Muse - Showbiz
Note: I am reviewing this because the original one on these forums was plagiarised. You can find the original [URL=http://www.musicianforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=127449]here[/URL]
Bored of their sleepy small town life in Devon, Matt Bellamy (guitar, vocals, keyboard instruments), Chris Wolstenhom (bass, piano) and Dominic Howard (drums) began to play together. When they were 13, they started a band, which went through different names such as Gothic Plague, Fixed Penalty and Rocket Baby Dolls. The band settled on the name Muse after some time. In 1997, the band released their self titled EP and later the "Muscle Museum" EP. Muse took a trip to play a festival in New York and signed with Maverick Records. They put out the singles "Cave" and "Uno" before releasing their debut album "Showbiz".
While "Showbiz" does not recieve as much praise as the albums "Origin Of Symmetry" or "Absolution", it is still a wonderful album in it's own right. The album includes tracks that are often requested live, such as "Sunburn", "Cave" and "Muscle Museum". Though they were only very young when they released the album, them group's talent shows just as much as it does on later albums. Matt Bellamy's vocals, guitar and keyboard work is especially apparent.
The crowd that Muse attract is very interesting indeed. First off, they often have a dark and depressing sound, which appeals to many goth music fans. Secondly, they have a very heavy sound with a crazy guitarist, which appeals to metal fans. Finally, Muse are obviously largely influenced by Radiohead and others and their music is rather complex. This appeals to fans of arty music and bands such as Radiohead.
"Showbiz" is an excellent record with a bit more diversity than the other two Muse records. In my opinion, "Showbiz" is just as good as Muse's other two records and makes just as good a listen as any.
Matt Bellamy - Vocals, Guitar, Keyboard Instruments
Chris Wolstenholme - Bass, Piano, Backing Vocals
Dominic Howard - Drums
- The song starts out with a really cool piano riff, a great way to kick off the album. In this song, Matt Bellamy's piano talent is excercised very well. This song is very cool, especially in the chorus with the line "She burns, like the sun". Matt's guitar in the louder parts of the song is awesome and the drumming is really, really cool. Especially when it comes in for the first time. The song closes with a nice piano outro which kicks the song off into "Muscle Museum". Live, this song is a real treat, especially Matt's vocals...extremely awesome. Really, really wicked solo as well, one of Matt's best ever solos.
- Easily the best song on the album. The song starts off with a two note bass line and then the cool guitar riff comes in. The sound of the guitar is reminiscent of a mental institution (somehow). Then the prechorus comes in and hits you like a truck. It's got a really cool riff and is quite heavy. Awesome. The chorus is really cool too with some very awesome lyrics. After a while, Matt does another solo, much more traditional than the one on "Sunburn", but still really cool. This is easily one of Muse's best songs, right up there with "Citizen Erased", "New Born", "Time Is Running Out" and "Butterfiles and Hurricanes".
- This song sounds similar to the last two...very awesome song. The song starts out with an awesome, hard hitting riff. The verse is quite poppy and the chorus is just plain cool. Matt sings some really high vocals in the chorus and it's really catchy. Another one of the album's best songs, this one is just really cool.
- This song is much more diverse than the last 3 tracks. It sounds very influenced by 60's bands such as Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. Matt has some wicked falsetto in the verses and his vocals even sound female in some parts. The song sounds so much like other bands that it could be a cover, but I'm pretty sure that it's not. The whole song is pretty soft and slow.
- The song starts with an awesome riff and cool drumming to go along with it. Matt has some really good vocals in here, with some cool effects, possibly mic distortion or something. The song ends with a really cool piano part and some really cool guitar work. This song is very good, right up there with "Muscle Museum" and "Sunburn" as one of the album's best songs. Nice bass work too.
- Another of the album's best. The song's mood is very frantic and fast paced. The song has some really good melodies, especially in the verse, making the song one of the most depressing of the album. The guitar solo in this song is awesome, and just further proves the genius of Matt Bellamy. The vocals (especially towards the end) are some of Matt's best (and highest) yet.
- A softer and slower track, mainly played on an acoustic guitar. The song is pretty much just acoustic, drums and Matt's voice. The acoustic part is nice with some good hammer-ons happening. The mood of the song is quite sad and depressing with the acoustic guitar part adding to the mood of the song. A bit further into the song, some strings and bass come in and Matt's voice goes really, really high. The song is really nice. There is also an organ sounding instrument somewhere into the song.
- The intro of this song is just so cool. The song starts with the guitar making some crazy noises, then the awesome bass line comes in. The guitar then does some riffs and then cuts out completely leaving just drums. The verse is cool, very stripped back though. Then the chorus comes in, very hard hitting with Matt screaming lyrics like "you could have been number one". The guitar riff after the chorus is very mexican/spanish sounding. The verse is really stripped down with nearly no instrumentation and then the chorus comes in full, really loud. It's a nice touch. This song was one of the singles before "Showbiz" was released. The guitar melodies between verses and choruses are really cool too.
- A cool drum beat starts the song off and Matt's guitar and vocals along with Chris' bass come in almost immediatley. After the verse, there is a big, dumb, chunky riff, much like the riff from the song "New Born" off "Origin Of Symmetry". The bass during this part is really awesome as well. Then the chorus starts with Matt singing high vocals and and Chris harmonising with him. The guitar solo type things in this song are awesome, great use of a wah pedal from Matt. The drumming in this song is also a highlight with a lot of tom work. The bass in the song is very good as well. With Matt being an amazing singer, guitarist and pianist, Chris' bass work is often overlooked, but it's really, really good. This song is another of the album's best and definitely better than Tool's "Sober" :p.
- The verse of this song is very slow, sounding similar to "Unintended". Matt does some decent guitar riffs and vocals in the verses but then, out of nowhere, the song just explodes into the chorus. Matt's lyrics on this song are also awesome. Lyrically, this is one of the best songs Muse have ever written. The song is very good, following a similar formula to the early tracks. The shortest track, so far at 3:31.
- This is the shortest song on the album, at only 2:26. It's a good song, the verse is a bit more uplifting than the other tracks and the chorus is a lot more uplifting. The song is quite similar to the early tracks, but because it's short, it doesn't get boring. It's quite a good song overall.
Hate This and I'll Love You
- The best pick for an album closer. It starts out with just a quiet guitar, piano and Matt's voice. The song gets louder as it goes along. Matt is heard screaming close to the end. The song ends with a piano solo which is really nice. The song has some really good lyrics and I quite like the song title. The song is pretty reminiscent of Radiohead (although most Muse songs are) and sounds really cool. Not really one of the album's best songs, but definitely a great song nonetheless. The lyrics of the chorus sound like they are from "Absolution", especially the line "I was born to destroy you". Great song.
This album is just as good as any other album Muse has ever made. Before "Absolution", the only thing that could top both this record and "Origin Of Symmetry" was their live album, "Hullabaloo". Muse are an amazing band and, live, pull off a huge sound, especially for a 3 piece. Matt is a genius, but with Dom and Chris, the three of them are completely unstoppable. If you have heard "Origin of Symmetry" or "Absolution" and are a bit skeptical about this album, I hope your fears will be put to rest. This album is just as good as either of those albums and contains some of the best material Muse has ever written.
FINAL RATING: 4.3/5