52 IN 52
The 52 Albums that define my love for music
Week 45/Album 45
Who: Incubus - "Make Yourself"
Why: This one is gonna be rough, because I really haven't ever let my feelings out about it. But, here goes.
1999-2001 were terrible times in music, in my opinion. Almost every mainstream band that was hitting during these times either wanted to mix rap and rock, or we just terribly bad "nu-metal" bands. Music was a joke. I hated it and it surrounded me. Sure, I didnt mind some bands like 311, but that was because they were fun, and it was surely a brief phase I grew out of. I even played in a band that turned into a rap-rock band. I dont regret those days, but if I could do it all over, I probably would have made some better decisions.
With that said, only 1 mainstream record from those days resonated at all with me, and it was "Make Yourself". I feel that Incubus came out at a time where they were unfairly lumped into the genre of "nu-metal" or "Rap-rock" which is just not the case. They were just a rock band. Sure, they had a DJ, but he was barely in the mix in most of their songs and when it was prevalent it actually lent itself to the song. The singer had a great voice, and didn't rap at all. The bass lines alone make the record worth listening to. Incubus towed the line between a great rock band, and getting sucked into the terrible music coming out during that time.
Where: Saw Incubus a couple times. Nautica, Ozzfest, Agora.
Now is where things get bummer.
My mom was diagnosed with cancer in February 2000. My mom and I shared a special bond with music. We had our songs (Happy Xmas, Freedom), we had our albums (Born To Run, Lets Dance, Rio). We also had music that we would make fun of each other for (New Radicals, Mom, really?) But in 2000, as she got sicker, I brought her "Make Yourself" in an effort to keep her sharp and up to date with current music. I knew she would love his voice, and love some of the slower songs. I remember us listening to the record on a visit home in Summer 2000 and her telling me "I love this song" ... she was talking about "Drive". As 2000 went on and 2001 started, my mom got worse and worse until she passed away in May 2001. This was the last record I got to share with her.
She loved the song "Drive" so much, that we decided to play it at her funeral. It was the moment that the reality of the situation hit me, and hit a lot of my friends and family.
Then in July 2001, "Drive" was released as a single, and it put Incubus on the map. It was also their biggest single to date.
It was almost impossible to escape "Drive", at first it would make me really sad but after a couple months of hearing the song it became a source of happiness. It reminded me to remember the great times I had with my mother, and that she will always be with me. It became a comfort song. These days hearing it is like a gift. I will hear "Drive" in the most random places at the most random times. Its a wonderful song.
The rest of the record reminds me of the good times I had those years. Being down in Akron with guys and girls that I consider some of my best friends now. We had great times, and they were all there for me during those times.
Its a goal of mine one day to thank the guys of Incubus for writing "Drive". Just more proof of the power of music, no matter what kind you listen to.
You should make amends with you, if only for better health. But, if you really want to laugh, why not try and make yourself. :-)