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MUSE

Prog Related • United Kingdom


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Muse picture
Muse biography
Founded in Devon, UK in 1994 - Still active as of 2017

Muse comprise Matthew Bellamy (lead vocalist, lead guitarist, and pianist), Chris Wolstenholme (bass guitarist) and Dominic Howard (drummer).

Muse came together at the age of 13, although the band was then known as Gothic Plague. The name changed to Fixed Penalty, then Rocket Baby Dolls, and finally to Muse, following a "battle of the bands" competition which they won despite playing music that was overtly aggressive and smashing everything on stage.

In October 1995, Dennis Smith discovered them playing in a Cornish village and eventually offered them free studio time. IN 1998, Muse released their self-titled EP, and the single "Uno".

Following the success of their second single "Cave", they released their first album "Showbiz" in 1999. Produced by John Leckie, who also produced Radiohead's "The Bends", Showbiz drew a lot of criticism for its similarities with Radiohead, but nevertheless was successful - and the only real similarities lie in Matt Bellamy's vocal style.

The following album, "Origin of Symmetry" was also produced by Leckie, but saw Muse becoming more experimental in the ways they created atmospheres; Wind Chimes, Bones, Llama claws and bubble wrap are all used to create effects.

A stream of awards and touring followed, and it wasn't until 2004 that Muse finally released "Absolution". This time they employed Paul Reeve, John Corfield and Rich Costey to handle production. The latter will be familiar to The Mars Volta fans, but had also worked with the likes of Fiona Apple and Philip Glass. Costey's finicky approach to recording and mixing makes "Absolution" stand out from the Leckie produced albums, in that the overall sound is "bigger" and the bombastic nature of the music is underscored heavily.

Following "Absolution"'s huge success Muse confirmed their status with a storming set at Glastonbury in 2004, more awards and singles success.

Two years later, MUSE followed up with their 2006 release Black Holes and Revelations which shot to number one in the U.K. and broke into the top ten in the USA. The album features the songs Starlight, Supermassive Black Hole, and Knights of Cydonia. Rich Costey returned to co-produce the album.

2009 saw the release of The Resistance, which is probably MUSE's most progressive album to-date, which takes a strong influence from QUEEN. The album features the singles The Uprising, Resistance, U...
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MUSE discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

MUSE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.12 | 304 ratings
Showbiz
1999
3.97 | 448 ratings
Origin of Symmetry
2001
3.82 | 489 ratings
Absolution
2003
3.70 | 460 ratings
Black Holes And Revelations
2006
3.30 | 405 ratings
The Resistance
2009
3.25 | 267 ratings
The 2nd Law
2012
3.20 | 160 ratings
Drones
2015
2.69 | 65 ratings
Simulation Theory
2018

MUSE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.73 | 77 ratings
Hullabaloo Soundtrack
2002
4.41 | 92 ratings
H.A.A.R.P
2008

MUSE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.92 | 31 ratings
Hullabaloo: Live At Le Zenith-Paris
2002
4.17 | 24 ratings
Absolution Tour
2005
3.72 | 18 ratings
Live at Rome Olympic Stadium
2013

MUSE Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.33 | 3 ratings
Showbiz Box
2000
4.67 | 3 ratings
Symmetry Box
2004
4.33 | 3 ratings
Absolution Box
2005
0.00 | 0 ratings
Origins of Muse
2019

MUSE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.00 | 3 ratings
This Is A Muse Demo
1995
2.84 | 10 ratings
Newton Abbot Demo
1997
2.54 | 19 ratings
Muse
1998
2.61 | 16 ratings
Muscle Museum
1999
3.67 | 6 ratings
Uno
1999
3.88 | 8 ratings
Cave
1999
3.63 | 8 ratings
Muscle Museum
1999
3.67 | 6 ratings
Sunburn
2000
3.33 | 6 ratings
Unintended
2000
3.22 | 9 ratings
Random 1-8
2000
3.92 | 13 ratings
Plug In Baby
2001
4.33 | 15 ratings
New Born
2001
3.67 | 9 ratings
Bliss
2001
3.56 | 9 ratings
Hyper Music/Feeling Good
2001
3.42 | 17 ratings
Dead Star - In Your World
2002
4.43 | 7 ratings
Stockholm Syndrome
2003
2.88 | 8 ratings
Time Is Running Out
2003
4.00 | 7 ratings
Hysteria
2003
4.25 | 8 ratings
Sing for Absolution
2004
4.29 | 7 ratings
Apocalypse Please
2004
4.75 | 8 ratings
Butterflies and Hurricanes
2004
3.11 | 9 ratings
Starlight
2006
4.22 | 9 ratings
Knights of Cydonia
2006
2.57 | 23 ratings
Supermassive Black Hole
2006
3.57 | 7 ratings
Invincible
2007
3.89 | 9 ratings
Map of the Problematique
2007
3.29 | 7 ratings
Uprising
2009
2.44 | 9 ratings
Undisclosed Desires
2009
3.63 | 8 ratings
Resistance
2010
2.88 | 8 ratings
Neutron Star Collision (Love Is Forever)
2010
4.28 | 18 ratings
Exogenesis
2010
3.61 | 23 ratings
Survival
2012
1.96 | 27 ratings
The 2nd Law: Unsustainable
2012
2.04 | 30 ratings
Madness
2012
2.11 | 9 ratings
Follow Me
2012
3.92 | 13 ratings
Supremacy
2013
3.22 | 9 ratings
Panic Station
2013
2.75 | 4 ratings
Won't Stand Down
2022

MUSE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Drones by MUSE album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.20 | 160 ratings

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Drones
Muse Prog Related

Review by The Rain Man
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Drones is the 7th album by 3-piece rock juggernaut Muse. This album was released back in 2015 and the "Drones" tour was my second time seeing the band. This was the album that really got me back into Muse after what I thought at the time was two weaker albums in the form of "The Resistance" and "The 2nd Law". However, after listening to these 2 albums recently my opinion has very much changed on both. But does "Drones" still hit the heights I thought it used to?

Well, all I can say is absolutely yes. With 5th and 6th albums; "The Resistance" and "The 2nd Law" they moved their sound into different territories and really experimented a bit with it still sounding like Muse. Meanwhile "Drones" sees them back rocking and rocking really hard. In fact, most Muse albums up until this point have the piano feature quite a bit. But on "Drones" I can only detect it on bits of "Mercy" and "Globalisation".

The main singles released from this album were "Dead Inside", "Psycho" and "Reapers". While they all are of high quality. "Reapers" reaches places that go harder and more technical than I can remember Muse going before. For me, it is their 2nd best song they have ever done behind "Citizen Erased" off "Origin of Symmetry". The intro which kicks off with the magical drumbeat, before the guitar comes in and the song takes off. And it takes you on such a rollercoaster for the duration of just under 6 minutes.

But the singles are only part of the story to this album. "The Handler", "Defector" and "Revolt are also absolutely cracking rock songs. While "Aftermath" is a dreamy spacey track, like "Explorers" off "The 2nd Law". This also has some fine guitar work on it. "Globalisation" is probably the biggest surprise of the album as it is the longest song they have ever done, sitting at 10 minutes. Yes, they a 3 part track to finish off "The Resistance" and a 2 part song to finish off "The 2nd Law". But I think this is the longest single track. And it is epic. Seamlessly moves between sections, great singing, great guitar parts and a strong piano section. The last track "Drones" is the only weak track on the album as it's just the guy's harmonising. It's not a very long track but personally I would rather them finish with "Globalisation".

Overall though it doesn't deter from the album's greatness. I think it is a very underrated Muse album and I would put it just behind "Origin of Symmetry in my top Muse albums list.

 The 2nd Law by MUSE album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.25 | 267 ratings

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The 2nd Law
Muse Prog Related

Review by The Rain Man
Prog Reviewer

4 stars "The 2nd Law" is the 6th album by UK rock group Muse. This album was released in 2012 and a follow up to 2009's "The Resistance". When the album dropped, I was aware of this album when it came out and was more than familiar with the main single off this album; "Madness". But I never owned the album and never gave it a fair go at the time. I think at the time I thought it wasn't worth listening to and I don't think it really got much praise from critics.

Having listened to this album quite a lot for the past few weeks I can see why this album may have not done as well as what came before. While it still feels like a Muse album. They did go off in all sorts of directions in this album and although there are electric guitars present throughout the album, I would go as far as saying it doesn't really feel like a rock album they have made previously. In "The Resistance" they went in a slightly more prog direction. This album doesn't do that but does have experimental elements. Even when you take the single "Madness", it is a class track has a nice beat to it and good wee guitar solo. Slightly slower feel to it than normal. Certainly not a heavy rock track. The thing I remember the most about this track is the bass Chris uses as it is unique. It has this digital display above the strings on the main part of the bass where you pluck. He then taps the digital display to create the sound. And it is a dominant feature of the track which makes it stand out.

Next track "Panic Station" is totally opposite, it has a thumping bass line and is like a dance rock track. It's upbeat and has a great groove to it. That's the thing about this album, it never stays in the one place and there are so many twists and turns throughout the album. It's clear that at this stage in their career, Muse still wanted to progress their sound and not sit on what had come before. "Prelude" sees Matt back on the piano accompanied by a string section. Another bow to Muse's string which enables them to make such eclectic albums.

"Explorors" is track which is worth a mention. I remember my dad used to go on about this track at the time as he thought it was absolutely brilliant. And it really is. It's got a different song structure to normal. Kind of a build- up track to an extent without fully exploding to make a nice listening experience. Another major twist on this album is "Save Me" and "Liquid State" which sit side by side where bassist Chris sings on both for as main vocalist. As far as I'm aware this was the first time up until this point in time, he has done this. And it's great, he doesn't have the theatrical range in vocals like Matt, but he has this certain calmness and control which adds so much to the album. I'm surprised the band never utilised him as a vocalist earlier.

In their 5th album "The Resistance" I labelled the finally to the album one of the best they have ever done to finish an album bar Knights of Cydonia. It was a 3-part prog classic. On this album they went for more of the same but this time in two parts. The first part "The 2nd Law: Unsustainable" starts quite dramatically and again utilises a string section. Then it takes a turn and has all these cool effects and a women's voice as a voiceover. The second part "The 2nd Law: Isolated System" has strong post rock vibes about it is a piano driven track. It's funny that a ton of bands do music purely like this second part and in some places do it better than Muse. But because Muse have those punchy rock, mainstream friendly tracks. Muse are the ones that get the recognition. If you like this sort of track, you should really check out bands like Nordic Giants, it's what they do and they do it very well.

Overall, I think this is a really underrated album and I am so glad I went back to it and gave it the proper attention it deserves. This is Muse really experimenting with their sound and pushing their boundaries further than ever imaginable.

 Simulation Theory by MUSE album cover Studio Album, 2018
2.69 | 65 ratings

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Simulation Theory
Muse Prog Related

Review by The Rain Man
Prog Reviewer

2 stars "Simulation Theory" is English rock 3 piece Muse's 8th studio album. They started life as a band in the late 90s and I got sucked in by their rifftastic tunes very early on when their debut album "Showbiz" came out. While the first 4 albums I absolutely loved, particularly "Origin of Symmetry", I did go off them for a bit during albums 5 and 6. But when 7th album "Drones" came out I was sucked back in again and thought the album represented a triumphant return to form.

It seems like the build up to this album has been happening for quite a while, with the likes of "Thought contagion" and "Dig Down" have been on playlists maybe for as long as a year. But to be honest they weren't on my playlists along with more recent single "Pressure". I just didn't think they were very good and in Muse terms they feel very basic and safe. And I think this is, generally speaking, the story of the album. But I have to admit on the whole when listening to these songs and other songs on the album, I do like these songs more now than I did when listening to them individually. They fit in with the album and while they don't particularly challenge the listener they do have a lot of fun songs to listen to on here.

I do think that there is a stand out track on here and it happens straight from the word go in the form of "Algorithm". This to me is Muse at their best. The long introduction before the vocals kick in and the whole feel of the song really does set the bar high for the rest of the album. As I said while I have started to enjoy the album and the singles within in it more after multiple listens. But this track for me really does stand out.

On the contrary their are two tracks on here that let the album down badly and I would say they are two of the worst Muse tracks I have ever heard. These are "Propaganda" and "Break it to me". These songs feel like the band are trying to add more complexity and creativity to their songs but for me here it backfires and ends up very messy, to the point where I am going - what were they thinking.

Overall I would say there are nine good tracks on here. For other bands maybe I would say they were great but what I have heard Muse create in the past, I know they are better than this. So I would give this album three out of five based on the nine tracks. But those two other tracks I was talking about really bring it down a notch so I can only give this two out of five. But on the whole I see myself listening to this for a while as on the whole it is still an enjoyable listen.

 Absolution by MUSE album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.82 | 489 ratings

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Absolution
Muse Prog Related

Review by The Rain Man
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Released in 2003 "Absolution" is rock trio Muse's third album. This is a decent album but will also always be remembered for me as an inside joke within my family for years. I bought the CD when it came out but pretty soon after lost it. It wasn't until a few years ago when my dad was sorting through my CDs he found it in another CD wallet. As I say you probably had to be there :-P. Anyway, this album had it all to do following debut album "Showbiz" and second album "Origin of Symmetry". Particularly "Origin of Symmetry" which was so full of ambition and potential. They set the standard very high, and it was intriguing which direction they would take next.

Well although there are not many bands out there like Muse, I do feel they took the safer option with "Absolution". Going for the big sounding rock songs, in general shorter tracks, mixed in with some slower ballad type songs which were missing from "Origin of Symmetry" but it wasn't to the detriment of the album. Far from it. To be honest I don't think "Absolution" is their best album but it's not their worse either. And I think in terms of a steppingstone to make them bigger it worked. "Time is running out" was their first top ten single at this point and three other singles went inside the top 20 in the UK charts.

Now you have to remember that this was 2003 and streaming services weren't about. So, singles in the run up to the album really defined the success of the album. And 3 of the singles in particular - "Time is running out", "Hysteria" and "Stockholm Syndrome" all sound absolutely massive and are huge rock anthems and are still some of Muse's best songs. So having released these songs as well as having 2 solid albums preceding this; They had more than enough material for a top class set list for touring. And the "Absolution" tour was the first time I saw Muse. To be honest I don't remember much from the gig. But I'm pretty sure I enjoyed it.

So, we know the singles really made a difference for Muse but what about the rest of "Absolution". Well, the first track is just named "Intro" and is very short sitting at 20 seconds as it acts like a step ladder into the album with the sound of soldiers marching getting louder and louder until track 2 "Apocalypse Please" comes in with the snappy, dramatic piano playing. I think the best deep cut of this album is "Small print". On some of their other albums this could have been released as a single but other diamonds just shone brighter in this album.

But I think the difference with this album compared to their first two albums is that there are tracks on here which I don't look forward to listening to. Particularly "Blackout" and "Endlessly" which are just so slow and laboured. On "Showbiz" they had tracks like "Unintended" which showed they can nail these types of tracks, but it feels the two tracks on "Absolution" take the album down a notch. Another song which may surprise people that disappoints me slightly is "Butterflies and Hurricanes". This is for me the most ambitious track on the album. And when you first listen to it and the first few minutes it is great. Good riff, good vocals etc. But the piano bridge doesn't work for me at all. The song stops at a point during this too and just sounds a bit of a mess. It's like it had the potential to be an amazing song but they didn't quite pull it off.

But I think overall, there is enough on here that it is a good, passable album. The monster singles carry the album and really secured their place as an arena sized band at this point in their career. They were always going to reach a point where quality control was going to be tested and I feel some of the tracks on here wouldn't even have made b-sides to singles off their first album. But there you go. Let's look at the positives though. However, you look at it, this was a key step in Muse's rise to the top.

 Black Holes And Revelations by MUSE album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.70 | 460 ratings

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Black Holes And Revelations
Muse Prog Related

Review by The Rain Man
Prog Reviewer

4 stars "Black Holes and Revelations" is the 4th album buy UK Devon rockers Muse. Although I bought the first 3 albums when each of them was released. I don't actually own this album. The reason for this was that, at the time I was living with my parents and brother and was at uni. In our household we didn't see the point of owning multiple copies of the same album. And in this case my brother beat me to it. This meant that although I was aware of the singles, I never really gave this album a listen properly as I listened to stuff from my own CD collection. But now as I attempt to review all of the Muse albums, I have been listening to this album quite a bit.

This album was released in 2006 and at this point Muse had already established themselves as a major force in rock music, not just in the UK but all over. But I think this is the album that really propelled them and secured their status as rock kings and really their legacy was confirmed regardless of what was to come next. "Absolution" saw them delve into topics such as the apocalypse whereas this album has much more of a feel- good vibe to it. Also, it is noted while "Absolution" was a decent album, there were tracks which weren't quite up to scratch by Muse's standards. With "Black Holes..." this is not the case at all. Quality control is well and truly resumed. Not every track is a singalong anthem, it is more of balanced album with big hits mixed with solid album tracks.

The big hits from this album though for me were the key for me for them stepping up to headline festivals and playing stadiums. The likes of "Starlight" with the amazing piano intro and I love how it uses the "Black holes and revelations" in the lyrics and that it's not the title of the song but is the title of the album. It is an absolute classic song and rightly a staple of their back catalogue. "Super Massive Black Hole" is another monster of a track and is currently their most streamed track on Spotify, sitting at 318 million streams. I think if Matt Bellamy sang every song like he does in this track he would lose his voice pretty quickly but doing it the odd time is what makes this song so special. The other big track is "Knights of Cydonia". An epic 6-minute track, and the opening does actually feel like knights on horses galloping along before weaving its way into a mesmerising rock classic. I would say where Muse let themselves down a bit on their first 3 albums was the lack of a proper album closer but they more than made up for it with "Knights of Cydonia".

To me the three tracks I have mentioned are the big hitters of the album. But there is so much more to the album to delve into and appreciate than that. "Soldier's poem" is a nice slow track which is much improved over the slower tracks on "Absolution". It does feel like it's going to go off an "Everybody hurts" by REM direction from the opening notes before veering away into its own wee world. "Map of the problematique" has a great groove to it. "Invincible" another very strong track. Probably the most interesting and different track on the album is "Hoodoo". It starts of at a lower tempo, then about midway through, a really cool piano part comes in. I like the way they played about with the song structure here. "City of Delusion" is another great track with great strumming, giving the acoustic vibe, before plugging in for the chorus. Mix this with some strings and you've got a really fine track.

Overall, this is fantastic album, and I would place it as one of the best albums in their discography. In Spotify it comes out on top in the band's popular releases section. But is it better than "Origin of Symmetry"? For me no. While this album has more larger than life songs, "Origin.." remains their most ambitious album. I think "Black Holes..." while still having some tracks which are little different, are still Muse to the core, it does feel like they took the option to become big rather than go more experimental and risk their fan base. But if you were to ask me which the better album is based on all out anthems and the strength of the album tracks, I would probably say "Black Holes..."

 The Resistance by MUSE album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.30 | 405 ratings

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The Resistance
Muse Prog Related

Review by The Rain Man
Prog Reviewer

4 stars "The Resistance" is the 5th studio album by UK rock trio Muse. The album was released in 2009 and at that time I wasn't really into music as much and this album passed me by. This was the first album by Muse I don't think anyone in my family owned. It wasn't like we heard bad reviews or anything like that, we just lost touch with new releases. Fast forward to 2022 and now I am going through Muse's back catalogue, I have been listening to this album every day for the last week.

And the result? I think this is an album full of surprises as it twists and turns. I think the most standout thing for me on the first few listens, is just how perfectly structured the album is. It starts off with the standout single from the album "Uprising" which peaked inside the top 10 of the UK charts. The bass from the off has such a great groove to it and having Matt sing the chorus with lyrics like "We will be victorious" it's like they already knew they were onto a winner. They set out a statement with the first track, luring the listener in and making them intrigued with what was to come.

The way the track listing works, it bounces about between songs of 4 minutes of length with songs of 6ish minutes of length. Having this structure makes for a much more enjoyable listening experience. I used to go on about how "Origin of Symmetry" was Muse's most ambitious album. And at the time of release, it certainly was. But I feel with "The Resistance", the have pushed those boundaries further. They have used piano's more but not really in a rock way in some circumstances. I almost feel a classical influence coming through in the way the piano parts are delivered. Look no further than "United States of Eurasia (+Collateral damage)" as an example of this. Doing this gives Muse's music a fresh vibe. There is also a hint of influences from the likes of Queen, especially in some of Matt Bellamy's vocal delivery.

Other points of note are that "I Belong to You" Matt sings some of the song in French. While the last 3 tracks act as one longer track split into 3 parts called "Exogenesis". They finished the last album "Black Holes.." with "Knights of Cydonia", while it's hard to argue that, that is the best finish they have done to an album. "Exogenesis" has to be their most imagnative and creative way to finish an album. I think though "Unnatural selection" is my favourite track off this album as I just love the guitar work in it.

Overall, I think this album is for album purists rather than single song hunters. And I think that shines through with the fact that only one single had any form of success from this album. But judging by the success of the album, it did the trick to pull the punters in and those who did get pulled in were almightily rewarded with Muse's most progressive album up until that point. I've still to listen to "2nd Law" and "Drones" fully again so I am stopping as far as to say it's Muse's most progressive album ever. But I have to say this is great album and so glad I discovered it even at this stage.

 Absolution by MUSE album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.82 | 489 ratings

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Absolution
Muse Prog Related

Review by DangHeck

2 stars English Alternative Post-Progressive darlings Muse released this, their third full-length in 2003, just in time for the advent of this very website. It's albums like this, in this scenario, where a judgement has to be made: Is this album viewed by fans of the band from way back when with rose-colored glasses? Has the album truly stood the test of time? I will be reviewing the digital version of this album, with a 15th track, "Fury". One thing I know for sure is that they really do know how to market their albums, fairly consistently, with striking imagery and artwork.

The "Intro" starts off the request of the next, "Apocalypse Please", with the sound of military march. And off we are, with a track that is driving and large. Melodies are fresh and clear, the drums are raucous and bombastic. For me, growing even greater with the introduction of synth, immediate frisson. The drums at certain points have a Ringo drag, but are mostly jazzy hard rock ready. The piano, building to its end, brings a greater more human element; classic.

What is not at all 'classic' and very much consequential of a post-Radiohead world and, to my ears, a world that is still fresh with new Garage Rock Revival is the very recognizable "Time is Running Out". Big song, good song, but experimental and progressive only in its soundscape. "Sing for Absolution" is a sort of groovy ballad, with driving bass and bright keys. The fuzzy guitar solo in the second half brings things a bit more aright; good bridge, too.

"Stockholm Syndrome" is basically heavy metal in main riff. The drums eventually come in hotter and rolling. The falsetto vocals of Matthew Bellamy are always an interesting touch to this sort of thing; it just works. Darkness gives way to light, as they use synths and repetition as a tool to morph the emotion of the song [almost like some kind of redirection]. Great use of space. For every moment there is an obvious need for looking back, they have another to prove that they're coming along right on time to even make these sort of fusions indeed possible. I'm a believer [in the broader sense]. In a total different vein is the next, "Falling Away with You", a really beautiful track with some very classic sort of melodies and underlying instrumentation (I say underlying, as the use of guitar effects is really what makes Muse sound the way they do; modernizes even things that would be familiar to older generations, I guess(?). They really flesh out and beef up sweetness here. Very cool effect. Unique.

As with the "Intro", I really don't entirely understand the function of separating the "Interlude" into a separate track... It does little to actually tie things together or truly separate tracks... Just don't understand it and I don't think it's something that can practically be judged according to my own ratings. What it purports to interlude into is the second highly recognizable, popular track from this release, "Hysteria", a very straight-ahead number. It's heavy, but not much else to me.

"Blackout" is yet another track that strikes me as classic, calling back to crossover classical and Trad. Pop of the prior century. Bellamy is a good vocalist, certainly, but he seldom breaks out into greatness or daring. Juxtaposed is "Butterflies and Hurricanes", very Muse and very Post-Prog... Am I to be creeped out?... The bass playing here, at least, is nice. Heaviness returns, but not to the level of 'metal', but more to the sort of thing I would expect from bands in the camp of Queens of the Stone Age. Not super exciting... The guitar though, if anything, is the highlight, as Bellamy does provide some interest in exploring different tones and stylings. Therefore, almost good.

Back to the low on "Endlessly". I can say I like the way that it's produced, though, for the first time in a bit, this here maximalist feels a bit cramped. Even in its limited keyboards and drums at the start, it feels claustrophobic and I wanted to turn my volume down. Just an interesting production choice on such a sweet and personal sounding song [I like it and yet it's a bit too much]. "Thoughts of a Dying Atheist" (I like the title) is relatively straight-ahead, too, and yet it is so quick it's hard not to perk up when it comes on. Good performance, but I'm not impressed by composition: a common theme for this album.

"Rule by Secrecy" is another creeping number, with soft electric keys and soft vocals. Following the halfway mark, neo-classical piano enters in. It's a bit much to be so little... And so finally, we get to the newer(?) final track, "Fury". I guess I have not much to say that I haven't already.

It's Muse... And I'm a little burnt out... True Rate: 2.5/5.0

 Simulation Theory by MUSE album cover Studio Album, 2018
2.69 | 65 ratings

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Simulation Theory
Muse Prog Related

Review by Gallifrey

3 stars 24th April, 2021: Muse - Simulation Theory (electronic pop rock, 2018)

I definitely want to like this, and at moments Muse prove that the concept isn't really what's wrong here, but there are far too many dud tracks here for a wholly enjoyable album. The whole synthwave thing is a bit contrived, but post- Resistance Muse has only ever been good when it's taking the piss, so I welcome it somewhat. But aside from the first few tracks, there just aren't that many good songs here. "Stand Up and Fight" is the most useless thing the band have ever done, and "Break It To Me" is cringe-inducing. But the album's highs do still take it above their worst album, with "Pressure" in particularly being an absolute bop, and the album's orchestral synthwave opener being a solid proof-of- concept for Muse making this sort of music. It just has far too many misses for me.

6.0 (3rd listen)

Part of my listening diary from my facebook music blog - www.facebook.com/TheExoskeletalJunction

 Showbiz by MUSE album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.12 | 304 ratings

BUY
Showbiz
Muse Prog Related

Review by The Rain Man
Prog Reviewer

3 stars UK rock trio Muse released their debut album "Showbiz" back in 1999 when I was just 15 years old. Many would say the rest is history now and they would be right. Muse have gone on to be one of the biggest rock bands on the planet and if they do headliners, only top of the bill will do. But was it obvious back in 1999 that they would be as big as they have become? Well, I bought the CD, I think around the time the album came out and on the casing, there is a sticker with taglines from various magazines which are listed below:

"Muse will be huge" - The Guardian "Massive angst-ridden anthems" - Kerrang "Impressive" - Daily Mail "The Future of Intelligent guitar music" - Melody Maker

So, there you have it, even in the very beginning of their career, Muse were hotly tipped by the music world to go the distance and my, my did they do that. I remember at the time reading articles about Muse and many mentioned comparisons to Radiohead who at that point in their career had released Pablo Honey, The Bends and OK computer. They definitely forged a path for offering a different type of guitar music and I have no doubt Muse had been influenced by them. But it felt like Muse were creating their own path too. The riffs were heavier, they had more piano and generally felt like it was more upbeat than Radiohead. Although some would say that's not really hard!

Matt Bellamy's vocal range is also something which set them apart and through this allows him to both have the all-out rock songs as well as the slower acoustic songs. When the album came out and during that period generally, I had two favourite songs off "Showbiz" and they were "Unintended" and "Uno". Two, totally different tracks. "Unintended" a slow acoustic number with such a nice rhythm to it. As I make my way going back through Muse albums, I may unearth more tracks like this from Muse. But it feels like they haven't really done anything as good as this in terms of an acoustic song since, as their rockier and more experimental side has come more to the forefront. But I do hope some of Muse's later albums have deep cuts like this as it's clear to see they are capable of slowing things right down and taking it easy with fantastic results.

"Falling down" and "Escape" are other slower tracks on the album which works well. While "Unintended" stays slower these do pick more as the songs go on. But my other favourite track "Uno" was a highlight for me because this is Muse rocking out with big riffs. Wonderful. "Muscle Museum" would probably have been my second favourite in terms of rockier tracks. But I think one of the key differences for Muse was combining piano with guitars within tracks. When listening to this album recently the track which stands out for me is track 5 "Cave" which does this perfectly. The early parts of the song are rockier with the big riff and chorus. But the true majestic part of this song is the piano bridge before picking back up on the riff. It is so well done and when you think of artists and songs generally there aren't many songs that have a guitar then followed by a piano bridge. And as I say this really set them apart at the time. They combined the two again in opening track "Sunburn" but this time led with the piano. First tracks are so important for engaging the listener and really capturing their attention and the piano hook on "Sunburn" really does this.

The album generally goes on quite a run of great tracks and it's not until you get to the last few tracks you feel it slightly loses steam. But the likes of "Overdue" and "Hate this and I'll love you" still deserve and have their place on the album. Although the latter is a decent track it doesn't really feel like a closer is my only criticism. I.e., it doesn't really have that climax or gentle outro. It just feels like it could have been placed anywhere in the middle of the album.

But overall, this is a very good album and even though I didn't realise at the time just what would be next for Muse and what the future would hold. It's clear many did, and they got it absolutely right. "Showbiz" is an album which shows that Matt, Dominic and Chris are hugely talented and between the 3 of them make some mighty fine music.

 Origin of Symmetry by MUSE album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.97 | 448 ratings

BUY
Origin of Symmetry
Muse Prog Related

Review by The Rain Man
Prog Reviewer

4 stars "Origin of Symmetry" is the 2nd album by UK 3-piece rock outfit Muse. Muse didn't waste any time following on from their debut album, Showbiz, which was released in 1999. Meaning a sharp 2-year turnaround between albums. But would the album build on the success of Showbiz or did that come further down the line. Well, it's obvious now. This album for me is the best thing Muse have ever done. The band clearly think so too. Although it is clear the songs have always been mainstays in their setlists. However, they did release a remixed and remastered version of this album in 2021. Which shows that maybe they weren't happy with the production on the original.

It's one of those ones that people with a keen ear will notice the differences between the original and the latest remasters. But for me I prefer to appreciate the songs as they are and would never go into such a depth to analyse the differences in production. Unless it was so bad that it made the album unlistenable. This album definitely did not fall in that category by any stretch. Not in 2001 or 2022. This album to me is a classic album. The reason for this is that Muse pushed themselves even further in every way and created something which was so good and really set themselves apart from anything out there at the time.

My favourite track off the album is "Citizen erased". This track has been my favourite Muse track for the duration and although I haven't done a top 10 songs of all-time list recently. This song has been on that list or up there constantly. It's a song of ups and downs where the riff actually feels like the chorus. It is absolutely huge. It lasts 7 minutes and 21 seconds with a wonderfully spacey outro. It was tracks like this that nudged Muse more into prog land. Although they always managed to keep in the rock category itself. I was lucky to see this song performed live on the "Drones" tour and it is just as good live if not better.

But this isn't the only 5+ minute track on the album. Opening track "New born" and third track "Space Dementia" are both 6 minutes each. "New born" is such a great opening to an album. Like on "Showbiz" where the piano driven "Sunburn" opens the album. "New born" Similarly opens with a quirky piano part. But then the magic starts to happen and if you see this part live it's great. Bellamy will get up from the piano, swing round his guitar from behind his back. And launch into a mighty fine riff. The song takes off from there and is another classic Muse track. "Space Dementia" is another one which sees Bellamy dance his magical fingers on the piano. A great track but I feel it's gone into the background over time due to Muse's now extensive back catalogue.

Another single which was released at the time was "Plugin Baby". And what can you say, but another absolute banger. More big riffs and probably the best chorus delivery on the album. But when you start looking through this album with "Bliss", "Hypermusic", "Microcuts", "Screenager", "Darkshines" and "Meglomania". There is not a bad track on here. Special mention must go out to penultimate track "Feeling good" which is a cover. I love this track as it's so upbeat and positive. It's a real mood lifter.

I should point out that a year after this release Muse released a double A side single "Dead Star/In your World". 2 fantastic songs which clearly didn't make the album but I'm so glad the released this as they are great singles which I would recommend checking out.

Overall, this is an absolute corker of an album. I thought that at the time with the album cover poster up in my room during my uni days and CD which I still have. And I still think that now. Maybe as I listen to Muse albums going forward, I'll change my mind. But for now, I think this should be an entry point for people wanting to get into Muse. This album probably turned them into an arena band at the time and set the way for stadiums later. An iconic album.

Thanks to Certif1ed for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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