Incubus, 'Light Grenades' (Epic)

Light Grenades
Critical Mass

by David Marchese

If only Incubus would quit trying to sound so damn important. On their sixth album, the veteran California band win you over when they scale back their ambitions. By diverting attention from singer Brandon Boyd's mostly inane lyrics with sun-dazed melodies and a crisp modern-rock sheen, they nail the profundo pop vibe of late-era Chili Peppers. But the album flounders during their attempts at arty funk and when guitarist Mike Einziger can't control his tendency to grandstand. There's no shame in keeping it simple.

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