Friday, January 21, 2005

33 and a 1/3

Muse (Sept. 2003)

A friend of mine Lee posted a comment a while back about the English band Muse. I talked with Lee a bit and he told me about one of their CDs Absolution. I went out and picked up the CD. To be honest it took a long time for it to grow on me. The lead singer, Matthew Bellamy , has a very Thom Yorke like voice and I immediately pegged them as a Radiohead clone band. Then a funny thing happened, I listened to the CD a few more times and found I liked it more and more with each listen. Each time I was about to write it off I found that I would listen to it again.

Muse is a little more produced than I normally like in a guitar driven band. The production doesn't take away from the guitars but does allow for some interesting effects on some tracks. There are some good examples of this on the track Endlessly. It is also great to hear some keyboards mixed in with the guitars. I think the last time I heard good keyboards in hard rock music was with Faith No More. Bellamy also plays the keyboard tracks and is lead guitar, which shows his talent. Apocalypse Please is one of the better songs where he seamlessly mixes the keyboards with the guitars to great effect. It even has an ACDC like guitar riff from the Thunderstruckera.

Muse has an interesting mix of tempos on this CD. They have rockers like The Small Print with acclerating guitars and drums. This is a great tune for driving the scooter over a 100. Another great rocker is Hysteria that reminds me again of Faith No More. Time is Running out is a great song that builds and builds to a rocking crescendo. Most of the other tracks are hit and miss for me. Sing for Absolution is a good example of a song with a catchy chorus and hook that doesn’t do much for me. They also have some slower haunting numbers like Ruled by Secrecy and Blackout. Rule #1: Big Ell doesn't go for many slow haunthing numbers. Thoughts of a Dying Atheist and Falling Away with You are good songs but sound to much like Radiohead's OK Computer, for me. Oh well I can think of far worse bands to sound like. This CD will defiantly grow on you.

Winamp worthy: Apocalypse Please
Rating: Manslaughter (unintentional and not premeditated) Penalty: 3 - 20; "You'll be out before your grey and probably still crankin' this CD!

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