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Muse is probably the only Western group I listen to that isn't ancient. I was introduced to them when I was supposed to play a cover of Knights of Cydonia. It was so fun I had to listen to more of their music. I was pleasantly surprised to see that although they could rock plenty hard, they didn't seem over reliant on being "tough"; they often have infectious melodies and are unafraid to dabble in non-rock styles and instrumentation. Also, they put on a fantastic live show, and I've been able to catch them twice.

Album Reviews

This isn't their first release, but a lot of people consider this their true debut. Most of the songs are pretty loud and heavy early on, although not without dynamics, which Muse has always excelled at. Everything in the first half of the album is great, and the transition from Citizen Erased into Micro Cuts is the highlight of the album for me. The album goes from its most dramatic and epic moment, quiets down, and then rages into its loudest and most intense, complete with falsetto screams. Unfortunately, the album sort of dies off from there. I don't really like Screenager or Darkshines and I end up getting bored with the album, even though the last two tracks are pretty good.

Best tracks:
1. New Born
2. Citizen Erased
3. Hyper Music

Absolution produced a lot of huge hits and live staples, and I think it is fairly safe from those who are on the look out for rock bands "selling out." For the most part, Muse continues to play loud, catchy rock as they did on their previous release, and also deftly include even more classical elements. Apocalypse, Please, for example, is a heavy song, but with no guitar; it's played on piano. But although it's probably a fan favorite, it's probably my least favorite Muse album. It's not bad, but while it has some major high points, there's also a number of tracks that I find less interesting, particularly the slower tracks. Also, like Origin of Symmetry, it sort of burns out by the end. The last four songs are OK at best, and so usually I just stop after Butterflies and Hurricanes.

Best tracks:
1. Stockholm Syndrome
2. Time is Running Out
3. Hysteria

This album gave Muse its huge success here in the States, thanks to Muse branching into more mainstream territory with songs like Starlight, which is poppish and very radio friendly, and Supermassive Black Hole, which is a blend of dance and rock. I'm fine with diversifying, although those aren't my favorite tracks. While this has a lot of great tracks once again, I find this to be the last Muse album that still contains some filler tracks. Soldier's Poem and Hoodoo just don't seem as well developed as the other songs, and probably could have safely been left off. Muse finally manages to end an album strongly, and puts their huge hit, Knights of Cydonia, right at the conclusion.

Best tracks:
1. Knights of Cydonia
2. Map of the Problematique
3. Invincible

Perhaps unsure of where to go from the huge success of Black Holes and Revelations, a few things changed with this album: 1. Filler tracks are basically gone; everything seems well thought outS. 2. Muse fully embraces more pop styles, evident on the R&B, Timbaland-produced Undisclosed Desires. 3. The Resistance lacks any true, classic songs, but everything is pretty good (see #1). I suppose most people might think the anthemic Uprising is the highlight of the album, but it's pretty repetitive and loses its luster after awhile. Perhaps the standout of this album is the trio of songs at the end, which comprise a longer, orchestral, mostly instrumental piece. Muse nailed it and it's the best ending they've had to an album yet.

Best tracks:
1. United States of Eurasia (+Collateral Damage)
2. Resistance
3. Undisclosed Desires

The 2nd Law more or less continues where the previous album left off. It seems a little less inspired than their other albums; two of the songs are instrumentals, one of which is dubstep and offended a lot of fans, and two were written and sung by Chris. Further, these four tracks were all shoved onto the end, once again leaving us with a dud of an ending. The rest of the album has a nice variety of tracks, with Muse no longer content to produce just straight rock. Some are better than others; the funky Panic Station seems undeniably catchy, while Big Freeze sounds like a U2 ripoff. This album received a lot of flak and as I said, it seems a little bit uninspired.

Best tracks:
1. Panic Station
2. Survival
3. Explorers

Muse returns to an album of straight rock, quite possibly in reaction to the poorer receiving of The 2nd Law. Now usually, I find these sort stripped down, return-to-our-roots albums don't work out that well. Drones, on the other hand, is probably my favorite Muse album! The nice thing is that it's not just plain, unadorned rock 'n' roll. Muse still produces a variety of songs: the anthemic stomper Defector, the vaguely prog-like The Handler, the major key pop hit Revolt, a nice ballad in Aftermath, and even an epic, 10-minute rock opera in The Globalist. The best part is that the track order was very purposeful, and the album takes you through these different songs in a logical, storytelling manner. The final track is literally a Gregorian chant which actually serves as the perfect ending to both The Globalist and the album. Well done Muse!

Best tracks:
1. Reapers
2. Defector
3. The Handler

Top 10 Songs

  1. Knights of Cydonia
  2. New Born
  3. Stockholm Syndrome
  4. Citizen Erased
  5. Reapers
  6. Hyper Music
  7. Defector
  8. Map of the Problematique
  9. Invincible
  10. Panic Station