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When I was fourteen, Muse became my favorite band. Considering what I’d been listening to before I heard them, they were actually a fairly sophisticated choice. I was finally starting to move beyond the realm of bands like Good Charlotte, Senses Fail, and New Found Glory (which I had moved on to from Christian music). I had been taking piano lessons for about five years, and I had grown to hate the instrument, mostly because I hated my teacher. So I was impressed with a band like Muse, who could write songs in which the piano sounded like something wholly different from the object of my distaste. They were playing the kind of music that I had always wanted to learn in my lessons but never did.  It wasn’t necessarily difficult to play (barring the solo in “Butterflies And Hurricanes,” which floored me when my fourteen year old ears heard it), but it was certainly memorable, and as someone who wanted to forget all about the piano, that impressed me to no end.

Looking back, I find myself much more ashamed of loving them as much as I did than I am of loving a band like Good Charlotte, because Muse are now the worst band ever.

When Muse first started getting a lot of attention, there were a lot of Radiohead comparisons, which sent die-hard Radiohead fans into a tizzy because of Muse’s supposed unworthiness of the honor. That’s true, of course – Radiohead are a far superior band – but the comparisons aren’t unwarranted, exactly. Muse were basically a more radio-friendly version of Radiohead, and I can sort of see how people who didn’t like Radiohead would latch on to a band like Muse, who are easier to understand and require far less of the listener’s attention. When I first heard Muse, I was a long way from being a Radiohead listener, so I never thought of any of this then, but now I can’t help wondering whether or not Matt Bellamy was perfectly aware of what he was doing; that is, did he know how similar his band sounded to Radiohead, and did he make it that way to reach success?

It sort of makes sense in a far-reaching way. Consider the fact that after Absolution, their breakout album in the mainstream, they basically abandoned their earlier formula and started doing their own thing with Black Holes And Revelations. There were still similarities, but Bellamy had obviously gotten a bit full of himself, and the music became similarly bloated. It was also the start of Muse’s string of awful, pandering singles, the first of which was “Starlight,” a song with a piano motif that brings to mind the bouncing melody of a song like Van Halen’s “Jump” that gets stuck in your head no matter how much you dislike the song. It’s debatable whether Muse were ever truly creative, but they at least definitely came close with their first few albums, no matter how much they aped Radiohead.

After gaining success, however, they abandoned creativity in favor of adding in every stupid element they could think of to their music to try to cover up how woefully inadequate their songwriting had become.  It’s similar to the criticisms lobbed at Lady Gaga.  Her detractors will say that she uses her elaborate costumes, concert set pieces, and music videos to cover up the fact that she’s not actually creative or different at all.  That’s how I see Muse these days.  The latest song of theirs to dominate the airwaves is “Uprising,” a song so unbearably horrible that I want to punch my fourteen year old self in the face.  Why does Bellamy insist on stretching out either the beginning or the end of every line in the chorus for at least three or four seconds?  He does that in “Starlight” too.  Also “Stockholm Syndrome.”  And “Time Is Running Out” as well.  I’m not going to rant and rail about how everybody should hate Muse and the fact that they’re popular proves how doomed the world is or something.  That would be hypocritical.  But it does seem like a lot of their fans are still on the Muse wagon out of nostalgia, and Bellamy is able to keep them there by adding in just enough crazy shit to the songs to make people think that he’s doing something interesting.

Back when they were my favorite band, Muse deserved to be big.  But when they actually got there, everything went to shit.  Now, each of the three members has their own Wikipedia page, even the shitty drummer, and stages like this are somehow seen as a viable option for them.  They blew every good thing about their music out of proportion to the point of ridiculousness, and I find myself so bothered by their new music that it actually makes me question whether or not I should have loved their earlier albums in the first place.  Even now when I (rarely) listen to The Origin Of Symmetry or Absolution, I can’t help but notice the sour taste in the back of my throat.  A favorite band losing favor in the eyes of the listener is par for the course for people who consistently find new music, but it always comes a surprise, especially when it’s this violent and sudden, and it does make me a bit sad.

But holy god “Uprising” is a shitty song.





mynameischan
12.11.10
here it comes

emmy
12.11.10
i went to japan overnight for THIS?

mynameischan
12.11.10
the fact that a joke like that is still funny and memorable four years later shows how bad sputnik is now

ConsiderPhlebas
12.11.10
If you're so bothered about Sputnik being bad stop spewing out tosh like this

mynameischan
12.11.10
tosh.0

ConsiderPhlebas
12.11.10
Muse do suck balls now though

DaveyBoy
12.11.10
No, you are.

Thankfully, Muse still rock live.

Puzzles
12.11.10
CAPTAIN OBVIOUS... STRIKES AGAIN!

Knott-
12.11.10
FUCKINAGREE

Maniac!
12.11.10
Muse always sucked

Josh D.
12.11.10
I mean, Muse was never good really.

cvlts
12.11.10
Whats Muse?

whywontyoudie
12.11.10
gewd read

Aids
12.11.10
I haven't read this yet but I can already tell I agree by the title. Those guys (Bellamy in particular) let the fame go to their heads and they started creating pretentious piles of shit for songs.

natey
12.11.10
haha my life went Christian rock > Muse > whatever I listen to now too AGREED

Aids
12.11.10
Finished reading it now. Great right-up, although I still think the Radiohead comparisons are lacking in any real evidence. It's really a shame how shitty they've become.

And that photo of their stage could've been taken by me when I saw them, that was like, my exact angle.

Xenophanes
12.11.10
Agreed with their "suckiness" as of late...

bloc
12.11.10
First time I ever saw Muse was on TV during the 2003 Brit Awards and they were playing Hysteria of all the possible songs.

I immediately fell in love, but given the last two albums, I haven't been giving the band too much attention.

2muchket!
12.11.10
Muse are better than radiohead though.

BUT THIS IS PITCHFORK FOR 4CHAN REJECTS SO WHO THE FUCKS CARES LIKE YANO

Rhinoceron
12.11.10
i didnt think black holes was all that bad. but goddamn every aspect of the resistance was terrible.

Emim
12.11.10
I would have much rather have read a reminiscing of how good The Origin of Symmetry was...

Saw them in September and the My Own Summer intro riff they covered was my favorite part of the show.

Defeater
12.11.10
band was always average tbh

you're just partial to bands with homosexuals in them chan

TMobotron
12.11.10
holy shit that stage is retarded

ZiggyPop
12.11.10
Muse has taken the same road as throngs of pop bands before them. Yes, the whole Orwellian thing was poorly done through an album of mediocre songs - but they are doing a lot of things right.

Take Weezer as comparison: they do whatever the fuck they want on record because they know all that's needed is a radio single to get them on the road. Both bands have gone stale creatively and have integrated silly/expensive aspects to their show because they can.

Pop bands make music for mass consumption - particularly by young people. They've made a spectacle out of themselves now, but the music was always a little pompous.

OK Computer obviously influenced their sound, but to say Muse's music is easier to understand is misleading. Any Radiohead sounds applied by Muse are taken from that band's radio-friendly side anyway. It seems you're getting a little too worked up over a trailing falsetto.

And Origin of Symmetry is a great record :)

Hep Kat
12.11.10
i dont really like muse all that much and i never really have. but i gotta say, i think yo hater is getting to me cuz i cant stop reading this as "Chan's Plans are really awful now" :(


GET OUT OF MY HEAD

Emim
12.11.10
^Same. That was honestly the reason I clicked.

spillingmercury
12.11.10
At least you got into Muse before they released the shit storm that was the Resistance. I got into them right after my friend bitched to me about how awful it was, and how good their old shit was. So I ended up listening to their old shit to compare to their new.

I saw them live though. Despite Bellamy coming off to be something of a douchebag, I think they're still good live, and that they put on a good show. Their speakers blew out midway into the first song, and they came back after 3-5 minutes apologizing and restarting the song from where they left off.

Maybe if they stopped trying to rip off Queen and Chopin they might stop being so shitty as of late. Someone told me they kind of sound like a second-rate U2 on BHAR. I couldn't get over that afterwards.

Idg random hate on the drummer though, besides that he probably just nods his head and does what he's told when it comes to their music production. I mean, I don't know shit about drums but from what I hear, I don't think he's horrible at what he does. He's highly overrated, but their fanbase will cream themselves and call anything they say or do gifts from god.

TL;DR version: Yeah. I agree with you.

fr33convict
12.11.10
People who say Muse doesn't sound like Radiohead:
1. Make a playlist.
2. Put in any Muse ballad from Absolution or before.
3. Put in a Radiohead CD.
4. Shuffle it and try to spot the Muse song.

Emim
12.11.10
HOLY SHIT THEY SOUND EXACTLY ALIKE YOU HAVE RUINED THOSE BANDS FOR ME

FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU

tombits
12.11.10
"Looking back, I find myself much more ashamed of loving them as much as I did than I am of loving a band like Good Charlotte, because Muse are now the worst band ever."

Best sentence you've ever written Chan.

Knott-
12.11.10
yeah that part made me lol

Titan50
12.11.10
Couldn't agree more. For a short while Muse were my favourite band, but when I heard The Resistance I was just horrified. It's incredibly annoying how people are going "LOL MUSE ARE SHIT" on the basis of those songs and the subpar BH&R singles, when they haven't heard the likes of Stockholm Syndrome or New Born, which are seriously mindblowing

StrizzMatik
12.11.10
Worst band ever? Really? Resistance is horrible but OOS and Absolution are both great albums. They owe a lot more to Queen and classical music than Radiohead although the influence is apparent, just like I could say that both Yorke and Bellamy both ripped off Jeff Buckley, and they'd both cop to it. I guess we'll see where they go on the next album, but hopefully it's in a more aggressive direction with massive grooves like in the "full" version of "Assassin" (the Grand Omega Boss Edit)...

STOP SHOUTING!
12.11.10
the problem isn't your writing, but that you aren't saying anything insightful in this particular plan. you're not saying much more than "muse are bad".

TMobotron
12.11.10
who says he has to? i thought it seemed pretty clear that he wasnt trying to be insightful or accomplish some greater goal with this. part of being a talented writer is being able to make reading about a very simple idea actually enjoyable, it was a fine post i thought.

ConsiderPhlebas
12.11.10
Wasting talent on fatuous bullshit isn't a positive thing

seifer
12.11.10
lol muse and somebody told me that they made a song for twilight

Fuff24
12.11.10
I never got into muse baring a few songs, but the new shit they put out is pretty terrible to say the least. good job w/ this article

Skimaskcheck
12.11.10
Agree with this so much. Their latest is horrible. they were great live though (had to see them after Resistance was released unfortunately)

and Showbiz is so underrated

couldwinarabbit
12.11.10

"OK Computer obviously influenced their sound, but to say Muse's music is easier to understand is misleading. "
bullshit. Invincible has about the same level of complexity and a hilary duff song.

great plan chan.

witchxrapist
12.11.10
"the fact that a joke like that is still funny and memorable four years later shows how bad sputnik is now"

truth

also, kids who hate me always ripping my "needs more breakdowns" :[

marksellsuswallets
12.11.10
Holy fuck that stage...

Romulus
12.11.10
"Why does Bellamy insist on stretching out either the beginning or the end of every line in the chorus for at least three or four seconds? "

i am so happy someone touched on this

DiceMan
12.11.10
I'm at the point where I tell everyone that Coldplay and Muse are both bands that made an entire career ripping off OK Computer.

G3N3R1C
12.11.10
The Resistance was.... alright. I loved it at first, but it wore off on me pretty quick.

Although, it's probably worth noting that BHAR was my first Muse album, so...

SowingSeason
12.11.10
I agree they are so fucking awful now

pizzamachine
12.11.10
They didn't go reggae? Instant fail.

SmurkinGherkin
12.11.10
Muse were my Gods back when i was 13. Absolution, OoS and BHaR were pretty much all i listened to. Latest album was so shit and I don't see them getting any better.

I've never really seen how Muse 'rip off' Radiohead, they're a big influence, sure, but I've never really thought they sounded THAT similar.

witchxrapist
12.11.10
"They didn't go reggae? Instant fail."
this post is stupid, insant fail

mynameischan
12.11.10
well phlebas and STOP SHOUTING people are seemingly going to have a problem with whatever i write anyway so i don't actually give a shit

Kris.
12.11.10
that stage is fucking ridiclous
this band hasn't been good since absolution
it's sad

AtavanHalen
12.12.10
Everyone having a bawww over a fucking Sputnik blog can FOAD forthwith.

Good read, Chan - that said, I saw Muse on Friday for $20 and it was a good gig when they weren't playing shit from The Resistance.

FlawedPerfection
12.12.10
I'm with you here. Got into Muse at about the same time, thought they ruled for years. But oh my god The Resistance is so fucking terrible. I tried to force myself to like Exogenesis, but ugh why.

IAmInsect
12.12.10
good read. i actually like black holes though. but yeah resistance is horrible

Knott-
12.12.10
seriously their new album is one of the worst things i've heard in the last 2 years

astrel
12.12.10
My friend hated seeing them live last month, and he was so excited before he left. The drummer of Muse is okay, especially on songs like Butterflies & Hurricanes and Assassin.

DhA
12.12.10
Muse always sucked.

ZiggyPop
12.12.10
"Invincible has about the same level of complexity and a hilary duff song."

Yeah but "Creep" ...

what I'm saying is there is more to this band that blatant ripoffs. Radiohead is clearly a more diverse and proficient band, but Muse has written songs that aren't a far throw from the quality of some of the comprable Radiohead. That being said Radiohead came first, and obviously Muse draw influence - but i'd argue that few aren't directly influenced by some side of Radiohead.

Jash
12.12.10
moar like "chan's very, as of late, prolific amount of plans"

mynameischan
12.12.10
the drummer isn't really that shitty, i just find it funny that he's got his own wikipedia page that lists like every piece of equipment he's ever touched

spillingmercury
12.12.10
"Howard uses a selection of Zildjian cymbals. Over the years his tastes in cymbals have changed - for example, on the Hullabaloo DVD he uses 13" A Custom Projection hi-hats, 8" A Custom splash, 11" FX Oriental "Trash" Splash, 18" and 19" A Custom Crashes, 18" FX Oriental China Trash and a 22" K Custom Ride, whereas more recent performances have seen the addition of a 20" Escalade Rim as a cymbal, hung above his hi-hats, and the discontinued (some how he manages to still get them) 14" K Custom Special Dry Hi-Hats replace - and contrast - the A Customs."

I really wonder about the people who edit Wikipedia pages.

Anyways like I said, their fans seem to wet themselves at every little thing the band says or does. I'm glad to have never met one irl.

trailofdead91
12.12.10
I completely agree with this. MUSE are having trouble writing songs. How does Matt Bellamy go from writing awesome songs like Stockholm Syndrome and New Born to Uprising? It's like wtf Matt, you can do better than that, man.

elephantREVOLUTION
12.12.10
eh, i could never really get into muse. they have a few really good songs, but i could never get into a whole album.

WhiteNoise
12.12.10
The simple reason is that they are amazing live.

Metallica's last great album was black and yet they still get respect due to their live shows. Resistance was bad yes, and their ego's are completely out of control.

The best thing muse can do is take a break for 3 or 4 years and return with an album like origin/absolution (hell BHAR would be ok) and I'll watch you all say "i never said they sucked" when the next album rocks.

Sabottheory
12.12.10
Uprising is flat out pop song, but I can't see that as a bad thing

br3ad_man
12.12.10
Dude, 123 so hard. The last paragraph couldn't possibly sum up my own feelings better.

GulliKyro
12.12.10
I find them to be relatively enjoyable.

Urinetrouble
12.12.10
i've actually never listened ot a muse album. i guess i shouldn't then, huh.

thunder15
12.12.10
chan you prolific motherfucker you

Curse.
12.12.10
The Resistance is worse than St. Anger. There, I said it.

lachis
12.13.10
saw them live last week. they were great.

what up?

rjmunthe
12.13.10
YOU ARE SO COOL BECAUSE YOU LIKED MUSE BEFORE THEY GOT POPULAR AND NOW THAT THEY'RE POPULAR YOU HATE THEM WHAT A BADASS

Dumbass.

Lucid
12.13.10
Muse have always sucked to me. Haven't heard an album by them that I would rate higher than a 3.

thebhoy
12.13.10
^yep.

thebhoy
12.13.10
"YOU ARE SO COOL BECAUSE YOU LIKED MUSE BEFORE THEY GOT POPULAR AND NOW THAT THEY'RE POPULAR YOU HATE THEM WHAT A BADASS"

you fucking can't read can you.

Plank
12.13.10
Muse are rooted in a certain nostalgia for me I guess, they were one of the first bands that I really listened to and i'd still consider the first 3 albums listenable paticulary Oos. Saying that i'd agree that resistance has been such a fail, even black holes had a number of moments i couldn't stand but I seriously don't think I will give much as a care for what they do next in there career.

Acanthus
12.13.10
I agree, "Uprising" is god awful - and I place blame firmly on their rise to stardom.

Tulannical
12.14.10
backed, muse sux

SCREAM!
12.14.10
looked too quickly and saw "chan's plans are really awful now"

for a second i thought the troll finally got serious

Wolfhorde
12.14.10
Always thought Muse was average at best.

amialive
12.14.10
they suck now, but that doesn't mean their old material isn't good.
Absolution and origins are great albums.

MrGlass
12.15.10
the resistance is a whole lot of fun guyz why the hate

mynameischan
12.15.10
"YOU ARE SO COOL BECAUSE YOU LIKED MUSE BEFORE THEY GOT POPULAR AND NOW THAT THEY'RE POPULAR YOU HATE THEM WHAT A BADASS

Dumbass."

rofl

Curse.
12.15.10
He has found you out Chan

Sciroccu
12.15.10
I also agree with you even if you seem a little harsh with them. My fav album is showbiz and then origin and then absolution which is equal to black holes which is (I suppose) better than the last that I didn't listened to...

Retsam
12.17.10
I was into Muse when I was younger then after hitting puberty I started exploring other bands. I eventually got into Radiohead and was really surprised at how much Muse had taken from them. I heard about it from many people before but I didn't really believe it. But from listening I could hear the Radiohead influences. For example Muse's Fury is basically borrowing from Radiohead's Climbing up the Walls. Muse's Plug in Baby's intro is taken from Radiohead's Pearly. Hyper Chondriac Music sounds very much like Radiohead's Exit Music for a Film. Another is Muse's Map of the Problematique which sounds very similar to Radiohead's Where I End and You Begin. After my Radiohead listening adventure was over I had a difficult time going back to Muse. The melodies and songwriting sound childish now in comparison to what Radiohead is doing. It also doesn't help that the last 2 Muse albums were pretty mediocre and that they recently wrote the worst song of all time, Neutron Star Collision. I think the only good thing I could see in Muse right now is that they are eventually going to have their fans grow up and explore better bands like Radiohead. So in that regard I'm thankful Muse existed...because without them I wouldn't have ever given Radiohead a proper listen.

SowingSeason
12.17.10
cool story there

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