Artist Spotlight: Muse

Artist Spotlight courtesy of Man with Lute

I was first introduced to Muse through the world of Twilight. My mom read the books, watched the movies, and bought the soundtracks. On the soundtrack was the Muse song “Supermassive Black Hole.” It’s featured in a great scene, that I still think is great.

Nvm. I just re-watched it, and wow that is not good. Some schlock value, though.

My and my mom’s interest in this band lead to the purchase of Origin of Symmetry, Absolution, and Black Holes and Revelations.

These are some pretty good albums. There are a ton of super fun (and supermassive) and fairly rocking songs. At least to a young me.

Origin of Symmetry has the hardest rock and experimental elements out of their albums. “Hyper Music” and “Plug in Baby” are a great back to back tracks. There is also their incredible cover of Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good.” My favorite song on the album is the final track, “Futurism.” I love the fact it starts with what sounds like a triangle, but then moves into a deep bass riff, with very ecstatic guitar bits. I don’t actually know if those are actual music terms.

Absolution has more songs that deviate from typical alt-rock, like “Apocalypse Please” and “Time is Running Out.” Thankfully they are good and the album has “Stockholm Syndrome” “Hysteria” and “The Small Print” to add the typical rock from their previous album.

Black Holes and Revelations has arguably their most popular works. “Starlight” “Supermassive Black Hole” and “Knights of Cydonia” are some of the most recognizable of their works. All of these are great, but there is a lot more to offer on this album. “Take A Bow” “Invincible” “Exo-Politics” and “Glorious” are stand out tracks. These are more ‘experimental’ and alt-influenced works. “Assassin” though maintains the normal rock music attitude though.

Their next album, is my favorite, though a stark departure, The Resistance. “Uprising” and “Resistance” are more of their older songs, but are still wonderful. “I Belong To You” “Undisclosed Desires” and “United States of Eurasia” increase the alternative influences. The most striking new song is the symphony, Exogenesis. It’s a strange change, but I generally appreciate it. The song is a tale of a group of astronauts being sent into space to spread the remainders of humanity because everyone has accepted the earth’s end.

Muse’ next album was where they began to lose me. The 2nd Law is an enjoyable album, but at this point it was too much of the same without any positive change. “Panic Station” was good, but most other songs were mediocre. The two songs “The 2nd Law” were very unimpressive and had too much of a dubstep vibe.

At this point though I got to see them perform live. And it was pretty great. I had previously seen them during the U2 360 tour, but this was astounding. I was much more engaged at this point of my life and was thoroughly impressed by their array of lights and lasers and their use of a pyramid-style screen setup. That was pretty fun.

They have their most recent album Drones which seemed promising, then was immediately a letdown. They also have their first album, released in 1999 called Showbiz. It’s very middle of the ground, but I was really attached to “Unintended” when I listened to Muse more often. They have a menagerie of other material on singles or live albums that are of varying range of quality.