Saturday, October 4, 2008


Black Holes and Revelations-
Status-Out as of 2006
Label-Warner Brothers
Rating-4 Feathers

Muse has made a name for themselves over the years through such albums as Origin of Symmetry or Absolution. Classified by their progessive-electronica-metal mix, they’ve developed a sort of legacy as one of the best bands Britain has to offer. With a ‘fresh’ political view point, the three have created an album called Black Holes and Revelations. ‘Take a Bow’ sets the tone for the album immediately and very directly. Though the keyboard gets a tad irritating, the speed of it helps it. The concept of anti-war/anti-establishment starts very early on with the lines ‘you bring corruption to all that you touch’ and the oh-so uplifting ‘you will burn in hell for your sins’. ‘Starlight’ starts with a very clean, very catchy piano that creates a lot kinder, more heartwarming feel. It basically screams ‘I need to be loved’ which is appropriate because it is a love song. ‘Super Massive Black Hole’ has a very different feel to it than the last. Though it doesn’t really have anything to do with super massive black holes (the black hole believed to be at the center of every galaxy), it has a very creepy sound. The combination of Matt Bellamy’s falsetto voice on top of a deranged dance beat, it makes you a bit unsettled and you wonder why they’d put this directly after ‘Starlight’. ‘Map of the Problematique’ starts with a very forceful guitar that coaxes you right in. The piano adds an epic-spacey sort of feel. If it didn’t have vocals, I could easily see this being on the Halo soundtrack. ‘Soldier’s Poem’ is the first break you get from the frantic/heavy sound. It’s quite the twisted song, let me tell you. It, on the surface, sounds like a nice soothing jazz band song that you may hear in a fancy restaurant. But then you listen to the words. With such lyrics as ‘Do you think you deserve your freedom?’ or ‘there’s no justice in the world and there never was’ in keeps it with the anti-war theme. ‘Invincible’ is also a calm song. I really don’t like it at all because everytime I hear it, I can imagine Jarvis Cocker singing it. The only good part about it, really, is the drumroll-y drumbeat, which gives it a slight Revolutionary War feel. ‘Assassin’ is also a bit of a problem. At first, it sounds like a very annoying version of ‘Take A Bow’, but it quickly takes a turn for the worse. It’s very annoying metal sound accompanied by very violent message makes this song a turn-off, and I mean, you’ll want to turn it off. ‘Exo-Politics’ is a breath of clean air after you’ve endured the last two. What one may like about it is that the chorus sounds like it could’ve been written during their Absolution days. ‘City of Delusion’ has a very Western feel. The strings and the guitar help create a sound very different than what you’ve been hearing throughout the album. In tune with ‘City of Delusion’, ‘Hoodoo’ sounds like the part of the movie where the cowboy meets his cowboy nemesis in a barren ghost town street. About two minutes in is where the suspense kicks in when the two start walking (in slow motion) towards one another. The end of the song depicts the point where the two are contemplating one another’s body language so they can figure out who’s going to make the first move. Story aside, the song is alright. Not too special, but the visual it creates was well worth it. ‘Knights of Cydonia’ is perhaps, right now I think, their most well know song in the U.S. From the first note to the last note, the epic journey never tones down. The lyrics paint a picture of a man riding into battle. The part where they chant ‘No one’s gonna take me alive!’ is probably one of the most catchy, motivational, if you will, things I’ve ever heard. It’s the perfect ending to a very interesting album. In general, the album has a very good balance of songs, each with it’s own political message. Though some songs have almost no place on the album, the lyrics stay very cohesive throughout, which makes it very effective. Their objection and opinions to what’s going on in the world makes them very appealing towards youthful audience, so clearly it is not their time to Take a Bow.
“We realised that emotion, the vibrations that you create, are as important as your technical skills. We had just discovered something: music is a matter of emotion.” -Matt Bellamy

Video for Starlight

Muse's Official Website
Note: I want to explain why my posts aren't extremely frequent. I buy all my CD's in person. I don't like to download er anything; I like the physical thing. I try to listen to a full album and write this song by song review, and to me it's worth it. I hope you enjoy this review and I plan to have reviews out by The Kings of Leon, A Perfect Circle, and Arctic Monkeys within the next week or so.

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