Jump to content

Your reviews of Drones


Jimmyneutron
 Share

What is your favourite track on Drones?  

503 members have voted

  1. 1. What is your favourite track on Drones?

    • Dead Inside
      14
    • Drill Sergeant
      1
    • Psycho
      10
    • Mercy
      3
    • Reapers
      119
    • The Handler
      266
    • JFK
      1
    • Defector
      36
    • Revolt
      4
    • Aftermath
      11
    • The Globalist
      34
    • Drones
      4


Recommended Posts

Dead Inside - 9/10 Love the vocal delivery, the minimalistic synths and the buildup on this one.

 

Psycho- 8/10 Great riff, beefy as fuck. Looks like it's a killer live.

 

Mercy 7.5/10 Would have given a higher score, but it doesn't really go anywhere. Nice to see the Bliss-esque synths return though.

 

Reapers - 10/10 Tied with The Handler for best track on the album, this plus The Handler is what I wanted from this album.

 

The Handler 10/10 Tied with Reapers, love the dark, epic vibes I get from this one.

 

Defector 7/10 As someone who loves 70s Queen, this track was always going to appeal to me, just a shame it's bit repetitive.

 

Revolt 6/10 Not exactly what I was expecting from the name. Definitely a grower, but I think it's fun and it has a Killers vibe, which doesn't bother me because I like The Killers.

 

Aftermath - 8/10 Lovely. This one was so nice, I love it, even if it does stray into country at times.

 

The Globalist - 9/10 Took me a couple of listens to get into this one, but now that I have, it's a pretty damn solid track. Not exactly Citizen Erased, but still very good.

 

Drones - 5/10 Relaxing, but bizarre and feels rather out of place. Not something they've ever done before, and I'm curious to see if they could incorporate some vocal work like this on future tracks with full instrumentals.

 

Overall score - 7.5/10 Not their best album, but nowhere near their worst. Still pretty solid.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dead Inside has really seemed to grow in people's estimations. I wonder if that will change after being toured constantly for 3 years...

 

The live version is already appalling tbh and needs fixing pronto, for reasons which don't reflect on the studio version's quality that much.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's mine, it's positive :D Out of 10 of course (it's all my opinion and only mine :))

 

 

Dead Inside - 9 : Love it, feels groovy and yet so emotional, which wasn't the strong point with Muse before.

 

Psycho - 7.5 : Great riff but a bit repetitive, but I can only imagine that this song live must be awesome.

 

Mercy - 6.5 : Good one but nothing special to me, sounds like Muse was inspired by Muse.

 

Reapers - 9.5 : Best one in years (along with supremacy... yeah, I like supremacy :phu:), can't describe how good it is!

 

Handler - 9 : Hate it or love it, I love it. It's simple, it's rocking, it's strong, it's Muse.

 

Defector - 7.5 : Solid riff, lyrics a bit strange but I never stop myself at lyrics (or I'd never have listened to Muse in the first place :D)

 

Revolt - 7 : Well... Yeah, it grew on me big time (first time I wound have given a 2 maximum). I know it's silly, it's not Muse, but it's super catchy and stays in your head, and the verses are actually really heavy.

 

Aftermath - 8.5 : Really good, totally surprising from Muse. Might have been a 9 or even 9.5 if the guitar didn't sound so much like "One" from U2.

 

Globalist - 7 : Let me get this straight, it's a good song. Good concept, but I expected more, not something different though, I like it the way it is, but it has (yes, present) all the ingredients to be a 12 at least, but somehow it sticks to me as "the super song everyone awaits but I'll give only 90 percents of creativity".

 

Drones - 8 : Come on people, of course we will never listen to it again, of course it's not a standalone song, but for what it is (the conclusion of the story of a concept album, told in an accapella choir kind of music) it's brillant !

 

 

Overall : 8/10 ! It's all tastes, some of you will agree, some of you won't, but I enjoyed the hell of this album. I don't mind the lyrics but I find it a very good idea to start with and it's been beautifully told by Matt, Dom and Chris (god, those bass sounds, orgasmic!). They would have made the perfect album for me with another song instead of Mercy and given more thought on Globalist.

 

Albums ranking (here comes the hate : I'm ranking how I feel about the ALBUMS in OVERALL, not individuals songs from albums)

 

Absolution > Drones > Origin > BHAR > 2nd Law > Resistance > Showbiz

Edited by TheAlex
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I liked the album, here's my opinion:

1. Dead inside. I liked Madness but it was too soft. This is more powerful and I like the melody - >8.

2. Drill Sargeant -> -

3. Psycho. Not bad, not great. Good riff and I think it's amazing live -> 7

4. Mercy. Catchy, simple, powerful pop song. Maybe too simple for me -> 7.

5. Reapers. It's powerful and fun, but too long for me. I like that kind of outro live, but not on the album -> 8

6. The Handler. The best for me. I love the riff. It reminds me of In your world and Showbiz -> 9.5

7. JFK -> -

8. Defector -> I like the riff a lot. A bit poppy but good -> 7.5.

9. Revolt -> It's different, but not bat at all, IMO -> 8

10. Aftermath -> I like the beginning, but not the ending, it's too long and cheesy -> 6

11. It has nothing to do with Citizen Erased. I miss vocals during the heavy part -> 7

12. Drones. Not a proper song, IMO -> -

 

Overall 7.5. It's better produced than t2l anda TR, all songs sound more powerful

Absolution & BHAR > OOS > Drones > TR & Showbiz > T2L

Edited by adryb40
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dead Inside - 8.5/10. Disliked it at first but it grew on me and now I really enjoy it. I catch myself humming it all the time.

 

....

 

Overall - 7.5/10

 

I agree with your review almost exactly... except I'd switch the reviews for Revolt and Aftermath. I think Revolt is fun and catchy, and Aftermath is too much like Guiding Light/Explorers for me.

 

It'll be interesting to see how my feelings change over time as they always do.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's a fun "car ride" album. I never really see myself going through entire albums at home with my headphones on but I gained a massive appreciation for this album when I was communing to my work today, it's similar to The Resistance in that respect.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The live version is already appalling tbh and needs fixing pronto, for reasons which don't reflect on the studio version's quality that much.

 

As does Reapers, hearing it live first, it felt like several different songs stitched together that didn't flow well, the studio recording is so much better.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1. Dead Inside (7/10): It's good for what it is. I like the new wave Muse (big T2L fan) and enjoy how this one has a bit more grit than the usual new wave Muse track. The bridge is fantastic and an excellent solo. Lyrics aren't terrible either.

 

2. Drill Sergeant+Psycho (7/10): Drill Sergeant is pretty annoying, even for a concept album. Pretty cringey. Psycho is pretty good, if a bit repetitive. I enjoy the groove and how you can really feel a bit of anger in the vocals. Lyrics are pretty bad, and the production is way too dull. Still, a good melody and a fun song.

 

3. Mercy (7/10): Big fan of Starlight and bass+keyboard Muse, so I have no qualms. The chorus is pretty Stockholm-y and it somehow has a Bliss vibe. Don't really get the hate.

 

4. Reapers (8/10): Everything I love about Muse in a track. Blistering riffs, good drumming, excellent vocals--nice falsetto, too--and excellent bass. Much more complex than more recent Muse, definitely a throwback. Also a big fan of the lyrics, contrary to popular opinion.

 

5. The Handler (10/10): Really got me excited half way through, it just feels like Fury but a much more evolved, matured and nuanced version of Fury. Doesn't feel forgettable like MK Ultra, another hidden gem. Excellent track.

 

6. JFK+Defector (8/10): Queen+Muse heaviness. The speech actually works, the song has the right amount of Queen vocals in it, the bass is deliciously dirty, the guitar rocks, and it evolves nicely.

 

7. Revolt (0/10): Worst Muse song ever written. Sounds like 1989+Matt Bellamy singing. Unlistenable. Horrific.

 

8. Aftermath (3/10): Would've been better if it was a piano song and the chorus didn't sound like Live Aid.

 

9. The Globalist+Drones (8/10): The Globalist is a top-notch track. Maybe the guitar part could've been extended but the different sections really make a nice soundscape and I really enjoy the emotion in the piano part, haven't really seen that since Hoodoo. The song Drones is pretty bad on its own, but kind of seems post-apocalyptic if you listen to it directly into The Globalist. I don't mind Gregorian style chants though, one of my favorite early 2000s bands, VAST, relied on them for three albums.

 

Overall: 7/10

The most disappointing Muse album simply because it could've been so much better. Muse hits highs they haven't hit since Absolution. The lows are so embarrassingly bad. Also, on a different note, the production is unacceptable. The first half is one of the strongest ever in a Muse album, but it just sounds like the first six songs are all produced by a different person. One song Matt's vocals will be buried in the mix with crunchy bass, the next will have a nu-metal flavor, and then the next one will have all mid-bass and over-the-top vocals.

 

The story is just asinine; makes no sense and is completely elementary. It's so absolutely cliche. The fact that Matt wrote the lyrics in such a blunt, no-nuanced way worsens it.

 

Still, Dead Inside-Psycho-Mercy-Reapers-The Handler-Defector is a hell of a strong run for a Muse album.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm going to wait for the album to officially come out before I listen to it, but of the songs they've released so far The Handler, Mercy, and Dead Inside are my personal top three for now.

 

Very excited to listen to the song Drones, and The Globalist, despite the mixed reviews. I usually think the opposite of most Muse fans, so The Globalist may be really awesome.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

First of all, it's a lot better than The 2nd Law but that isn't saying very much.

 

1. Dead Inside - 'Modern Muse' in a nutshell and I've accepted this sort of thing as part of their sound. For what it is it's very good, especially the ending, but it's not the Muse I fell in love with. 7/10

 

2. Psycho - I've always liked the riff so that's a good start, and I reckon it'll sound excellent live. The lyrics are a bit shit but overall I like it. 7/10

 

3. Mercy - This is bad. Really, really bad. Like a camp version of Starlight, and I can see it being up there with Guiding Light as my worst live Muse experience come the next tour. 4/10

 

4. Reapers - Now we're talking. Cannot wait to see this one in the flesh, big fan of the sound all the way through with the various peaks and troughs. 8/10

 

5. The Handler - Comfortably the best song written since BH&R, it's flawless for me and

I absolutely love the nod to In Your World before it cranks back up for an epic finish. Can't stop listening to it. 10/10

 

6. Defector - Not bad yeah, listenable but it's not something I have a great desire to see live. 6/10

 

7. Revolt - This is awful and they should feel bad for putting it on any album. 3/10

 

8. Aftermath - Boooooooooorrrrrrrrrring. Nearly dozed off halfway through. It's nice and inoffensive but really uninspiring. 5/10

 

9. The Globalist - I'm a bit underwhelmed. It's good but not as great as the hype lead me to believe (probably my own fault for buying into it). There's some great parts, the intro reminds me of Invincible, and it'd be cool to see performed. 7/10

 

10. Drones - Sorry lads, too far. 2 mins 52 secs I'll never get back. 1/10 (for effort)

 

Overall: It's very hit and miss, though the hits are a lot better than the previous two records. I get the whole story thing and it's pretty cool in that regard, it's just that some of the songs telling it are utter wank. It's a return to form in some ways but also leaves me thinking about what might have been. There was potential for a great record and instead they've just made a good one. 7/10

 

Updated album ranking:

 

1. Origin of Symmetry

2. Absolution

3. Black Holes and Revelations

4. Showbiz

5. Drones

6. Resistance

7

8.

9

10. The 2nd Law

Edited by DublinNeil
Link to comment
Share on other sites

So last night out of interest I decided to rank the songs off the other albums in a comparison with how I rated the songs on Drones and ended up finding - a little surprisingly - that the average for Drones puts it tied third with Absolution on my list but when I think about it, for me, the real strong parts of Drones (for me anyway) - The Handler, Reapers, Aftermath, Defector are just as good, if not better than my hits from Absolution (Fury aside, that shit's always gonna be a top 3 songs).

 

Ended up with

 

1. Origin of Symmetry 8.3/10

2. Black Holes and Revelations 8.1/10

3. Absolution 7.8/10 | Drones 7.8/10

5. Showbiz 7.4/10

6. The Resistance 7.1/10

7. The 2nd Law 6.8/10

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dead Inside:

I really like this song. To be honest I probably always will. It was the song that caught my eye and made me really check out their discography (yes I'm a new Muser). Sure it's a pop rock song but it builds nicely.

 

Psycho:

Old riff, great application. It's a fun rocker and really translates well live. The song could be a minute shorter and I could do with or without the drill sergeant shouting throughout. Maybe some drum fills would be better in those breaks.

 

Mercy:

It's alright. Similar to Starlight. Kind of a mellow radio song. Not my favorite. Don't hate it.

 

Reapers:

For me this is my number 1A. I LOVE this song. It's rocking, got a great flow, a badass solo. Everything just works in this one. The end jam is awesome too. Really captured their live feel on the record.

 

The Handler:

This is 1B. This song is so fucking good. Love the dark sounding riff. The vocals are stellar and I really like the subtle vocal effects. Only thing holding the song back is the little solo/bridge part doesn't really go anywhere. Especially after following Reapers solo.

 

JFK+Defector:

Love this combo. Defector is a fun song. Love the queen vibe. Riff is fun. I know the lot of you aren't into it but I think it's the jam.

 

Revolt:

Very very pop rock song. Grows on you a little bit but it's somewhat forgettable.

 

Aftermath:

Pretty sounding song. A little shorter and it'd be better

 

The Globalist:

There was a lot of hype for this song. The teasers showed off a heavy riff. It's ten minutes long, you think it's going to rock your face off. Turns out to start slow and build to the heavy riff. The riff doesn't last nearly long enough. But it is awesome. EndA with the piano ballad sound. I DO like the song a lot but I thought the heavy section would last a lot longer.

 

Drones:

Interesting piece but I can't see myself listening to it much at all. It blends beautifully/perfectly with the end of The Globalist though.

 

Album is a solid 8 for me. The first half is very strong.

 

 

If I have to rank them...

 

Absolution

BH&R

Drones

OOS

2nd Law

TR

Showbiz

Edited by Teitan
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Opinions ahoy:

 

 

 

Dead Inside - A song that builds itself up with instrumentation wonderfully, but never really pays off. The masterfully constructed electro-pop stomp of the first half, with the help of plucked strings and a brief guitar solo akin to that of Madness, leads the listener to anticipate a great climax. But it never comes – yes, the drums and guitar may explode following the second chorus, but the vocal line meanders along through the second half and leaves one wanting more. A certain undefinable climax, like Madness' "I need your love," is missing from Dead Inside. Nevertheless, a catchy and well-crafted pop song.

 

7/10

 

Psycho - An unnecessarily long riff-centric track that would have been much more effective had it been shorter. Based around a 5-second long riff, the song alternates largely between a bluesy verse and anthemic chorus of "your ass belongs to me now." It sounds worse on paper, but it doesn't sound much better on the record. It's a fun song, for sure, but there's really one too many verse and chorus pairs in it. By the time the third chorus comes around, a listener is probably sick of the riff and waiting for some change. That change comes in the form of a classic Bellamy style octave solo that leads into the final chorus, arguably the highlight of the song. Guaranteed to be a great live song to mosh to, but musically there really isn't much more to Psycho than the short riff.

 

5/10

 

Mercy - An anthemic pop track that recalls the sounds of Black Holes and Revelations. Many aspects of the track are distinctly Musey, from the intro's fuzz bass and the octave piano to the chorus' synth arpeggios and layered vocals. The song's instrumentation slowly builds up towards each chorus: bass drum thumps, power chord clunks, and synths pave the way for a grand and anthemic chorus. Similar to past hit Starlight, Mercy follows a simple verse-chorus pattern with a sparse bridge, building back up to the chorus. As far as Muse's pop single output goes, this track delivers. A catchy and dynamic track, Mercy has potential to be one of the bands most memorable hits since Uprising and Starlight.

 

8/10

 

Reapers - One of Muse's most technically and compositionally impressive tracks in years. Probably one of their most ass-kicking tracks in years as well, introduced by a whammy-accompanied tapping solo. The frantic motion of the verses, based around the oft-used Andalusian cadence chord progression, gives way to a half speed riff. The riff, reminiscent of Rage Against The Machine's Bombtrack, is accompanied by a driving drum beat, vocoder, and of course, Bellamy's vocals, sung in octaves. The track modulates keys both between and within sections so flawlessly that it's entirely unnoticeable to the untrained ear. Perhaps the highlight of the track is the guitar solo, exceeding a minute of the 6 minute long track. Sporadic cuts from atonal Morello-esque whammy action to traditional classic rock licks make for one of Bellamy's most impressive guitar parts on record. Reapers culminates in chaos, as a chromatic riff is wailed over sirens and foreboding warnings of incoming drones. Since when has Muse ever been so dramatic?

 

9/10

 

The Handler – A gargantuan, sluggish, and menacing track that, if only for 4 minutes and 34 seconds, brings Muse fans back to the days of Absolution. Simple, stomping drums lay the base for the riff-centric verses. The chorus ignites in a fashion similar to their early work, as walls of guitars, synths, and bass accompany one of Bellamy's most infectious and impressive vocal parts in a long time. The track climaxes in the fast, if not a bit too long, guitar solo reminiscent of the band's early cut, In Your World. The final section, what may be considered the bridge, recalls the melodic and chordal structure of 1999's Showbiz. Not much more can be said about this incredible track. It sounds like a band who is not trying to recreate their old sound; rather, it sounds like one who has taken it to a whole new level.

 

10/10

 

Defector - A theatrical and loose-sounding rocker that suffers from the same serious repetition issues in Psycho. The chorus riff is catchy and exciting, but between the repeating verses and choruses, listeners are again waiting for something new. Luckily, something new and very exciting comes in the form of a melodic, pitch-shifted solo. As much as this solo does to save the track, the forgettable chorus melody and the downright cringe-inducing vocals of the "boom-boom-clap" verses hamper the track significantly. It's not quite bad, but not very good either. A very forgettable track.

 

6/10

 

Revolt - An 80s sports movie montage song that attempts to inspire people to overthrow government. Where does one begin with this song? The verses focus largely on the guitar's accentuation of the chord changes which reek of the worst music of the 80s. The chorus, while catchy, sounds like a cover of The Killers channeling U2. But this is not even the worst of the track. The pre-chorus is among Muse's worst bits of songwriting. Now, I've refrained from nitpicking on lyrics because a) Matt has never been much of a lyricist and b) the lyrics on this album are generally nothing to write about. But let's make one exception in the pre-chorus. Matt sings: "You've got strength, you've got soul, you've felt pain, you've felt love, you can grow, you can grow." Surprisingly enough, these lyrics manage to sound even worse not on paper. Accompanied by horrific Queen harmonies, the pre-chorus made me wonder why I was sitting through this song. The closest thing to a saving grace on this song is the guitar solo. Technically impressive and melodic, the solo almost makes the rest of the song listening to. Almost. Strangely enough, I'm not feeling too inspired to march down to the White House after hearing Revolt.

 

3/10

 

Aftermath - A beautiful and soothing track that could have been written by any band. Introduced by synth pads and warm, clean guitar licks, Aftermath is a moody, anthemic track full of musical and lyrical cliches. The musicianship in this track is stellar – the melodic bassline in the second verse, thanks to Drones MVP Chris Wolstenholme, and the sparse but effective guitar part make for a song that is undeniably well-written. The problem is, if it was written by any other band, I would most likely never listen to this song. Take the vocals away and I may enjoy some of the guitar bits, but that's about it. The culmination of the track into a singalong outro takes me back to the music played at Youth Ministry (that's not a good comparison). It's a catchy melody, but it's been written a million times before. This is Muse at its cheesiest, and I think I've had enough of it for one album.

 

5/10

 

The Globalist - A multi-part epic that seems to lead nowhere. The Globalist, touted by Bellamy himself as a "prog nightmare" and the sequel to one of Muse's most beloved tracks, Citizen Erased, set our expectations very high, Unfairly high, some might say. Regardless, the 10 minute long song is set into three parts – a slow, moody Western intro, a fast, heavy, and menacing riff midsection, and a piano ballad outro. The Western intro, borrowing heavily from Morricone's "L'Arena," shows off the band's orchestration skills. This first section is the highlight in my opinion; it showcases the softer and darker side of Muse. The wailing slide guitar accompanies Bellamy's singing. The Western bit leads into a heavy guitar and bass riff that is supposed to simulate a nuclear detonation. The midsection ends too abruptly and leaves listeners wanting more. Yes, you can argue that it's part of the concept to make this nuclear destruction seem quick to end. But when a concept gets in the way of songwriting, something's not right. The riff sections leads to the final piano section, which borrows heavily (I cannot bold that enough) from Elgar's Nimrod. Borrow may not be the right word. Copy may be better –

Nevertheless, the ballad is, at the very least, pretty. The culmination of the section – "I just wanted, I just needed to be loved!" –nothingfeels genuine and exciting. But there's still something missing between the three disparate sections. Much of The Globalist feels like Bellamy wrote three different songs and found ways to put them together in one. This is no Exogenesis Symphony or Citizen Erased – it's about as musically cohesive as the confusing suite from The 2nd Law.

 

7/10

 

Drones - Not much can be said about this track other than the fact that it sounds beautiful. A bold way to end a popular rock album. Or pretentious, to some. Ending the song, and album, with the word "amen" breaches into Spinal Tap territory. But Muse's music, especially in recent years, has always had this air of absurdity to it. The closing track is nothing quite like Ruled By Secrecy, Megalomania, or Redemption. It's not really like anything the band has done before. At the very least, it's something new. Amen.

 

5/10

 

 

 

 

Overall - My expectations for this album were fairly low following The 2nd Law. I'm happy with some of what we got – tracks like Reapers, The Handler, and Mercy are sure to stick with me. Overall though, it feels like the band is continuing to try too hard to attempt too many styles at once. The tracks we heard pre-release – Psycho, Dead Inside, Reapers, and Mercy – all seemed to hint at a general cohesive sound. But once we were given tracks like Revolt, Aftermath, and Drones, that cohesion was hard to find. Experimentation can be good, but it can also distract a musician from mastering their known style.

 

6.5/10

 

Y'all know this is just my opinion, right? What did you think of this album? Love it? Hate it? Why?

 

 

  1. Absolution
  2. Origin of Symmetry
  3. Black Holes and Revelations
  4. The Resistance
  5. Showbiz
  6. Drones
  7. The 2nd Law

Edited by HomesickSubterranean
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Drones: The worst closer of any Muse album. You have to be a truly pretentious fuck (or JJTheMuse) to think that this a) makes sense and b) is a good idea for a rock album.

 

Good thing JJTheMuse is dead :yesey: Drones is a masterwork. Give it 3 years, people will come around.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Overall - My expectations for this album were fairly low following The 2nd Law. I'm happy with some of what we got – tracks like Reapers, The Handler, and Mercy are sure to stick with me. Overall though, it feels like the band is continuing to try too hard to attempt too many styles at once. The tracks we heard pre-release – Psycho, Dead Inside, Reapers, and Mercy – all seemed to hint at a general cohesive sound. But once we were given tracks like Revolt, Aftermath, and Drones, that cohesion was hard to find. Experimentation can be good, but it can also distract a musician from mastering their known style.

 

6.5/10

 

Y'all know this is just my opinion, right? What did you think of this album? Love it? Hate it? Why?

 

Whilst generally it seems I like the album better than you do (each to their own), I agree with a lot of your points. Especially about The Globalist. The Western track into the heavy track transition could've been much better if they'd dragged out the little rewind of previous songs lyrics a little longer and faded the guitar in better and the heavy part needed to be longer and not be so anticlimactic. The transition from the heavy part into the piano part is just non-existent like you said, it just doesn't work at all. I'm also glad to see you share my opinion (and exact same rating) of Mercy. In my opinion it's almost a better version of Starlight, glad to see someone else likes it.

 

Personally I enjoyed Aftermath much more than you did though, although I can understand why you don't like it as it does drag a little towards the end. I also personally enjoyed Defector far more than you seem to have done, I guess I don't mind the repetition of the riff as much because it's saved for me by the chorus melodies and the guitar solo.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Opinions ahoy:

 

 

 

Dead Inside - A song that builds itself up with instrumentation wonderfully, but never really pays off. The masterfully constructed electro-pop stomp of the first half, with the help of plucked strings and a brief guitar solo akin to that of Madness, leads the listener to anticipate a great climax. But it never comes – yes, the drums and guitar may explode following the second chorus, but the vocal line meanders along through the second half and leaves one wanting more. A certain undefinable climax, like Madness' "I need your love," is missing from Dead Inside. Nevertheless, a catchy and well-crafted pop song.

 

7/10

 

Psycho - An unnecessarily long riff-centric track that would have been much more effective had it been shorter. Based around a 5-second long riff, the song alternates largely between a bluesy verse and anthemic chorus of "your ass belongs to me now." It sounds worse on paper, but it doesn't sound much better on the record. It's a fun song, for sure, but there's really one too many verse and chorus pairs in it. By the time the third chorus comes around, a listener is probably sick of the riff and waiting for some change. That change comes in the form of a classic Bellamy style octave solo that leads into the final chorus, arguably the highlight of the song. Guaranteed to be a great live song to mosh to, but musically there really isn't much more to Psycho than the short riff.

 

5/10

 

Mercy - An anthemic pop track that recalls the sounds of Black Holes and Revelations. Many aspects of the track are distinctly Musey, from the intro's fuzz bass and the octave piano to the chorus' synth arpeggios and layered vocals. The song's instrumentation slowly builds up towards each chorus: bass drum thumps, power chord clunks, and synths pave the way for a grand and anthemic chorus. Similar to past hit Starlight, Mercy follows a simple verse-chorus pattern with a sparse bridge, building back up to the chorus. As far as Muse's pop single output goes, this track delivers. A catchy and dynamic track, Mercy has potential to be one of the bands most memorable hits since Uprising and Starlight.

 

8/10

 

Reapers - One of Muse's most technically and compositionally impressive tracks in years. Probably one of their most ass-kicking tracks in years as well, introduced by a whammy-accompanied tapping solo. The frantic motion of the verses, based around the oft-used Andalusian cadence chord progression, gives way to a half speed riff. The riff, reminiscent of Rage Against The Machine's Bombtrack, is accompanied by a driving drum beat, vocoder, and of course, Bellamy's vocals, sung in octaves. The track modulates keys both between and within sections so flawlessly that it's entirely unnoticeable to the untrained ear. Perhaps the highlight of the track is the guitar solo, exceeding a minute of the 6 minute long track. Sporadic cuts from atonal Morello-esque whammy action to traditional classic rock licks make for one of Bellamy's most impressive guitar parts on record. Reapers culminates in chaos, as a chromatic riff is wailed over sirens and foreboding warnings of incoming drones. Since when has Muse ever been so dramatic?

 

9/10

 

The Handler – A gargantuan, sluggish, and menacing track that, if only for 4 minutes and 34 seconds, brings Muse fans back to the days of Absolution. Simple, stomping drums lay the base for the riff-centric verses. The chorus ignites in a fashion similar to their early work, as walls of guitars, synths, and bass accompany one of Bellamy's most infectious and impressive vocal parts in a long time. The track climaxes in the fast, if not a bit too long, guitar solo reminiscent of the band's early cut, In Your World. The final section, what may be considered the bridge, recalls the melodic and chordal structure of 1999's Showbiz. Not much more can be said about this incredible track. It sounds like a band who is not trying to recreate their old sound; rather, it sounds like one who has taken it to a whole new level.

 

10/10

 

Defector - A theatrical and loose-sounding rocker that suffers from the same serious repetition issues in Psycho. The chorus riff is catchy and exciting, but between the repeating verses and choruses, listeners are again waiting for something new. Luckily, something new and very exciting comes in the form of a melodic, pitch-shifted solo. As much as this solo does to save the track, the forgettable chorus melody and the downright cringe-inducing vocals of the "boom-boom-clap" verses hamper the track significantly. It's not quite bad, but not very good either. A very forgettable track.

 

6/10

 

Revolt - An 80s sports movie montage song that attempts to inspire people to overthrow government. Where does one begin with this song? The verses focus largely on the guitar's accentuation of the chord changes which reek of the worst music of the 80s. The chorus, while catchy, sounds like a cover of The Killers channeling U2. But this is not even the worst of the track. The pre-chorus is among Muse's worst bits of songwriting. Now, I've refrained from nitpicking on lyrics because a) Matt has never been much of a lyricist and b) the lyrics on this album are generally nothing to write about. But let's make one exception in the pre-chorus. Matt sings: "You've got strength, you've got soul, you've felt pain, you've felt love, you can grow, you can grow." Surprisingly enough, these lyrics manage to sound even worse not on paper. Accompanied by horrific Queen harmonies, the pre-chorus made me wonder why I was sitting through this song. The closest thing to a saving grace on this song is the guitar solo. Technically impressive and melodic, the solo almost makes the rest of the song listening to. Almost. Strangely enough, I'm not feeling too inspired to march down to the White House after hearing Revolt.

 

3/10

 

Aftermath - A beautiful and soothing track that could have been written by any band. Introduced by synth pads and warm, clean guitar licks, Aftermath is a moody, anthemic track full of musical and lyrical cliches. The musicianship in this track is stellar – the melodic bassline in the second verse, thanks to Drones MVP Chris Wolstenholme, and the sparse but effective guitar part make for a song that is undeniably well-written. The problem is, if it was written by any other band, I would most likely never listen to this song. Take the vocals away and I may enjoy some of the guitar bits, but that's about it. The culmination of the track into a singalong outro takes me back to the music played at Youth Ministry (that's not a good comparison). It's a catchy melody, but it's been written a million times before. This is Muse at its cheesiest, and I think I've had enough of it for one album.

 

5/10

 

The Globalist - A multi-part epic that seems to lead nowhere. The Globalist, touted by Bellamy himself as a "prog nightmare" and the sequel to one of Muse's most beloved tracks, Citizen Erased, set our expectations very high, Unfairly high, some might say. Regardless, the 10 minute long song is set into three parts – a slow, moody Western intro, a fast, heavy, and menacing riff midsection, and a piano ballad outro. The Western intro, borrowing heavily from Morricone's "L'Arena," shows off the band's orchestration skills. This first section is the highlight in my opinion; it showcases the softer and darker side of Muse. The wailing slide guitar accompanies Bellamy's singing. The Western bit leads into a heavy guitar and bass riff that is supposed to simulate a nuclear detonation. The midsection ends too abruptly and leaves listeners wanting more. Yes, you can argue that it's part of the concept to make this nuclear destruction seem quick to end. But when a concept gets in the way of songwriting, something's not right. The riff sections leads to the final piano section, which borrows heavily (I cannot bold that enough) from Elgar's Nimrod. Borrow may not be the right word. Copy may be better –

Nevertheless, the ballad is, at the very least, pretty. The culmination of the section – "I just wanted, I just needed to be loved!" –nothingfeels genuine and exciting. But there's still something missing between the three disparate sections. Much of The Globalist feels like Bellamy wrote three different songs and found ways to put them together in one. This is no Exogenesis Symphony or Citizen Erased – it's about as musically cohesive as the confusing suite from The 2nd Law.

 

7/10

 

Drones - Not much can be said about this track other than the fact that it sounds beautiful. A bold way to end a popular rock album. Or pretentious, to some. Ending the song, and album, with the word "amen" breaches into Spinal Tap territory. But Muse's music, especially in recent years, has always had this air of absurdity to it. The closing track is nothing quite like Ruled By Secrecy, Megalomania, or Redemption. It's not really like anything the band has done before. At the very least, it's something new. Amen.

 

5/10

 

 

 

 

Overall - My expectations for this album were fairly low following The 2nd Law. I'm happy with some of what we got – tracks like Reapers, The Handler, and Mercy are sure to stick with me. Overall though, it feels like the band is continuing to try too hard to attempt too many styles at once. The tracks we heard pre-release – Psycho, Dead Inside, Reapers, and Mercy – all seemed to hint at a general cohesive sound. But once we were given tracks like Revolt, Aftermath, and Drones, that cohesion was hard to find. Experimentation can be good, but it can also distract a musician from mastering their known style.

 

6.5/10

 

Y'all know this is just my opinion, right? What did you think of this album? Love it? Hate it? Why?

 

 

Great review. I agree with most of this, especially Muse still trying to do too much at once. Although I would personally get rid of Drones the song altogether, It's such a meh closer and The Globalist outro would've worked as a closer anyway.

Edited by musekiddo
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm waiting to hear it with decent speakers and quality, but my first impression is pretty favourable. Better than T2L, better than TR (there's nothing on Drones that rivals Exogenesis, but the overall quality is much greater). Probably not quite as good as BH&R but that's by no means a bad thing, and it's definitely a step in the right direction.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...