Saturday, September 10, 2011

Incubus - Morning View

Incubus - Morning View

I have a vivid memory associated with this album.

This is not new. I have vivid memories associated with lots of albums, but this one is a memory of incredible power to me. I find that I have trouble even listening to this album anymore, because it inspires this memory to be called up.

It is not a sad memory or a particularly happy one. It's just a strong memory. One that is affecting in a way that others aren't.

I come from Maryland. If you've ever lived there, especially in the areas where I lived, you'll know the time of year that I am about to talk about. There is a brief moment of time in Maryland that happens at the end of April and the beginning of May. It is in this brief window that the weather gets to that perfect moment between early, frostbitten spring and early oppresive summer.

As a child, or at least more of a child than I was then and probably am now, I remember this being the time of anticipation and excitement for the onrushing summer break. The moment that the world would open up and be fee for a few months. It was a time of swimming pools, swimming practice, library books and friends. I wasn't in any way popular but my few friends would spend tons of time together, which we can only thank our parents for.

As I grew up, I lost some of this. My job and my friends grew away from the swimming pools and the outdoors and into computer games and preparing for the next year or weekend.

Incubus grew up with me. I was obsessed with their album, Make Yourself, which I associate with early middle school, and with Peter and Zach. I got a copy of SCIENCE and Fungus Amungus a little later, and completely absorbed them.

So, when I heard that Morning View wasn't as good, I was devistated. I actively avoided the album. The singles were good, and the music seemed nice, but if I was going to be disappointed, I wanted no part of it.

This lasted for a while, almost up to the next Incubus album. But, at that moment when the weather was perfect, two events happened.

My Dad's pool opened, and my stepmom had a copy.

So for an entire early afternoon, I cleaned the pool and listened.

If you have ever cleaned a pool, the experience is rediculously boring. The best you can hope for is that the time passes quickly and that you can move on quickly, but it's a bit of a dragging experience.

That is the usual experience, but this time I had a differet one. I got into the groove of it, slowly but surely crating perfectly straight lines of clean pool bottom next to each other, overlapping as little as possible, striving for the perfect unattainable efficency of movement. The smell of the fresh cut grass with the chemical smell of the pool mixed and rose and imprgnated my nose, and I soaked in the experience.

But it was the music that made me fall into that state. I felt perfectly in tune with this album, and it resonated with me. I was completely in the moment, and that moment was perfect. The entire time I was cleanig the pool, I was perfectly satisfied with what I was doing, and I felt as if I was in the right place.

So now, I listen to this album and I think about how perfect that moment was, and I strive for it again, but the experience is never as good, and I wish it would happen again.

The album is a masterpeice of great down tempo rock. The songs are longing and sweet, but never overwhelmingly so. This was an album of a band in transition, and it is so well done that people have misheard it. The band was moving from Make Yourself to where they are today, and Morning veiw was one of the reasons that they have moved so far. It is a perfect early summer album, wen the time stretches before you, and you feel the call of the pool and friends and the outdoors.

"Earth: Harmless"

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