Incubus vocalist Brandon Boyd’s debut solo album “The Wild Trapeze” is easily the best album released this summer.
It has the same commanding vocals that are among an alternative music fan’s favorites, but the vocals are basically the only aspect of the Incubus style Boyd carried over.
A busy bass line and gentle percussion get the album going on the self-titled first track. Boyd sings “Stand still like a hummingbird that flies” in his sweet, ever-captivating vocals that will get listeners stoked to hear what’s next on the album.
“Here Comes Everyone” is driven by a rhythmic bass guitar and bass drum paired with loud clapping. The guitar sounds a little too distorted near the end, which is a bit of a letdown.
Boyd brings in an acoustic guitar and violins on “Dance While the Devil Sleeps,” a song about taking cover during a storm.
“A Night Without Cars” is a beautiful, quiet yet aggressive track that really lets Boyd’s pure vocals shine brighter than any other instrument. He hits all the high notes with authority. This is definitely the standout track so far. And just when listeners think the song is over, Boyd surprises them with a guitar solo that demands attention.
“Revenge of the Spectral Tiger” showcases a bit more of a poppy, easy listening feel, which turns out to be an OK change.
“Courage and Control” nicely showcases Boyd’s vocals as well. It’s a raw piano and acoustic guitar track. It’s simple, it’s pretty and it’s a good love song. He sings, “It’s time to let your hair down and give yourself permission / It takes courage and control, but you start by letting go.”
A Latin guitar duo style is implemented on “Runaway Train,” the album’s first single. It’s a powerful song that has an awesome music video worth checking out.
That overly distorted guitar reintroduces itself on “Last Night a Passenger,” making the track inferior to all the previous songs on the album. Good thing Boyd’s got those otherworldly vocals to fall back on. Either way, it’s tough to make an album that’s 100 percent perfect.
To the delight of Incubus fans, “Mirror of Venus” is the tune that most resembles Incubus material, particularly the style of their album “Morning View.”
“All Ears Avow!” features fantastic booming drums. It has a really appealing arena rock feel that provides a remarkable closing to the album. Boyd truly knows what it means to go out with a bang.
“The Wild Trapeze” is quite a demonstration of Boyd’s talent. Boyd has officially set the bar for the musical standards for summer.
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