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MK Ultra. Yay or nay?  

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  1. 1. MK Ultra. Yay or nay?

    • Loving it!
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i've realised, be it only recently, muse have always been pop artists

 

Yep. Muse are, and always have been, a pop band in the robes of a more 'experiemental' rock outfit. And they do it brilliantly.

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Unnatural Selection is much 'poppier' than MK Ultra :erm:.

 

And what about Muse's previous 'poppy' efforts? - I trust that you despise Plug In Baby, New Born, Bliss, Time Is Running Out, Hysteria, Starlight, Map Of The Problematique and Knights Of Cydonia?

 

I'ma go ahead and ask you to elaborate on that. I would argue that Unnatural Selection is not, in fact, "poppier" than MK Ultra, but I imagine that's because we have different definitions of "poppy," especially given that list of songs you provided.

 

That said, what do you mean by "poppy"?

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I simply mean that Muse have always had a strong 'pop' element in their music.

 

Unnatural Selection, whilst being a fairly riffy song even by Muse's standards, still features a pretty standard song structure, a catchy pre-chorus and even catchier actual chorus (in a similar vein to New Born). MK Ultra on the other hand has far less in common with the typical structure of a song, it has no definite chorus, the middle-eight/bridge has one within itself (that being the oddly placed heavy part) and a whacking great outro riff.

 

Bah, it's hard to articulate exactly what I'm getting at but I just get a trifle irked with this forum's insistence that Muse are a straight-up, balls-out, gonzo rock and roll band. They aren't. 'Pop' isn't a dirty word, it's where Muse are, it's where they've come from and where they're going.

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I simply mean that Muse have always had a strong 'pop' element in their music.

 

Unnatural Selection, whilst being a fairly riffy song even by Muse's standards, still features a pretty standard song structure, a catchy pre-chorus and even catchier actual chorus (in a similar vein to New Born). MK Ultra on the other hand has far less in common with the typical structure of a song, it has no definite chorus, the middle-eight/bridge has one within itself (that being the oddly placed heavy part) and a whacking great outro riff.

 

Bah, it's hard to articulate exactly what I'm getting at but I just get a trifle irked with this forum's insistence that Muse are a straight-up, balls-out, gonzo rock and roll band. They aren't. 'Pop' isn't a dirty word, it's where Muse are, it's where they've come from and where they're going.

 

They've always incorporated pop into their songs. Coma was very poppy.

Plug in Baby was pop as well. Of course Space dementia and hyper music were on the same album...

Muse will always be a band that will have songs like resistance and undisclosed desires on the same album as songs like exogenesis or mk ultra

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I simply mean that Muse have always had a strong 'pop' element in their music.

 

Unnatural Selection, whilst being a fairly riffy song even by Muse's standards, still features a pretty standard song structure, a catchy pre-chorus and even catchier actual chorus (in a similar vein to New Born). MK Ultra on the other hand has far less in common with the typical structure of a song, it has no definite chorus, the middle-eight/bridge has one within itself (that being the oddly placed heavy part) and a whacking great outro riff.

 

Bah, it's hard to articulate exactly what I'm getting at but I just get a trifle irked with this forum's insistence that Muse are a straight-up, balls-out, gonzo rock and roll band. They aren't. 'Pop' isn't a dirty word, it's where Muse are, it's where they've come from and where they're going.

 

I see your point but I think it's not fair to judge how poppy the songs are based just on their song structure and how catchy they are. I think of pop music as, at its core, music that's very agreeable because it doesn't take many risks.

 

I consider MK Ultra more poppy than Unnatural Selection because it's so straight. There's very little interesting syncopation in the song, save for the "Breaking through" part, which is the only part of the song that really does anything for me. The intro riff is a pretty unremarkable scale climb that is, admittedly, spiced up by an interesting tone. I must say I think the outro riff is a bit overrated though, especially for how it's used; I feel it doesn't really jive well with the rest of the song, but I suppose that has little to do with the poppiness of it all. The whole of the song is very, very melodic, save for perhaps, again, the "Breaking through" part. Even the outro riff is devoid of the usual random Muse semitones, save of course for the climbing notes at the end of the measures.

 

Unnatural Selection, meanwhile, is, relative to MK Ultra, very dissonant. For examples of that I would point to the chorus, which uses a lot of semitones that aren't in the song's key of G minor, and of course loads and loads of the harmonic minor scale, which is pretty standard for Muse. Also, the song's solo during the slower interlude is also certainly more dissonant than any of MK Ultra's riffs. Given that interlude, I would also argue that the style of Unnatural Selection is also not as poppy as that of MK Ultra, at least as per your definition. As far as having a chorus goes, I would call the "Breaking through" bit a chorus, with the preceding bars a pre-chorus; its style is actually a bit similar to Starlight's in that way, wherein the "Our hopes and expectations" bit built from a slower break to a rock element in the song. Of course Starlight was sans riff, among other differences, but stylistically the two songs are comparable.

 

I think they're both good songs on the whole, but more poppy than MK Ultra, Unnatural Selection is not.

 

THAT SAID, I absolutely agree with your sentiment that Muse are not exclusively a rock band; I mean, they've produced very "poppy" music, so by nature they've got some pop to them. I would add though that it's not a crime to pine for music that is not, as we've put it, poppy. It's not a dirty word, but then neither is "quaff," and I don't like the way that sounds either.

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I agree with Clunge about Unnatural Selection's "pop" sound. It's not really that rough, it's quite a friendly riff but you can still jam along to it. A radio edit is easily at due, just remove the long-ass middle bridge. Most people I ask who've heard The Resistance more than often say that Unnatural Selection has stuck onto them the most etc.

 

I think MK Ultra is a bit too raw and unorthodox to be considered a more poppier song than Unnatural Selection. It technically doesn't even have a second verse.

 

Anyway MK Ultra is still as awesome as it was when I first heard it. Gutted that it wasnt played in Copenhagen.

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I agree with Clunge about Unnatural Selection's "pop" sound. It's not really that rough, it's quite a friendly riff but you can still jam along to it. A radio edit is easily at due, just remove the long-ass middle bridge. Most people I ask who've heard The Resistance more than often say that Unnatural Selection has stuck onto them the most etc.

 

I think MK Ultra is a bit too raw and unorthodox to be considered a more poppier song than Unnatural Selection. It technically doesn't even have a second verse.

 

 

I don't believe there's anything especially "raw and unorthodox" about MK Ultra, and I would contend that being able to jam along to a song is purely a measure of how much you enjoy a song, not whether or not it has a pop sound to it. Rock, I profess, can be catchy.

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I don't believe there's anything especially "raw and unorthodox" about MK Ultra, and I would contend that being able to jam along to a song is purely a measure of how much you enjoy a song, not whether or not it has a pop sound to it. Rock, I profess, can be catchy.

 

That wasn't really my point. What I said was that the jam in Unnatural Selection is simple but still catchy. It's got a more conventional feel to it where-as MK Ultra isn't really that simple but ofcourse its still fun to jam to it. Unnatural Selection is alot like this album's "New Born" and "Plug In Baby" in that it's simple and clean out with a solid, consistent structure. MK Ultra is alot more like Stockholm Syndrome, although that's mostly speaking for its sound. MK Ultra is practically "Intro > Verse > Bridge > Chorus > Middle-bridge > Another bridge > Chorus > Outro", hence a bit more unorthdox cause there isn't really a second verse and the middle bridge comes directly after the first chorus.

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I think MK Ultra is a bit too raw and unorthodox to be considered a more poppier song than Unnatural Selection. It technically doesn't even have a second verse.

 

Anyway MK Ultra is still as awesome as it was when I first heard it. Gutted that it wasnt played in Copenhagen.

 

I feel the word "raw" is nearly as overused when discussing music as "epic". But MK Ultra is definitely unorthodox. It took some time to grow on me, even longer than Exogenesis, and then it was still a while before I could properly remember how it went. And I've noticed a lot of people posting in here saying things to the effect of "I finally get this song!" so if it generally takes a while to make it memorable, it probably wouldn't be a great single.

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That wasn't really my point. What I said was that the jam in Unnatural Selection is simple but still catchy. It's got a more conventional feel to it where-as MK Ultra isn't really that simple but ofcourse its still fun to jam to it. Unnatural Selection is alot like this album's "New Born" and "Plug In Baby" in that it's simple and clean out with a solid, consistent structure.

 

Okay, I see what you meant there, but I maintain that MK Ultra's riff is "simpler." By Muse convention, yes, the large intervals and added half-steps in Unnatural Selection's riff are nothing new, but I feel like MK Ultra's melody is just sort of an uninteresting scale exercise. And certainly if you think Unnatural Selection's riff is simple, you'll think that MK Ultra's outro riff is more so.

 

Of course none of this is bad per se; I'm just sticking to my assertion that Unnatural Selection is a more complex and inherently less "poppy" song than MK Ultra.

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And certainly if you think Unnatural Selection's riff is simple, you'll think that MK Ultra's outro riff is more so.

 

Fair-do's on this. The US and MK outro arent that far alike, even though MK's outro has alot more tension to it.

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in fairness, the definition of "pop" is an ever changing thing, and can mean a variety of things...

 

Does "pop" mean simplicity within a song?

 

Does "pop" mean very radio friendly music? clean shimmering guitars and a simple four-to-the-floor drum beat, with a lullaby vocal melody?

 

Does "pop" refer to the music in the charts at any given moment? in that it is "popular"...

 

Pop as a style is no where near as defined as a style such as "rock" or "country" (although, given NME has listed the likes of Dizzie Rascal and Lily Allen in their greatest rock stars poll thing, maybe I am wrong :p) etc... which makes it hard to single out any given song as being majorly pop.

 

In terms of song contents, the sounds within the song itself, Id say both MK Ultra and Unnatural are equal in pop-ness, they both have simplicities within them, and they both have quirky parts which strike a different tone and at the end of the day it is entierly down to opinion. they have various pop "features" but i would by no means class either song as a "pop rock" song... not even close...

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in fairness, the definition of "pop" is an ever changing thing, and can mean a variety of things...

 

 

Yeah, which is why I provided my interpretation a few posts back. I think this discussion is starting to get kinda futile though for that very reason. Pop music's just a lot like porn: it's hard to define exactly, but you know it when you see (hear) it.

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'Pop' has become a term used to describe manufactured music made for the sole purpose of making money. Which Muse are not.

 

However, 'Pop' also still refers to music which appeals to the masses, which Muse clearly do, and always have done.

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I'm sorry but if you like MK Ultra then you are tone deaf! I adore Muse but MK Ultra is a tragedy of Shakespearean proportions that would only appeal to teenage 'lite-rockers'... Unnatural Selection for the next single, it is a classy rocker that hearkens back to OOS. Songs like 'Resistance' and 'MK Ultra' on this album make me shudder with disgust - if you have any respect for Muse you should voice your distaste with such 'poppy' songs.

 

-2

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This song has really grown on me. It was about my 6th favourite to start. Now i would say its my second favourite, and among my top 10 muse songs easily.

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i'm sorry but if you like mk ultra then you are tone deaf! I adore muse but mk ultra is a tragedy of shakespearean proportions that would only appeal to teenage 'lite-rockers'... Unnatural selection for the next single, it is a classy rocker that hearkens back to oos. Songs like 'resistance' and 'mk ultra' on this album make me shudder with disgust - if you have any respect for muse you should voice your distaste with such 'poppy' songs.

 

-10101010101011111

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There are various definitions of pop music.

 

The two biggest are:

 

Popular music.

 

Pop music as a genre.

 

Read up on it on Wikipedia.

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There are various definitions of pop music.

 

The two biggest are:

 

Popular music.

 

Pop music as a genre.

 

Read up on it on Wikipedia.

 

Stop stop stop this thread is about MK Ultra not the definition of pop music. Let's not get buried in semantics.

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Lets just say MK ultra kicks up a bigger storm in a shorter amount of time and doesn't re-use old riffs either. MK Ultra rules.

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Stop stop stop this thread is about MK Ultra not the definition of pop music. Let's not get buried in semantics.

If it gets radioplay(next single?) it could become pop.

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'Pop' has become a term used to describe manufactured music made for the sole purpose of making money. Which Muse are not.

 

However, 'Pop' also still refers to music which appeals to the masses, which Muse clearly do, and always have done.

 

It's that whole 'mainstream' thing... some people seem to be oblivious to the fact that Muse have been very mainstream for the majority of their career. They've been popular for years, not just since BH&R came out. Plug In Baby charted at number 11, ffs! And that was 8 years ago :LOL:.

 

If it gets radioplay(next single?) it could become pop.

 

If you mean that as in 'popular' then yes, it could become more popular, seeing as it already is (with most fans at least) :p.

 

 

 

 

Oh, and yeah, I Fecking <33333 this song even more now. After hearing it live, it seems more special somehow, olol. And immensely brilliant! :D

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That wasn't really my point. What I said was that the jam in Unnatural Selection is simple but still catchy. It's got a more conventional feel to it where-as MK Ultra isn't really that simple but ofcourse its still fun to jam to it. Unnatural Selection is alot like this album's "New Born" and "Plug In Baby" in that it's simple and clean out with a solid, consistent structure. MK Ultra is alot more like Stockholm Syndrome, although that's mostly speaking for its sound. MK Ultra is practically "Intro > Verse > Bridge > Chorus > Middle-bridge > Another bridge > Chorus > Outro", hence a bit more unorthdox cause there isn't really a second verse and the middle bridge comes directly after the first chorus.

 

Just getting back at this

You say MK's got no 2nd verse? So what do yoú think the part after the first riff is?("invisible to all" etc.)

It's got the same melody as the first verse, so why would this suddenly be 'another bridge'?

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