Muse - Absolution
Critic Score
Based on 10 reviews
2003 Ratings: #50 / 293
User Score
Based on 795 ratings
2003 Ratings: #58
Liked by 51 people
September 15, 2003 / Release Date
LP / Format
A&E, East West, Mushroom Taste / Label
John Cornfield, Rich Costey, Muse, Paul Reeve / Producer
muse.mu / Website
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Drowned in Sound

With their third studio album, 'Absolution', they have crafted a truly elemental opus.

Muse have widened the goalposts and re-established what rock is allowed to stand for. Next to ‘Absolution’, even something as majestic as ‘Elephant’ sounds so painfully small.
Tiny Mix Tapes

Absolution is an emotional, philosophical, sophisticated, poetic, and beautiful piece of rock music that does this pathetic planet proud.


Muse continues to make unrelenting hardcore art rock; Absolution is a tad cheesy, a bit too grandiose in its ambitions, bursting at the seams with too many ideas, and thus exactly what any Muse fan craves.

The Guardian

Like Coldplay on A Rush of Blood to the Head, Muse sound like a band who are at the top of their game. Their confidence carries you through the album's excesses.

Rolling Stone
It's too bad that vocalist Matt Bellamy doesn't bring as much ingenuity to his singing.

(Band Binge: Muse Part Three of Six)

So, from one of the tightest and fun rock records of the early 2000s, how do you top or continue that feat?

Make a concept album of coarse!

From talking about the world and the emotions that is inside of themselves, Muse take a very minor risk and try to do something that at the time they had never done before: talk about the world at large with their very first concept record. So what's the concept? Well, the first track paints it pretty well. It's the ... read more


Another one of Rock music's unsung masterpieces. I'd like to think that had this album received the praise it deserved, Muse would have continued to develop their sound while continuing to create the complex basslines, piano crusades and guitar solo's even jimi hendrix would blush at. Instead we have what we have.


It's dark, it's pure rock, it's thrilling, this is an absolutely fantastic album from Muse.
I can see the themes of conformity, confusion, and despair screaming at me with the high ends of the record going into the most metal-punk sounds I've ever heard from Muse in Stockholm Syndrome and Hysteria, to the saddening reflections on Ruled by Secrecy and Blackout, I love this record.

Favs: Time is Running Out, Stockholm Syndrome, Falling Away with You, Hysteria, Blackout, Butterflies & ... read more


Previous Rating - 82


A step down from Origin of Symmetry due to lower album cohesion and slightly more inconsistency in song quality, but the energy is still here and the heavy rock instrumentation gets effortlessly mixed with orchestral and symphonic elements as well as more synth arpeggios. Solid album and one of their best.

Best Tracks: Apocalypse Please, Sing For Absolution, Stockholm Syndrome, Blackout, Endlessly, Ruled By Secrecy
Worst Tracks: None



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