Top Ten Songs by Muse

Ever hear a song on the radio that was so good, so inspiring, so wonderful that you had to go out and buy the album? And then go out and buy every other album that the band ever produced? I was luckily introduced to a great British rock group known as Muse by this method. I had heard Apocalypse Please off their Absolution album and knew, then and there, I had to get a hold of this band and everything they’ve done.

Muse consists of Chris Wolsetenholme, Dominic Howard, and Mathew Bellamy. While consisting mainly of guitar and drums, Muse adds a lovely electronic blend underneath it all with keyboard. The best way I can describe them is ‘Radiohead with cohesion’. Like the famed British rock/electronica group, they have a unique sound that is all their own. Unlike Radiohead, the discordance and broken up flow of music is not there.

Here are my ten favorite songs, in order.

1. Take a Bow – Black Holes and Revelations
This song is basically written for George Bush and Tony Blair. While the lyrics do not name them specifically, their images appeared on screen during a live performance of the song. It’s a strong political treaty on the crimes committed by the politicians and how
‘What we’ve become is contrary to what we were; take a bow.’ The chorus of ‘You’ll burn in hell’ lingers in the mind.

2. Apocalypse Please – Absolution
A strong driving beat opens this song, with the heavy handed piano to accent the intensity of the situation. The world is coming to an end, cries the media, we need something radical to save us all and pull us through. I read political undertones into the song that may or may not be there.

3. Unintended – Showbiz
Played ‘unplugged’, this ballad is a lament of a lover who never quite became what she could be, and leaves the singer broken-hearted. Tender and slow, it’s a song of love lost before it’s begun.

4. Knights of Cydonia – Black Holes and Revelations
The video for this song is set in a futuristic old west. Don’t ask. Just enjoy. The song seems to be both new and old simultaneously, with a strong defiant chorus of ‘No one’s going to take me alive’ to accent the ‘western’ theme of the song.

5. Supermasive Black Hole – Black Holes and Revelations
Guitar with a rock bass line beat underneath kicks in to the tune, with falsetto vocals before the heavy grind sets back in. Odd harmony overlays add to the danceable qualities of the song.

6. Stockholm Syndrome – Absolution
A headbanger’s tune at first, the guitar leads one in before a driving drum-beat brings things along. The pause for the slower tempo chorus breaks the flow of the song without disrupting it entirely. It changes the feeling of the song entirely without destroying it; a tricky task but one pulled off neatly.

7. Space Dementia – Origin of Symmetry
Piano, soft and gentle, begins the introduction. One would never know how talented a pianist Chris is until you watch him play. From the quiet beginning comes a heavier piano beat which carries the song along, underplayed by the drums and guitar.

8. Citizen Erased – Origin of Symmetry
Another one of Muse’s hard rock songs, Citizen Erased opens with a guitar riff and heavy electronica to set the tone. Despite the slow tempo, the beat drives along with an oppressive feel to the music.

9. Time is Running Out – Absolution
This catchy beat will have people tapping their toes in time or bobbing their head. Minimalist in music at first, it soon adds electronic support and a light drum beat before it kicks into the crescendo of the chorus. This is another of the songs which drew me to Muse in the first place.

10. Gallery – Hullaballo
No words. Just electronica and piano with a drum beat. It’s a beautiful piece that requires no lyrics.

I hope others will be drawn to the electronic rock styles of Muse. They’re one of those bands that deserves more press than they tend to get; true artists making music for the sake of music and not record sales. I, however, do my best to help them out on that front – owning every album I can find. They’re well worth it.

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