You know, I wondered if some particularly bitter fans would say that there's nothing good about The 2nd Law or Drones, and I was right.
Anyway, let's see the best and worst of each album! And I would include the live albums, but, well, nobody else is, so...
Best: This was when Muse was more personal and less political. We need to get some of this Muse again. "Hate This and I'll Love You" is also particularly good. I wish there was some high quality video footage of them playing that song live.
Worst: Matt's lyrics can be a little wonky, to the point where I legitimately believe that this album has more noticeable bad lyrics than any of their other albums ("I have played in every toilet," "Its scent has been blowing in my direct-shoon," "Five thousand houses burning down," "Royal Canadian blended," "Your brain needs some assistance," "I'm young but you know that I'm aroused"). Also, what's with that album cover?
Origin of Symmetry
Best: "Citizen Erased," which is by far Muse's best song IMO. There were also a lot of other great songs here, though do I really need to explain this further? Everyone seems to agree that this album rocks.
Worst: The production is a little off on this album. I frequently have trouble understanding what Matt is singing. Also, "Feeling Good" seems like it would have fit better on a B-sides compilation instead of an album.
Best: Now here's where I may lose a lot of people: I think this album is better than OOS. There is so much I can praise about this album: the lyrics, the proggier direction, the fact that this is the perfect transitional album between Muse's early stuff and the more mainstream material they made later (I listened to The Resistance and Black Holes and Revelations first before I listened to OOS, which kind of puzzled me; when I relistened to OOS after having listened to Absolution, I was much more ready for OOS and liked it a lot more than my first listen). If I had to praise on thing, though, it's the amazing instrumentation on every single track, with particular highlights being "Apocalypse Please," "Sing for Absolution," "Hysteria," "Blackout," and "Ruled by Secrecy." The bass lines are especially improved here; Chris really shows off his talents. This album is a must-have for any Muse fan.
Worst: Um... "Endlessly" is a little slower than the songs before and after it. Also, the album mix of "Butterflies and Hurricanes" is a little weak;
Black Holes and Revelations
Best: In my opinion, this album has the greatest opening and closing tracks of any Muse album, IMO. "Take a Bow" and "Knights of Cydonia" are pure epicness. There are also a few other great tracks, like "Supermassive Black Hole," "Map of the Problematique," "City of Delusion," and "Hoodoo." Also, I don't care what anybody else says, Invincible kicks ass.
Worst: It's kind of a mess when it comes to tone. It's split between wanting to be a full pop rock album and a more epic one. "Starlight" is a little weak, and I'm also not a fan of the shortened "Assassin."
Best: This is the first Muse album I ever listened to all the way through, and it's a perfect introduction for newcomers to the fanbase, with hard rockers like "Uprising," "Unnatural Selection," and "MK Ultra"; poppier numbers like "Resistance"; and symphonic rockers like "United States of Eurasia" and the prog masterpiece "Exogenesis: Symphony." Also, this has my all-time favorite Muse album cover.
Worst: The studio version's ending of "Uprising" isn't as good as the live one, "Undisclosed Desires" and "Guiding Light" are far from perfect, and Matt's French just sounds corny on "I Belong to You," which I can't think of without thinking of a certain movie series.
The 2nd Law
Best: People were far too harsh on this album IMO. "Supremacy," "Panic Station," "Survival," "Animals," "Big Freeze," and "Isolated System" were all pretty great, and I actually enjoyed Chris's two songs. He needs to sing lead more. I actually didn't mind Muse dabbling in other genres like others seemed to. I even sort of liked "Madness."
Worst: "Follow Me" was a little bland. I know he wrote it for his son, but still. Also, "Unsustainable" could have been better and the album's cover wasn't as good as a lot of the fanmade ones. There wasn't really much of a structure to the album, either, apart from "we're doing this genre now" for every other track.
Best: This is probably Muse's hardest rocking of their post-Absolution albums. Everything about this reminds me of a really great album from the '70s or '80s; the concept reminds me of other rock operas like The Wall or Tommy, while some of the songs remind me of AC/DC. The production by Mutt Lange is really great and I think they need to collaborate again. "Reapers" has one of my favorite solos from Matt, and "The Gloabalist," "Dead Inside," "The Handler," and "Defector" were awesome tracks.
Worst: "Revolt" is awful. It sets itself up to be good only to have a completely disjointed chorus that feels like it was written for a different song. Also, the lyrics may be a little too on the nose for some. The odd repetitions of "babe" throughout the album don't help matters. And the album cover just looks silly. (Call me immature, but it reminds me of phallic imagery. )