Muse Absolution
Grade
A-
 
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The band Muse, who first caught the eyes of rabid critics with the successful sophomore effort Origin of Symmetry, has finally come up with Absolution after two years in silence. In the year 2003, where truly notable albums were few and far between, this new outing are one of the few to come up tops, as it also seems to represent their biggest attempt for a lasting place in the increasingly lucrative but evidently overheard genre of UK alternative rock. The trio of Matthew Bellamy, Chris Wolstenholme and Dominic Howard have managed to produce an album with that certain from-another-world type of music to it, complemented by a creative dose of coherent songwriting and powerful vocal strength to make Absolution a very satisfying album.

The first track, Apocalypse Please, had Bellamy sounding strikingly similar to Thom Yorke’s easily recognizable vocals. Even, from the theme right to the melancholic line of ‘and pull us through’, you might imagine it as very OK Computer-esque. Sing for Absolution and Falling Away With You (more notably the latter) featured a substantially sentimental value to them while at the same time maintaining a steadily progressive feel instead of being a bunch of uninteresting love songs with a bored-to-death tune. Dying Thoughts of an Atheist was a strange track though, as it combines a paranoia theme but with a decidedly feel-good vocal execution. And the inspiring piece of orchestrated melody in Blackout was a decent effort but it fails due to the lyrical weakness of this track and its short length.

On the other hand, the single Time is Running Out is a very enjoyable song with some depth and an all-out melodious chorus and ending to it. Stockholm Syndrome (not to be mistaken with a Blink 182 song of the same name) and The Small Print had them breaking out in a rage of pounding hard rock, and it was the same case again for the aptly-titled Hysteria, another ferocious song with will definitely leave you awestruck and dumbfounded. For a more moderate tune though, check out Butterflies and Hurricanes, which had the most prog-rock feel to it from all the songs on Absolution.

In the end, Muse’s new work can be concluded as a brilliant album, although it doesn’t exactly sound like anything you haven’t heard before. But for a refreshing take on a genre which is fast becoming a sellout, try this album and you will not be disappointed.

- - FREEQZ

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