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Muse - Black Holes And Revelations CD (album) cover




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3.70 | 493 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars After the very impressive and progressive but rather out-of-character Absolution, was Muse further their adventurous musical investigation past their last album. Unfortunately, Bellamy, Howard and Wolstenholme did not choose that direction, but rather opting to return to the usual formula of Origin Of Symmetry. In that regard the Thorgesson-like artwork is rather deceiving.

Right from the opening track Take a bow, the binary rhythm warns you that whatever was so pleasing in Absolution is not going to be as prominent. Muse still sounds typically Muse though, which means a savant mix of Radiohead, U2 and REM, and if they haven't exactly invented hot water, they do sound entertaining enough to last at least half the album without tiring this listener. However, the bombardment of the same type of sound and repetitive tunes is rather wearisome, and I haven't been able to stand more than 20 minutes at a time, which coincides with half the album, one of the pleasant surprises is that this album turns around the ideal album-length.

If the short Soldier's Poem has a tiny Mercury/Queen vocal twinge, the would-be title track (it mentions the album title in the chorus) Starlight is probably the best track around along with Invincible and the Motorhead-like opening riff of Assassin. Also worthy of notice is Exo-politics. But the major setback I found is that the fantastic Rachmaninov piano (enlightening so joyously Absolution) is completely absent, but is partly made-up by the rather frantic drumming. A few ethnic lines (first Arabian then Conquistador-like) are spread in City Of Delusion (as-well as a slight-flamenco bass line in Hoodoo), do not make this album progressive especially given that a lot of Porcupine Trees influences have disappeared.

Unfortunately, what provided an excellent surprise (Absolution, will also likely be an exception, because Bellamy 1 Co have decided to return to their formulaic "alternative" rock that had created their original success in the first place. Thus ending all hopes for progheads to move their PA entry to a full-blown progressive category. While a deception for this writer, this album will likely please most of the band's numerous fans

Sean Trane | 3/5 |


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