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MUSE: Indeed a source of inspiration  
Written by Administrator  
Tuesday, 07 December 2004

Muse: Indeed A Source of Inspiration
Muse made its debut in 1999 with there album Showbiz. They released their second album in 2001 with Origins of Symmetry, and now already more then a year ago, they released Absolution.  Absolution is 52 minutes and 10 seconds of pure British rock enjoyment.

The saddest part about the creation of the Absolution album is that it took me a freaking year to find it. A hard hitting synth-style bass line mixed with ghostly “Radioheadish” vocals definitely make me want to crawl into a dark corner and listen intently, while clasping my headphones to my ears ever tighter with every crunchy beat.

This album has all the qualities that keep me listening to it day after day. First, each song compliments the others. Something I think most American artists have forgotten. An album needs to be wonderful in its entirety. It should not be just a collection of songs to fill time.  Second, the music is not just a bunch of standard bar-chord rock licks that anyone could randomly put together out of a paper sack. Each song has been very well, dare I say such a word in today’s modern rock world, composed. It sounds like they placed a lot of care on the mixing of different, usually juxtaposing, elements into a wonderfully orchestrated album. Third and finally, the music is real. By that, I mean not overly produced or edited to sound perfect, yet remains amazingly crisp and well mixed. I was impressed to the last drop of music with this album.

Songs

For the sake of both boredom and functionality, I wrote my opinions/analysis of every song on the album. Again, the entire album is excellent, so it is more of a testament to the quality of the album that I would analyze each song individually.

Intro

A march faded in

Apocalypse Please

Excellent song shows off some amazing vocal range. He belts out “THIS IS THE END OF THE WORLD”, and makes you believe it. Also has very melodic finger taping (finger tapping is not allowed in the states anymore, after the terrible abuse of it in the 80’s), sounds classically inspired.

Time is Running out

This was one of there singles in the U.S. The synthetic sounding bass at the beginning rocks beyond all description. It has a powerful build with “bury it; I won’t let you bury it”. Many of his vocals are distorted giving a very “dark room” feel. He also hits a note before the last chorus that makes The Darkness look like sissies.

Sing for Absolution

This song reminds me a lot of Radiohead, with its echoic and haunting verses. Something about it also favors Garbage (the band).

Stockholm Syndrome

This is my favorite song on the album, if I had to pick one. It has a rocking guitar solo at the beginning. Then it just drags you kicking and screaming through a very fast tempo beat for the verses. The chorus fills the senses with pianos, violins and multi-layered vocals. It tops it off with a distorted vocal yell of “I WISH I COULD!!!”.  The end has the raunchiest bass/guitar Outro you can find on an album these days.

Falling Away with You

This has to be the prettiest song on the album. The acoustic guitar part is very classical in nature, but has a little Beatles here and there. The Chorus kicks in the drums, and another well-placed guitar-tapping piece. From there it brings in some more excellent vocals, and manages to use distortion without ruining the soft sounds.

Interlude

An interesting though “white-noise-ish” musical piece

Hysteria

This is the first song I heard from them. An it starts with what is quickly becoming “Muses” synthetic bass sound. This song has one of the coolest choruses I have heard in along time. It is definitely hummable. The vocals are distorted beyond mere crunch but still sound awesome. There are indeed some excellently composed guitar works in the song. The solo and its build are very cool. The whole song just drives, drives and drives you till the final cymbal crash.

Blackout

After Hysteria, Muse knew you needed a rest, so Blackout brings you just that. This song has an Italian influence, with a mandolin, at the beginning, and a yet a bit of an old 50’s Arabian related film influence at the end of each verse. The whole song just sways you back and forth, with the soothing sound of the vocals. Most shocking about this song is they have a distorted, rapidly picked guitar solo, right in the middle, and it somehow just flows. Most soft songs stay away from distortion, but Muse has got this thing down to a science.

Butterflies and Hurricanes

The lyrics in this song just makes you want to get out into the world and do something with your life. This song also displays the first signs of an awesome pianist. There is the most gorgeous/outrageous classical piano solo in the middle.

The Small Print

This song has a very Punk upbeat sound. The verse definitely has a drive to it, and the chorus has some powerful shifts. It starts without something identifiably Punk and then just changes into something unique, and cool. It is like two choruses in one. This is one of my favorites.

Endlessly

This song starts sounding similar to that “Can’t get you out of my head” song by Kylie Minogue (at least to me). The rest of the song is beautiful though. The kind of song I would be more then happy to play at my wedding. The song arranged similar in style to a Garbage song, but brings kind of a techno pop beat to it, definitely unique among the rest of the album.

Thoughts of a Dying Atheist

The title says it all. Starts off like another Radiohead song, but goes into some cooler Fastball-like verses, and then goes into a very cool “Scares the Hell out of me!!” chorus which ends with a cool scale run down, that you’d have to hear to understand.

Ruled by Secrecy

This song sounds a lot like Beethoven at the beginning. The piano player gets the spotlight in the song, and does not let you down. The singer is indeed an instrument in expressing the entire melody, and he does it well. I could not ask for a more calming way of ending an album.

Muse is an excellent band, and below are some more resources for you to check out if you want to hear more.

Official Site:

http://www.muse.mu/

Excellent Fan Sites:

http://www.inmuseworld.net/news.asp

http://www.angelfire.com/mech/gaming0/bio.html

http://www.tribe.net/tribe/8dc0c6ed-2b6a-4a43-afdd-ad829e17a986

http://www.museandamuse.com/

Cool Wallpaper
http://www.rocktoons.com/muse/

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