Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Knights Of Cydonia

The new Muse CD is in my possession. I will now review it.

The first thing that struck me when I put the new album on, was how cohesive the whole thing is. Tracks one through three came and went without a break yet each song sounded different which is the second thing that I realized: the many different styles that come through with each song.

Take A Bow- The signature Muse sound of arpeggio-like accompaniment with angst-ridden, dramatic lyrics. This song sounds like what you would imagine a vocal exercise written by Muse to sound like with its deliberate chord and key changes. It also sounds like the beginning to the next Jesus Christ Superstar (which, for the record, is AWESOME so that is clearly meant to be a good thing.) And what charming lyrics: "You will burn in hell."

Starlight- This song reminds me a little of Keane (although Muse was first so would it be the other way around?) and gets me dancing right away. Well, dancing in the sense that I feel like I'm at their show and can't stop moving. The album name, "Black Holes And Revelations" makes its debut in this song and has the characteristic vocal style of the band that I love so much.

Supermassive Black Hole- The first sign of harder rock comes right away on this track and it immediately makes me think of a blend of Queens Of The Stone Age and Queen. Imagine the beginning of the latest "it" movie that is popular yet critically acclaimed and this song would be the perfect part of the soundtrack.

Map Of The Problematique- Beginning with an odd beat and then an even more odd keyboard (?) melody this song picks up the pace. Once the singing comes in, though, I am reminded of many other Muse songs because of, once again, the vocal style. The song sounds very rich though with the added vocal accompaniments, I like it. I can't imagine this being released as a single but would probably make an awesome concert selection with extra musicians playing as well.

Soldier's Poem- The first 'sound break' happens as this song begins as the volume and tempo goes down. His voice is so strong when high, which I love, but when it gets lower and is a bit...gravelly? edgy?*... it has a different, yet still beautiful effect. Part of this song sound like I'm in church with a choir.

Invincible- Another soft, slow start. It's the, "sit back and relax" portion of the evening. I wish I hadn't sucked so much in recognizing chords and notes when in music theory because I want to take a guess at the part of the chord he keeps hitting but I'm 99% sure I am wrong and would therefore end up sounding like an idiot. But he's either sliding into the correct pitches or hitting ones of dissonance before settling on the next note. It doesn't always happen so don't go listening for it or anything.

Assassin- Break over! Time to rock again as the tempo picks up and what is that? a drum set?? Just kidding but it does jump out at you. A lot of background instruments and voices again, especially in the chorus which is really good and catchy. Muse uses a lot of different instruments and techniques so they end up sounding much larger than just three people.

Exo-Politics- Even though the rich instrumentation is still there, the album as a whole doesn't sound as dark as their older stuff, espeically Origin of Symmetry, does. I like to think the band has found my blog, knows of my love for them, and is now happier which comes out in their music.

City Of Delusion- Whoa, acoustic guitar? A lot of interesting sounds, once again, going on in this song with the, say it with me now, "Muse vocal style" that we by now know and love. (YOU LOVE IT, RIGHT!?) There's a fun trumpet (?) part at the end, very Latin sounding. I'm in love. I hope that if Muse decides to tour with a full orchestra they call me for the clarinet part.

Hoodoo- More Latin/Spanish/Ay Carumba sounds going on! I am loving this! Vocals vocals vocals and then PIANO! BAM! This song alone is like a music style handbook.

Knights Of Cydonia- The longest song but I think there's a hidden track? Muse can never be described as being too simple or without enough musical layers. It makes it hard to pick out influences and characterstics because so much is going on. And in addition, there seem to be made up sounds and experiments with sythesizers and other "weird" instruments.

I went to Wikipedia after I wrote this to see what they had to say. It says how the band released some cryptic clues in set lists and songs and that a few fans figured it out and it led them to a locked up bicycle in the US with an autographed seat. I hate hearing about stuff like that because it makes me angry for the people who have time to sit around and find hidden clues. It's not rewarding the biggest or most sincere fans, it's rewarding the people with the most time on their hands. Ok, ok, maybe I'm bitter and jealous that I didn't figure out the cyptograms and you may be correct, but figuring that stuff out takes time. And while and email here or there** at work can be done, cracking codes to find a bike can not. Not that I really want to find some random bike or anything but if it got me on Muse's wikipedia page, then I would be all about it. Just like when people realized there were clues going on with the see-through letters on Alias. I just had to ignore that there was a puzzle to be solved. One day I'll get to see and meet Muse and they'll say to me, "Scarlet, you're such a great appreciator*** of our music!"

*Really, the word I want to use is "raw" but it's such a pet-peeve of mine to describe music as raw.
***Fan is such a weird word.


Cheryl said...

I too hate thinking about people who have time to figure out clues, or find easter eggs on DVDs. Mostly I am jealous, but I kind of wonder about that.

Unknown said...

As a music geek, I'm glad you blog about this rather than band camp stories.

Miss Scarlet said...

Cheryl- Seriously! I barely want to spend the time watching the extra features I know about on DVDs.

Flameon- OMG, No band camp stories, NO!

rooroo said...

you give great music tips. ;) thanks!

minijonb said...

I also hate the word raw... just say "sushi-esque" instead =;-)