by Pseudoman USER (1 Reviews)
September 9th, 2006 | 6 replies

Release Date: 1999 | Tracklist

A bands first album is sometimes their best. Sometimes it is not. Sometimes it is their worst. I wouldn't say this is Muse's worst album, I don't think Muse have a bad album, but it is not their best.

When you compare this album with their later work, you can easily decipher it as their first album due to it's emotional and dramatic lyrics about relationships and self-doubt. Their musical tastes and influences can be distinguished easily too.

Muse have been criticised on this album, because it sounds like Radiohead. I think that it does sound like Radiohead, indeed, I'm sure Muse enjoy Radiohead's music and that is why they are an influence on them, but this album is a bit different. You can see jazz influences, blues influences and classical influences.

The album opens with Sunburn; a highly recognizable Muse track. I personally am not a big fan of this song, but you can see the appeal it may have. Matt's smooth piano hook is complemented well by Chris' bass, and the guitar solo with it's pitch shift is quite 'satisfying' to listen to. Solid drumming from Dom, not too much asked of him. 7/10

Muscle Museum succeeds Sunburn. Muscle Museum is just an amazing track. Apparently, Matt wrote the song on a trip to the Aegean Sea, and you can hear the Mediterreanean influence in the guitar. Chris gets a meaty bass line to pump out and Dom's simple drum beat keeps the pace of a reasonably long song going. The emotional vocals in the chorus and final 'outro' are the icing on the cake. 8/10

Fillip is an interesting song, with it's lively, yet sort of sinister guitar work. Matt makes use of distortion throughout, and the best bit, in my opinion, is the crescendo after the slowed down break. Solid bass work, solid drumming and a good solid song. 7/10

Falling Down is one of the better songs on the album. Like many Muse songs, it isn't very accessable with it's slow intro and rythm, but Matt's falsetto is incredible, and the chorus is a highlight. Good. 8/10

Cave is one of my least favourite songs on the album, but nevertheless, it is still a good song. Guitar effects at the start, and a heavy emotional chorus. Distorted bass from Chris, but I can't remeber Dom's drumming much. 6.5/10

Showbiz. A very good song. I origianally liked it, then diliked it but now my love has been rekindled after seenig it live. Good tension build-up and the expliosion of energy in the middle doesn't let up till the end. Dom's drumming is really good and Chris has another memorable bass line here. The guitar solo is in Matt's showbiz style; not too show-offy with the pitch right up. Amazing vocals as well. 8/10

Ahh, Unintended. Almost everyone I meet who hears this album likes this song. Don't get me wrong, I think it's a good, simple song, but I've heard it a bit too much. Impressive Jeff Buckley-style vocals from Matt with simple guitar and bass work behind it, and steady drumming from Dom, as always. 7/10

Uno is quite good, but one of my least favourite songs from the album. I find it a bit too repetative, and the distortion at the start is a bit annoying. But it has got a good chorus and hook. 6.5/10

Sober is a very good, effects-laden song and sort of typifies Showbiz-era Muse. Simple rythm and bass with good lyrics and chorus. The strange-sounding solo is good too. 7.5/10

Now we are getting to my favourite songs. Escape is potentially the best on the album, and you'd be an idiot to ignore it. I didn't really give it any time, but then I listened to it and realised the raw emotion, coupled with the simple chords and the chorus. Just really good. 8.5/10

Overdue is also really good. An interesting intro guitar, then the haunting guitar in the verse, along with Matt crooning about someone not showing up or something. Catchy chorus too. 7.5/10

Hate This & I'll Love You is the best on the album. You'd usually forget it, being the last track and lasting over five minutes, but give it time, and you'll enjoy the ambience, Matt's slide guitar solo, Matt's crooning and Dom's drumming.Chris doesn't have too much of a task, but he does it well. Really good. 8.5/10

Overall, a decent foray into the world of music from Muse, mainly because although the Radiohead and Jeff Buckley influences are clear, you can still hear the distinct Muse sound, which is like no other band. 4/5

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Electric City
September 9th 2006


While the punctuation and structure are good for a first review, you need more depth in your song descriptions. I vote neither way.

Great albums recommended though.

September 9th 2006


Album Rating: 3.5

Pretty much exactly what he said.

September 9th 2006


Welcome to Sputnik. I think this is a pretty good first review. But please, don't let this be your last review. It's disappointing when someone has a good first review, then leaves Sputnik behind... If this were your 10th or 20th, it would just be average, and I wouldn't vote good or bad. But for 1st... Well-written? Yes!This Message Edited On 09.09.06

September 10th 2006


Album Rating: 3.5

It's good to see a track-by-track that doesn't necessarily use full marks. It seems like every t-b-t review gives one song or another 5/5, a rating that should be reserved for classic songs, just like it should be reserved for classic albums.

September 13th 2006


Album Rating: 3.5

Maybe some songs are classic for some and not for others.

I still agree

December 15th 2006


Album Rating: 3.0

hey, welcome to the site, for a first review, this is ok, but there's a lot you can improve on, but the foundations are there.

Try extending your descriptions of songs to more than good, and desribe how the music sounds if you can, your paragraph on MM is a good example, you mentioned mediterranian influence, but didn't elaborate. how are there med. influencese, how does it sound against the bass and drums, now do the vocals contribute throughout.

as well as that, it looks like you've got a bit lazy at the end with the one and a half line descriptions, but don't worry, the abil;ity to lengthen will come in time, so don't worry too much, you just need to develop your ear a little

all things i'd love you to keep in mind for your next review, because with those added, and other things which can extend your paragraphs slightly, I can see a lot of potential.

Good luck and welcome to sputnik =] This Message Edited On 12.15.06

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