They've probably written a few songs you like, the popular classics maybe, like "Starlight", "Supermassive Black Hole", "Plug In Baby" or even "New Born". They've undoubtedly written some songs you hate (that one off the third album? Don't worry, we all thought it was shit) and thats the reason why when people ask if you like Muse, you shrug your shoulders, shuffle your feet and sigh a feeble "Meehh".
I wont lie, if you didn't like Muse before, you won't like them now either. There is more of the same "Knights of Cydonia" riffs (Unnatural Selection) and those harmonies you either love or want to force down the throat of Freddie Mercury, right where they came from.
And there's a good place to start. "United States of Eurasia" has been called, rather lazily, the new "Bohemian Rhapsody". Just because there's one teeny-tiny chord change that was COMPLETELY lifted from any of Queens entire back catalogue, doesn't make it an altogether rip off. You really have to put those thoughts aside and look at this song from a purely Muse aspect. Its a song Bellamy has written and fits into Muse's Bell-curve nicely.
There is one issue, OK he might have composed a symphony to end the album with, but, its all pretty much what Muse have been known to do and what has become synonymous with Muse up until now. Ahh, that Freddie Mercury chord change is back again. And again. Sod it, its a poor attempt at a massive stadium anthem.
There is hope though as 'Resistance', my favourite on the album, has a brilliant pre-chorus that really sparks up and stands out, and the opening track, 'Uprising' includes what Muse really enjoy, a bass line that can only be described as 'Bombastic'. But, the album as a whole really is struggling in a quick sand of flappy string choruses and we've-heard-it-all-before melodies.
Hmm, its a hard one to make up. What is promising to hear is, 'I belong to you', which sounds as if Bellamy, and the rest of Starship Muse, have visited Club Tropicana on Star Trek Fancy Dress Night. Its bouncy rhythms and basslines provide a rare light note to the album. But don't worry classic wailing Muse fans, the middle part to this is about as intergalactically cheesy you can get. Ahaa! Club Tropicana's back in action and somebody is soloing on a bass clarinet.
Thats what you do get with Muse, they are different, incomparable to most, if not all, bands. But you do wonder if they're doing it a bit too much. Its enough to make everyone want to shout: "Stop guys, you're having too much fun, just write a pop record and be done with it".
But yes, as if you quite couldn't pick it up earlier, Matthew Bellamy has written a small symphony at the end of the album. You obviously weren't shouting loud enough.
Its all well and good for Muse to keep doing what they're doing, don't get me wrong, the music's fine and its better than listening to more 'Saturdays Aloud' or whatever they're called but, all in all, once the initial "Oh My God, its Muse" has died down, and you've regained slight consciousness, its not brilliant.
I think they need a new direction, to try something a bit newer. Have they thought about covering Jay-Z on a quartet of Ukuleles for example? No they haven't. Well, i can't prove that. They might have done and just not told anyone. Probably for the best. Watch this space Ukulele/Jay-Z/Both fans.
Obviously I'm being rather silly. But you get the message, and the message is clear. Its alright, a nice little listen, but a teeny-tiny bit bland
Come on Muse, give us something new.
Album Rating: 7/10
Top Three Songs:
2. I Belong to you
3. Unnatural Selection