Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Make Yourself, by Incubus

Make Yourself, by Incubus

This was the album I listened to the most often in high school. Incubus' 3rd album is almost unarguably their best. Opening with "Privilege," it kicks off strong, with Brandon Boyd -- one of the best singers in music today -- singing "The day you were born, you were born free" has a very positive ring to it. Going against the morose and heartbroken feelings of the top 3 albums on this list, Make Yourself has a pretty positive outlook.

The album was certified double platinum with three singles, "Pardon Me," "Stellar," and "Drive." Before these, there's a song called "The Warmth" which has the chorus, "So don't let the world bring you down, not everyone here is that f***ed up and cold. Remember why you came and while you're alive experience the warmth before you grow old." In many ways it's about looking at all the pain the world, at the cold winds that blow from the news and from watching things break apart, and saying, "No, I'm not going to give in and accept the cold air and fear. There's still goodness and warmth in this world." More than once it has made me smile on days when I wasn't sure I could.

"Stellar" is amazing in detailing how you can feel when with the right person. "How do you do it? You make me feel like I do. How do you do it? It's better than I ever knew." From there, "Drive" is another uplifting song -- one that applies very directly to my life right now. It's about not sitting back and just riding through life, but taking control and leading your life where you want it to go. Boyd sings, "Whatever tomorrow brings, I'll be there with open arms and open eyes." Whatever life gives you, sit in the drivers seat and be ready for it -- take control of your own life and work with what you're given.

Towards the end of the album (it's only 48 minutes long; just over 1/3 of what Mellon Collie & the Infinite Sadness is) is "Pardon Me." This is many people's favorite Incubus song because it's about just saying "screw it" and bursting into flames. Brandon Boyd has said he wrote the song because he was going through some hard things in life and saw an article in a magazine about spontaneous human combustion and thought, "I can relate to that feeling." It's a feeling I'm familiar with -- I think everyone is. The final track is "Under My Umbrella" and ends with "If this is right, I'd rather be wrong. If this is sight, I'd rather be blind." It's about doing what you want despite what society thinks. If that's what people say is right, that's fine, I'll be wrong.

["Pardon Me," by Incubus]

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