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"And pull us through/And this is the end/This is the end of the world." An ominous piano crashes into "Apocalypse," which is only one of several songs with a deathly edge, such as the epic "Time is Running Out" or the soaring "Butterflies and Hurricanes" ("Fights and battles have begun/Revenge will surely come/Your hard times are ahead..."). Even the most intimate song is the thoughts of a dying atheist, afraid of what is -- and isn't -- after death.
But Muse is also focusing on love. Dead loves, lost loves, and the idea of loves that can't or won't last out. The delicate, bittersweet "Sing for Absolution" is perhaps the purest example of this -- a love song for a woman who is apparently dead. Other songs focus on the mix of love and hate, and the feeling of love crumbling away.
That focus of death and love -- or both together -- is what makes "Absolution" so compelling. Muse is often written off as a Radiohead clone, but their sound is more complex, and their focus is darker. A riff here and there echoes of Radiohead, and Matt Bellamy's voice echoes that of Thom Yorke. But that's about all.
There's nothing spacey or eerie about Muse's brand of rock. Instead, they opt for a soaring, rich sound, with orchestral melodies. It's obvious that Bellamy has studied not just rock, but classical as well -- he integrates the epic quality of classical music into a melody written for guitar, bass, piano and drums.Read more ›
Muse are bone-fide stars in their home country of England and, to a lesser degree, elsewhere in Europe. They headline the massive UK open-air festival V2004 later this summer. To put that in contrast: about two months ago, Muse played Top Cat's here in Cincinnati, which holds about 200 people or so, give or take a few dozen (at least it was sold out!). True story. I still can't hardly believe it myself.
A sign of their maturity as artists, the theme that resonates throughout the album is the desire to overcome inner struggles to find liberation. The songs embody a series of life's big and little problems, becoming an anthem for each. Every song creates its own world to enter, whether it be obsession, like the pompous electricity of "Hysteria", or indifference which comes from melancholy tunes like Blackout. Lyrics like "Don't grow up too fast/ And don't embrace the past/ This life's too good to last/ And I'm too young to care" cannot be ignored, and personify the prevailing emotions, while it is the hypnotic music which leaves the lingering effects.
What seems to be the heart of the album is "Butterflies and Hurricanes," which is at once intimidating and inspirational. This song with its provocative yet simple lyrics awakens the audience with Bellamy's voice that shifts from a wistful lullaby to a resounding operatic strain. His vocal styles mixed with the fusion of dominant orchestral authority with intense rock music create a song that leaves the listener breathless.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Exellent Muse's album. The songs Hysteria, Stockholm Syndrome and Apocalypse Please are just famous, but Falling Away With You don't match with the album's style. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Citizen Erased
Such a powerful CD. There isn't one weak song on this disc. I can listen to it over and over and never get sick of it. Haunting vocals.Published on Feb. 2 2008 by Carlita
Apparently the third time was the charm -- little-known Brit-rock band Muse's third album was the one to break out in the US. Read morePublished on Feb. 22 2007 by EA Solinas
This is one of the best bands out there right now and no one in North America has heard of them before. I think this is going to be huge very soon. Rock on guys! You deserve itPublished on July 6 2006 by Dr Doom
Absolution is a great album and Muse is a good group.They have an extraordinary sound that not a lot of artists have.You must have this Cd.Published on June 28 2006 by Sophie
Get all the Muse memreobilia you can! You'll be able to sell it later at an inflated cost to fans who wanna get it in the future. Read morePublished on March 3 2006 by Kevin
This Cd is awe-inspiring.Matt Bellamy's voice is truly haunting and incredible to hear.The guitar,piano,bass and drums all fit perfectly together.I love this band. Read morePublished on July 10 2005 by bryandd