Monday, August 30, 2010

CD review: The Wild Trapeze by Brandon Boyd

Remember how I said I would update more about Brandon Boyd's solo album and then I didn't? Whoops. I'm sorry about that, but I've been busy with lots of summertime activities.

Anyway, I'm ready to talk about The Wild Trapeze now. It came out in July, quite suddenly actually. One day I was eagerly awaiting more details, and suddenly I got an Incubus e-newsletter announcing that it was available for purchase that day. What a pleasant surprise.

Boyd has said himself that this record was all about the learning process. He had to write all the music by himself, without the help of any band mates, plus he played just about every instrument himself. For a musician who has relied on four other guys throughout his musical career, I'm sure that's a very different experience. But that's precisely what he needed to do, to learn about his own skills and limitations as an artist. He wrote in a letter to fans, "So much of my identity, both personally and creatively has been attached to and related to Incubus. For better or worse! And I do believe that every person in every corner of the world asks themselves at some point on their ride, 'Who am' The Wild Trapeze is an exercise in self reliance."

Watch Brandon explain a lot of his thought process that went into the making of this record:

(For the record, I am enough of a fangirl to know that Incubus' last album, Light Grenades, came out in 2006, not 2005. So don't panic too much, Brandon. But at the same time, I want that next CD so get moving!)

Anyway, so onto the actual sound of the album itself. I'll just be up front: at first, I liked it but wasn't exactly crazy about it. It didn't seem as musically diverse as anything Incubus has put out. But after a few subsequent listens, the disc really began growing on me. I just needed to get acquainted with it before I could truly appreciate it. Now, I'm pretty much in love and won't be letting this album wander too far from my CD player (yes, I still use one of those).

The music is more raw and gritty-sounding than I expected. Boyd has said that he didn't want it to be perfectly polished, and that's what I like about it. It's an honest portrayal of one musician out on his own, trying to figure out what he's all about. In a world of Auto-Tune and lip syncing, a little honesty is refreshing. At the same time, the music still sounds similar enough to Incubus that fans won't be scared off.

Listen to "A Night Without Cars," off of The Wild Trapeze:

Definitely an album worth checking out. As my good friend wrote in her blog, "Brandon Boyd is a god amongst men HOW DOES HE DO IT?" True dat.

Favorite Tracks: "Here Comes Everyone" and "Courage and Control"
Buy The Wild Trapeze on iTunes or on

1 comment:

  1. perfection personified in brandon boyd

    i felt the same way about the album - at first i liked it, but i wasn't too impressed until i gave it a few more listens. Now I love it, and I'm glad you posted that interview! Good to hear that Incubus is writing right now. im shaking with joy