For their second album Muse comes back bigger, better and stronger than ever. It’s hard to say why but this album is a great improvement from their debut. The songs are outstanding, the music is killer, and Bellamy’s vocals are beautiful, chilling, and insane. This album has some of the band’s most well known songs and is a favorite among fans today.
There are so many awesome songs on this album that it’s hard to pick out the stellar tracks. “New Born” the energetic opening track, starts with a beautiful, twinkling piano intro that sounds mystical. Bellamy doesn’t disappoint in the vocal department as his voice soars higher and higher. And while the guitar playing is excellent, especially the racing solo, the bass playing really stands out here. The next track “Bliss” must describe how you feel when listening to the song. This is another song that opens with beautiful, dreamy music, with a hint of sci-fi sound effects. This is a sweet love song that is beautifully sung by Matt.
“Space Dementia” is the song that made me realize how underrated Muse is in the States. It begins with creeping piano playing, which is actually very pretty and gives off this haunting atmosphere. Then the piano riff loops throughout the song in a dizzy manner. Despite how pretty the music may be, this seems to be a bitter love song or a kiss off to a lover. Bellamy sings “You make me sick/because I adore you so/I love all the dirty tricks/ and twisted games you play on me.” This woman is like a bad drug he can’t give up. The song goes on for five minutes before it is brought down to a lull where the music dims and Bellamy croons the last few lines. A truly amazing song.
Just as with the first album, the vocals here are amazing. While Bellamy demonstrated his awesome gift before, his voice is even stronger here. He also seems to have better control over it. There are songs where he sounds vulnerable and sweet, as if singing a lullaby. Other times, he sounds aggressive and angry like on the track “Futurism.” Not only are his vocals impressive when he normally sings, but his falsetto is out of this world. You can hear them best on “Micro Cuts,” where he sings the entire song this way. The way he’s singing will send chills through your body. It’s actually pretty haunting. The vocals grow more and more insane as the song goes on. It’s amazing to think that Maverick Records, Muse’s U.S. record company, wanted the band to remove the falsetto in order to get better radio play, but the band refused and left the record label as a result. A very wise decision.
Besides the vocals, the music is amazing as well. The guitar riffs are memorable, insane, killer and melodic. There are times when it can be down right epic, like on the closing track “Megalomania.” What’s different about the music here is the bass has more of a presence. The guitar is not as much as a driving force as it was before. There are so many songs where you can hear the power of the bass. “Plug in Baby” may be known for it’s dancing guitar riff, but the bass line that plays during the verses is just as amazing. The band also seems to use the piano more here. While the instrument was featured on their first album, it’s used even more here. There are times when it’s beautiful and dreamy, while at other times it’s jarring and abrupt like on the track “Dark Shines.” It really adds to their sound and Bellamy gets to show off his piano skills.
Overall, the album gets 9/10. It’s a great improvement from their first album. Everything here is more powerful and more epic. All of the songs are so outstanding that it’s hard to play favorites. As always, Bellamy’s vocals will amaze and haunt you. The band plays around with different instruments on this album, which gives the album a well-rounded sound and keeps it from getting boring. This is a great album and and awesome band that still deserves more recognition in the US.