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Muse Drones album cover
3.18 | 173 ratings | 9 reviews | 8% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 2015

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Dead Inside (4:23)
2. [Drill Sergeant] (0:21)
3. Psycho (5:17)
4. Mercy (3:52)
5. Reapers (6:00)
6. The Handler (4:34)
7. [JFK] (0:55)
8. Defector (4:33)
9. Revolt (4:06)
10. Aftermath (5:48)
11. The Globalist (10:07)
12. Drones (2:50)

Total time: 52:46

Line-up / Musicians

- Matthew Bellamy / guitars, vocals, keyboards, synthesizer, string arrangements
- Christopher Wolstenholme / bass, keyboards, backing vocals
- Dominic James Howard / drums, percussion

- Robert John Lange / backing vocals (10), co-producer
- Will Leon Thompson / voice actor (2,3)
- Michael Shildah / voice actor (2,3)
- John F. Kennedy / recorded April 1961 speech (7)
- Audrey Riley / string arrangements, conductor
- Edodea Ensemble / strings
- Edoardo De Angelis / violin, concertmaster
- Olle Romö / programming

Releases information

Artwork: Matt Mahurin

CD Warner Bros. Records ‎- 0825646121250 (2015, Europe)

2xLP Warner Bros. Records ‎- 0825646121229 (2015, Europe)

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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MUSE Drones ratings distribution

(173 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(8%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(34%)
Good, but non-essential (34%)
Collectors/fans only (18%)
Poor. Only for completionists (6%)

MUSE Drones reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
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)

Review by 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.

Review by The Rain Man
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.

Latest members reviews

2 stars I have a long love/hate relationship with Muse. I started playing Bass by learning their songs, (almost all of OoS & Absolution). But nowadays they seem to have been letting me down. The Resistance, while an acceptable album has one problem. The influences are very notorius. Queen & U2 b ... (read more)

Report this review (#1954315) | Posted by AlexisP. | Thursday, August 2, 2018 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#1868705) | Posted by guiservidoni | Monday, January 22, 2018 | Review Permanlink

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 go ... (read more)

Report this review (#1490516) | Posted by Stiyekton | Saturday, November 21, 2015 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#1442912) | Posted by crashandridemusic | Monday, July 20, 2015 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I listened at first to the singles...separated...the 5 first songs.... My first impression was...ou...As the first songs and singles of the 2nd Law their tendency is to make rock for the masses....'what happen to the most progressive vein of Muse demonstrated Absolution,or Black ... (read more)

Report this review (#1425766) | Posted by robbob | Wednesday, June 10, 2015 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Drones: Muse's seventh album and supposed return to form. Keeping their promise of decreasing (but not eliminating) the symphonic and electronic influences so central to their previous two albums, they have left two main styles struggling for dominance: pop and rock. Piano is still present and im ... (read more)

Report this review (#1425631) | Posted by Insin | Tuesday, June 9, 2015 | Review Permanlink

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