Review Summary: Muse... back when they were good
Muse are regarded as one of the biggest and (lets face it) pompous bands of the modern era. With their latest outing "The Resistance", being a dissapointing, extravagant mess; it can be difficult to remember how they became one of the biggest bands of the modern era.
While it is undoubtedly "Absolution", "Origin of Symmetry" and there stunning live performances that cemented there current status, it's unfortunate that Muse's first effort "Showbiz", is often forgotten and dismissed for being the malevolent and medicore of the Muse albums. I however do no agree with this view and in my opinion it's on par with there other album:
For one, "Showbiz" contains subtely which every other Muse album lacks, and it's not short of a few classics either. For example the title track, that starts with a sepulchal drum beat which emits tension and eventually explodes into a behemothic of a song with tumultous falsetto and piercing guitar work. Moreover the opening track "Sunburn" with it's intro of arpeggiated chords and looping drum beat, lulls you into a false sense of security which is suddenly shattered by the ravenous chorus!
Moreover, the album dispalys some of Bellamy's finest lyrics, with the ambiguos closing track "Hate This and I'll Love You" and the sombre"Escape" being higlights. Furthermore the song themes are a bit more attainable than other Muse songs, as the lyrics tend to focus on life matters e.g love and work meaning there's no conspiracy theories/paranoia here.
There are also a plethora of Muse's trademark guitar work here including the blistering "Cave", the sadistic "Muscle Museum" and the agitated "Sober". The album also features my favourite Muse song "Falling Down", with it's bluesy guitar line and soft vocals, it's remanissant of Jeff Buckley and it manages to be sweet where other Muse songs have failed.
It does contain a few flaws for example: the forgettable "Fillip" and the feeble "Unintended" and it can at times feel cliched. However in general "Showbiz" is an excellent album which shows a side to Muse which they themselves seem to have forgotten.