I was pretty excited to hear about (and eventually listen to) Muse’s new album, “Simulation Theory”, because Muse has always been one of my favorite favorite bands. You know – you’ve got your favorite bands, and then you’ve got the group that would be on your “stuck on a desert island” scenario (favorite favorite), and Muse would definitely be hanging with me under the solitary palm tree on my desert island.
I love the Radiohead vibe they they sort-of have. I love that you could almost dance to some of the songs. I love that they can absolutely rock out and get heavier than heavy. For an example of this, listen to the end of “Stockholm Syndrome”.
I love the distressed, sometimes wobbly sound of Chris Wolstenholme’s bass guitar in a lot of the songs.
And of course, who doesn’t love Matt Bellamy’s solos? His perfectly timed rhythm guitar? The edginess of it all.
Also, the almost dubstep elements that work their way into the songs. It’s like Muse leaves no musical stone unturned. If a sound can be intense or good ear candy, they’ve explored it in their music. I dig that.
So the new album is more of an EP, and it is … different. Overall, very good, but definitely different. You still have the arpeggios, that bass sound, and that “beat” that makes you want to move, that they seem to pull off every time – but the vibe is a bit different. There were times while listening to the album that I was actually reminded of Duran Duran (“The Dark Side”).
Probably my favorite track of all of them is “Something Human” – not only for musical and melodic reasons, but for lyrical reasons as well. I think we’ve all felt this way. Check it out if you want to know what I am talking about.
If you want to get closer to “classic Muse”, you’re not going to find too much of that on this album, but it kinda begs the question – what exactly is classic Muse?
However, there’s an explanation for this, and Muse’s Matt Bellamy told Beats Radio that they do tend to have a habit of releasing a “rock” album, where they’re all standing in the same room and rocking out, and then they like to “disrupt” things every couple of albums and release something that breaks the rules, so to speak.
With this release, you’re actually treated to two EPs, there is sort of a side B, where you get stripped down versions of four of the songs.
Overall a very solid album from the trio of incredibly talented musicians. However, it does leave me wanting for more of the “heavier” muse that I fell in love with earlier in their career.