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  1. In this weeks Kerrang magazine, Muse appear not once...not twice...but THRICE in the "50 Best Albums of the 21st Century" article. A Century of Sound Without our favourite albums, life, with its good times and bad, just wouldnt (BE *typo*) the same. You know that. We know that. So when we asked you lot to nominate the greatest albums of the 21st century, you couldn't respond fast enough! With the votes in and counted, here, then, are THE 50 MOST MEANINGFUL, POWERFUL, EXCITING AND AURALLY PLEASURABLE ALBUMS OF THE LAST NINE YEARS, ACCORDING TO YOU. 50) Crisis - Alexisonfire (2006) 49) Permission To Land - The Darkness (2003) 48) Blessed Black Wings - High On Fire (2005) 47) Relationship of Command - At The Drive-In (2000) 46) The Green Album - Weezer (2001) 45) Volcano - Satyricon (2002) 44) Orchestra Of Wolves - Gallows (2006) 43) Holy Wood (In The Shadow Of The Valley Of Death) - Marilyn Manson (2000) 42) From Here To Infirmary - Alkaline Trio (2001) 41) Take To The Skies - Enter Shikari (2007) 40) Worship And Tribute - Glassjaw (2002) 39) Ghost Reveries - Opeth (2005) 38) Love Metal - Him (2003) 37) Jane Doe - Converge (2001) 36) Bleed American - Jimmy Eat World (2001) 35) Ire Works - The Dillinger Escape Plan (2007) 34) Riot! - Paramore (2007) 33) A Fever You Can't Sweat Out - Panic! At The Disco (2005) 32) II: A Bustle In Your Hedgerow - Down (2002) 31) Vol 3: (The Subliminal Verses) - Slipknot (2004) 30) Chocolate Starfish And The Hot Dog Flavoured Water - Limp Bizkit (2000) 29) Black Holes And Revelations - Muse (2006) 28) Mutter - Rammstein (2001) 27) City Of Evil - Avenged Sevenfold (2005) 26) Casually Dressed & Deep In Conversation - Funeral For A Friend (2003) 25) Puzzle - Biffy Clyro (2007) 24) Death Magnetic - Metallica (2008) 23) With Teeth - Nine Inch Nails (2005) 22) Ascendancy - Trivium (2005) 21) The End Of Heartache - Killswitch Engage (2004) 20) Lateralus - Tool (2001) 19) Start Something - Lostprophets (2004) 18) The Poison - Bullet For My Valentine (2005) 17) 21st Century Breakdown - Green Day (2009) 16) All Hope Is Gone - Slipknot (2008) 15) White Pony - Deftones (2000) 14) Hybrid Theory - Linkin Park (2000) 13) Origin Of Symmetry - Muse (2001) 12) The Black Parade - My Chemical Romance (2006) 11) Songs For The Deaf - Queens Of The Stone Age (2002) 10) Leviathan - Mastodon (2004) 09) From Under The Cork Tree - Fall Out Boy (2005) 08) The Blackening - Machine Head (2007) 07) Take Off Your Pants And Jacket - Blink 182 (2001) 06) Toxicity - System Of A Down (2001) 05) Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge - My Chemical Romance (2004) 04) A Beautiful Lie - 30 Seconds To Mars (2005) 03) IOWA - Slipknot (2001) 02) Absolution - Muse (2003) 01) American Idiot - Green Day (2004) 29) Black Holes And Revelations - Muse (2006) A brilliantly bonkers and brave balls-out record that bears witness to Muse indulging their every artistic whim to produce a political, proggy, sci-fi sound, touching on everything from Queen, Prince, Rush, Ennio Morricone and Black Sabbath. Sometimes within the space of one song. While Black Holes & Revelations was a new creative watermark, it also saw the trio's commercial star soar, with subsequent tours including a sold-out show at the fabulous Madison Square Garden in New York City and their triumphant two-night stand in Wembley Stadium. The band's status as the reigning kings of British rock was once again reaffirmed. 13) Origin Of Symmetry - Muse (2001) Younger readers may be suprised to hear this, but prior to the release of Origin Of Symmetry, Muse looked like the band least likely to succeed. The critics, you see, had the West Country three-piece pegged. From the moment they heard the songs that comprised Showbiz, the band's 1999 debut, the verdict was in: Muse were nothing more than a Radiohead copy band. Their music had no value. This lot would not last. How funny. And, erm, wrong. For the most part, Muse's success has been built from the ground up, and the first substancial building blocks came with the release of this,their second album. Propelled by the lead-off single Plug In Baby, this is the set that laid the blueprints of what has come to be known as Muse's trademark sound: bass lines that serve the same purpose as rhythm guitar parts, elongated melodies and falsetto vocal patterns, not to mention songs of such scope that suddenly it seemed as if their creators had the whole wide world in their hands. The mainstream press were caught on the back foot: without permission from the critics, people began to love this band. Origin of Symmetry achieved tremendous things for Muse. It struck a power chord not only in the United Kingdom, but aslo in mainland Europe. (America would have to wait: a contractual dispute with their US label saw the album's release in that territory delayed until 2005.) Hullabaloo, a concert film and live album shot and recorded on the tour in support of the album, was captured at the 15,000-seat Le Zenith venue in paris. Meanwhile in the UK, Muse found themselves headlining the spacious London Arena. This, though, was merely a stepping stone: just six years after the release of Origin Of Symmetry, Matt Bellamy and his friends became the first rock band to headline London's then brand-new Wembley Stadium. Twice. 02) Absolution - Muse (2003) 2001's Origin Of Symmetry may have distanced Matt Bellamy's band from their rock 'n' roll heroes - Jeff Buckley, Rage Against The Machine, Queen - and give more space to the frontman's classical music influences - Chopin, Bach, Philip Glass - but on their third album Muse sounded like no-one but themselves. The key to the success of Absolution was its sheer fearlessness: as the band pieced together ideas for the album with producer Rich Costey in Ireland, London and LA, no idea was too outrageous; nothing was off limits. The band's American label Maverick had opted not to release Origin Of Symmetry after Bellamy refused to re-record his falsetto vocals on Plug In Baby and, vindicated by the success of that album everywhere else in the world, the trio were in no mood for compromise this time around. When it emerged in September 2003, absolution sounded massive. From the clanging, portentous sturm und drang of Apocalypse Please to the secy roboto-stomp of Time Is Running Out, through the thunderous metallic grind of Stockholm Syndrome and on to the shimmering electronica (and 48 tracks of choral vocals) underpinning Butterflies & Hurricanes, this was the work of young men operating with absolute confidence in their own abilities, fully aware that they were at the top of their game. The album debuted at Number One in the UK, selling 71,000 copies in the first week, and also hit the top spot on the Billboard Heetseekers chart in the US....prompting a rather embarrasing U-turn among Maverick's big cheeses as to the band's commercial potential. Back at home, within nine months, Muse were headlining Glastonbury festival to an audience of 150,000 people: the weird little band from Devon had officially arrived. Comment / Discuss
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