Muse
Absolution


2.5
average

Review

by Ross Delany USER (35 Reviews)
December 18th, 2005 | 55 replies | 6,119 views


Release Date: 2003 | Tracklist


5 of 9 thought this review was well written

If albums sum up stages in a bandís career, what can be said about the discography of Muse? Showbiz gave them a radiohead clone tag that they have so unfortunately been difficult to shake off. Origin of Symmetry set them on the path to critical acclaim. The Hullabaloo Soundtrack established them as a great live band. But what about this particular album, Absolution? What tag does this album earn itself? To me, it earns itself the title of Ö Iím not sure how to say it. On one hand it has the greatness of OoS, but on the other it feels like theyíve been a bit lazy in their work. It has a feeling of incompletion, like thereís something missing, and itís a shame since the album could be better than Origin of Symmetry but instead, it ends up being the worst of their discography.

Thatís not to say the album is a ďbad" album, the musical talent is still there but in comparison to their previous albums, it just doesnít work as well. The songs have Mattís haunting voice on the mellow songs and have him screaming his heart out on some of the others. It worked last time round, but keeping it like that just seems lazy. What can be said is, while lyrically, Muse haveÖdeteriorated, musically, they have become a little more adventurous. Orchestral string instruments have been used to a greater effect and the synth has been utilised better than previous efforts. Both of these changes, along with drumming that sounds good and great bass, could very possibly be attributed to Dominic Howard and Chris Wolstenholme being more involved in the songwriting process. The piano is also utilised a little bit better, instead of only appearing briefly as a complimenting instrument

The moods of each song compliment each other quite well, with each little piece of Museís musical flexibility being shown. The mood can shift from fast and angry to quiet, soothing yet powerful. This is one of two traits from their other studio albums which is carried on in this album. The other, is the general flow of the album. Each track has been placed extremely well so that the song is complimented by the previous and the latter song. Something Muse have always done and thankfully, is on this album as well

The albumís lyrics follow the vein of Origin of Symmetryís closing track Megalomania, in that they have a strong political meaning if you look from the right viewpoint. The three most blatantly political tracks are Apocalypse Please, The Small Print and Ruled by Secrecy, which all carry strong, political messages in a very subtle way, apart from The Small Print, which has a political message that has all the subtlety and delicacy of a brick!
The said tracks are also, by far the best tracks on the album along with Hysteria and Stockholm Syndrome. Those tracks show Museís music in a better light; the other songs however, are all more or less borderline filler. Not quite filler but not quite as good as they could be.

Now returning to the point we began with, the albumís tag. The sheer amount of songs that donít live up to their full potential is rather disappointing. However, on this album, when they deliver, they deliver well. The album does have the unfortunate problem of being Americaís first taste of Muse, Origin of Symmetry in no uncertain terms, tears this to pieces. So in short, if youíre looking to get into Muse, get Origin of Symmetry on import, (as far as I know, it wasnít released apart from in Europe) then, buy Hullabaloo, then Showbiz. But donít buy this to start; youíll only put yourself off.

highlight tracks (top 3)
The three best tracks on the album are Ruled by Secrecy ,Stockholm Syndrome and Apocalypse please.

1.Ruled by Secrecy, the closing track of the album, the mellowest and the most thoughtful. Just Matt on piano and Dom on drums, the melody and the lyrics will make you think about society today. Matt uses the more haunting range of his voice and it really brings out the best of the song. Should have been released as a single instead of sing for absolution.

2.Stockholm Syndrome is the heaviest track on the album and could quite possibly be called this albumís Citizen Erased, except without the mellow parts. The song is ALL Matt, he really does take all of the limelight, from his guitar work to his vocals, this song is Mattís show. Was released as a download only video which is a thermograph video of the band

3.Apocalypse Please sets the whole lyrical tone of the album, with Matt screaming and this is the end, of the world!! The piano is also used here to great effect, it just makes the whole song seem so much more dramatic than it would be with the guitar, a great display of Mattís piano skills but not enough to save most of the album from mediocrity.

Pros
More instrumentally
Dom and Chris have more to do
Piano and synth used better
they've tried something different

Cons
Seems a bit lazy
Has a LOT of filler
Wonít appeal to most people who are just getting into Muse
Pales in comparison to rest of discography


Further Listening
If you havenít got origin of symmetry, get it. Otherwise, this IS the further listening


Rating

In Genre: 3.5/5 ( would be given credit for trying a little bit to change their sound)
Out of Genre: 1/5( would think it would suck


Which roughly averages out to: 2.5/5



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Neoteric
December 18th 2005



3243 Comments


Nice review though I hate the band.

masada
December 18th 2005



2733 Comments


Drop the color coding.

[quote=Review]Cons
Seems a bit lazy
Has a LOT of filler
Wonít appeal to most people
Pales in comparison to rest of discography[/quote]

That doesn't matter.This Message Edited On 12.18.05

Jawaharal
December 18th 2005



1832 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Good review.

This is a good album. Only one bad song (stockholm syndrome), only one awesome song (Thoughts of a dying atheist) and all the others are just good.

innerdark
December 18th 2005



749 Comments


i meant it wouldn't appeal to most people getting into Muse

Jawaharal
December 18th 2005



1832 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I disagree. This was my first muse album and I adorded it back about 2 years ago when I first got it.

innerdark
December 18th 2005



749 Comments


i think it's the worst one to start with, mind you, we europeans were lucky enough to have origin of symmetry


fisky009
December 18th 2005



813 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i dont think you give the album as much credit as it deserves. In some places it can be boring but then again most albums have the same issue.

Its the links between track like Intro and interlude that lead into a track and give it more of a kick start.

good reviewThis Message Edited On 12.18.05

pulseczar
December 18th 2005



2385 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Just because someone doesn't like the genre doesn't mean they'll think this is a bad album, I'd like to think people are less shallow than that.

Pretty good review, your previous one was too cluttered up and messy, don't put an enormous space before the Pros and Cons.

Jawaharal
December 18th 2005



1832 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I don't understand why people like stockholm snydrome, its so drawn out and boring as hell. Then we have a 30 second build up for a 5 second solo. Wonderful.

Shattered_Future
December 18th 2005



1540 Comments


I quite dislike this band. I had this cd for a while, and aside from the excellent Apocalypse Please (something about it I really liked), the rest I couldn't stand.

Good review though.

masada
December 18th 2005



2733 Comments


[quote=Review]Rating

In Genre: 2/5
Out of Genre: 1/5
Muse Fans: 3/5[/quote]

So you think that outside of the genre, this album is terrible? And you shouldn't base your rating on what you think the fans would like.


NEDM
December 18th 2005



1113 Comments


Stockholm Syndrome owns, so does Thoughts Of... but how could you rate this album a two. I understand that you feel Origin Of Symmetry was better, but that doesn't say that this is a "poor" album. The musicianship of the songs are dead on, and the vocals are even more accurate.

As for the review, it's good compared to your other stuff, but you jump back and fourth too much.

fisky009
December 18th 2005



813 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I love Thoughts Of... to. Peolpe comare Absolution to much to the better old stuff, yet this album is different. So you cant compare

innerdark
December 18th 2005



749 Comments


So you think that outside of the genre, this album is terrible? And you shouldn't base your rating on what you think the fans would like.


so fans have no opinion.

plus, when i say muse fans, i'm specifically talking about myself, i'm a huge Muse fan but i wanted this to be impartial

fisky009
December 18th 2005



813 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Obviously Muse fans will like this album. Its what fans do.

innerdark
December 18th 2005



749 Comments


not always true, i'm a big foo fighters fan but i HATE in your honor, just because your a fan, doesn't mean you like all of their work, thats called an obsession

Sepstrup
December 18th 2005



1563 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I think you underrated the album, though I agreed with much of what you said. Apocalypse Please is hands down the best track, and all in all this album is nowhere as good as Origin of Symmetry, nor Showbiz for that matter. It just lacks... something.

It perplexes me that so many Muse fans think this is their best album.

fisky009
December 18th 2005



813 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I dont like in your honour, especially disc two what a crop of s***! I see your point, some bands I like have made some awful records but it doesnt mean I dislike them any way.


innerdark
December 18th 2005



749 Comments


i've actually missed out somethig that i meant to put in, hold on

wikuk
December 18th 2005



1110 Comments


which country are they from?



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