A Crow Left Of The Murder
REVIEW BY: Brian Birnbaum
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 10/26/2006
Incubus has an uncanny ability to vary its basic musical style and still be successful. Like the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Incubus started as a hard rock group but morphed into an alternative-pop band over the course of five albums. Of course, they still know how to rock, as A Crow Left Of The Murder is easily the band's hardest album since S.C.I.E.N.C.E., but the variation in musical styles has allowed them to become much better songwriters.
I was a little let down with Morning View, the 2001 release following the exceptional Make Yourself. There were some promising tracks on there, but overall it seemed like a more watered down version of the discs that preceded it. And when I first heard this discs's opening track, “Megalomaniac,” I knew Incubus was back.
“Megalomaniac” is a perfect way to begin an album. It’s a catchy hard-rocking single that draws you in nicely. That said, I was very surprised they did not release the title track, which features a catchy chorus that becomes quite addictive, making it a strong song.
The first momentous highlight on the album arrives in the form of everyone’s favorite phobia. “Agoraphobia” has an excellent overall theme and the lyrics are some of the best, on the album: “What can I do, you say / It's just another day / In the life of apes with ego trips / Put down your hollow tips / And kiss your lover's lips / And know that fate is what we make of it.”
“Southern Girl” is the best track on the album and the best song Incubus has ever recorded. It begins with a beautiful guitar intro with a soft sitar dubbed over, and Brandon Boyd's vocals carry the song wonderfully (Boyd is the best singer in rock right now) Other highlights here are “Sick Sad Little World” and “Made For TV Movie.”
The only setback with A Crow… is the lack of cohesion that you typically get with any Incubus album. It sounds more like a greatest hits album than an album that was made to be listened to from start to finish. This isn’t necessarily something that brings the album down, mind you, but something that holds it back from its true potential. Incubus has even been quoted, upon the anticipated release of their next studio album Light Grenades, that their attempts to make a cohesive album have failed numerous times. Interestingly enough, their new album is supposedly a concept album…but that’s neither here nor there.
So far, A Crow Left Of The Murder is the best in the Incubus catalog, and I'm looking forward to their next release.