Incubus - ‘Wish You Were Here’ (Columbia)

30 Dec 2003

the triumphant/wrist-slitting sound of mor?; release - '02.


In a recent issue of 'Popworld' - a British teeny-bopper magazine marketed to children from the ages of ten to thirteen -Incubus were rated as a band that would become more prominent in 2002.

Bizarrely, this statement comes after the US group selling millions of records worldwide and being able to play sold out arena shows to thousands of people at a time; thus, to say they'll become 'more prominent' seems slightly odd. However, if the context for this situation is to mean that Incubus will become more renowned to the younger music-market, then - with such alluring pop songs as this - there's little surprise why this will become the case.

With the wavy guitar and smooth-rock bass that precedes the verse and chorus of this track, you could actually envisage U2 lending Bono's strained, high-pitched vocal to the equation, though Brandon's almost MOR croon acts as a far more welcoming addition. Still, for an act as revered as Incubus as an 'exciting' guitar-act, this just seems so radio-friendly and commercial that any edge seems to have been eroded via the ultra slick production. There's even the big chorus, the inoffensive scratching on the decks and short spinning-time on the track's duration, all combining to form a song so void of attempts to be pretentious and daring that it slots nicely alongside any other tune on daytime radio.

Incubus may not be producing nail-biting records, but they are proving that competent rock and catchy songwriting can cross age-barriers and appeal to new audiences, without the pressure of trying to appear as crass or overtly rock 'n' roll.

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