // 10

Overall Impression: 01. Nice To Know You - a very nice intro to the rest of the album, where the entire band really gets aggressive and keeps the beat nice and steady. 02. Circles - not a heavy track per-say but not in any way a slow song at all. The lyrics are thoughtful and very alive though. 03. Wish You Were Here - personally my least favorite track on the album, not because it's a bad song, but mostly because it was very overplayed on the radio and television. 04. Just A Phase - my personal favorite, it is an excellent track speaking about the different phases of life and explanations for them. 05. 11am - excellent vocals and heartfelt lyrics hold this song as a "wake-up call." 06. Blood On The Ground - interesting track about knowing when to hold your tongue, and knowing when to speak. 07. Mexico - a touching acoustic track about relationships. 08. Warning - a very experimental track simply about a girl. 09. Echo - a different sounding track about the reasons for loving someone. 10. Have You Ever - this track, while having some thoughtful lyrics, feels like just another track that got "shoved" onto the album. 11. Are You In? - a song talking about how "It's so much better" when everyone is included and cool with each other. 12. Under My Umbrella - another experimental track with some very bass-heavy verses and dreamy lyrics. 13. Aqueous Transmission - by far the furthest thing they've done form their original work. This track experiments with different instruments such as asian strings and others while ending the album with chirping crickets. // 10

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overall: 9.7
Morning View Reviewed by: PitLurker, on september 04, 2008
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: Here I'm going to break the album up into 13 sections for each song as to cater to those who wish to download a few of the tracks and want some guidance. For reference - the members of Morning View-era Incubus: Brandon Boyd - Lead Vox, Chris Kilmore - DJ, Michael Einziger - Guitar/Vox, Alex Dirk Lance Katunich - Bass, Jose Antonio Pasillas II - Drums. 01. "Nice to Know You" - after a short intro, the listener is introduced to the same distorted guitar from Make Yourself which transforms into a soft, dreamy verse. Incubus' use of contrast between hard, riff-based rock and softer, more melodic rock makes for a contrast resulting in one hell of a song. The revolving nature of their songs becomes a theme of sorts throughout the album. 02. "Circles" - where "Nice to Know You" was a blend of musical styles, "Circles" is a kick in the ass. Incubus certainly didn't want to go soft. However, the bridge is a light, exotic intermission allowing the listener some breathing room before launching back into the bone-crunching Incubus from yesteryear. 03. Wish You Were Here - after a quick acoustic intro, the distorted guitars, bass and drums kick in before dropping down to an effects-ridden verse courtesy of Einziger and his effects pedals. The chorus in Wish You Were Here is up near the band's first mega-hit, Drive, being a memorable anthem and one of this albums best songs. 04. Just a Phase - opening with electronic noise and introducing strings and a killer, moody guitar riff splayed atop a Pink Floyd-ish chord progression, Just a Phase is a truly brilliant bit of work. Lead vocalist Boyd's voice carries overtop of the music and around the two minute mark the song changes into a simpler tune which results in the first verse. The moody nature of the song soon returns as the drums and guitar start growing louder and louder but the song reverts back to the second verse. Just a Phase is a drama played out through one band's efforts, where you wonder at the existence of the chorus and you anticipate and will undoubtedly enjoy listening to again and again. 05. 11am - exotic instrumentation and ghostly vocals haunt 11am, tethered together by the solid bass work of Alex Dirk Lance Katunich. The song does get slightly repetitive and is certainly not a personal favourite as it doesn't seem to stretch into new realms as one might expect from this Morning View-era Incubus. 06. Blood on the Ground - boyd's vocals are close to shouting as Einziger's demonic guitar tone rocks the intro to Blood on the Ground, setting the listener up for a new take on Incubus' hard rock formula. The rhythm section breaks into the intro, creating a ridiculously hardcore update of Rage Against the Machine's booming heavy metal. Pasillas bashes the cymbals sounding not unlike the bastard love child of John Bonham and Earl Hudson (wait.. is that even possible? ). The songs bridge is jazzy in bizarre respects as Boyd's singing takes on a new level of melody and the rhythm section settles into a groove all the while with Einziger playing arpeggios dripping with effects. 07. Mexico - welcome to the depressing side of Incubus! A mellow acoustic guitar accompanies Boyd as either musician displays why they're at the top of the proverbial heap. Some strings play alongside the chorus but admittedly this isn't the side of Incubus that many of theirs fans have fallen in love with. Any way you do look at it, however, it is a solid piece that helps to break up the electrified and warped sounds the band usually employs in it's music. 08. Warning - this is one of the album's best songs; the phaser is back and some strange chord shapes help to lay the foundation for a fantastic 'verse, chorus, verse' track. An embellished chorus (with the addition of a piano) the last time around helps to bring the song to a strong climax and a song many will probably want to listen to multiple times in a row. 09. Echo - a guitar riff featuring an East-Asian influence (supposedly with some help from guitar virtuouso/composer Steve Vai) opens Echo, a reverberating melodic ballad that helps to settle things down a little. Kilmores work is in full swing here, as is the energetic and underappreciated drumming of Pasillas. 10. Have You Ever - and back to the old Incubus. Boyd is sounding as angry as he did on Blood on the Ground as the rest of the band plays out a structured beat which stays cemented underneath the concise and distorted guitar playing by Einziger on the chorus. All in all, Have You Ever is yet another catchy and very listenable hard rock track from Incubus. 11. Are You In? - Incubus shows all it's got here: Kilmore is back with an array of samples, Katunich plays out a nigh-danceable line on the bass, and Einziger uses both effects and (relatively) clean guitar creating perhaps the most interesting song so far on the album. Boyd's vocal melody shines brightly and the harmonies create a sort of soft-funk ballad mixed with clear pop foundations. A truly satisfying song that could have 'worked' anywhere on the album. 12. Under My Umbrella - no, this isn't Rihanna. The four taps of the drum sticks at the beginning introduce one of Morning View's best songs. The best 'heavy' riff on the CD and grunge-style vocals (soft in the verse, loud in the chorus) create one of the greatest Incubus songs and a taste of just how they evolved from their S.C.I.E.N.C.E/Fungus Amongous days. The verse maintains Morning View's dreamy qualities, only with a sense of foreboding that turns into the super-heavy chorus. 13. Aqueous Transmission - what's this? The Chinese version of the lute, the Pipa is played here by the band's guitarist, alongside some more orchestral sounds, both familiar to a western audience and exotic, and the drum kit. Kilmore spins samples of frogs and other strange sounds as Boyd sings softly, which makes for a comforting end to a mostly optimistic, and sometimes troubled (in some aspects of sound) record. // 9

Lyrics: The lyrical nature of Incubus is intriguing. Boyd has the words of a romantic poet and the tongue of a talented rock singer. His lyrics often contain metaphors ("Floating in this cosmic Jacuzzi/We are like frogs oblivious/Soon the water starting to boil/Now I flinched and we all float face down", from "Warning") and his phrasing is clever enough to allow words that don't normally "work" to do just that. I've never listened to an Incubus song where it sounds as if the lyrics don't fit, this is probably a direct result of the songwriting process that the band often uses. In an interview, the band stated that Einziger will often play out a song (often the rough version) and Boyd will listen, and if he likes the song, he will write lyrics and a vocal melody for that song. This insures that each and every songs components are all befitting of the original idea and help to create a cohesive piece of music. Strong vocal work (both the harmonies and lead vocals) and lyrics that are often easy to relate to have become a staple of Incubus songs since "Morning View", which seemed to be the biggest step in the band's maturation from metal/funk to experimental/progressive and pop/rock. // 10

Overall Impression: "Morning View" is a beacon of variety, a light that shines on so many different influences, instruments, tones, and words that reflects what every album should aspire to emulate. As innovative as it is listenable, I recommend "Morning View" to anyone who has yet to hear Incubus or to anybody looking to find a modern rock band who has everything going for them. There is nothing not to like, possible issues of "too much variety" aside, everything on the album is done with a professionalism and vigour that exceeds any expectations of mediocrity one may have with Incubus and/or modern rock music. // 10

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overall: 8.7
Morning View Reviewed by: 07Hoobastank07, on september 25, 2003
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Incubus has always had a unique sound that nobody else has. They explore so many instruments, and the vocals are always clean. They use so many different sounds but you always know who it is. They blend guitar with a strong bass (recently departed Dirk Lance) with drums and DJ as well. Not to metion the other instruments(saxophone,Djembe,dijeridoo, violins. // 10

Lyrics: They're lyrics have always been strong but after all or their albums they seem not as spiritual and meaningful as they used too. // 8

Overall Impression: This album is a lot slower and more melodic than science or their early stuff, however change is good and they still have a great sound. I enjoyed songs on this album such as aqueous transmission and nice to know you(one of the weaker lyriced songs). This album is definitely worth buying if you're a long time Incubus fan or for someone wants to venture away from all of that hip hop rap stuff. great album! // 8

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overall: 10
Morning View Reviewed by: cbe43016, on december 03, 2005
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Incubus is known too have one of the mosst unique sounds in all of rock. Having a combination of heavy guitar, a hip hop DJ and the amazing singing talent of singer Brandon Boyd. And this CD was no different. The CD was created in a huge house the band rented out for the CD, and they kinda got the inspiration for alot of songs in that house. Incubus's style is unique in a very good way, they know how too put together music too make it sound amazing. They can do all styles it doesnt matter then can pull it off. // 10

Lyrics: Brandon Boyd in my opinion is one of the great singer/songwriters of our time, he has such a great range on his voice and his writing is endless. Every Incubus CD has good lyrics that Brandon is known for but this one I think tops them all. Whether he gets kinda serious in songs like 11am and Mexico, to a fast heavy song like Blood On The Ground or Circles. See a lot of bands can write and play good music but cannot seem to put the two together, Incubus does this very well. And it doesn't hurt when your singer has the talent that Brandon has. I'd even say hes got one of the top 10 or maybe even top 5 rock voices of all time. // 10

Overall Impression: To say that this album is better then most would be correct. Incubus is a big band in the rock industry and deserves credit for that. Some of my favorite songs from the album are 11am, Mexico, Echo and Nice To Know You. Great songs and they all sound amazing. I don't think I hate anything about this album it is too good to hate, really everything is put together well and composed well and the band just simply know how to play. If this CD was stolen yes I'd go back out and buy it again and probably all the other incubus CDs again just incase they got stolen too. // 10

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