Fans who discovered Incubus and their album Make Yourself through their massive radio hit "Drive" may be surprised that the band released a follow-up album so quickly. Yet the reality is that Make Yourself was a definitive sleeper hit, never peaking past the Top 50 of Billboard's album charts, but staying on those same charts for close to two years and in the process shifting over two million units. With each successive single that was released, the band gradually moved away from the nu-metal/Ozzfest crowd they had been initially lumped into and revealed the solid songwriting and talent for a good melody underneath the layers of surging guitars. The lessons learned from Make Yourself have definitely been applied to Morning View. While there is still a fair share of aggressive numbers ("Circles," " "Blood on the Ground," and " "Under My Umbrella" arguably the strongest of the harder tracks), the ratio of softer and mellower numbers have increased dramatically, to the point where hardcore fans of earlier material may be bewildered. For the most part, the transition works. "Mexico" is a sparsely arranged acoustic ballad that gives lead singer Brandon Boyd an opportunity to demonstrate his formidable vocal range. "Are You In" is an upbeat, funky tune reminiscent of Sugar Ray (and that's meant in a good way). The most offbeat track is the album closer, "Aqueous Transmission," a tranquil, exotic-sounding ballad that sees the band successfully experimenting with Middle Eastern string arrangements. Not all the experiments gel ("Echo"), and there is a tendency, especially in the middle third of the album, for the songs to sound too similar in sound and tempo, but on the whole, Morning View is a fine follow-up to Make Yourself and a natural progression in the band's musical evolution. While it may not appeal to fans of the harder material, music lovers who like their rock a little less aggressive and a little more ambitious and, well, sensitive should give Morning View a spin.
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AllMusic Review by Deren Svendsen