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French Album Review: Translated


jonisdead
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Original link:

http://www.ouest-france.fr/leditiondusoir/data/490/reader/reader.html?t=1431965772029#!preferred/1/package/490/pub/491/page/13

 

Just so you know, I'm trying to translate it to be as colloquial as possible, as though the reviewer is talking to you and describing the album; French is a language that shouldn't be translated too literally otherwise the message gets a little lost. I'll translate the lyrics either as they are if they're clear or the way I think it's intended to come across, as some words have double meanings. I'm only going to do the new stuff. Here goes.

 

"

Dead Inside. The first single, available to download since March 23rd. An electro-pop track with a huge, distorted bassline and a remarkable lack of guitar (towards the end, there's a familiar guitar tone). Matthew affects a very Freddy «Queen» Mercury voice.

 

You would think that you're listening to a love song, with the narrator revering a disquieting feminine figure, in the process of being zombified («Your skin is warm to the touch, I see magic in your eyes. On the outside you're ablaze and alive, but you're dead inside»). At the end of the song, the protagonist succumbs as well to this same transformation («You taught me how to lie without a trace, and to kill with no remorse. On the outside, I'm the greatest guy, but I'm dead inside»). Is he addressing a woman or a personified image of power?

[Context (mine): feminine gender nouns make it so that "power" is personified as feminine in French.]

 

Drill Sergeant. Just as the song title implies, this interlude is [narrated] by a vituperative sergeant.

 

Psycho. This tidbit was put online in March, [with] the announcement of the new album. «For me, drones are metaphorical psychopaths who [take on a] psychopathic disposition without remorse», writes Matthew. The world is directed by drones utilizing drones with the goal to transform us into drones. This album explores the journey of a human being, from abandon and loss of hope to his indoctrination by the system to become a human drone, and his eventual defection».

 

A beefy guitar riff to illustrate the conditioning of human drones. In the chorus, his voice funnily drills [aka vibrato probably] into the words «fucking psycho»

 

The bass comes into unison with the guitar to create an enormous sound, in the spirit of the 70s. The end of the track is very «operatic», just the way Muse likes.

 

Mercy. Piano and a fuzzed-up bass. The protagonist seeks out mercy, but «the men in cloaks try to eat his soul». Absent gods and silent tyranny are part of the program as Matt plays deep in the mix with some arpeggiated effects which make for some... annoying arpeggios.

 

The Handler: Slow, mammoth-sized drums... and a humongous riff. The protagonist begins to rebel at this point [in the narrative]. The vocals begin in falsetto. This is one of the most progressive-rock tracks on the album. During the song's mid-section, [Matt breaks out into] a solo [à la] Angus Young. What is the producer up to? Was this intended to be humorous? Apparently not.

 

Zombie. The reprise of a speech by John F. Kennedy, about an oppressive and tyrannical secret [society]. Is he talking about the CIA or about a globalist conspiracy theory, like those that Matthew loves? No, specifically, in the original speech, [JFK's] referring to the USSR.

 

Defector. Very, very Queen-esque harmonies. Seriously, very Queen. There you have it, the protagonist is «free». «You can't brainwash me anymore! You can't control me!» Matthew paints some, umm... colorful images. «Your blood is blue, your spirit's turned green and your gut's all yellow».

 

[The message] is clear, but as for the "poetry" [<-- emphasis mine], we'll need to take another look at that...

 

Revolt. The protagonist calls for a revolution in the form of a power ballad. «Our liberty's only a loan to be taxed, controlled by psychos and drones». This is one of the [album's] poppiest offerings, not too far removed from 'With or Without You' by U2. [Matt's] voice is strangely distorted, and becomes brutally shrill/piercing at times. But here, [nonetheless], [lies] the catchiest chorus on the album.

 

Aftermath. A desolate wind blows in the distance. In comes a synthesizer, followed by violins. Then a guitar in the style of Jimi Hendrix's ballads. «It's you and I against the world, we're free... states falter and walls still rise higher».

 

The Globalist. A whistled melody, like those of an Ennio Morricone western (Muse sometimes uses Morricone to herald their stage entrances), violins, a bolero rhythm, a long intro, and a Pink Floyd-esque guitar plays.

 

We're in the mind of a an evil [asshole :p] who controls all of the drones. He has [unleashed]/dropped all of the bombs at his disposal, and nearly destroys humanity. This song then takes on an epic tone. In the end, the dictatorial entity gives an excuse [for his actions], «I just wanted to be loved :'(»

 

Drones. A song in a capella, full of superimposed vocal layers and an ethereal ambiance. Matthew summarizes his message... and everything ends with an «Amen».

 

Conclusion: Musically, this is a varied album with the obligatory grandiloquence that was expected of it. Muse fans cannot be disappointed. However, the much anticipated plot of this concept album was rather childish [in presentation]. [As a result] just like [they did against] the little booklets of certain operas [this is an obscure musical history reference btw, meant to address the French], devoted fans will object to this [this meaning the presentation of the plot]. At least there's a little bit of irony to it all.

Edited by jonisdead
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I don't mean to be forward, but I have a couple of nit-picky corrections if you don't mind.

 

" During the song's mid-section, [Matt breaks out into] a solo [à la] Angus Young. A wink from the producer? Was this intended to be humorous? Apparently it was not intentional."

 

Also that line about irony at the end is a question not a statement "Unless there's supposed to be a hint of irony to it all?" I think would be more accurate.

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I don't mean to be forward, but I have a couple of nit-picky corrections if you don't mind.

 

" During the song's mid-section, [Matt breaks out into] a solo [à la] Angus Young. A wink from the producer? Was this intended to be humorous? Apparently it was not intentional."

 

Also that line about irony at the end is a question not a statement "Unless there's supposed to be a hint of irony to it all?" I think would be more accurate.

 

No, no, corrections are welcome! The wink bit doesn't translate well into colloquial English though, I took some liberty with that because "jeter un oeuil" in French doesn't mean anything in English. Your other addition though could also definitely be one way to read it. The way I kind of took it was more harsh.

Edited by jonisdead
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