Incubus has had many supremely successful hits since their early 1990's debut to the alternative rock scene. The Calabasas, Calif. natives have prospered through their ability to bridge many genres and musical styles including metal, alternative rock, funk, hip hop and punk, while continuing to produce meaningful and catchy lyrics. Over the years the five piece band has reached multi-platinum sales and sold over 23 million albums worldwide. Recently the band released their eighth studio album titled 8. Enjoy the top 10 best Incubus songs to date.
10. "Love Hurts"
Off of the 2016 album, Light Grenades comes "Love Hurts", a harmoniously realistic song about the triumphs and tribulations of a serious relationship. The lyrics "Love hurts, but sometimes it's a good hurt and it feels like I'm alive" feel like a warning to persevere through the hardships that most romantic relationships go through at some point or another. This serene sounding melody reminds us that emotional pain can sometimes be a good thing because it reminds us that we're alive and well.
9. "Pardon Me"
Lead singer Brandon Boyd's signature vocal range drives this fast-paced, grunge sounding chorus with lyrics that relate emotional turmoil to spontaneous combustion. "Pardon Me" showcases DJ Kilmore's turntable scratching as a main instrumental element throughout the song, delivering a fresh, unique sound that has become part of Incubus' blueprint over the years.
"Nice to Know You" debuted as the opening track for Morning View and quickly became one of the band's most recognizable songs. Over time the song has seemingly adopted a 'break up song' reputation, although the actual meaning of the song relates more to a 'break up' with societal norms and mundane perspectives. This metal inspired jam does a great job at showcasing the versatility of the band as they weave through a nu-metal driven intro into a more grounded and acoustic pre-chorus before exploding into a progressively heavy rock dominant chorus.
The funk-metal and nu-metal roots of Incubus are proudly on display on their 1997 album S.C.I.E.N.C.E.. "A Certain Shade of Green" encompasses the diversity of the album as a whole, exhibiting the band's ability to blend many genre styles without sounding chaotic. Many die-hard Incubus fans refer to the S.C.I.E.N.C.E. album as a precursor to the band's ability to constantly reinvent themselves and not dedicate themselves solely to one genre, which is exactly what Incubus has been able to do for over two decades.
From 2004's A Crow Left of the Murder... came "Talk Shows on Mute", a melodic beauty of a song that invites us all into the circus side show of our own dystopian future. George Orwell's "1984" as well as Philip K. Dick's novel "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" have been rumored influences for Brandon Boyd during the song's conception, which somewhat explains the strange, alternate reality music video for the song where humans and animals seem to trade places in society.
This tranquil and soothing slow tempo masterpiece comes from 2001's Morning View album and has become a bonafide fan favorite for many Incubus fans worldwide. A Chinese four-stringed instrument called a pipa was used alongside actual recordings of croaking frogs living outside of the band's studio to create a far east type of sound for "Aqueous Transmission", which proved to be the perfect closing track to the astounding Morning View album.
It would be difficult to have lived in California in the early 2000's and not heard the song "Stellar" at least once in your lifetime. This intergalactic jam originated off the 1999 album Make Yourself and quickly became one of Incubus' most well known hits. The lyrics "Meet me in outer space, we could spend the night, watch the earth come up" have become some of the most recognizable opening lyrics in alternative rock for that era, especially in the Southern California music scene, where Incubus has firmly planted roots.
The biggest hit off of Incubus' 1999 album Make Yourself differed from the band's typical nu-metal and alternative rock sound, instead offering a more mellow, acoustic melody. "Drive" kept us engaged with catchy, positive lyrics and a visually impressive music video that was based off of M.C. Escher's "Drawing Hands", a lithograph that depicts two hands essentially drawing each other into existence. "Drive" went on to win a Billboard award for Modern Rock Single of the Year in 2001.
The band's sixth studio album, Light Grenades included a few songs that went on to be successful hits, including "Oil and Water" and "Anna Molly", but one song that stood out as a potential instant classic was "Dig". The magic to this song lies within the lyrics that are vague enough to relate to mostly anyone. "If I turn into another, dig me up from under what is covering the better part of me" reads as a heartfelt plea to forgive him for acting out of character during a turbulent time in a relationship. The triumphant sounding chorus of "Dig" transforms the downbeat lyrics into a hopeful sounding tune that encourages us all to seize the day and to continue to try and be better despite our own shortcomings.
If any Incubus song can be referred to as one of those timeless, sing-a-long anthems, it would be "Wish You Were Here" from the band's 2001 album Morning View. The opening lines. "I dig my toes into the sand, the ocean looks like a thousand diamonds strewn across a blue blanket, I lean against the wind, pretend that I am weightless and in this moment I am happy", have peaceful and meditative elements to them with poetically vivid visuals and a mesmerizing rhythm to match.