Incubus – Light Grenades (2006)

It’s unfortunate that the fortunes of Brandon Boyd and company are tied so closely to the name “Incubus,” as that name conjures up images of an angry nu-metal band screeching their angst at neglectful fathers to audiences of cranky adolescents.

Boyd and company have risen above that scene with their latest album, Light Grenades. The music is still on the heavy side, and the tone far from cheerful, but this is no Junior-high bathroom stall scrawled expression of angst and frustration. This album is thirteen songs of well-crafted pop rock about that most ubiquitous of musical topics, relational frustration.

Boyd expresses hope even while venting his frustrations. The spirit of the album is summed up by this chorus from one of the catchier songs on the album, “Diamonds and Coal”: “Love isn’t perfect, even diamonds start as coal. Come on, in spite of this, we’re doing just fine, even diamonds start as coal.”

Light Grenades is an accessible album of solid if unspectacular songs, able to be enjoyed by Incubus fans and lovers of pop-rock in general.

–nc

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