Muse - Absolution
Sep 4, 2019
92
(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 end of the world, and Muse are writing about it from different perspectives, either from the maniacal Christians ('Apocalypse Please'), from a more metaphorical perspective of the end of everything ('Time Is Running Out'), a loving couple ('Falling Away from You') or madmen being able to do whatever they want in this situation ('Ruled By Secrecy', 'The Small Print'). It's basically Muse's definitive take on the end of days...and goddamn does it slap.

This album, compared to Muse's other records, are a lot more subdued and laid-back, with a lot more classical and piano driven tracks taking up a majority of the record, and even when the album is going full force on other tracks, the presence of these other tracks are felt in the background or looming over the audience like the grim reaper. The explosions of tracks like 'Stockholm Syndrome', 'The Small Print' and 'Hysteria' are met with equally beautiful and slower tracks like 'Butterflies and Hurricanes', 'Blackout', 'Ruled by Secrecy' and 'Sing for Absolution'. It's the most somber in tone and slowest in sound record Muse have released up to this point...but it never becomes a chore.

Recent Muse (at lest Resistance-era) have exchanged innovative and interesting production and sounds for political and in your face 'WAKE UP SHEEPALE' songwriting that at times is interesting, but usually comes off as pretty vapourish and extremely boring to at lest me, but Absolution still keeps that drive going throughout all of these tracks, going from blisteringly heavy to emotionally quiet in a matter of seconds. It's a slap to the face while also comforting and quite beautiful. And the important thing is that these songs are fun, energetic, catchy and just joys to listen to over and over. Hell, this album has some of Muse's poppiest tunes in years such as 'Time is Running Out' and 'Endlessly', but this is fine and welcomed because it ties so naturally into the heavy and in your face nature of Muse at this point.

Hell, some of my favorite moments from this album are the more delicate, more emotional, and more hidden tracks on the album, just because its so fucking lovely to hear coming from a band that clearly wants to do the best job at creating something creative and interesting, and I can't help but get choked up in moments like 'Blackout' and 'Ruled by Secrecy', hell, even 'Thoughts of a Dying Atheist's themes of uncertainty and lack of faith are something that hits particularly hard for me personally.

This is a record that is not only life affirming but genre affirming. This is the make it or break it record for Muse, and by god did they make it. They created the album that THEY wanted to make, no one else. It's a classic not only in the discography of Muse, but in rock music in general. It's a grand statement, and it's a loud and proud one at that. Yes, one day we will all die. But it's moments like this that make that journey all the more interesting.

Favorite Jams: Blackout, Stockholm Syndrome, The Small Print

Lest Favorite: (I guess it's Intro but if we getting nitty gritty) Endlessly (even though the production is amazing)

Next week we look at the sci-fi masterpiece that is Black Holes and Revelations. See ya then!

Original Review:

Not only is the home of some of Muses best tracks, it's also the start of the bands love for conceptual works, describing the end of the world itself. From loud rock bangers to more subtle poppy endevours, it's a great Muse album.

Favorite jams: Stockholm Syndrome, The Small Print, Blackout (so not much has changed)

Lest Favorite: Intro
1 Comment
Sep 7, 2019
My favorite album of all time, such a good record !
Liked By
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