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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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Buy MUSE Music


The ResistanceThe Resistance
Warner Bros. 2009
$4.97
$1.09 (used)
AbsolutionAbsolution
Warner Bros. 2004
$6.98
$2.69 (used)
Black Holes And RevelationsBlack Holes And Revelations
Warner Bros. 2006
$5.99
$2.39 (used)
The 2nd LawThe 2nd Law
Warner Bros. 2012
$5.08
$3.50 (used)
DronesDrones
Warner Bros. 2015
$3.93
$2.73 (used)
Origin of Symmetry (2 LP) [Vinyl]Origin of Symmetry (2 LP) [Vinyl]
Warner Bros. 2009
$20.94
$16.00 (used)
Absolution (2 LP) [Vinyl]Absolution (2 LP) [Vinyl]
Warner Bros. 2009
$21.25
$24.02 (used)
Origin of SymmetryOrigin of Symmetry
Maverick 2005
$5.80
$2.00 (used)
Live At Rome Olympic StadiumLive At Rome Olympic Stadium
CD+DVD
Warner Bros. 2013
$8.39
$7.18 (used)
ShowbizShowbiz
Maverick 1999
$5.72
$1.99 (used)
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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)

3.13 | 258 ratings
Showbiz
1999
3.94 | 377 ratings
Origin Of Symmetry
2001
3.86 | 419 ratings
Absolution
2003
3.67 | 396 ratings
Black Holes And Revelations
2006
3.26 | 359 ratings
The Resistance
2009
3.23 | 220 ratings
The 2nd Law
2012
3.34 | 112 ratings
Drones
2015

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

2.70 | 70 ratings
Hullabaloo Soundtrack
2002
4.42 | 81 ratings
H.A.A.R.P
2008

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

3.89 | 29 ratings
Hullabaloo: Live At Le Zenith-Paris
2002
4.23 | 22 ratings
Absolution Tour
2005
3.64 | 14 ratings
Live at Rome Olympic Stadium
2013

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

4.00 | 2 ratings
Showbiz Box
2000
4.50 | 2 ratings
Symmetry Box
2004
4.00 | 2 ratings
Absolution Box
2005

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

2.00 | 5 ratings
This Is A Muse Demo
1995
2.81 | 10 ratings
Newton Abbot Demo
1997
2.48 | 16 ratings
Muse
1998
2.50 | 12 ratings
Muscle Museum
1999
3.33 | 3 ratings
Uno
1999
3.80 | 5 ratings
Cave
1999
3.40 | 5 ratings
Muscle Museum
1999
3.50 | 4 ratings
Sunburn
2000
3.00 | 4 ratings
Unintended
2000
3.00 | 6 ratings
Random 1-8
2000
3.78 | 9 ratings
Plug In Baby
2001
4.40 | 10 ratings
New Born
2001
3.25 | 4 ratings
Bliss
2001
3.40 | 5 ratings
Hyper Music/Feeling Good
2001
4.09 | 11 ratings
Dead Star - In Your World
2002
3.67 | 3 ratings
Stockholm Syndrome
2003
2.75 | 4 ratings
Time Is Running Out
2003
3.67 | 3 ratings
Hysteria
2003
4.00 | 4 ratings
Sing for Absolution
2004
4.00 | 3 ratings
Apocalypse Please
2004
5.00 | 4 ratings
Butterflies and Hurricanes
2004
3.00 | 5 ratings
Starlight
2006
3.50 | 4 ratings
Knights of Cydonia
2006
2.55 | 19 ratings
Supermassive Black Hole
2006
2.67 | 3 ratings
Invincible
2007
3.40 | 5 ratings
Map of the Problematique
2007
2.67 | 3 ratings
Uprising
2009
2.40 | 5 ratings
Undisclosed Desires
2009
3.25 | 4 ratings
Resistance
2010
2.75 | 4 ratings
Neutron Star Collision (Love Is Forever)
2010
4.21 | 14 ratings
Exogenesis
2010
3.47 | 19 ratings
Survival
2012
1.92 | 25 ratings
The 2nd Law: Unsustainable
2012
2.06 | 25 ratings
Madness
2012
2.40 | 5 ratings
Follow Me
2012
4.00 | 8 ratings
Supremacy
2013
3.75 | 4 ratings
Panic Station
2013

MUSE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Black Holes And Revelations by MUSE album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.67 | 396 ratings

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Black Holes And Revelations
Muse Prog Related

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

5 stars It took them three long years but MUSE released their fourth album BLACK HOLES AND REVELATIONS in 2006 only this time on both sides of the Atlantic simultaneously. By this time, MUSE had become one of the biggest bands to hit Britain in the new millennium and had started to take America by storm as well but not quite to the degree of the 60s bands such as The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. While the previous album "Absolution" had been a little hit and miss for me, mostly on the miss downward spiral with a shoddy production, inconsistent compositional prowess and dumbing down effect to please their American record label, BLACK HOLES AND REVELATIONS on the other hand finds MUSE at the top of their game and in effect is a sort of crescendo creatively speaking in their career with even more influences than ever piled up on their smorgasbord of musical impersonations from the past.

While MUSE had already taken on a unique mix of alternative and progressive rock laced with electronica, New Romantic classical, tango and myriad other styles, on BLACK HOLES they upped the ante even further with cited influences including the synthpop of Depeche Mode, the harsh distorted rock of Lightning Bolt and the funk rock of Sly & The Family Stone as well as the heavier alternative funk rock of the lesser known Belgian band Millionaire from whom they acquired the unique stop / start rhythmic beat as well as that interesting bass groove. In a way, one could consider MUSE one of those ultimate mimicry bands much like Mr Bungle in terms of unbridled creativity where no stones are left unturned since there are actually many more influences lurking beneath the more familiar ones. Once again Matt Bellamy unleashes his best Bono ( of U2 ) inspired vocals afire in passionate display but also new to the mix are the keyboard parts that remind me a lot of the "War" era tracks of U2 such as "New Years Day." These keyboard parts recur throughout the album.

While political corruption, conspiracy analyses and extraterrestrial themes are nothing new in the MUSE canon, on BLACK HOLES AND REVELATIONS they excel like never before. With a comfortable foothold in America and top tier status in the UK, MUSE went for the jugular with themes covering political corruption, revolution, New World Order and the expected science fiction laced polemics such as UFOs. This album overall exhibits much more hard rock heaviness than the previous ones. While the first three albums were rather inconsistent in the heaviness department, on BLACK HOLES almost every track except "Soldier's Poem" and "Hoodoo" have hard rock as the main backbone of their compositional makeup. Bassist Christopher Wolstenholme has also stated that the band was more relaxed and it is apparent by the chemistry afoot on BLACK HOLES that it was the case. Add to that the production is OMG superior to the previous album and just by reading the army of mixers and producers makes it quite clear that this album was heavily manipulated in every aspect as to eke out the most pleasing sonic effects.

With a Queen meets ELO bravado, "Take A Bow" sets the tone with a jittery midi sequencer and a take no prisoners critique of the elite's destructive greed that has been ravaging the Earth with sharper vituperating lyrics that find MUSE in a cynical mind set as they hammer away at the miscreancy of the a ruling class run amok. "Starlight," one of the hit singles on the UK charts anyways offers a respite from the progressive wrath of the opener with a piano run churning out odd time signatures before jumping into rock mode. The band stated that this was the hardest track to record and about seven versions exist. Do i hear a box of unreleased goodies in the future? The next track and most successful single of the album, Super Massive Blackhole" was my personal introduction to the world of MUSE and the gateway drug to the larger spectacle that the band has become. Not only is this track an interesting alternative rock performance that utilizes Matt Bellamy's falsetto skills to fullest level (they're back after a dampening on "Absolution,") but it kinda sounds like Prince joined in as the track is funky, danceable and infectious as hell with a strong groove, interesting dynamic shifts and even a backmasked guitar solo.

"Map Of The Problematique" sounds sorta like something more modern that could fit in on U2's "War" album with the same Edge styled guitar sweeps and that famous piano run heard on "New Year's Day." The track tackles the polemic subject of limits of growth and escaping to Mars which the cover art refers to. While the album is by far the heaviest with almost every track rocking out big time, "Soldier's Poem" is a slow acoustic ballad sounding like something Freddie Mercury would've conjured up. Continuing the genre jumping, "Invincible," influenced by David Bowie's "Heroes" was the fourth single starts out slow with a military march percussive drive and evolves into a more sophisticated rock track with a haunting theremin adding an eerie atmospheric presence. "Assassin" is a bona fide heavy rock with stellar riffing in progressive time signature chops and performs much like the track title connotes.

"Exo-Politics" continues the rockin' out with a catchy guitar riff, spooky atmosphere with more theremin and a crooning Bellamy lamented the political suppression of extraterrestrial life. "City Of Delusion" begins with a Who inspired acoustic guitar strum-a-thon and wends and winds through some interesting progressions that venture into rock and electronica and ultimately back full circle while utilizing the main melodic theme to tie it all together. "Hoodoo" is an instrumental surf rock track with a few interesting twists and turns that is the perfect build up to "Knights Of Cydonia," inspired by the 1962 hit "Telstar" by The Tornados which featured Bellamny's father George Bellamy on guitar. The track is like riding in the wind through a spaghetti western with surf guitar and progressive pop accoutrements popping up all about including trumpets. This is one of the coolest songs ever and is the perfect way to end a perfect album as it fades to a satisfying crescendo of heavy rock, fight or flight bravado and references to self-preservation. The sequenced key parts are based on the five tone musical phrase from the film Close Encounters Of The Third Kind.

In the day many critics called the album "overblown." Sound familiar? Any time an artist dares exceed the comfort zone of a critic, it gets deemed overweening and dangerous to society. In the case of BLACK HOLES AND REVELATIONS i couldn't more wholeheartedly disagree with such punditry. This album is a masterful youthful critique of the world around the musicians involved. Not only does this trio deliver a passionate plea to the world in terms of ecological justice, spiritual elevation and conspiratorial analyses but it delivers simultaneously some of the most carefully crafted pop hooks disguised by a vast web of musical influences that are juxtaposed in perfect conjunct. Focus too much on a certain aspect of the MUSE-ic and it can certainly derail from overindulgent intellectualism but if one suspends the fact that many musical influences (which are openly cited), then one can come to the conclusion that ALL developments in not only music but science, linguistics and politics are derived from an amalgamation of what came before. MUSE excels in taking a ridiculous amount of musical antecedents and weaves them into something utterly unique. This album was love at first listen and after dozens if not over a hundred listens, it only gets better and better. While i've never made a top 100 album list, i can honestly state that this one would be on it. I simply don't understand why this isn't deemed one of the best pop rock albums of the 21st century. It certainly is for me.

 Absolution by MUSE album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.86 | 419 ratings

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Absolution
Muse Prog Related

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

3 stars MUSE released their third album ABSOLUTION approximately two years after their second "Origin Of Symmetry" but in that short time the world had forever changed. The terrorist attacks of 911 and the subsequent illegal wars launched on Iraq and Afghanistan added even more political furor and focus on conspiratorial analysis of world powers run amok. Due to creative differences mostly resulting from Matt Bellamy's liberal use of falsetto vocal gymnastics, MUSE refused to re-record their second album for American record labels (who demanded they did) and therefore didn't find a US release for that album until years later. Having finally resolved their differences, ABSOLUTION still didn't see the light of day for a full six months after its UK release but finally got them in the North American club which helped launch their career into the next phase - international alternative art rock superstars. The 21st century British Invasion had finally begun, although one could argue that it was a mere logical next step of the 90s Britpop scene that had simply branched out into more ambitious avenues closer to the world of progressive rock, but nonetheless MUSE struck a chord with their politically charged lyrics, catchy pop hooks and artful sophisticated approach of stylistic fusion.

Once again MUSE scored big in their native UK with their first top 10 hit "Time Is Running Out," but while finally hitting the shores of North America, only managed to find success on the alternative rock charts. Bellamy claims the title is not religious but rather more in the sense of "purity" which sounds like code for a sense of soul searching in the midst of the world wide chaos that was taking place. While MUSE had started out as political commentators, the events of the world had put their disheartening viewpoints as the focus which is reflected in the darker themes with a more melancholic feel to the album as a whole. While the previous album had a sort of childlike innocence to it, ABSOLUTION feels as if a dark cloud was cast over the band as they lamented the times in which they lived but felt they had to take a stand and be a resistant force in every possible way. Since music was their vehicle of communication, it became infused with their political charged viewpoints which left no room for ambiguities.

While stylistically a darker album in contrast to "Origin Of Symmetry," as heard with the first jaded electronic effects on the opener "Apocalypse Please" with its "Intro," musically speaking, ABSOLUTION is much like its predecessors with a heavy focus on Bellamny's concert pianist skills channelling his inner New Romantic with emphasis on Chopin-esque classical chops as the underpinning. While overall the album is a bit less in the rock arena and more subdued and mournful with symphonic rock influences making a more prominent presence as heard on tracks like "Butterflies And Hurricanes" and "Blackout" which featured a full 18-piece orchestra. There are a few fully charged rockers as well ranging from the single "Time Is Running Out" to the heaviest track on the album "Stockholm Syndrome." The ELO-esque NU-ENRG disco effect still straddles around the classical piano, tango-laced bass grooves and heavy guitar riffs still are abundant even though there are a few new elements such as the focus on electronica on "Endlessly."

MUSE were progressing! So why doesn't it sound like they were? ABSOLUTION has always been my least favorite album of the early albums but i've never bothered to figure out exactly why i always favor the previous albums or the following ones. Something about this one is just off and has always bugged me enough to just ignore it. Having done my research for reviewing these albums, it makes more sense. MUSE had been rejected from US labels due to Matt Bellamy's passionate and overwrought use of Prince-like falsettos in conjunct with a rather 80s Bono (of U2) type of vocal style. On ABSOLUTION he sort of tames it down a bit and the result is that the music suffers since they seem to be the focus despite the ridiculous amounts of musical styles that accompany them. While MUSE's lyrics have developed, the music seems to have taken a few steps back. These tracks are just OK as opposed to the kick ass musical orgy of styles on previous albums. Add to that the tracks are badly paced with a silly ballad ending the album and a horrible production and mixing job to boot. This one just fails on many levels but there are still plenty of great tracks to make it a worthy addition to your MUSE fix. It's just that none of them match the awesomeness of "Origin Of Symmetry" or the next two albums.

 Origin Of Symmetry by MUSE album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.94 | 377 ratings

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Origin Of Symmetry
Muse Prog Related

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

5 stars MUSE spent most of the 90s building up their fanbase after a surprise win in battle of the bands that sent a semi-serious band into becoming one of the top British bands of the 21st century. On their debut "Showbiz," the trio of Matt Bellamy, Chris Wolstenholme and Dominic Howard took their native Britain by storm with their unique take on alternative rock meets progressive pop. While showcasing their ambitious musical adventurousness on the debut, things hadn't quite simmered down into that addictive MUSE formula that propelled them into the next level, which is exactly where their second album ORIGIN OF SYMMETRY took them. On this album, they ratcheted up their experimental practices manyfold all the while finding more cohesive ways of fermenting them into a more organic formula. The album title signified a more intellectual approach in lyrical themes as it came from the fertile conceptual mind of theoretical physicist Michio Kaku from his best selling book "Hyperspace." The real MUSE had come of age.

While the band was becoming all the rage in their homeland, there were problems getting their music across the pond due to the fact that their US record label didn't care too much for Matt Bellamy's idiosyncratic soulful styled falsetto and demanded the band re-record for better airplay reception. After the band refused so did the label and the album would not be released in the US until 2010 therefore never managed to attract a North American audience as it had in the UK. Stylistically MUSE went for broke on ORIGIN OF SYMMETRY which found drummer Dominic Howard expanding his drum kit exponentially and even tried a little balaphone and animal bone percussion on "Screenager." The closer "Megalomania" displayed the unmistakable pipe organ and a whole army of new instruments with guest musicians were employed to bring an over-the-top bombast to MUSE's insatiable pursuit for new dynamics and timbres filling every nook and cadence to the maximally allowed allotment, thus there are healthy doses of violin, viola, cello, vibraphone as well as the expected rock guitar, piano, keyboards, bass and drums. Add to this all the mixing and production teams and what you have here is a seriously professional album that on paper sounds overproduced but in reality delivers quite brilliantly.

As if they were advertising their coming of age, the appropriately titled opener "New Born" goes for the gusto although gently treads through various movements as to ratchet up the tension instead of burying the listener with their barrage of creativity. Right away it's clear that MUSE were adding New Romantic period classical music with particular emphasis on Chopin-esque keyboard melodies as the backbone for their bouncy energetic rhythmic groove that borrowed a bit from the 70s NU-ENRG disco era and added a little tango bounce to it. Matt Bellamy found his perfect stomping ground with an 80s Bono (U2) passionate vocal style that found a touch of Prince falsetto. With a healthy dose of ostinato bass grooves, sizzlin' guitar riffs that shift from hard rock to funk with wah-wah-ish solos, "New Born" is an instantly addictive hooky progressive pop track that is incessant in its ratcheting up effect and throws in a few surprises for good measure. "Bliss" follows up with the famous synthesizer bombast that harkens back to 70s ELO but the melodic underpinning continues on with the classical meets rock fusion, interesting dynamic variations and stylistic changes.

"Space Dementia" debuts the unaccompanied Chopin-esque piano chops which Bellamy cranks out with concert pianist precision, a trait that would continue to develop well onto future albums. "Hyper Music" cranks out some serious noise and distortion and starts out with a beefy Hendrix guitar riff which the band skillfully weave into the classically infused rock sound that they call their own. "Plug In Baby" follows suit at least in the noise department but becomes one of those signature passionate vocal pleas with the heavy guitar and bass backup. "Citizen Erased" unleashes the heavy alternative rock minus the fancy shmancy classical leanings with Bellamny cranking out his conspiracy laden lyrics about the powers that be keeping us all down, down, down with the rotten ass system! Yet another track that skillfully alternates heavy rock with more downtempo chilled out contemplative moments.

"Screenager" is a fairly weird track with the use of a baraphone and animal bones for percussion. Also different is a classical guitar piece that is on full space rock mode with clean echoey reverb and set to chill mode, well at least until the NU-ENRG synthesizers runs create a hyperactive backdrop adding an interesting contrast. "Dark Shines" has a bit of a spaghetti western feel in the guitar riff as it remains mellow, but as it picks up steam it creates a hard rock tango which is hardly apparent but if you follow it, it has Astor Piazzolla meets Dick Dale surf rock doing spaghetti western all over it! "Feeling Good" goes for a loungy jazzy blues feel and reminds me most of Mike Patton's style on some of his 90s projects (such as solo, Faith No More and the later Mr Bungle.) "Megalomania" takes the MUSE style established on the album and adds a seriously heavy church organ sound although it for the most parts retains that sea sailing up and down ride the waves sort of groove. They actually recorded this piece at St. Mary the Virgin's Church in Bathwick, England thus showing MUSE's restless ambitiousness to walk the extra mile to make diverse and eclectic music that both captures the listener off guard as well as instantly hook them with infectious grooves and catchy pop hooks.

ORIGIN OF SYMMETRY was a grower for me. While certain tracks toward the beginning were instantly contagious and had me hopping and bopping like doing the Crocodile Rock, some of the tracks on the second half had to sink in to win me over. Many of the ideas presented on this album would be further developed into more satisfying crescendoes on futures albums such as "Black Holes And Revelations" and "The Resistance" however that does not mean for a minute that things are not presented in a perfectly balanced way without being more evolved. In fact, the simplicity of some of the tracks here only demonstrate how skillfully intertwined the disparate seeds of inspiration are crafted together like a fine woven tapestry. While there are times such as on "Citizen Erased," Bellamny's vocal style can sound more like Tiny Tim ready to belt out "Tiptoe Through The Tulips" rather than some seriously crafted progressive pop, they never go too far into parody territory to detract the overall listening experience. While i personally favor the above mentioned albums that ARE more sophisticated, ORIGIN OF SYMMETRY has ultimately won me over with the collection of over-the-top bombast that i find irresistible. While this album would make them huge in the UK, the millennial British invasion would have to wait just a wee bit longer.

4.5 but round UP!

 Absolution by MUSE album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.86 | 419 ratings

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Absolution
Muse Prog Related

Review by Necrotica
Prog Reviewer

2 stars I feel like I'm being gutted with every word I write, because I'm tearing so deeply into a piece of my own upbringing. The passage of time has become a cruel sadist, strangling me with the fretboard of my own guitar as I hear the pieces I practiced so diligently in my adolescence. It's sickening, but only because of how brilliant and addicting the original experience was at one point. It's sickening, because I can still recite every damn word of something that I can't connect to anymore. The pedestal that shouldered this old giant has since become dusty, long abandoned as newer acts have built their own pantheon from scratch, but it wasn't supposed to be this way. They sang thoughtfully about revolution and social/political corruption. They incorporated beautiful classical flourishes in their energetic brand of alternative rock. They had a charismatic frontman who was proficient in countless different musical fields.

But, again, the passage of time can be cruel.

Much like Muse's relevance, the quality of their peak era has seemed to decay with every passing year. What once seemed thought-provoking now reeks of a horrible sense of pomp and self-importance that puts their sincerity in question. What seemed so beautifully elaborate and intricate now sounds derivative and dated. What seemed like a modern-day rock opera of progressive rock grandeur and propulsive flights of metal fancy has now devolved into something that is simply a dull homogeneous slog. The same things that once distinguished Absolution as a modern classic have now somehow worked against it, to the point that many of its tracks are practically unlistenable now. I can't get through 'Falling Away with You,' with its blend of overly melodramatic croons and repetitive melodies, and the horrendously overblown piano theatrics of 'Apocalypse Please' become a chore to endure for even the mere four minutes of its runtime. Even a lot of the more uptempo pieces feel a bit lifeless today, and tricks that seemed so impressive to my teenage mind - particularly the piano solo in 'Butterflies and Hurricanes' - seem more gimmicky than beneficial to the music now. Adapting influences from Sergei Rachmaninoff into rock music may be cool on a superficial level, but not when it creates a disjointed and disorganized piece of work. The worst thing about all this is that, with a handful of experiences here, I can still sense how much effort and passion were thrown in. 'Hysteria' is still a beautifully uplifting alternative rock classic, and the pulse-pounding heavy metal riffage of 'Stockholm Syndrome' can still bring the chills. But taken holistically, it all falls apart very quickly. There's diversity here; I'll give the band that. We get everything from alternative metal ('Hysteria,' 'Stockholm Syndrome'), to symphonic rock ('Butterflies and Hurricanes,' 'Blackout') to even some slices of melodic punk ('Thoughts of a Dying Atheist,' 'The Small Print'). But it plays out like a smorgasbord of musical stylings that never comes together in a meaningful fashion. The diversity is more scattershot than complementary, and having Matt Bellamy doing his irritating 'operatic' wailing over every different genre doesn't help matters. This is musical Attention Deficit Disorder disguised as variation.

None of this is pleasurable at all to write, as it definitely hurts removing rose-colored glasses to see how gutting reality can be. But listening to Absolution again was eye-opening (or ear-opening) for all the wrong reasons. Hearing it again is like meeting with a friend after years of distance, only to realize you took completely different paths and pursued completely different interests in the meantime. Deep down, there will always be that bitter disappointment when contemplating what could have been a fantastic reunion, and all that remains is an awkward reminder of how young and naive you both used to be. That, more or less, is the feeling I have now. And I also feel sick.

 Drones by MUSE album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.34 | 112 ratings

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Drones
Muse Prog Related

Review by guiservidoni

4 stars I've always felt that the criticism towards Muse's Drones is way harsher than things actually are on the album. Such a solid record deserves more recognition, and I quite enjoy it and find myself revisiting it every now and then, even though I don't listen to a tenth of the amount of Muse I used to listen to.

None of their albums follow a story: mostly, they have an extremely vague concept that usually fails to give the albums cohesion. Not by at means they fixed it with Drones, but it was a huge step towards the right direction. The concept of wars, drones, people as pawns, the usual rage against the system, it's all a lot more present and felt throughout the songs. The interludes (Drill Sergeant, JFK) provide that in a great way. I know the interview where Bellamy said it was an actual story, but I bet he made it on the go. I don't buy that story by any means. Nonetheless, it's conceptual work, and a great one.

On this record, the band tried to escape from the electronic dubsteppy sound from the two previous releases and provided a much more rough and powerful sound. Fuzz-filled basslines and crunchy guitars give that, and the musicianship is great. It all goes really great with the concept.

The songs also do have a flow that pleases the listener. I'm not talking about songs with no silence in between, but a thought order that provides peaks and rest-time. The three last songs feel like a single piece and for me it's where the album shines the brightest.

Overall, it gets way less recognition than it deserves, and everyone, from the indie guy that thinks he's cooler because he has all the Arctic Monkeys albums, to the nerdiest prog snob, should give this album a couple of listens before saying it's a three-star record. It's not a masterpiece, but for me it scores somewhere between 4-4.5.

 Origin Of Symmetry by MUSE album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.94 | 377 ratings

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Origin Of Symmetry
Muse Prog Related

Review by darkshine41

5 stars It's absolutely brilliant feeling when you figure it out that some young band like Muse keep some of prog culture in their works. Origin of Symmetry is personally my favourite Muse's album. Full of prog elements, passive-agressive atmpsphere and brilliant falsetto voice by Matthew Bellamy is full shot. Hardly who can nowdays even try to tackle with new prog. Muse absolutely left their mark with their first albums and then going on with experiments in rock culture.

New Born is maybe the greatest track on this album, or maybe the greatesr ever in Muse's history of music.

Citizen Erased applies to be the most progressive track ever untill the 2015. when they make 10 minute prog nightmare called The Globalist.

Micro Cuts shows us the high frequency of Bellamy's falsetto capability. It's dark song, creepy and quite unique for prog music.

Feeling Good is their first covered album track. This Nina Simone's song is one of the most popular songs which are covered, and Muse do that on really good way. Full with hard piano chords, strong bass in the background, and Dominic Howard's impressive drum skills, can't leave you without ''good feeling''.

Lyrics are quite genius too. Bellamy wrote songs for the first time on theme of atheism. Discretly, he sends message of his beliefs, or in this case, unbeliefs. We can see that in songs Megalomania and Hyper Music.

Plug in Baby applies to be one of the greatest riffs of 21st century. In this song, Bellamy warns us to see how technology is rising, and we can see that nowdays.

In the end, i can say that if you like to hear a few steps forward of progressive music, you necessarily must start listening Muse. They always want to do something new, try to experiment with many kinds of music, and i think that's really brave, in this days, when people judge for the first time you try to find your skills in other genres.

Keep going on Muse, you can Revolt! :D

 H.A.A.R.P by MUSE album cover Live, 2008
4.42 | 81 ratings

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H.A.A.R.P
Muse Prog Related

Review by CassandraLeo

5 stars Muse's studio releases have generally struck me as being merely good. They're certainly far better than a lot of other mainstream rock music out there, but they also come across as being a bit by-the-numbers and predictable, and the energy level isn't what the material demands. I'll listen to them occasionally, but they're generally lacking the fire that's necessary to keep a recording in regular rotation for me.

The same can't be said, however, for the band's live performances. From start to finish, on both the CD and the DVD here, the band's performance is absolutely incendiary. Indeed, I'm having a difficult time thinking of many other modern rock acts who have this much energy live. Essentially every other song on here is vastly superior to its studio counterpart, and on many of them the band stretches out and improvises at length, making the CD and DVD far from retreads of the same material.

My only complaint is, as is the case with many modern rock recordings, with the sound quality; it suffers from the same "loudness war" issues that most modern rock recordings do, although fortunately it's not a Death Magnetic or Raw Power-level disaster. Regardless, it does keep the set from being as purely enjoyable as it ought to be.

It's not enough to keep me from recommending this set, though. If you acquire only one Muse recording, you should unquestionably make it this one. Indeed, I'd say this set is so good as to make the studio versions effectively superfluous. Now if only they'd release a set collecting the highlights of their later work...

 Drones by MUSE album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.34 | 112 ratings

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Drones
Muse Prog Related

Review by Stiyekton

3 stars Drones is not a bad album, but it is noticeably not as good as Muse's 2000s albums. While the lyrics to "Dead Inside" are actually good, the song is really a less interesting "Madness" that sounds like an 80s style U2 song with a clichéd chord progression. "Psycho" is cheesy, but it is silly in a good way. "Mercy" is a musically interesting song and at the same time a pop hit type song, and the somewhat unusual keyboard part in the verses works pretty well. "Reapers" is a highlight mainly because of the guitar playing and a good solo with different parts, even though the lyrics are starting to get repetitive with the mention of drones. "The Handler," whose beginning is like an angrier version of the beginning of "Come Together" by The Beatles, is another highlight, with good high-pitched singing and a buildup in the guitar solo and bridge. "Defector" is a fun rock song with its vocal harmonies and exciting guitar solo, and it does a great job incorporating the JFK intro into the song and a great part of the speech at the end of the song. "Revolt" is in my opinion one of the worst Muse songs. The verses do have an interesting rhythm, but that's about it for the good stuff in the song. The song has a cheesy late 80s rock feel, and the chorus is poorly written in just about every way in that it does not fit with the rest of the song, it uses the 1-5-6-4 chord progression, and the lyrics are incredibly shallow and repetitive. "Aftermath" is a ballad with a well-written melody, but is not very deep musically or lyrically. "The Globalist" is the main prog track on the album, and it is good but not amazing. The three distinct sections are all great, especially the fun middle section with a buildup and a hard rock guitar riff, but the sections do not feel very connected. The album ends with the title track, which is a boring a capella track that is hard to follow and just continues to repeat words that have become cliches through their use throughout the album, and it is a very disappointing ending.
 Drones by MUSE album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.34 | 112 ratings

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Drones
Muse Prog Related

Review by crashandridemusic

3 stars Muse is a band that is recommended to me constantly. I always hear 'Oh, you like the White Stripes? You'll like them.' Or possibly 'If you like Radiohead, you'll definitely love these guys.' I might have heard their more popular songs like 'Uprising' and 'Madness' on the radio, but have never made the connection. With their latest album 'Drones' released recently, I decided to let it be my first taste of them.

Muse consists of Matthew Bellamy on vocals/guitars/keys, Christopher Wolstenholme on bass guitar/vocals/keys, and Dominic Howard on drums. Upon listening to their music for the first time, I can hear the resemblance to Radiohead, being a harder and experimental sound with moments of progressive and space rock. To call this band a progressive rock band, though, is a little bit of a stretch, but I can understand where critics and listeners come up with such an opinion. I would say their sound is more closely related to a pop/alternative rock, consisting of heavily overdriven guitar riffs like the Foo Fighters/Queens of the Stone Age right aside piano ballads that remind me of Coldplay/30 Seconds to Mars. Their newest album 'Drones' basically throws all these names into a blender and presses the on button.

Much of this album follows the same tempo and flavor from start to finish. Each song has a catchy rhythm, mixed with weird sound effects, falsetto vocals a la Jeff Buckley, and fairly simple drum beats. Simply put, the album is straightforward. For being a progressive album, I actually was a little underwhelmed. There aren't too many highs and lows, and aren't too many highlighting moments for any band member. Dare I ask, is this my first negative review? Perhaps it doesn't catch my attention like most of the music I tend to listen to, but that doesn't mean this album is devoid of great material.

There are two songs in particular that stood out to me: 'The Handler' and 'The Globalist.' I believe these two songs are the two best on the album, and for different reasons. 'The Handler' starts with that overdriven guitar sound, but chimes in with deeps bass lines and drum beats that bring the song down a whole other level, one that isn't pursued too much in 'Drones.' Alongside these extremely deep and low tones is Bellamy's high-pitched vocals, drifting between sharp and flat notes that give a very eerie vibe in the song's chorus. Add in the sound effects over his vocals and the song becomes even creepier. A simple but nicely inserted solo using a phaser pedal extends the song into the four minute mark. Every time I play this song, I can't help but play it twice.

The other song, 'The Globalist,' runs over 10 minutes long. For that reason alone, I believed it was worth mentioning. Being the most progressive sounding track on 'Drones,' 'The Globalist' starts off with a country western-style whistling over clean guitar chords, a much slower pace than any other track on the album. This sound shifts towards slide guitar and military style snare drumming, which continues the concept present throughout the album, which I will mention shortly. This section actually reminds me a little of David Gilmour's solo material, which was a great change of pace. Sure enough, the track falls right back into the (by this point) slightly boring alternative rock sound and tempo half way through the song, which is where my attention shifts away. The song closes with a piano arrangement, followed by the a cappella title track.

Now for the other reason why most people suggest Muse to me: the lyrics. If you didn't know, I'm a sucker for conspiracy theories. Not that I necessarily believe in them, but I am fascinated by the research, explanations, and devotion that comes with the territory. Turns out Mr. Bellamy is the same way. As stated in several press interviews, 'Drones' follows a concept of indoctrination and defection as the main protagonist fights against the system. To me, this concept alone sparks my interest in the album. Unfortunately, much of the lyrics are uninspiring to me. I feel Muse really had the chance to make a much larger and profound statement with their lyrics considering the state of the world today, but just flat out missed it. I wanted to be caught up in their vigor with youthful aspirations and invoke the libertarian views in me, but I just didn't feel it in 'Drones.' The lyrics are a little boring, predictable, and even at times laughable. The chorus of 'Psycho' is a prime example:

'I'm going to make you, I'm going to break you, I'm going to make you / A f*cking psycho / Your ass belongs to me now'

Another example is the abusive instructions between a drill sergeant and a private inserted in this song. It's a little over the top and unnecessary. Maybe their next album will make me feel like standing up and fighting for what I believe in.

With all the positives and negatives I've mentioned, I'd still recommend 'Drones' to anyone on this blog. Sure, it isn't the perfect album, but it's still really catchy and interesting, perfect for driving and rocking out.

I give this 3 of 5 stars. At best.

Taken from Crash And Ride Music

 Drones by MUSE album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.34 | 112 ratings

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Drones
Muse Prog Related

Review by Rune2000
Special Collaborator Prog Metal Team

3 stars I haven't been actively listening to Muse since 2009 due to complete disinterest in the material on The Resistance and The 2nd Law. Even though I've been a fan of their sound since Origin Of Symmetry, Muse made a turn for the simpler and commercially oriented sound on Black Holes And Revelations and expanded in the same direction with The Resistance and especially The 2nd Law. So why did I suddenly decided to return to Muse? Well, the answer is that I actually enjoyed Drones a lot more than their previous two releases and thus decided to write a few words about it.

First off, let's be clear on the fact that Drones is by no means a return to the band's old sound. What we get here is a mix between the old and the new, some tracks are completely omittable while others are among the best that Muse has ever recorded. If you've heard a couple of the singles from Drones and thought that they were weak, then you're definitely not alone; my reaction was completely the same. Dead Inside and Psycho are riff-driven anthems that completely leave me cold while Reapers is slightly more enjoyable even though the song drags a bit too long.

The first really great song here is Mercy, this track is a mix of Starlight and Bliss featuring a strong melodic chorus that transitions well between the verse-chorus sections. The Handler and Defector and Revolt are strong album tracks that manage to move the album along while adding layers to the concept of drones warfare. My favorite part of the album are the three final tracks that begin with the ballad Aftermath, progresses with the 10 minutes of bliss with The Globalist and finishes off with an a cappella outro on the title track. The Globalist is probably the biggest reason for my return to Muse since this is easily their best multi-part epic that manages to completely overshadow both Exogenesis and The 2nd Law.

I really hope that the band will continue in a more conceptual direction on their next releases while moving away from the dispensable singles that have filled their last couple of albums. Drones is a slight return to form thanks to the marvelous second part of the album that focuses on the beauty of the band's sound and reduces the filler. Recommended to fans of Absolution and Black Holes And Revelations!

***** star songs: The Globalist (10:07)

**** star songs: Mercy (3:52) The Handler (4:34) Defector (4:33) Revolt (4:06) Aftermath (5:48) Drones (2:50)

*** star songs: Dead Inside (4:23) Psycho (5:17) Reapers (6:00)

** star songs: [Drill Sergeant] (0:21) [JFK] (0:55)

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

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