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Meisver
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Origin Of Symmetry - A magnum opus. Creative, experimental fusions of nu metal, classical, prog, pop and alt./punk/latin rock that still sound fresh and exciting today. Almost, if not arguably every song ended up a classic in their discography and paved the way for the sound and image that would define them as a band. A consistent and appropriately grand, existential theme that’s covered from a variety of interesting perspectives lyrically. Flows nigh perfectly throughout with a pretty sharp production and master that still holds up to boot. To top it all off, art that perfectly fits the record - very few elements but bold, bright and weirdly alien. If this isn’t your #1 you slipped up somewhere and need to edit your post, sorry I don’t make the rules.

 

Black Holes & Revelations - Origin’s younger, more light-hearted and poppy sister. Close to the same level of creative fire but switching the heavier, more abrasive aspects of the former for proggy space rock, glam, electronics, barbershop jazz, Morricone film music. Even aside from holding several GOAT songs, there’s just something so warm and cozy about the album, like some cheesy action-romance film in space. It’s that lightning in a bottle effect, and Muse did it twice somehow. Falls just behind Origin for not quite having the same flow or 100% watertight quality control and a frankly criminal mix/master that someone needs locking up for. Forever pray for a remaster to do this beauty justice.

 

Simulation Theory - Those who might write this off as Muse riffing on synthwave and 80s nostalgia might find this a weird statement, but it’s easily one of their boldest records for me. The band ditch the guitars for synths/wubs and finally go all in on the unashamed pop, resulting in performances and a creative energy that are infectiously enjoyable while remaining cohesive and pushing their sound towards new places. Not to mention some genuinely gorgeous moments that rank up there with some of their best for me, and the deluxe tracks. Returning to some of the existential, technological themes of 15-17 years ago is a refreshing break from the ‘government r bad’ roundabout Matt got trapped on for a while as well. Think in 10 years this might be looked upon v favourably by a lotta people.

 

Showbiz - Sure, this is a band still finding their feet but it’s easy to write off the foundation this set for their sound and it’s ended up being one of their most unique albums tonally and sonically. Not many centre-stage heavy riffs, if any, or anthemic choruses. Instead, the majority of the instrumentation feels like it’s there to set a tone or express a feeling as opposed to take the spotlight and any big, grander moments feel like a release of sadness or anger as opposed to their later, maybe sillier bravado. John Leckie worked wonders expanding their sound beyond the pretty standard, rough indie/alt. rock band they were up to that point. Underrated calibre of songs as well, holding several all-time classics (Sunburn, MM, Cave, Unintended, Uno, Showbiz) and sneaky gems like Falling Down and HTAILY. Pretty impressive for a debut.

 

Absolution - Brief sum up of what I’ve mentioned before - a conflicting case of some of their absolute greatest work juxtaposed with others that’re much less memorable, an almost carelessly scattered flow and pretty muddy master. Deeper strides into classical styles aside, a lot of the album feels like quite standard, commercial alt. rock for the time as well, which ultimately feels like a step backwards after something as wild and unique as Origin.

 

Drones - Really solid, well-rounded, cohesive, punchy, smooth flowing rock album. Saying it doesn’t reinvent the wheel is an understatement but, at this point in their career, that’s not a huge crime and it’s still massively preferred to the results of the last 2. Yeah, the concept is pretty clunky but it’s easy to ignore or have fun with in a silly way if needs be. Maybe the best mix/master of their discography? Pretty clear and well balanced without sounding overly clinical, clean and tame like the last two. The only thing maybe holding it behind Abso (they do flip flop a lot for me) is the lack of many really great songs and new ground broken compared to that record. Absolutely shits the bed right at the death as well.

 

The Resistance - The first record to break that cycle of evolution between records. Felt like treading water after Black Holes and the band’s step up to stadiums, with the theme and sounds feeling largely like a watered down combination of the last 2 records. IBTY’s a banger but the only song that feels like it really offers something new that would go on to influence their later work is Undisclosed. Very cold, soulless production for the most part which doesn’t help how tame the whole thing feels. Not much bad all in all, just not much great either. Very...grey, like the artwork.

 

The 2nd Law - Messing About (Or Throwing Shit At A Wall And Seeing What Sticks): The Album. Main source of inspiration seems to be a pretty surface level “let’s do x genre or y artist”. Hints at an overly-familiar theme that’s ultimately, again, just a combination of previous records and inconsistent/barely bothered with anyway, like the flow and cohesion of the whole thing. Don’t like ripping on Muse but this is just a bit of a trainwreck with hard to find highlights and I think there’s good reason why it largely disappeared from sets so quickly.

Edited by Jobby
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Even with the muddiness and mixing of some of its tracks, the best album is Absolution. It's the most sonically and thematically cohesive album the band has made except for Drones, its worst songs are still wonderfully bizarre and successful, it does aggressively catchy rock just as well as Origin but explores quieter and more vulnerable moments far more expansively too.

 

The only thing stopping me from giving Origin top spot is my personal preference for the second half of Absolution over the 2nd half of Origin, which is a fantastic album but imo definitely sees a quality/pace drop in the 2nd half (Absolution has one too - TSP and ToaDA are basic as hell - but for some reason it bothers me less, and I think that might be to do with the fact they still smash along at 100mph)

 

BH&R is my favourite Muse album but with its track ordering, lack of Glorious and presence of Exo-Politics, I know I can't say it's their best.

 

Simulation Theory sadly can't be anywhere near the top 3 for me as it contains Get Up and Fight and Thought Contagion. An album without those 2 (and Dig Down) and with TDS Alternate acting as a reprise before The Void would be doing v well though

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Even with the muddiness and mixing of some of its tracks, the best album is Absolution. It's the most sonically and thematically cohesive album the band has made except for Drones, its worst songs are still wonderfully bizarre and successful, it does aggressively catchy rock just as well as Origin but explores quieter and more vulnerable moments far more expansively too.

 

The only thing stopping me from giving Origin top spot is my personal preference for the second half of Absolution over the 2nd half of Origin, which is a fantastic album but imo definitely sees a quality/pace drop in the 2nd half (Absolution has one too - TSP and ToaDA are basic as hell - but for some reason it bothers me less, and I think that might be to do with the fact they still smash along at 100mph)

 

Agreed. If I'm judging the albums based on the best 6-7 songs, I'll go with Origin. Album as a whole...Absolution by a hair.

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I love the individual songs on Absolution for song-writing style and for the live performances. But I do agree the production and track-list ordering is suspect in places. For a very long time it was my #1 Muse album, but I think a re-evaluation is why Origin has recently jumped it in my personal list.

 

Still happy to belt along to all the songs when I put the album on in my car though.

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See, Origin will always be my favourite but I can't think of it objectively and don't know if it would be if I heard them all for the first time today! Black Holes was a disappointment at the time, unbelievably, but of course I could see its greatness and still can...

Edited by Gemsy
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  • 3 years later...

Here it is! The album ranking thread!

 

Here's what my rankings are going into this new album cycle:

1. The Resistance

2. Origin Of Symmetry

3. Drones

4. Absolution

5. Black Holes & Revelations

6. Simulation Theory

7. Showbiz

8. The 2nd Law

 

Top 3 are pretty certain, 4 & 5 and 6 & 7 could switch places depending on the day.

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Not really sure I used the search function properly but seeing as someone asked for a thread to rank albums in the LP9 discussion thread (edit: oh lol you beat me to it 😛) Here's my ranking, biased bc I first heard muse in the BHAR-TR era.

1. OOS

2. Absolution

3. The Resistance

4. BHAR

5. Showbiz

6. T2L

(6.5 Hullabaloo)

7. ST

8. Drones

Edited by Timbo59
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1 - Absolution

2 - OOS

3 - BH&R

4 - Showbiz

These albums each contain at least 5 A* songs a piece including some of my favourite songs of all time. Even the majority of filler songs are good/great.

5 - The Resistance

Exogenesis, especially Overture is beautiful. Uprising, Mk Ultra, US and Eurasia elevate this album above the rest.

6 - Drones & Simulation Theory.

Can't really separate these. Both decent albums but not without their stinkers. The Dark Side, The Void, The Handler, Dead Inside & Reapers are all top bracket muse tracks.

7 - The 2nd Law

Bottom of the pile by some significant distance.

Animals, Supremacy, Liquid State & Panic Station are the only songs I can listen to from start to finish. I love elements of other songs on this album but not enough to stomach the whole song.

I'll be very happy if LP9 can match or beat TR

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This changes daily so don’t take any of this as fixed (except for absolution ❤️)

1. absolution

2. BH&R

3. OOS

4. drones

5. The Resistance

6. T2L (only bumped up for animals and survival) 

7. Showbiz 

8. ST (I enjoy but don’t go back to as often as the others) 

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1. "Black Holes and Revelations": Living in the U.S., we didn't get exposed to Muse nearly as quickly as other parts of the world. This was the album which introduced me to the band, so it'll probably always mean more to me than any other album of theirs. I love the mix of sounds, and would say "Knights of Cydonia," "Map of the Problematique" (the first song I heard of theirs), and "City of Delusion" are probably in my top 10-15 of Muse songs; "Hoodoo" gives me goosebumps every time I listen to it; and it seems like every year, I warm up to "Invincible" more than the previous one.

2. "Origin of Symmetry": This has been a slow-grower for me. When I first heard it, I loved "New Born," "Plug In Baby," and "Feeling Good," but was lukewarm on "Megalomania," "Screenager;" couldn't tell what I thought of "Micro Cuts" or "Citizen Erased;" and honestly, "Hyper Music" was like nails on chalkboard. Through the years, though, while I still love "New Born" and like "Plug In Baby," I rarely ever listen to "Feeling Good." "Citizen Erased" is now my all-time favorite song by the band; "Space Dementia" (especially the remix rendition) is in my top 10; "Micro Cuts" provides me goosebumps with each listen; I've warmed up to "Darkshines," "Screenager," and "Megalomania" (again, especially the remix). I'll even listen to "Hyper Music" and bob my head in the process. From just a musical standpoint, this may have grown to be my favorite album - something I didn't think would have been possible upon first listen, but like I said, "BHAR" was my introduction to the band, so that'll likely always remain at the top for said reason.

3. "Absolution": The band's third 5-star album, in my opinion. "Butterflies and Hurricanes" is one of my favorites; that bass line in "Hysteria" is one of the best in the band's/Chris's catalog; "The Small Print" and "Stockholm Syndrome" are bangers (especially that classic breakdown at the end of the latter); "Ruled By Secrecy" is a goosebump-inducing piece; and "Falling Away With You" and "Blackout" are quite the underrated gems. That isn't even mentioning standouts like "Apocalypse Please" and "Time Is Running Out." I do skip more tracks on this album than I do on either of the previous two, though ("Endlessly," and sometimes "Thoughts of a Dying Atheist" and "Sing For Absolution"), which is why I ranked it below them.

4. "Showbiz": If you had asked me 2-3 years ago to rank the albums, this would have been dead last. Outside of the title track, "Muscle Museum," and sometimes "Sunburn" and/or "Cave," you wouldn't catch me listening to any of the other tunes on the album. Now, though? The only track you'll see me skip is "Overdue" (may be, along with "Break It to Me," my least favorite song in the band's catalog). The sound comes across as raw, personal, dark, punk, and full of twists. "Hate This & I'll Love You" is classic Muse; "Sober" and "Fillip" are catchy; "Uno," "Falling Down," and "Escape" are underrated; and in my opinion, "Unintended" is one of the most beautiful songs Muse has recorded.

5. "Drones": If we were grading just on the front-half of the albums, this would probably rank right up there with the best. I wasn't sure about "Dead Inside" upon first listen, but have grown to love it. "Psycho" is a fun riff. "Mercy" is a pretty good tune. "Reapers," "The Handler" (one of my all-time faves), and "Defector" is one of the best back-to-back-to-back listens in the band's entire catalog, in my opinion. After that, though, things begin to weaken. Now, I'll admit I find "Revolt" to be a bit of a guilty pleasure. I don't love it, but I've always found it catchy, and didn't get all the hate it received. I also like "The Globalist" - especially the middle third. "Drones" is an interesting experiment, which I respect, but I'd be lying if I said I ever listened to it. I NEVER liked "Aftermath," though. It probably ranks among the bottom 5 of Muse songs for me. Good album, and my favorite among the band's last 4, but due to the less-than-stellar back-half, I just can't rank it any higher than this.

6. "Simulation Theory": Fun album; easy to listen to; and easy to like. I just didn't find there to be a great number of standouts. "Algorithm" has to be my favorite track. The progressions in the song song the most Musey to me, if that makes sense. The song doesn't feel unnecessarily condensed like some of the others. "The Dark Side" has that vibe too, I suppose. Having said that, there are a lot of quick and enjoyable tracks, like: "Pressure," "Thought Contagion," "Blockades," "Propaganda," and yes, even "Get Up and Fight," to a certain extent. As far as the slower tracks go, "The Void" is a solid closer, and "Dig Down" is great, so long as we're talking about the gospel rendition. I don't even listen to the original track anymore, the gospel version is so fricking good. I could never get into "Something Human," though - especially that chorus. I also appreciated the band attempting to expand their horizons with "Break It to Me," but for as hard as I've tried, I just can't bring myself to like it. In fact, I loathe it. ...no offense. The album pales in comparison to some of the others as far as pure power and feeling are concerned, but I don't think that was the band's intent with it. Regardless, I still listen to the album 3-4 years after its release and just think people should appreciate it for what it is/what it was meant to accomplish. Especially during these trying times, we could all use a little fun, light-hearted Musery every now and again.

7. "The Resistance": I like this album, just not as much as most of the others. I honestly kind of got tired of "Uprising" for a while, due to its seemingly constant play on the radio and at sporting events. I've warmed up to it again, though. The title track has become one of my favorites on the album. "MK Ultra" and "Unnatural Selection" are solid rockers. "I Belong to You" is probably one of my guiltiest pleasures. Oh, and "Exogenesis," whenever I hear that, I transform into Elaine Benes for 10+ minutes: "I'm speechless! I'm without speech!" "Undisclosed Desires" and "Guiding Light" are almost always skips for me, though, and while I like "The United States of Eurasia," I don't listen to it too frequently.

8. "The 2nd Law": "Panic Station" and "Animals" are both excellent. I'm still shocked "Supremacy" hasn't ended up in a Bond film. Outside of that, though? I see a lot of guilty pleasures, at least for me: "Survival," "Follow Me," "Explorers," and "Big Freeze," in particular. I don't dislike the song, but I've never been big into "Madness." I appreciate Chris's songs, about his battle with alcoholism, but while the guitar parts are rocking like '70s metal in "Liquid State," it just isn't the same without Matt behind the mic, in my opinion. I thought the experimentation with "Isolated System" and especially "Unsustainable" were kind of cool, but overall, this is probably the only Muse LP which didn't feel like a complete album to me. It kind of felt like a bunch of random B-sides and rarities put together in no particular order, and while most of the songs were of decent to great quality, it never seemed to flow very well, at least from my vantage point. Regardless, this is my least favorite Muse album, and I still enjoyed it, so kick me and call me a Muse homer. I don't mean that literally, of course. I have a 3-year-old son who accidentally beats me up enough as it is by thinking I'm his personal jungle gym, but I digress.

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Origin - 9.8/10. Oh so very nearly flawless. Feeling Good can still do one though.

Absolution - 9.5/10. Not a single wasted song on this album, and would have been even better with Fury. Nothing matches New Born or Bliss though.

Drones - 7.1/10. The high points are very good indeed, and the flow through to Revolt is great. Aftermath/Globalist are abominable, and it's all just a bit too silly overall.

Showbiz - 7/10. Great debut. The good songs are as good as any they've ever done, Muscle Museum, Showbiz, HTAILY. Sober/Overdue/Escape – meh.

Black Holes & Revelations - 6.5/10. Again, the highs are top notch. Take A Bow, Map, City of Delusion. But Exo-Politics is weapons grade shite, and the silliness of Knights still winds me up.

The Resistance - 5/10. Just a bit dull. MK Ultra and Unnatural Selection are fun though.

Simulation Theory - 3/10. Just about worth the effect for Algorithm and The Void (although both fail to live up to their potential) and The Dark Side. Propaganda and Break It To Me are fun. The rest – dreadful.

The Second Law - 2.5/10. It's got Big Freeze and Explorers on it. It's a mess.

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Oh I love a list... if album 9 is as all as good and heavy as WSD it'll take the top spot

  1. Origin XX RemiXX - (I'm a sucker for less dynamics, massive sounding drums and beefier sounding parts)
  2. Showbiz - (Showbiz, MM, HT&ILY, Cave, Uno, FD,  are all up there with my top muse songs)
  3. Regular Origin probably here
  4. Absolution -  (would be higher if I liked the mix on a lot of the songs more)
  5. 2nd law -  (big love for T2L, I was 11 turning 12 at the time and was excited for the first muse release that I got to be hyped about from the first announcement)
  6. Simulation Theory 
  7. Black Holes
  8. Resistance - (probably about the time I started enjoying muse and their back catalogue)
  9. Drones - (the transitions between songs and drill sergeant and jfk make me want to listen to tracks off this album less but as an album start to finish I do love it )

For best album flow start to finish - Probably Drones

Artwork - simulation theory (+deluxe) > Origin > Resistance > T2L > Showbiz > Absolution > BH&R > Drones

 

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