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Muse - Drones CD (album) cover

DRONES

Muse

 

Prog Related

3.13 | 124 ratings

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Kempokid
2 stars Despite finding Muse's attempts to branch out and experiment admirable, I still preferred the rock sound implemented on earlier albums compared to the predominantly pop projects of their later work. This made me quite hopeful when getting around to listening to Drones, as I heard it was to be a return to form. Honestly, if this is a return to form, please just stick to the pop music. While yes, it's clear that an effort was made to return to the sound of Origin of Symmetry and Absolution in sections, it's also clear that this sounds nothing like those, with a lot more cheese than I know what to do with, weaker, more simplistic songwriting with far less of the emotional rawness that made early Muse so great, and much less enjoyment all around.

The album quickly makes it clear how this will not be a complete return to form, with the high pitched vocal harmonies and the extremely danceable beat. To be fair, I do quite enjoy this song, as the vocal melody is excellent, and I do love the beat. The next song, Psycho demonstrates a massive problem I have with a lot of the album, lyrics, which while I normally don't care too much about them, they just get so stupid in places that it becomes embarrassing to listen to. No matter how much I enjoy the riffs in the song, I just can't get over lyrics like "I'll turn you into a superdrone" and "your ass belongs to me now". The song may be simplistic, but I could see myself loving it if not for constantly wanting to laugh at the lyrics. Mercy can be summed up in a simple phrase, Starlight but worse. Reapers is a massive improvement from anything else on the album, with a lot of incredible riffs, switching between a Van Halen inspired mini solo, and a simple, hard hitting riff, combined with some of the classic Muse dramatic flair, making for a uniquely amazing song on a mostly subpar album. The next stretch is where a lot of issues arise, with all of the songs dragging on while also having the same issue with lyrics and general lack of interesting hooks , solos or anything of the sort. By far the worst offender of this is Revolt, which has one of the most painfully forgettable hooks I've heard in recent memory. The Aftermath doesn't serve much better, being one of the weaker ballads by a band that I already dislike the ballads of for the most part. Honestly, this portion of the album is so unappealing, that combined with the other weaker songs on the album, the song that I ended up using as a decider between whether to give this a 1 or 2 was The Globalist. Fortunately, I found myself enjoying it quite a bit, as while it isn't quite a masterpiece, it provides a great apocalyptic feel, and definitely makes good use of its entire 10 minutes, with each section being excellent, with the way it gradually slows and transitions into Drones to be great.

This album left me feeling incredibly disappointed, I wasn't expecting anything amazing after the previous 2 mediocre albums, but I was expecting something more accomplished than this mess. While Muse have certainly always been overblown in their style, so much about their lyrical content and music here just screams "pretentious" to me, while still being unbearably dull and simplistic in other points. Despite that, Muse once again display their talent of making sure each album has 1 or 2 tracks which are clearly some of the best stuff they've ever done, in this case, it's Reapers for me. I honestly feel like Muse have been on a decline since The Resistance, but I do feel like this is in all likelihood, their lowest point, as it's quite difficult to go lower than this. As said, this album was saved from a 1 star rating by having 3 really good songs, and only barely.

Best songs: Dead Inside, Reapers, The Globalist

Weakest songs: Psycho, Mercy, Defector, Revolt, Aftermath

Verdict: I see no real reason to listen to more than the best songs on the album unless you're a fan of Muse, as basically any album before this makes for a much better starting point and listening experience.

Kempokid | 2/5 |

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