Year : 2012
Genre : Emo Rock with Spaghetti Western overtones
Label : Helium 3, Warner Bros
Origin : United Kingdom
Rating : 6.5 / 10
Buy it now
New Muse album, new inspiration? Don't wait for the kiss of the Muse. Buy the lady a drink. If you can't find constant inspiration, you suck as an artist. No, nobody feels sorry about that, either. Let's investigate. Opening track "Supremacy" starts out with an intriguing-albeit predictable introductory pattern, and the magic is kind of blamed by a banshee's undisciplined index finger when you find yourself in orthodox 4/4 pummeling with virtually meaningless platitude orchestra miming the hologram-riches of musical thought. By 2:11, the fronter already had expressed one of his trademark dramatic introductory lullabies, and THEN the chorus reveals itself as yet another variant on the same thought field the ensemble already has channeled from via their previous offering. Remember their song "Revolution"? Now it is time to "destroy UUUUUR Supremacy". Same effin deal, really, only, the opening track is less muscular this time. AND who is the enemy? The Illuminati, of course! Take heed and bear witness to the poor Illuminati, they get sooo destroyed by popular culture every day of the year, you know. At 2:37, the album showcases its most frightening affectation, and that is a constant winking towards threshold-level spaghetti western sentiments. Oh come on. Read on to know more about the other tracks, too.
Second track, "Madness" is a surprisingly shameless re-interpretation of Queen's "I Want to break free". I mean, seriously? The harmonic structure of the verse is closer to thievery in my book than to attempt to rob the panties of Lady GaGa when she does not even wear one at the first place. My shock regarding the similarities is significant. THIS big : >-----o-----< The song features dubstep bass, - trendytrendytrendy - and the fronter produces strange sounds when he does not have a line to sing. Oh my fucking GOD, the metrosexual madness. At 1:20 to 1:25. These are the sounds I'd expect to hear from a giant ferret when it rapes me through a hole I did not know I have. At 3:12, the song expands, and occupies a more elegant sonic space, regardless how the fronter sounds like Bono of U2 in said section. (Sounding like Bono is the only thing that sounds worse than the aforementioned ferret, but you are welcome to despise me for this opinion, if you want.)
Much to my amazement, the very next song, "Panic Station", once again goes for a Queen vibe, as the opening measures are totally and completely "Another One Bites The Dust" in character, and you would need to be ultra-biased and lobotomized to challenge this notion, really. The fronter guy herein showcases a much more clear and dignified method of singing, one that he really should rely more on, in my opinion. The build turns into solid, exigent 4/4 pummeling that I would not mind hearing at an orgy attended by people wearing pig masks. The mood, the emotional setting is OH, so predictably "just" Muse. At 1:21, the song goes Italo Disco on your ass, and the only thing more saddening than this, is that Sabrina's 1986 classic "Boys boys boys" is much more manly than this. And what about the song "Lost My Heart to a Starship Trooper" by Sarah Brightman from the late '70s? Said song is another spiritual predecessor to this Muse track, "Panic Station".
With "Prelude", the group gets excited about the fact that the professional team behind them can produce a theme music for a British soap opera centered around old people in a hospital, then the proceedings blossom into a Queen-esk sonic atmosphere with sufficient and splendid capacity to summon both a bit of Abba AND an affectation for avant-garde orgy music with - once again - invitees wearing pig masks and enjoying/suffering lifetime membership of the Killuminati. Highly predictable. At 1:33, the music explodes and I. Don't. Feel. A. Thing. Wait wait! This isn't supposed to happen! So I put on a pig mask and vomit into the nearest cleavage, like the dude beside me. The song is a testament of how uninspired and Museless - TUKK! - the band can get from time to time, and the fact that they seek to spice up the stillness with spaghetti western guitar work, "Queen-mimery" mannerisms and opera, is really is "just" sad, and nothing too much more.
"Follow me" starts out in gloomy fashion, and you will feel deeply touched if you are 13 and are having a gender identity crisis. Luckily, at 1:13 the build shows some kind of much welcomed dignity and imagination for a change, and submits to Abba metal rhetorics. The fun is rather short this time - the chorus is riddled by a rather extreme dubstep pattern, which sits on the whole poor build like a disgusting, aggressive troll. I'm not against dubstep, as I'm not against any kind of music whatsoever, - I like Lars Ulbrecht, even - but the loudness, the presence of the dubstep pattern is just overkill. The song has its nice, elegant 30 seconds starting from 1:13, and it unleashes a series of successive nervous breakdowns after that. On me, at least. See? See? See? See? See?
With "Animals", the Muse goes Tool on you, and the singer showcases his ability to sing in natural fashion. For a bar or two, nevertheless. Later, he will exhibit his usual over-emotive tendencies, but nothing that is too hard to tolerate this time. The chorus is composed of an inventive harmonic passage that successfully strolls along a variety of fine audio domains in order to reveal color. The song is the first one on the album that I can regard as an autonomous delivery that exhibits integrity and musical THOUGHT all over its fabric.
"Explorers" once again starts out with the almost obligatory lullaby-fixation of the band, I truly don't know the 'hell is up with this concept. By this time, said method really takes a toll on variety, in my opinion. I'm going to admit that the song is well constructed, but, to be honest, if I'd hear this track as the backdrop for the end credits of a clayfigure epic, I would not be surprised at the least. I realize that the lyrics are doing their best to make you feel - SPLATT! - special, but what's the point, when you ARE special, indeed. Only the miserable needs THIS much fucking comforting. You know I'm not a homophobe, but this is a homo track. "This was a mistake, imprisoning or souls, can you free me from this world" etc. Geez. Show some fucking dignity for fuck's sake.
With "Big Freeze", the band treads on familiar territory and seems to play it safe. Nothing wrong with that. The main attraction of the song is the central hook with a harmonically eventful chorus, the rest does not really touch me at all. Not bad, but I feel like I'm sitting on my butt for minutes until FINALLY that 1 great musical line comes in. Bahh.
With "Save Me", the fronter emerges to make an attempt at consorting to the musical function of Morten "A-Ha" Harket, even better, the song quickly turns into a brisk and eventful build that reminds me of Anathema, minus the terrible android bliss "soul" content they try to shovel down a throat on their latest offering. Sporting a logical, straightforward yet finely realized flow, this song, "Save Me" showcases fortunate flexibility and IMAGINATION from the band, and I am greatly content with the Tool/Anathema blend they reveal herein. A definite highlight.
"Liquid State" is a pretty special song, once again. The ugly, muffled junk guitars are great. So is the singing, which sits JUST at the right place in the mix. Not too loud, not too silent, and you can make it out perfectly. The verse itself is great. The melody! It kicks all kinds of asses. And what is up with the singer? He sings without whining. What a great relief! I'm not ultra-happy-, nor particularly am displeased with the chorus of the song, but I think the verse is much more efficient and intriguing than it, and it causes a pleasant sensation when the verse comes back. Whereas, I approach the chorus in "meh" fashion. This song would have been - this latter is a terrible term - an instant classic with a proper chorus.
With its start section, the track "The 2nd Law: Unsustainable" is the musical backdrop for a sci-fi themed pinball machine from 1970, then the flow changes into an experimental dubstep exercise with its affection kept for the epic Opera. Wow. Really, really? If you want this kind of music done more seriously, soak your ears into Fleshgod Apocalypse's Agony.
Concluding, 13th track, called "The 2nd Law: Isolated System" is a pretty pleasant once. Warm, smartly constrained electronica is courted by well defined muscular synths. Ambient goa, kind of, but more eventful than an everyday average let's explore inner and outer space around fire kind of deal. At 2:51, I'm starting to feel spaced out - haha - by the ultra-simplistic piano, and it is JUST about time that other moods come to the aid. The song is a decent take on the music Muse would make if they would be a group like Infected Mushroom.
Rating : 6.5 / 10
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