Lead singer of Incubus, Brandon Boyd has been busy. Simply put, Brandon is one of the most interesting and talented lyricists in the game. From the sunny hillsides of the community college in my hometown Moorpark, to sold out shows on the shores of Dubai, he has remained an inspiration not for just my musical creativity, but challenge of literature as well. He has come a long way, and has recently released a solo album that he says is “music for the sake of making music”.
I’ve taken the last week to really think about how The Wild Trapeze can be defined. This album is very organic, intelligent, and holds a certain tinge of strange creativity that Brandon Boyd is known for. I’ve come to think that this album is what happens when you ask Brandon Boyd to score an old Wild West film, with a world music, spiritual perspective. I've had the honor of meeting and hanging out with Brandon at the TOMS Shoes collaboration party that he did last year, and just by our little converstation, you can tell where his head is creatively.
Upon the first few listen throughs, I noticed that heavy echoing bass kicks were prevalent throughout the album. Also, strumming an acoustic guitar is a must have staple for Brandon. It’s a little strange not hearing Mike shred away on his guitar along to Brandon’s voice, but it really does still work.
The album is chock full of goodness, but I’m not without a breakdown of my favorites. Let’s discuss.
The oddly timed A Night Without Cars has a catchy guitar throughout and the same can be said about its chorus. Whether or not you believe that Brandon took one singing lesson and learned everything he needed to know, this song was a good one.
Second up was a song that can be easily dedicated to my lady friends who don’t quite have the strength to make it through those tough ones in life. Courage and Control keeps the instrumentals simple, and lets Brandon get to work with that kill chorus:
It's time to let your hair down and give yourself permission it takes courage and control but you start by letting go
My favorite track was a tie between the 7th track, Runaway Train and the 9th track Mirror of Venus. On the former, a great use of channel bouncing (when the sound goes from one speaker/headphone to another) on the guitar, coupled with a beautiful piano and flute combination. The echoing voices, and chorus structure was something to be admired.
On the latter, the drums sounded like Jose was in the room coordinating its production. The strings and xylophone were an excellent touch, giving a little more feeling of an epic feel to the track. Also, the distorted, high treble bass guitar is powerful, but still plays its role in keeping the smooth groove. Lyrically a short song, but a powerful one in regards to make a play on imagery, this rounded out my favorites of the album.
When Brandon Boyd said that his best work with Incubus was ahead of them, I didn’t know how I felt, but this album told me that he still has it in him; and this is the solo album! I look forward to their future work, and recommend this album to Incubus fans, and fans of interesting music in general.
Until next time my friends,