Morning View XXIII


Virgin Records, 2024

REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler


Look what Taylor has wrought! Yes, she has been systematically re-recording her catalog to spite her old label owner and she has been completely successful in the process. This has inspired a lot more artists to try something similar in order to combat an old record label or just to try something different. In Incubus’ case, I have absolutely no clue what the reason is for this.

This band has been creatively stagnant for over a decade, with two EPs and a full length to show for their efforts in the last nine years. So, after getting another major label deal (their third), the band decided to re-record one of their two great albums. The other, Make Yourself, turns 25 this year and would have made more sense to celebrate. No, they decided to redo an album on its 23rd anniversary, which feels completely nonsensical.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

In this case, the band decided to produce themselves instead of maybe bringing back original producer Scott Litt. They also have a new bassist, Nicole Row, replacing Ben Kenney, who replaced this album’s bassist, Dirk Lance. The differences are notable from the jump; a new intro is added to album opener “Nice To Know You” and Brandon Boyd’s vocals seem half-assed and uninspired. Completely useless and adds nothing to a song I always thought was second tier anyway.

“Circles” at least has some crunch to it and vocals that seems like Boyd really cares about the project. If this was your first intro to this band, this song would be the way to go. “Wish You Were Here” is an absolute classic that the band have played at every show since 2001, so you would think the track would reflect that. No again! It sounds flat and uninspired. What a way to treat two of your biggest hits. The deep cuts on the album like “Mexico,” which is a personal favorite, and “Just a Phase” really work and come across well and do some kind of service for revisiting this album.

The reasoning for this redo remains unknown. If they had only done four or five songs for another EP, it would’ve been better than sitting through this slog. “Warning,” which was the album’s third single and another personal favorite, really sucks. Boyd’s vocals have become more nasal than before and it’s really obvious here, which pains me as I’ve been a fan of this band for awhile and to see them on the same level as a Molly Hatchet or Atlanta Rhythm Section, continually re-recording their classics for different labels, is just a sad state of affairs.

They could’ve turned in a Taylor and a ten-minute “All Too Well” but alas that’s not the case. Maybe they’ve finally gotten the hint that new music isn’t working for the fanbase and that this would do better. I would say next stop is purgatory, but they’re literally touring Australia with Live, a combination that wouldn’t have worked back when Incubus cared.

Rating: C

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