Review Summary: Before muse show everyone that they can do anything they want, musically speaking, they prove they can write amazing, original and powerful rock songs, showing musical creativity from the off.
Perhaps controversially, this is my favourite muse album, despite the fact that i suppose the musical snob in me knows that "Origin...." is a superior album from many points of view. The Teignomuth UK prog trio's debut album is one of the most interesting albums with a potential for mass appeal i have ever heard. When it comes down to it, the music is complex and exhilirating but has an appeal which hints that Muse were always set to be the stadium giants they are today.
Opener "Sunburn" shows off some of the talented Mr Bellamy's tinkling piano from the off, his soaring vocals also make an appearance as does his brilliant songwriting. The lyrics appear to be about both a dangerously beautiful woman and a scathing attack on corporate schemes. This track shows that muse have a knack for creating rich and epic atmospheres as well as pretty good sing alongs. This trick is repeated with the following two tracks, "Muscle Museum" and "Fillip".
In fact "Fillip" is so good i'm giving it it's own grammatically incorrect paragraph. The bassline builds up with the machinery-esque guitar and the song is so happy sounding it's amazing. The lyrics also seep with happiness, positivity and also defiance.
This album also has some slow tracks, which to me are the weak point of the album. The first is "Falling Down", which appears to be an ode to growing up in small town britain(I can relate), and the second is "Unintended", some kind of love song, and "Escape" is the good one of the three, perhaps because of the kick up in pace. In general , these tracks (except "Escape") just cut the pace of an album that is such a soaring epic. That said, if you like slow songs you'll problem like these.
Another plus of this album is the general creativity of the guitars. Bass is generally used to thicken the sound of the band and the guitar is often used to create amazing leads. The best two examples of these are "Uno" and "Cave" because they both make the guitar move from grinding noise to piercing melodies.
Overall, this album is a masterpiece, which is tight musically and original in many ways, in addition to good lyrics and powerful vocals. This hints at greatness to many people I know, but to me this shows that muse have always had a gift, and that they can write truly great songs, I personally find many of the songs on this album are their overall best.