Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Video: "Aqueous Transmission" by Incubus

Can I be blamed for understanding innovation and mainstream "alternative" rock as divergent concepts? Or at the very least, the former concept applying to the latter far too rarely or slowly? We're way past Incubus' turn of the millenium heyday, but I feel like this problem existed then as it still does now, in that whenever I turn on rock radio, bands are lockstep into formulas of safety and broad appeal without stamps of interesting personalities (I'm lookin' at OneRepublic and the Fray among countless others). I would argue that Incubus did something different in that particularly between S.C.I.E.N.C.E. and Morning View, the band's music was widely approachable, and yet, through maturation and varied influences, reflected artistic decisions independent of radio play.  One such detour from the likes of "Drive" and "Wish You Were Here" is Morning View's gorgeous closer "Aqueous Transmission," a fluid, pipa-led meditation. In this context, it seems to say that while popular rock bands evidently don't have to innovate if their formula works on the charts, an artistically relevant rock band should be something more.

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