Release Year: 2012
*Sorry that this is up so late, I had the most hectic day. But it’s up now so enjoy!
Earlier this summer Muse released their first single from their upcoming album The 2nd Law with “Survival,” which went on to become the official anthem of the 2012 Olympics. As always, the single was met with mixed reviews. So what does the band do? Release another single that garners even more negative reactions. “Unsustainable” is actually the song that was featured in the trailer for their new album, which made everyone question whether the band was going dubstep. While it may be such a shock to hear this type of music coming from Muse, after a few listens it starts to grow on you.
The song starts with a string section, which is typical for the band, so it begins pretty normal. The song then gets a little weird when a news reporter comes on talking about all sorts of crisis going on in the world and gives us a glimpse at the post apocalyptic future. The reporter doesn’t get a chance to finish because she’s interrupted by a robotic voice saying “Un-sus-tain-able.” Then the track dives into dubstep, dropping the bass and all. This format is repeated for the rest of the song with the second part containing Matt’s infamous wails and coos.
The first thought that popped into my head when I heard this track was “what the fuck Muse.” And I wasn’t alone. I’ve mentioned before that I’m not a fan of dubstep, especially when artists who have nothing to do with the genre decide to try it out (looking at you Rob Zombie). I really didn’t know how to feel about the song after I heard it. I wanted to hate it because this isn’t the Muse that I’ve come to know and admire; I didn’t know what this was. But later on, I found that I was singing it in my head (even though there’s only one lyric). And after listening to it five more times, I decided that I don’t hate it. I don’t love it either, but I can live with it. It may even be a song I can listen to regularly.
What makes the song bearable for me is that the band didn’t completely abandon their sound in favor of dubstep. It does have elements of classic Muse, with the string music and the wailing from Bellamy. You can even hear elements of their guitar and bass during the electronic part. Also, the dubstep doesn’t sound that bad. I’ve heard far worse and more annoying than the type featured in the song and it doesn’t go for too long. Surprisingly, it becomes catchy. Maybe the song would fare better with actual lyrics instead of a robot saying “Un-sus-tain, un-sus-tain.”
Overall, the song gets 7/10. It’s not the best Muse song for sure, but it’s definitely not the worst. It’s different for sure and will most certainly leave you confused, but after hearing it a few times it may grow on you. It’s one of those songs you have to listen to a lot in order to decide whether or not you like it. As mentioned before, the band doesn’t completely abandon their sound for the single and it’s cool that they want to try new styles. As long as this type of music isn’t featured on the entire album, I can live with it.