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I'm so glad CE stopped by to temper my excitement and love for this album I almost bought concert tickets! Phew. Nice save CE!

 

My first take after listening to it by skipping around was pretty meh. Definite standouts were Algorithm (both versions), and Break It To Me. I HATED Get Up And Fight and The Void, and Propaganda.

 

But ive listened to it twice now beginning to end and so far the only stinker is Something Human.

 

Algorithm and the alternate version

The Dark Side

Break It To Me

The Void

Gospel Dig Down

Propaganda acoustic

Propagannda (though I hate the robot voice bit)

Pressure (the marching band version is great)

The Dark Side alternate version

Blockades

Thought Contagion

Get Up And Fight

Something Human acoustic

Dig Down

Something Human

 

I dig it. But I dug Drones a lot too and I havent listened to it in like a year. So we'll see.

 

Can't wait to see what alternate versions make the live show.

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Somehow this album feels very inspiring to me. The overall tone, the ups and downs, the ambitious use of all kinds of sounds and textures, the alternate versions. A piece of work/art that makes me aspire to better things. Its dark and uplifting at the same time.

 

I wasn't expecting that at all from this one. Somehow it all comes together.

Edited by s3ker

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So far i am not liking it, apart from the songs released prior and Blockade. The songs all seem to be trying to do some sort of Timberlake meets OMD. Maybe it will take a few more listens?

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So far i am not liking it, apart from the songs released prior and Blockade. The songs all seem to be trying to do some sort of Timberlake meets OMD. Maybe it will take a few more listens?

 

I've been listening to this album all evening trying to give it a chance but I find myself liking it less with each listen. My last run-through went kinda like this.

 

Algorithm and The Dark Side are a great start.

Pressure is catchy but ultimately forgettable.

Propaganda is pretty awful.

I listen to Break It To Me struggling to figure out why so many are raving about it. For me, it's terrible but to each their own.

Something Human...skip

Thought Contagion...skip

Get Up and Fight...skip

Blockades...better but still kinda forgettable

Dig Down...yep still sucks, skip

The Void is great but it only makes me want to skip the rest of the album more quickly to get to it.

 

Not trying to be a turd in the punchbowl here but this album is destined to be my least favorite Muse album. I'm not surprised because I saw it coming from the early singles. That said, I won't begrudge others for enjoying it.

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Just caught up on the new album. Now, I don't post in here all that often so people are fully entitled to completely disregard what follows but here's my thoughts for whatever they're worth. I may as well start with something positive, so I'll say first that if this is the music Muse want to make and there are people here who like it, then all power to them/you, and there's no bitterness from me whatsoever. However, there is absolutely nothing for me to like there at all. I can't say I'm disappointed because that would suggest I expected better after the songs we had heard so far, none of which I liked with the possible exception of The Dark Side. So my feelings were already pretty indifferent about this album going in, and sadly nothing changed that, with the exception of a few moments where I thought 'god, this is awful' or 'what the fuck am I listening to', which is not a great first impression. As I said, it's just not my music at all and I have no interest in listening to it. I'm trying to think of redeeming features or things that I like about any of the songs and I'm really struggling. I certainly couldn't name five. So there we are. I'll stick to listening to the old albums that I still love and assorted songs from the more recent ones that have earned my appreciation. I won't be wasting hard drive space on this one though.

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I guess now that the "hype" has died out a little bit I can post my own "review":

 

Algorithm - A great opener. Very distinctly "Muse" even though it's just synths. This is like Take a Bow's chiller brother,lol. But it does feel a little like it has more potential. 7/10

 

The Dark Side - Really like it,and also really like how coherent it is with the one before it in terms of sound (a bit of a theme on this album,which is good). But,another theme with this album... it feels like it could have been even better. 7/10

 

Pressure - Great guitar riffs wasted in a cringe-fest of power pop. It's fun,but bland. I won't find myself listening to it much. 5/10

 

Propaganda - PWO-PWO-PWO-PWO-PWOPAGANDA. That. I never expected I'd like a "Prince meets Daft Punk" song,but hey it's fun and it's not as bland as Pressure. 6/10

 

Break It To Me - If Disturbed and Tom Morello collaborated on a song for Justin Timberlake. It's weird,it's new,but I don't think I'll find myself listening to it much. 5/10

 

Something Human - Cringe. 2/10

 

Thought Contagion - Oh what could have been... the guitar riff is almost Danzig-like sludge,but then all the synths and the power pop come in and I'm like... meh. 5/10

 

Get Up And Fight - Cringe v2. I get what it's about but... this is a bad radio pop song,regardless. 1/10

 

Blockades - This one I like. Sounds like an Absolution B-side/leftover. A little too "Muse by numbers" as most have said,however. 7/10

 

Dig Down - Ma-ma-ma-ma-ma-minging. I had forgot it ever existed. 1/10

 

The Void - Great stuff,very Bond movie-esque. Brilliant closer but not one for casual listening. Just like Break It To Me,I think I'll have forgotten about it once the hype dies down. 6/10

 

 

Overall... yeah not great. Surely feels more "authentic" than T2L and Drones,and more like a continuation of what they started with Black Holes. I feared it would be their worst album when Dig Down et al were released... but turns out it's actually alright. Not on par with the "trinity" (OoS,Absolution,Black Holes) however,surely not.

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I don't really get why old Muse is only associated with heavy rock songs tbh. Do I love those songs? Sure, but what really got me into them and has stuck with me for all these years is the strange dark atmosphere they're able to create. Their best songs imo are the ones which can capture that mood regardless of the genre they use.

 

A lot of people act like the direction they went in came out of nowhere, but I can see a definite link between the songs on ST and songs they made in the Showbiz-BH&R era.

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Another 2 listens and my view is that most of the new songs are really dull as dishwater. Vocals and lyrics feel forced. Most songs just don't seem to flow. Blockades is the only one that I tapped my feet to, but I wouldn't say it's great. At least Drones and some variety unlike this confused mixture of Synth\Pop. Just my opinion, I remember hating the Handler when Drones first came out. But I rocked out to it when I saw them live last year. I don't get that feeling with most of these new songs.

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Damn, did anyone else see that Matt's studio (where he wrote and recorded ST) has just burnt down.

 

CORRECTION: Almost burnt down, probably damaged as fuck, a helicopter saved it.

 

Phew, thank god. Still a big shame though, feels sad knowing the ‘home’ of an album I’ve really taken to has potentially been ruined. I’d imagine even worse for Matt.

Yeah saw that. Pretty rough. Sounds like there was a huge wildfire in that area of Los Angeles yesterday, which is pretty awful to read about.

 

Helicopter looked pretty dramatic.

Something I find sad is that I think this album might be their first since OoS to not top the UK album charts. Both Imagine Dragons (ew) and Olly Murs (more ew) released albums today. A shame considering this is the first one since TR that deserves it

Would've thought Olly Murs was the bigger challenge in the UK market. But then I don't really know how big Imagine Dragons are.

 

Tbf 6 straight albums in at the top at #1 is a very good run.

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My tupence worth: 8/10. But it's early days. It's such a well crafted album, pushing boundaries and expectations yet done within the confounds of a commercial Pop / electronic album. They haven't gone in the direction I wanted with the type of music I hoped for. I came to terms with this quite some time ago. I found Drones to be disappointing initially with too many commercial light weight songs without originality, although it's grown on me since. Simulation Theory has originality, it is commercial yet includes beautiful magical moments. I'd have liked it to be a longer album with a some guitar heavy tracks (like Psycho or The Handler). I mentioned elsewhere The Void is brilliant but I'd have it at 15 minutes long with a middle section featuring heavy guitars sounding like a planet imploding. I guess I've enough other bands that give me my need for guitar. Muse have gone the same way as Thirty seconds to Mars, although the latter completely ditched the guitar on their last album. I hope that both aren't just chasing commercial success while wearing daft Gucci jackets. The Bonus disc with alternative tracks shows how good some of the song are, the strength in song writing is definitely there. I find some of the alternative versions better than the album version. Really looking forward to hearing these songs performed live. 20181110_085304.thumb.jpg.1a7b234c9dccd55482e613314a1c4854.jpg

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I don't really get why old Muse is only associated with heavy rock songs tbh. Do I love those songs? Sure, but what really got me into them and has stuck with me for all these years is the strange dark atmosphere they're able to create. Their best songs imo are the ones which can capture that mood regardless of the genre they use.

 

A lot of people act like the direction they went in came out of nowhere, but I can see a definite link between the songs on ST and songs they made in the Showbiz-BH&R era.

 

Exactly. I completely agree with this.

But I guess it all depends on individual taste. I guess fans in general (but especially ones that like particular sound) just wish Muse could hit it every time.

I personally don't like to get into that kind of discussions, mostly because I feel like I'd be disregarded for liking everything (maybe apart form Save Me, haha). But that's what Muse is for me. I like everything they do precisely because it's so varied. I can recognize that some songs are weaker and less 'genius' but I'll still like the weak ones as well. It's been like this for 10 years and I really doubt it will ever change for me. Can't really explain it, I think Muse's taste is just very similar to mine, or they just ultimately shaped mine's. Which seems about tight, since I wasn't a big music fan before I got into them. They really opened me up for all different type of sounds, generic pop included.

And as someone mentioned before: I love that they make me feel a mixture of strong emotions, from utter love to embarrassment, through real anger and deep sadness.

 

Somehow this album feels very inspiring to me. The overall tone, the ups and downs, the ambitious use of all kinds of sounds and textures, the alternate versions. A piece of work/art that makes me aspire to better things. Its dark and uplifting at the same time.

 

I wasn't expecting that at all from this one. Somehow it all comes together.

 

Agree! Even though I loved previous two albums, I haven't felt that inspiration since The Resistance. It's just wonderful in tone:)

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Ratings:

 

Algorithm: 10/10. I've said all I need to about this one already. It's possibly too epic and well-executed to occupy the same album as the more funky/weird stuff...

 

The Dark Side: 8.5/10.Great song. They could have done more with the final chorus to give it a little bit more heft but it's all good.

 

Pressure: 7.5/10. This is catchy af and I love the unashamed "let's get to the next headbanging bit ASAP" vibe it seems to have. However, it has one too many choruses, the final chorus again is too restrained and just like the others, and it needed a bridge or a solo just to provide some variety imo.

 

Propaganda: 8.5/10. So around here is where I was starting to regret how tonally different Algorithm and TDS were in comparison to what followed them. Anyway, this song in and of itself is great fun, I LOVE the blues solo and the fact the whole thing doesn't hang around.

 

Break It To Me: 8/10. Seriously, what the fuck is this song?

 

Something Human: 6.5/10. This has actually gone up in the context of the album as it's kinda.. needed? It makes a good change from the madness of the previous 2 tracks.

 

Thought Contagion: 2/10. No. It's awfully repetitive, uninteresting and sonically incongruous in the context of this album and I am never going to forgive the lyrics as well, so it can fuck off.

 

Get Up and Fight: 5.5/10. Phwoar!! I have very little to say about this. The album is well into its weakest section at this point (the Revolt --> Drones section of Drones, if you will)

 

Blockades: 8/10. The extraneous palm-muting of the chorus chords and those goddamn backing vocals aren't doing it any favours. But I had it in my head this morning and the bit at the end of the chorus saves it from getting too cheesy imo.

 

Dig Down: 7/10. Improves in terms of how it fits in with the sound of the album, but still feels a bit insipid (and I hate the Garage Band strings). The final bit of the song is actually quite good though?

 

The Void: 9/10. I wish it were longer, and built up a bit more before sort of abruptly ending after the drums properly got going. It's still brilliant. Again, this feels like it belongs on a separate album with Algorithm and The Dark Side.

 

-------

 

Overall rating: 7.5ish/10. Denied status as a proper classic by the massive tonal inconsistency between the middle of the album and its front and back, and that run from Something Human to Dig Down. Given that my average rating for the songs we'd already heard was 6/10, though, am happy with how the new stuff surpassed expectations. Also, we got...

 

Alternate and acoustic versions: Algorithm: 10/10 (again), The Dark Side: 9/10, Pressure: 8.5/10, Propaganda: 8.5/10, Break It to Me: 7/10, Something Human: 6.5/10, Dig Down: 7.75/10, The Void 9.5/10. My biggest problem with these were that the best alternate versions (Algorithm, The Dark Side and The Void) were already great in their original versions. If they'd found some way to make Propaganda or Something Human sound like synthwave fever dreams then it would have been properly great.

Overall rating for the whole thing (original + alternates): 8/10

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I also reckon in a year or so's time I will have dropped SH, DD, GUAF and TC from any attempts to listen to this album, and retreated into a synthy/space playlist containing Algorithm, TDS, TaB, MoTP, T2L: IS, Glorious, Knights, Exo Pts 1-3 and The Void (I'd mayyybe find room for Blockades and something like DI or UD in there too). I also think The Handler wouldn't sound too out of place if added in the right spot, who knows.

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Not ready to review or make a complete verdict yet. So far I'm quite certain it's better than the previous two albums. Muse sound much freer on this album, willing to experiment and make fun songs rather than being awkwardly tied to a concept.

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Overall definitely much better than I was expecting.

 

Great:

Propaganda 9/10

Break it to Me 8/10

 

Decent:

The Dark Side 7/10

The Void 7/10

Algorithm 6/10

 

Ok:

Pressure 5/10

Blockades 5/10

Dig Down 4/10

 

Poor:

Thought Contagion 2/10

Something Human 2/10

Get up and Fight 1/10

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I also reckon in a year or so's time I will have dropped SH, DD, GUAF and TC from any attempts to listen to this album, and retreated into a synthy/space playlist containing Algorithm, TDS, TaB, MoTP, T2L: IS, Glorious, Knights, Exo Pts 1-3 and The Void (I'd mayyybe find room for Blockades and something like DI or UD in there too). I also think The Handler wouldn't sound too out of place if added in the right spot, who knows.

 

 

That's exactly what I did yesterday :LOL:

 

My spotify playlist goes like this:

 

 

Algorithm

The Dark Side

Pressure

Propaganda

Break It To Me

Blockades

The Void

Algorithm (alternate)

The Dark Side (alternate)

The Void (acoustic)

The Dark Side (Instrumental)

 

 

If I pretend the last four tracks are just like a reprise you'd see on a concept album, then it's actually a really tight 11-track record.

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I don't really get why old Muse is only associated with heavy rock songs tbh. Do I love those songs? Sure, but what really got me into them and has stuck with me for all these years is the strange dark atmosphere they're able to create. Their best songs imo are the ones which can capture that mood regardless of the genre they use.

 

A lot of people act like the direction they went in came out of nowhere, but I can see a definite link between the songs on ST and songs they made in the Showbiz-BH&R era.

 

I wouldn't say that ST isn't Muse-y. It's dark and dystopian and spacey and all that. It just doesn't line up with my personal musical tastes. I applaud Muse for experimenting with their music but it means that certain forays are bound to alienate some fans. People are calling Break It To Me a high point on the album and a Muse classic. I can barely stand to listen to it. Maybe it's a well crafted song or maybe it's not but it's certainly nothing that I would want to hear.

 

People lost their shit with the electronic, dubstep leanings of T2L. Love it or hate it, Madness was at least a well crafted pop song with great vocals, catchy groove, melodic guitar solo and a big emotional climax. Now here we are 6 years later and Muse have gone all-in with the electronics. Kudos to them for taking a risk but I'll take Madness and the rest of T2L any day over three-quarters of dull and/or unlistenable ST.

 

If it puts my opinion in perspective, I'm old enough to remember the post New Wave electronic stuff of the 80's like Depeche Mode, the Cure, Erasure etc that Muse are drawing from here...and I didn't like it back then either.

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The Dark Side instrumental version reminds me of Bliss, so good.

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The Dark Side instrumental version reminds me of Bliss, so good.

 

 

It blends perfectly into the Bliss album version, it's uncanny.

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Loving this album. I'm not sure if the first three singles are the worst, or I'm just sick of them. At least SH is thoroughly redeemed by its acoustic version.

 

Probably the worst new track is Pressure with the marching band. They should've done more than copypaste the existing vocals over some brass.

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I wouldn't say that ST isn't Muse-y. It's dark and dystopian and spacey and all that. It just doesn't line up with my personal musical tastes. I applaud Muse for experimenting with their music but it means that certain forays are bound to alienate some fans. People are calling Break It To Me a high point on the album and a Muse classic. I can barely stand to listen to it. Maybe it's a well crafted song or maybe it's not but it's certainly nothing that I would want to hear.

 

People lost their shit with the electronic, dubstep leanings of T2L. Love it or hate it, Madness was at least a well crafted pop song with great vocals, catchy groove, melodic guitar solo and a big emotional climax. Now here we are 6 years later and Muse have gone all-in with the electronics. Kudos to them for taking a risk but I'll take Madness and the rest of T2L any day over three-quarters of dull and/or unlistenable ST.

 

If it puts my opinion in perspective, I'm old enough to remember the post New Wave electronic stuff of the 80's like Depeche Mode, the Cure, Erasure etc that Muse are drawing from here...and I didn't like it back then either.

 

That's fine. I don't have any problem with people having different tastes. There are songs Muse have made which don't appeal to me at all but others seem to love.

 

You're still able to appreciate what Muse were going for, so I wouldn't include you with the people I was talking about.

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