When bands bring out a greatest hits collection, it’s often feared that this heralds the last great thing they will do and we can more or less kiss our favorite musicians goodbye. Such is the fear for this latest Incubus release. Luckily “Monuments And Melodies” quells any such fears and simply reminds us of more than a decade of stylish rock from an excellent and talented band.

“Monuments And Melodies” is both a greatest hits and a rarities collection, with the most famous of the band’s songs covered on the first disc of the release, and previously unreleased and rare recordings showcased on the second.

Incubus’ most popular singles are all here – “Drive” and “Megalomaniac” leading the pack, with “Nice To Know You,” “Wish You Were Here,” “Anna Molly,” and “Love Hurts” coming up right behind them. Two new tracks are also included – “Black Heart Inertia,” an up-tempo solid rock tune on which Brandon Boyd’s vocals soar as is he hadn’t been singing for years and years already, and “Midnight Swim,” a tune which is less radio-friendly than some of the band’s other music but packs a powerful wall of guitars which keep it going.

On the second disc the rarities are enthralling to listen to right the way through. The highlight of disc two is a cover of Prince song “Let’s Go Crazy.” It’s hard to think of a more unlikely cover Incubus could have done, but they manage to meld their alternative rock sound with the soulful roots of the song, making it a bouncing tune complete with a big pre-chorus build up and wailing guitar solos.

“Monuments And Melodies” turns out to be a beautifully expressive canvas of a band’s entire career, from their funk-inspired and slightly all-over-the-place beginning sound, to their polished and progressive songs of later year. If you’re new to the band this is just about all you need to know about Incubus, but is also a good starting point if you want to know which albums to buy later, and if you’re a fan of these Californian boys, then this is a must-have record without a doubt!


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