Muse
Absolution


5.0
classic

Review

by JAStewart USER (12 Reviews)
January 14th, 2005 | 56 replies


Release Date: 2003 | Tracklist


Absolution reviewed
Soaring orchestral backing, pounding bass, vocals emotional enough to make you want to tear your own heart out...

"Absolution" is the long-awaited third studio album by Muse, and it really was worth the wait. Muse have made a distinct change in direction on this album, using far more strings and piano, less guitar and distortion, and showing an all together mellower side to the band who brought us such aggressive tracks as "Cave" and "Plug in Baby". That's not to say that this new-found softer side is a bad thing. "Absolution" provides the perfect contrast to the angry, loud and sometimes disturbing sound of both "Showbiz" and "Origin of Symmetry". It shows that Muse are more than the screaming rock band that many have type-faced them to be, and proves to critics and cynics alike that they are long past the "Radiohead tribute band" comments made about them in the past.

Intro and Apocalypse Please - The perfect entrance to an album with the title "Absolution". This song provides our first taste of the end-of-the-world theme, which is present throughout the album. The intro (reminiscent of marching armies) sets the scene for the screaming vocals provided by Matt Bellamy, and the overall effect is one which cannot fail to paint pictures of a burning world slowly crumbling.

Time is Running Out - The first shop release single from "Absolution", and it is easy to see why. Catchy, cleverly written with contrasting verse and chorus, and impossible to get out of your head, TIRO is possibly the most accessible track on the album. Unfortunately, this accessibility means that TIRO is by no means the most thought provoking song that Muse have written. The lack of thought required to listen to this song (especially having been placed next to Apocalypse now), though adding a touch of the commercially acceptable, makes it one of the low points of the album.

Sing for Absolution - The title track of the album. "Sing..." carries a dark, almost frightening style to each verse, which leaves the listener slightly unsettled. Strangely though, it is not a depressing song. The chorus is uplifting enough to lift the entire song. I found myself smiling as I listened. The first of a series of slower tracks on "Absolution", "Sing..." could easily be added to the list of classic Muse songs, right beside "Unintended".

Stockholm Syndrome - If any song could define the traditional Muse sound, this is the one. The first single to be taken from the album, on download only, SS sees a typically layered, violent sound, with the trademark Bellamy vocals wailing in the foreground. The hardest track on "Absolution", SS is great stuff.

Falling Away - Slow, pretty Good..

Hysteria - With a title that once again portrays the idea of a world ending, "Hysteria" is by no means the loud, brash, unordered song that the title suggests. "Hysteria" is a highly melodic, ordered song, with well thought out lyrics, supplied as always by Bellamy. With such a melodic song, there was a risk that "Hysteria" could have been over produced, but Muse (and their production team) have succeeded in avoiding this. The static base and build up give way to what can only be described as an excellent piece of music, with just enough of an edge to be interesting, without seeming out of place next to falling away.

Blackout - A candle lit room filled with incense smoke, the flickering on the walls, the mellow atmosphere... if blackout fitted in any one place, it would be that room. The chilled sound would filter perfectly through the darkness. A stunning string arrangement that sends shivers up the spine, twinned with gentle drumming and flowing vocals, makes "Blackout" not only the ultimate chill-out song, but also a wonderful piece of writing and production.

Butterflies and Hurricanes - Once again, an orchestral section is well placed in this song. The synth gives the impression of a band moving towards the future, and allows for a build up to be proud of. The piano in this track is also very well placed, and though subtle, gives and edge which makes "Butterflies..." one of the stand out tracks of "Absolution".

The Small Print - Is a crashing, soaring, pounding track, which is a lyrical masterpiece. It is also highly thought provoking towards human nature and society. TSP and SS are the loudest songs of the album, and provide a welcome break from the gentle side of Muse.

Endlessly - With synth that any dance track would die to have, "Endlessly" is another truly pretty song. It makes a refreshing addition to the album to hear a song which relies so heavily on synth, but in my opinion, one song is enough. Not one of the best songs on the album for me, but a song that has already gathered a huge fan base.

Thoughts of a Dying Atheist - My personal favourite. Fantastic distorted guitar, and the catchiest line on the album in "scares the hell out of me". I cannot wait to hear this song live, as I get the impression that it will be a true crowd pleaser. The reflective quality of the lyrics in this song, and the guitar solo make this song a stand-out track, which orders every listener to stand up and take notice.

Ruled by Secrecy - Is to "Absolution" what "Megalomania" was to "Origin...". A very mellow, contemplative ending to the album, "Ruled..." just begs for the listener to take a step back and truly think about life as a whole. It closes the album in such a way that it reminds me of a parting goodbye from a long-lost friend.


Stockholm Syndrome
Butterflies And Hurricanes
Hysteria

5/5



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user ratings (3321)
Chart.
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other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
FlawedPerfection
Emeritus
January 29th 2006


2806 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

What happened to the comments?

airborne_411
January 29th 2006


10 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

this album started a part of my life that i will never forget. Muse is amazing, and if you get a chance to see them live... wow. I think they are the best live show i have ever seen, and i have seen some impressive shows.

fisky009
January 30th 2006


813 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Pretty meh review IMO.

I love this album, hurricanes is my favourite by far.This Message Edited On 01.30.06

FunkyMunky
February 10th 2006


43 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

its about 75% radiohead and 25% QOTSA


pretty sweet

JAStewart
February 10th 2006


180 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This album? Go to hell, it is no way like Radiohead or QOTSA

FlawedPerfection
Emeritus
February 11th 2006


2806 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Queens of the Stone Age?! Never heard that one before. I really think Muse became their own by the time Origin came along, and even more with this album.

Taylorbassmaster
February 14th 2006


3 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Muse is myall time favorite band.
Every time I listen to them I get goosebumps.
They are the reason I decided to pickup the bass.
I have been in love ever since.
My most favorite bass riff is on "Time is Running Out"


killtheDoe
February 14th 2006


7 Comments


I mean, this is one of the best reviews Ive read here. Good job.

Btw QOTSA???? are you mad?? Muse has developed its own sound, as it was written here they are no more Radiohead cover band. And QOTSA?? no way..This Message Edited On 02.14.06This Message Edited On 02.14.06

Med57
Moderator
February 14th 2006


1001 Comments


If you're talking about the list of albums that members also liked, then that's generated by the database, based on a whole load of factors including what pages people look at, lists of favourite albums, album ratings etc. The reviewer doesn't pick them.

Prince of Darkness
February 21st 2006


186 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I love this album and Muse. It is their best release thus far. and now we wait for the next one...I'm excited to say the least.

killtheDoe
February 21st 2006


7 Comments


Med57 :OMG, Im not talking bout the list of albums members also liked, Im talking to guy whos written that this album is 25 % of QOTSA and 75 % of Radiohead....


Music_Is_My_Life
March 1st 2006


100 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Muse does not sound like a radiohead tribute band, or QOTSA for that matter, (don't know where that came from) the ONLY similarity is the vocal style/delivery of Matt Bellamy and Thom Yorke, and even that only applies to some of the songs/parts of songs. Thats it. Good review. Muse rocks. End of discussion.
Peace out.

fisky009
March 1st 2006


813 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I couldnt see the similarities between any of the bands.

FistfulOfSteel
March 9th 2006


894 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Absolution > Origin of Symmetry

Stockholm Syndrome rocks.

First half of the album (til track 8) owns second half IMO.

ForWhatItsWorth
March 21st 2006


97 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

liked the review! easy, efficient and a fast read! yay! ....i got into muse by this album, and then got origin. love them and i cant wait till their next album comes out!

Two-Headed Boy
March 26th 2006


4527 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Man, I just got this and it's bloody brilliant. Anything under a 5 is criminally under-rated. Decent review as well.

QOTSA = extremely inferior.

Reywas
March 26th 2006


148 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Endlessly has such a nice vibe. The only track from this that is bad is Blackout.

les paul al
April 11th 2006


51 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This album has to be one of the greatest of the 21st century. It always makes the top 20 in greatest british album polls. ` Stockholm syndrome` and ` our time is running out` both rock and the new Muse album should be coming out soon

supraman_2
April 11th 2006


146 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I prefer Origin of Symmetry to this but still like a lot of the songs on this.
Btw Qotsa it is not, and they are most definately not inferior to Muse.

fisky009
April 11th 2006


813 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

On a par maybe?



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