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Muse provides its own inspiration

Becca Saunders | Thursday, September 23, 2004

While most bands today fit nicely into one genre or another, the British rock band Muse does not make categorizing so easy. With a variant range of song tempos, styles, lyrics, themes and much more throughout their latest album “Absolution,” Muse proves itself worthy of all the attention it has received over the past few months. The majority of people probably know of Muse’s hit single “Time Is Running Out.” Sadly, that is all some know, and that is absolutely tragic when there is an album as spectacular as “Absolution” that people everywhere could be enjoying. It is often difficult for a band to produce a truly unique sound that is not heavily similar to a predecessor or current band. Muse has triumphed on this count. “Absolution” has to be one of the most successfully diverse albums ever produced. Not only does it showcase fast, upbeat rock songs such as “Time is Running Out” and “Butterflies and Hurricanes,” but it also just as naturally and creatively contains slower ballad gems such as “Ruled by Secrecy” and “Sing for Absolution.” The songs sound great and with the mix of guitar, varied percussion, piano, bass and even an orchestra at some points, they sound unlike much that has been heard before. Muse is from England and as such is generally categorized as “Brit Rock,” which definitely comes through in their sound and album, but there is much more to the sound than that classification. The production is intentionally a bit rougher, even scratchy at times, creating a very rough and almost dirty sound. Definition of the exact sound is unimportant and nearly impossible, but it is a sound of highly musical rock. Talented musicians have come together to create a terrific album, and this is clear throughout the entirety of “Absolution.” Muse is composed of three main members: Matthew Bellamy on lead vocals, guitars and keyboards, Chris Wolstenholme on bass guitar and backing vocals and Dominic Howard on drums and percussion. The band entered the British music scene in the early nineties. Childhood friends, the band eventually came together under the name “Rocket Baby Dolls” and eventually became Muse. Out of the three studio albums that Muse has released, “Absolution” is certainly the mellowest, showing the band’s expanded musical talent as well as increased depth. “Absolution” took the place of a more upbeat album that was re-recorded after the war in Iraq began, affecting the members of Muse and the spirit of the album.The lyrics are well written and provocative throughout the album. In “Butterflies and Hurricanes,” the most recent release from the album, Bellamy croons, “Best, you’ve got to be the best / you’ve got to change the world / and use this chance to be heard / your time is now.” With equally somber and challenging lyrics throughout the album, one cannot help but gain immense respect for a band so developed lyrically and musically. It would be genuinely impossible to regret adding Muse to your music collection if you are a rock fan. “Absolution” is mature musically, lyrically and instrumentally. Even if someone were to dislike the actual album, it would be impossible not to appreciate the unique sound that Muse so successfully develops throughout the album. The band name doesn’t lie, this album will inspire you.