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Friday, June 30, 2006
  and i'm waiting patiently, waiting for a sign.
on july 11th Muse is releasing the follow-up to their highly successful 2004 album Absolution. Black Holes And Revelations is a maturing for them, a bit of a branching out from that Radiohead-esque driving rock feel that Absolution banked on. don't get me wrong, though - as many people will tell you, Matthew Belamy still sounds like Thom Yorke for a great portion of the album, but his occasional wailing and the accompanying instrumentals from Chris Wolstenholme and Dominic Howard separate them from the Radiohead of old.

something that many artists have lost sight of is the overall cohesiveness of the final album. as elaborated upon in High Fidelity, there is an art to a mix tape, and there should be an art to the ebb and flow of an album as well. i'm not saying it's perfect and that everyone will enjoy it, but Black Holes tells a story. you can feel it take you on a journey over the fifty minutes and six seconds of emotion that these three guys pour through their instruments. you're drawn in slowly and gradually by the opener, Take A Bow, and quickly led through that into Starlight, a rocking piano ballad reminiscent of something from Absolution, with those easily recognizable vocals when he gets into his higher register. and then, for a change of scenery, you're thrown into a Supermassive Black Hole, a sort of dance-funk groove-rock mash-up of genres with light falsetto melodies and backs that are prone to get stuck in everyone's head this summer. Map Of The Problematique is the uptempo song to bring you into the middle part of the album, with tight background harmonies and a beat that you would be likely to feel in an underground club in europe. there's a momentary lull as you're carried off into the dark night by a Soldier's Poem, its pretty melodies echoing, rising and falling like your own breath, until the military drums of Invincible march you toward the oncoming battle, vocals climbing with intensity. and then you're right back into it, full on prog. rock feel, almost like Porcupine Tree, with the driving double bass leading you into the heavy drums and raw guitars of Exo Politics. arriving at the City Of Delusion, it's like a spanish bullfight, a piercing trumpet solo riding the surging energy and sense of urgency. but then all is quiet for a moment: Hoodoo. you're on a barren street, like a western showdown, the strings building into the triumphant piano entrance and then back down to the final onslaught: the Knights Of Cydonia have arrived. the controlled galactic surf-rock conflict turns into an all out explosion, a clash of the titans introduced by Queen-esque harmonies:
no one's gonna take me alive,
the time has come to make things right.
you and i must fight for our rights,
you and i must fight to survive

when the battle is won, Glorious plays like an epilogue, leading you back home. victory has been secured, and you're returning safely.

visit their myspace to listen to the entire album from start to finish
preorder the album from amazon

::::here's some lovin' for you to keep
Muse - Map Of The Problematique
Muse - Soldier's Poem
Muse - Hoodoo

::::BONUS - a special song for you special people
Muse - Glorious
Thanks for Glorious... this one's missing on the European release. Guess that's the price we pay for getting the album over a week earlier! ;)

And I really do like it; once I've sorted my thoughts about it, it will pop up on my blog for sure!
Man so true. Whatever happened to albums? They're not just whatever songs you wrote most recently put together, they should be extra awesome. Man Queen was hell of good at doing albums. That is also my way of saying that I recently downloaded their complete discography and it is to good to be true. Anyway, great insight.
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