If Not Now, When?
I like to believe that Incubus has named its new album after the Tracy Chapman song. It’s so very unlikely but it would almost excuse the contents. Now, I’m not picking a fight with Chapman or her fans – I was a card-carrying, paid up member of her crowd for the first four albums but a rock band, or whatever Incubus is, shouldn’t be trying to trace around a political folkie-pop singer from two decades earlier, right?
This album simply should not exist – there’s no way to be kind here and there’s no reason for this album to be available. Incubus fans won’t like it as it does not play to the band’s strengths – chiefly mellow but catchy pop hooks within faux-aggressive rock/nu-metal songs. And if you have never liked the Incubus sound well this album is certainly no reason to start. It feels like a limp-wristed approximation of where a collaboration between Five For Fighting and Counting Crows might have gone if the best songwriters were left on the bench. It’s that bad – and then actually it’s worse.
You can tell the record company had little faith stacking a bunch of “bonus tracks” at the end of the band trying so hard to rock-out a little.