Evolution of a Rock Band: For Better or For Worse?
After the debut album introduces itself to the world of music, a band must commence creation of a follow-up. Sometimes that is the hardest thing of all. If the debut album was met with commercial and critical success, the band must produce something equally stimulating to audiences while still ringing true to its personal drive and musical intuition.
If the album was not received with such success, the band may choose to follow the same pattern and continue to charm only a small range of fans. It might alternately choose to change a couple of ingredients or the entire recipe of its sound and presentation in order to change the dynamic of its appeal.
Whatever path an artist or group chooses to take, it seems impossible to satisfy everyone in the end.
Our first case study on this matter is Incubus. In 1996 the band stepped foot outside their Ventura County homes and released ‘Fungus Amongus,’ a funk-metal adventure through the band members’ first experimentations together as teens. After the ‘Enjoy Incubus’ EP in 1997, Incubus followed up with ‘S.C.I.E.N.C.E.,’ the album that many fans still cite as the band’s best. This is where the controversy comes in.
In 1999 Incubus released ‘Make Yourself,’ which was the ticket that earned them admission to mainstream success. Singles like ‘Drive’ and ‘Pardon Me’ received heavy play on major radio stations and catapulted Incubus to success.
However, this did not make ‘S.C.I.E.N.C.E.’ and ‘Fungus Amongus’ fans happy. The argument was that the band had deviated too much from their original sound