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Muse - Absolution CD (album) cover




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3.85 | 467 ratings

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3 stars Before I get into the music I want to talk about the cover. Is that the LP/vinyl cover used on this site? My CD copy has a man holding a gas mask on the front; on the back is what I assume to be the same little girl but she's wearing all red. All three show the same shadows of floating bodies above. This cover was done by Storm Thorgerson and Dan Abbott. Storm of course used to be a part of the Hipgnosis team who created famous album covers and sleeves for the likes of Floyd, Zeppelin, etc. This is one of the best album covers of the past ten years.

Besides the awesome cover, there was only one other reason I decided to buy this: seeing the video for "Stockholm Syndrome". That song, and video, blew me away. I had always heard that Muse were a Radiohead clone. I always liked Radiohead but generally steer clear of copycat bands. Apart from the vocals I really can't see much of a resemblance. Radiohead rarely rocked as hard as these guys do.

The marching beat of "Intro" leads into "Apocalypse Please". Great piano in an odd time signature. Before 2 minutes great sequencer part with falsetto vocals. This part comes back later. Classical piano at the end. "Time Is Running Out" is a catchy song with a great bass sound. Nice subtle keyboards during the verses. Good Spanish-style electric guitar after the first chorus. The piano during the last verse is great. The Spanish guitar part ends it.

Matthew Bellamy seems to use every effects pedal/stomp-box ever created. "Stockholm Syndrome" is a good example of guitar effects. This song has a great heavy riff. The drumming is awesome during the verses. I love the dreamy sequencers during the chorus along with piano. A really good guitar solo but it's way too short. "Interlude" is just distorted guitar which reminds me of the famous "Adagio For Strings". "Hysteria" has a great guitar solo. I like the distorted bass sound.

The album is on a roll till it hits "Blackout". A let down after everything that came before it. A ballad with strings in almost waltz-style. But even this song has a great guitar solo in it. "Butterflies & Hurricanes" starts with what sounds like electric piano and vocals. Then cymbals and strings. Great singing in this song. Later things pick up when the whole band comes in. In the middle there is steady bass and a hi-hat pattern with strings and piano. Then just piano and some strings sounding very classical. Electric piano comes back and first part gets repeated.

"The Small Print" has punk style verses and a metal style chorus. These guys sound so damn heavy on that chorus for just a trio. "Endlessly" has weird sounding drums and electric piano. The chorus sounds like techno. 1 1/2 minutes in is a cool backwards sound. Later bass and some nice synths. The part around 2 1/2 minutes is great. Melodic and atmospheric. The last two songs are the least interesting.

Absolution is a great modern rock album. It's probably the band's most proggy effort. I think this deserves 3.5 but I can't really give this 4 stars. It's not something that every prog fan needs in their collection. The sound, production and playing is excellent. But some of the songs are fairly straight forward verse/chorus/solo stuff. At least Muse still does guitar solos in this day and age.

zravkapt | 3/5 |


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