2013 Grammy Nominations:
- Best Rock Song for "Madness"
- Best Rock Album
I have been looking forward to listening to this album since the night my PA played "Madness" in the office… like five times over.
This is Muse's sixth album (shocking - I feel like they just came onto the scene recently, has it really been that long?) and their first with an advisory sticker (for the song "Panic Station." There's influences from life, Queen, and Skrillex throughout. The name comes from the second law of thermodynamics (quoted in "Unsustainable" - whoa, can't wait for that one). The cover is a map of the brain's pathways, to put it simply. Overall, a really interesting way about this one that only makes me more and more excited to hear it.
I was taken back a little by the first twenty seconds of "Supremacy," as the guitar is coming at us heavy and hard. But something about when those strings come in changes an opinion right quick. Then the familiar haunting lead vocals come in and I'm excited all over again to hear this thing. It's a little dark, a little twisted even, but it's kind of fascinating in a way too. Oh and there's the Queen influence we read about.
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"Madness" is really just a well done song. I don't know how else to explain the track. It sounds like falling in love. And it's so different and incredibly soothing as it goes on too. I can't even fully put into words just how intoxicating this song is, but it may be one of the best of the year, if that wasn't obviously by the nomination already.
Sounds like we're getting into a hot 80's song as "Panic Station" comes on. The beat is so old school that it's downright hip. Amazing how the right band can make that work so well. As for the song itself, I mean, I like it a lot, though it smacks you in the face a little much for me to love it.
That being said, we're led into "Survival." Talk about a 180. This one is downright cutesy until the drums kick in. Then things are taken downward and deeper, but that's the nature of this band and what they throw at us. There's almost this marching order sound to the backing singers, like an old choir singing of the pending doom to come. And he is singing about vengeance and the guitar is even taking this spiral. Man, this is sick and wonderful.
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This one's kind of all over the place. "Follow Me" starts in a dark, creepy place, moves into a sound of extreme longing, and then brings on the electronic house music to get you dancing into the arms of safety. It's kind of an interesting mix, and I think lyrically it means very well. Actually, to be honest, even as I'm writing this, the song really does grow on you. It's a sweet sentiment and downright comforting.
This is kind of exceed after so many albums that I was, well, less than fond of. "Animals" scurries in with a quick drumming juxtaposed to slow steady singing, all while a guitar comes in as it damn well pleases doing what it damn well wants. I'm sure it's some kind of commentary on the human race, as some of the comments seem to suggest. The song itself has an overall smokey kind of sound, which would be so great in a bar right now.
Oh man, I'm loving the feel of "Big Freeze." It moves like a good dance-rock song, while maintaining the oddness that Muse exudes. There is something pretty excellent here. It actually (and please don't throw things at me) reminds me a little bit of Bon Jovi (which is a compliment coming from this Jersey Girl). I just want to enjoy this on a morning trying to get ready for a long day. I feel like the beat's one that'll stick in your heart and make the day that much better.
"Save Me" is also the title of a fantastic Hanson song, but I'm guessing they haven't covered it here. In fact, the song is much more light and airy, almost with an edge of echo to carry you on the breeze.
And now we're back to a harder, tougher sound with "Liquid State." This is reminiscent of something you'd hear at a metal fest, which is just a little different than the rest of the album. I guess when you're this far in you don't necessarily need a consistent sound, you just need to be good. And let's face it, they really are. The sound's intense here (I know I've used that word a lot) and the one thing that really stands out right now is how different the vocals sound. Something's very strange and different here. We don't have the haunting lead vocals we're used to. Someone else's song, perhaps?
"The 2nd Law: Unsustainable" is epic. No, seriously, that's the whole song boiled down to one word. It's a huge concoction of sound from a symphony of strings and voices. Basically, it's probably nothing you'd expect from this album, and should be on a soundtrack for "Star Wars" (take your pick of which one). Then the law is, literally, spoken out word for word for you. The whole thing breaks out around halfway through to be a completely electronic massive force coming at you quite unexpectedly. I don't know how else to explain it at this point, but wow.
The last song on the album is "The 2nd Law: Isolated System." At five minute even, and after the last track, I'm completely interested in what's about to happen. I gentle falling of notes to start, and layering in some others as it goes, just building, makes for a fascinating anticipation of sound. Again, a lady's explanation comes in, though this time it get accompanied by what sound like news reports. Usually, this is a no for me, but try closing your eyes and getting lost in this. It's tough in a way, but can seriously take your mind away in such a hard and powerful way. This is something out of this world and incredible.
Added to My Playlist:
- "Follow Me"
- "Big Freeze"
- "The 2nd Law: Isolated System"
"In an isolated system, entropy can only increase." That line will hauntingly stick with me for the rest of the day and I have no good explanation as to why at all.
This was good. This was damn good.