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Muse - Absolution CD (album) cover




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3.85 | 476 ratings

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4 stars Definitely Muse's best studio album. They mix a batch of good songs into a enjoyable concept album (or possibly psuedo-concept more accurately). This album firmly plants Muse into the realm of good Prog (or Prog-related) players, making them stand out as someone to look at, not just a Radiohead clone.

Bellamy really starts to use his voice well in this album. He has so much talent, and now it's really starting to show. His voice captures the despairing and critical moods that define most of these songs, and then twists them into a true pleasure.

Track 1: Intro:

Well.... It's just an intro. 22 seconds of foot stomping. Pretty good idea. Not a lot to say here.

Track 2: Apocalypse Please:

This is what Intro leads into, seamlessly. It starts off with heavy piano chords, and never lets the apocalyptic mood drop. Quite a good way to start an album.

Track 3: Time Is Running Out:

Starts off with one of the catchiest distorted baselines I've seen. It has an open-ended kind of mysterious rock feel to it. When you get to the chorus the guitar opens up with the bass into a full jamming alternative chorus sound, only the good kind of alternative. Another hit for the album.

Track 4: Sing for Absolution:

Opens up with a cool slightly reverb, slightly gain-y piano riff. Slow and melodical, this song takes it's time and knows it. Much of it really has the full Muse sound, right through the good guitar solo smack dab in the middle. Te chorus picks up a bit, but not so much as to kill any of the mood or atmosphere. Not a bad tune.

Track 5: Stockholm Syndrome:

This song's opening riff beats Time is Running Out, and then backs it up all the way through the track. It's a pretty brilliant song in almost every way. The keyboard overlays, the in-control metal-ish guitar riffs, the good use of the half-open high hat, it all blends to form a song of nearly epic proportions, all in just five minutes. Great song!

Track 6: Falling Away With You:

This song takes you from the upbeat extreme of Stockholm Syndrome all the way dive-bomb into a soft almost acoustic quasi-ballad. It has a very mellow tone, and soft flowing lyrics. And right when you fall into its soft trap.... Bam! The chorus hit's you! Like a rock to the face. It opens up really far and then comes almost all the way back to super quiet, but more driving. It's contrasts quite a few times like this during the song. Not bad at all.

Track 7: Interlude:

It's just an interlude. It's adds to the ambiance with super distortion. 30 seconds, that's it.

Track 8: Hysteria:

Muse once again shines with their baseline writing skills. This opening riff matches Stockholm Syndrome's in excellence. But this one doesn't contrast like the Syndrome, it just drives to the end. It's a real kicker to the second half of the album. It's pretty good.

Track 9: Blackout:

Again with the slow, Muse really messes with that song contrast in this album. It starts off with a string arpeggio, full ensemble sound. then the clean tremolo guitar comes in.... Then the uber-fuzz guitar wipes everything else out, except for the singing... And the strings.... It's one of the weaker tracks, but not by any means bad.

Track 10: Butterflies and Hurricanes:

The mysterious sweeping sensation. Probably the best song on the cd in it's own distinct merit. It has a mellow entrancing baseline to start, simple medium-range octave tapping, that gets layered on with synth effects and vocal lines (harmonies included). What set's it apart is the middle section of the song. A very impressive classical piano solo. It is completely without warning (save the 1.5 minutes of piano buildup), or at least for the intensity of it. It really adds a respectable air to the song, and album for that matter. Quite impressive.

Track 11: The Small Print:

Okay intro riff. Okay song. Not bad, but nothing special either. Almost a letdown after Butterflies and Hurricanes, but a decent enough song.

Track 12: Endlessly:

Again with the nothing special category. Not nothing special as in sucks, nothing special as in compared to what else is in the album. It's still a pretty good song, overall.

Track 13: Thoughts of a Dying Atheist:

This one is a step up from the last two, but still not back up all the way to the level of the first half of the album. This one has a descending guitar arpeggio to start it off, which is fine enough. But the chorus brings it up a bit. The chorus line is It scares the hell out of me, and Bellamy makes it ring, truly. This song is pretty good.

Track 14: Ruled By Secrecy:

A melancholy cryptic sounding song to end the album with. It starts slow, and just keeps building. It's not the greatest of all ends to an album, but it's not the worst I've heard, not by far. I rather like it actually, it flows nicely.

Even though the end of the album lets up a bit, it is a great album. It proves that Muse has skills, no doubt there.

Wallium | 4/5 |


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