Muse - Simulation Theory
Aug 31, 2018 (updated Nov 9, 2018)
15
I could give this album a 0/10 and make a snarky joke about how my "prediction" was right, but I'd like to use my spot at top review to share some thoughts rather than jumping on the Muse hate train just for the sake of it.

As we all know, a lot of people stopped taking Muse seriously a while, but Muse is persistent in making their music sound grander than its artistic context. In reality, Simulation Theory is the musical equivalent of fanfiction: it is gimmicky, pandering, and redundant despite having occasional moments of originality.

Muse sure channels their influences, but so much to a point where the majority of the instrumentals on this album sound like they just got ripped off from any 80s music. When Muse made Map of the Problematique, they were able to add their own twist to the synth-heavy late 80s Depeche Mode sound and make it something completely of Muse's own ethos. Simulation Theory, however, allows us to witness Muse taking heavily some of the most typical 80s sounds without adding their own twists for over half of the time. This especially sucks since Muse's sound is usually more interesting than what they have to say, and losing their biggest charm of originality on Simulation Theory is a big mistake on Muse's part.

There is no doubt that Muse knows that their fans are absolute suckers for rebellious messages, so of course they'll try to over-milk it on a lot of their albums, and this album is no exception. Also, Matt & Company seems to care very much about having that couple of "old Muse" vibe songs to hype the fans up, which means that they have a hard time completely letting go of that sense self-importance. Sadly, Muse are adventurers with music, so they ended up try to cater both the "new" sound and the "old" sound, making Simulation Theory oddly inconsistent. Muse needs to let go of that part of them that wants to please the old fans and make their songs "Muse-sounding," so they can actually experiment with their concepts and sounds in a less predictable and mundane way.

What's worse is that the themes of oppression, rebellion, and conspiracy theory, which all were common but not definitive of older Muse's sound, became the main selling points of new Muse's music as a whole. While those subjects are not inherently redundant on their own, what Muse had to say about them in Simulation Theory has already been said in every one of their albums since Black Holes and Revelations. The cherry on top is how cheesy those messages has become... Seriously, "you've been bitten by a true believer" is one of the corniest Muse lines, and that is a low bar given that Matt was never the best lyricist even back in his Origin of Symmetry/Absolution days.

However, this album isn't completely without redeemable qualities. Pressure is actually quite fun! It's definitely a breeze of fresh air amid all the Matt Bellamy stroking his own bullshit. But that's it for exciting moments. (I can kind of appreciate that they're trying to go for something slightly exciting on Break It to Me, but overall that song isn't well-executed).

FAVORITE TRACKS:
- Pressure
- The Dark Side (still very flawed but better compared to most other songs)

LEAST FAV TRACKS:
- Get Up and Fight (biggest cliche among cliches)
- Dig Down (FUCK the chorus)
- Propaganda (laughably laughable)
8 Comments
Aug 31, 2018
yeah that sounds about right
Sep 1, 2018
[hidden]
Sep 1, 2018
This can't be better than The 2nd Law... and T2L is a 2/10 in my book
Oct 15, 2018
5/100 tho👀
Oct 15, 2018
yes maybe
still high tho
Nov 14, 2018
This review is more like it 😪 well said. Great review
Nov 14, 2018
ay thanks brad
Dec 30, 2018
*Stopped taking Muse seriously a while* I think should read *Stopped taking Muse seriously for awhile*. God I hate this album, how far the band has fallen when Drones feels like the Glory Days
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