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LP9: WOTP Discussion/Speculation Thread


Jobby
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Now that it's had a few days to sink in, here's my best to worst.

1. Verona

2. Kill or Be Killed

3. We Are Fucking Fucked

4. Euphoria

5. Won't Stand Down

6. Ghosts

7. Compliance

8. Liberation

9. Halloween

10. Will of the People

I love just about every song. The last three less so, but enjoy them for the most part. Solid album, an 8 or 8.5 / 10 for me.

Edited by Timbo59
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On 8/28/2022 at 5:39 PM, That Little Animal said:

Please. Discuss. There’s a new album out and I’m counting tumbleweeds here to avoid the barrage of “am I the only one who thinks Will of the People sounds like the Beautiful People?” threads posted every five minutes on Reddit. 

Reddit is shit. Discord is shit. Kids these days don’t know how to internet. 

The Beautiful People comparison is obvious, of course, but I can't listen to the verse without hearing Summertime Blues.

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4 hours ago, Timbo59 said:

Now that it's had a few days to sink in, here's my best to worst.

1. Verona

2. Kill or Be Killed

3. We Are Fucking Fucked

4. Euphoria

5. Won't Stand Down

6. Ghosts

7. Compliance

8. Liberation

9. Halloween

10. Will of the People

I love just about every song. The last three less so, but enjoy them for the most part. Solid album, an 8 or 8.5 / 10 for me.

I'm pretty close to you with that list but I'd move WOTP up a few notches and drop Compliance down there to take its place. WOTP should at least be fun in concert. I wasn't a fan of Compliance as a single and listening to it in the context of the album has not changed my opinion much. 

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13 hours ago, Timbo59 said:

Now that it's had a few days to sink in, here's my best to worst.

1. Verona

2. Kill or Be Killed

3. We Are Fucking Fucked

4. Euphoria

5. Won't Stand Down

6. Ghosts

7. Compliance

8. Liberation

9. Halloween

10. Will of the People

I love just about every song. The last three less so, but enjoy them for the most part. Solid album, an 8 or 8.5 / 10 for me.

1. Verona

2. WAFF

3. Halloween

4. KOBK

5. compliance

6. Ghosts

7. Liberation

8. Euphoria

9. WSD

10. WOTP

 

The one thing that stands out as weak to me on this album are some of the verses, which are either too simple, don’t fit with the song, are 1 on 1 copies of previous songs, or all of the above. That’s why my bottom three is the way it is. 

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This album's washed over me a little, I feel like there's no standout song(s) I'm still going to be listening to in a couple of months time.

I do like the Stranger Things theme influence in Verona though. Although something about the production reminds me of QotSA's Villains, which I liked a lot more after hearing in a live setting through a live mix. So maybe I'll like it more after hearing some live versions!

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1. Kill or Be Killed: 10/10

2. We Are F-ing F-ed: 10/10

3. You Make Me Feel Like It's Halloween: 9.75/10

4. Won't Stand Down: 9.5/10

5. Verona: 9.25/10

6. Liberation: 9/10

7. Will of the People: 9/10

8. Ghosts (How Can I Move On): 7.5/10

9. Euphoria: 7.25/10

10. Compliance: 7/10

I should note that while I love "Absolution" and "Origin of Symmetry," my two favorite albums leading up to this one were "Black Holes and Revelations" and "The Resistance." So, this album was perfect for me. It's the first album of theirs where I'm not even tempted to skip a song, and immediately want to listen to it again once the final track concludes. To me there are 7 standout tracks, and the 3 which aren't are still solid and have been improving with every listen. It's somehow accomplished what I never thought would occur - surpass "Black Holes and Revelations" atop my Muse-album leaderboard. I very rarely hand out such grades, but feel this one is much deserved. 10/10.

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Still loving this, so many little flourishes I like. The minor outro to Liberation sets the tone so well for WSD. Also, the descending runs on keys/guitar in Halloween and Euphoria add so much. Euphoria has to be the most 'fun' song Muse have done in years. The whole album holds together really well, with a clear 'A side' and 'B side'. Ghosts is about as well positioned as it could have been, I think. Halloween to the end of the album is an absolute blast.

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1. Euphoria

2. We Are Fucking Fucked

3. Verona

4. Liberation

5. Kill or Be Killed

6. Halloween

7. Won't Stand Down

8. Will of The People

9. Ghosts

10. Compliance 

 

The top three have rotated a lot lately, but Euphoria has been my most played for a few days now and I'm a bit obsessed. Liberation is getting up there too after not really knowing if I'd like it based off the descriptions. The vocals are just great all throughout the song. It's fun to sing along to.

Edited by Chryse
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I think what makes this album work so well is that it succeeds where Muse have been faltering for a long time. Usually when a new album comes out the singles grab my attention enough to give the whole thing a chance. It goes well enough at first but there's always a point where I start cringing, and even if the album has a few bangers I can't listen all the way through. Then I end up forgetting about it.

This time it only got better as it went along, which was such a relief. The only songs I had some difficulty with were Liberation and Compliance, but they don't overstay their welcome so it's ok, and Compliance has enough of a catchy melody to still be enjoyable.

Ghosts, Verona, and Euphoria are normally the type of songs which bring the album to a grinding hault. In this case I consider them highlights because they feel genuinely emotional rather than sappy and trite. Ghosts in particular is strong both lyrically and melodically, even if it might not be to everyone's tastes. I can't remember the last time Matt managed that for a slow song. Maybe Hoodoo?

And though the fun dancey slot is one of my favourite parts of their albums, they don't necessarily work live. Halloween sounds like it'll be a blast.

It's not perfect, but I'd say it comes the closest to finding the ideal weld between old and new Muse. 

Love:

Verona

Halloween

Ghosts

WAFF

Euphoria

Kill or Be Killed

Decent:

Will of the People

Won't Stand Down

OK:

Compliance

Hasn't won me over:

Liberation

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My first post in 4 years, blimey. Here goes:

Having gone through the entire discography over the weekend, I think that right now that as an album, WoTP is comfortably better than anything else since BH&R.

Firstly, it’s coherent.  It avoids the big issue TR and T2L have of whacking a big multipart suite at the end of the album which seems to have nothing to do with the songs that just came before. Sure, it’s like T2L in that it’s a genre mishmash, but so is BH&R, and probably because Matt’s lyrics are vague enough, it doesn’t matter to me. 

Secondly, it’s paced nicely. T2L, Drones and ST all have mid/late sections which are clearly less strong than the start of the album (and the end), such as  Explorers > Liquid State and SH > Dig Down… but WoTP mixes up its fast, heavy and “commercial” tracks so there’s never really a clear point after which I’m going “ugh, strap in for these songs”. 

Third, it’s “lows” are nowhere near as annoying, skippable or straight up out-of-place as the bad stuff elsewhere. I think the worst song is Compliance, and that is still miles better than IBTY (not a terrible song, but sooo jarring on TR), Big Freeze, Save Me, Mercy (the lyrics…), Revolt, Aftermath, Get Up and Fight, Dig Down (OG version) and Something Human. 

Finally, not only is there Heavy Stuff, but it’s mixed so that it actually sounds heavy. TR and T2L killed their heavy songs with their production and ST didn’t really have any nasty songs. This has 3 excluding the title track, they’re spread out, and they kick hard.

I have this album as an 8 out of 10. Faves are KoBK, Verona, and WaFF, but Liberation and WsD are guilty pleasures as a 2-parter. The band sound happy and comfortable in their skin. I’m comfortable with New Muse now too I guess - accepting we’re never ever getting another Origin-tier release, but that I can enjoy this stuff anyway.  

Edited by frozenbanana
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6 hours ago, frozenbanana said:

 

Third, it’s “lows” are nowhere near as annoying, skippable or straight up out-of-place as the bad stuff elsewhere. I think the worst song is Compliance, and that is still miles better than IBTY (not a terrible song, but sooo jarring on TR), Big Freeze, Save Me, Mercy (the lyrics…), Revolt, Aftermath, Get Up and Fight, Dig Down (OG version) and Something Human. 

Definitely agree with all this. Those are some shit songs. 😅

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Okay, here are my thoughts 10+ full listens later:

1. Verona (10/10) - I don't care that it's cheesy, because something about it just hits me like very few songs do. It's beautiful, and feels like I'm floating through space, just taking in the universe, and living.

2. You Make Me Feel Like It's Halloween (10/10) - By far the catchiest, and most fun songs in recent memory.

3. Ghosts (10/10) - Still beautiful, poignant, and genuinely emotional to me.

4. Kill or Be Killed (9.5/10) - One of the best heavy songs Muse have done. Should be a great concert staple that is even better live.

5. Liberation (9/10) - Wish it was a bit longer, but I'm a sucker for piano and over-the-topness.

6. Euphoria (8.5/10) - Pretty fun and catchy pop, and paced really well. Kinda reminds me of Revolt and Get Up and Fight, but a lot better.

7. Won't Stand Down (8.5/10) - Another good heavy addition, though a bit too repetitive.

8. We Are Fucking Fucked (8/10) - I love most of it, but (and I get this is an unpopular opinion) if the repetition of "we are fucking/getting fucked" was just taken out or replaced, it would be more like a 9 or 9.5/10 for me.

9. Will of the People (7.5/10) - Solid album opener that contines to grow on me with each listen, but it doesn't stand out.

10. Compliance (7/10) - It also continues to grow on me, it's got its catchy moments, and it's not bad, but Muse have done way better pop songs.

Overall: 9/10. I love the album as a whole, and it's a lot more consistent than most of their other albums for me. It's got fantastic highs, and even its lows aren't actually bad! The first four on this list easily rank among my all-time favourite Muse songs, and I was not expecting that.

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6 hours ago, frozenbanana said:

My first post in 4 years, blimey. Here goes:

Having gone through the entire discography over the weekend, I think that right now that as an album, WoTP is comfortably better than anything else since BH&R.

Firstly, it’s coherent.  It avoids the big issue TR and T2L have of whacking a big multipart suite at the end of the album which seems to have nothing to do with the songs that just came before. Sure, it’s like T2L in that it’s a genre mishmash, but so is BH&R, and probably because Matt’s lyrics are vague enough, it doesn’t matter to me. 

Secondly, it’s paced nicely. T2L, Drones and ST all have mid/late sections which are clearly less strong than the start of the album (and the end), such as  Explorers > Liquid State and SH > Dig Down… but WoTP mixes up its fast, heavy and “commercial” tracks so there’s never really a clear point after which I’m going “ugh, strap in for these songs”. 

Third, it’s “lows” are nowhere near as annoying, skippable or straight up out-of-place as the bad stuff elsewhere. I think the worst song is Compliance, and that is still miles better than IBTY (not a terrible song, but sooo jarring on TR), Big Freeze, Save Me, Mercy (the lyrics…), Revolt, Aftermath, Get Up and Fight, Dig Down (OG version) and Something Human. 

Finally, not only is there Heavy Stuff, but it’s mixed so that it actually sounds heavy. TR and T2L killed their heavy songs with their production and ST didn’t really have any nasty songs. This has 3 excluding the title track, they’re spread out, and they kick hard.

I have this album as an 8 out of 10. Faves are KoBK, Verona, and WaFF, but Liberation and WsD are guilty pleasures as a 2-parter. The band sound happy and comfortable in their skin. I’m comfortable with New Muse now too I guess - accepting we’re never ever getting another Origin-tier release, but that I can enjoy this stuff anyway.  

really well said (and welcome back)! I totally agree about the pacing and the "lows" not being nearly as bad.

Origin is still my favourite, and I imagine it'll never get topped. But I'm very happy with this latest outing.

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Didn't post about it here since I was busy but I'm... actually quite digging this album. I'm taking to it quicker than I did the last two. Like yeah it's got a lot of the "later Muse" thing with being overt with rather generic styles but getting past that I actually do like it. And let's face it if you're still here you're probably good at getting past that.

This is the first album since The Resistance where I found a lot of really loved tracks were not the ones released prior to release. Except Kill or Be Killed I suppose. I thought Won't Stand Down was fun but really was an excuse to do the big breakdown. The title track was alright and I never got into Compliance despite its nice bass line. Perhaps this is why I'm liking this album but I went into the whole listen with moderate expectations and ended up pleased.

Liberation is alright. I love the buildups but I do feel like it cut off before something interesting would have happened. But the harmonies at the end were nice enough.

Ghosts is where things started to surprise me. Having just Matt and a piano and singing about lost ones to the pandemic... as someone who did lose family it hit. While I don't think I'd rank it very highly among the "personal" Muse songs this is the first time in a very very long time I've heard something from this band that was both direct and sincerely emotional. No matter how much they try to portray themselves as a tongue-in-cheek band there was a lot of early catalogue songs that were legitimately honest. This one wasn't wrapping itself up in humor to make a point...

...Unlike the Halloween which totally does. I have some issue with how lightly they take domestic abuse, coming from a rich guy that I will assume did not suffer it at all during the confinement. But ok let's go besides that that this song is really fun. When Muse do actually go tongue-in-cheek I like it better when they don't try and hold back about it. It's what made The 2nd Law likable to me. Also the first of a few moments on this album where Matt actually shows off some more level of guitar skill. For once a Muse song I won't learn in like 5 minutes.

Verona was nice. I feel like it doesn't stay with me too much. But it's an interesting experimentation on the band's side. I know this forum especially wanted to see them try something more electronic and commit. This is sort of an example? Oddly enough I find the most unfitting part of the song to be Matt's vocals. Something about it feels off in the instrumentation which was very well crafted and delicate. Like a Public Service Broadcasting instrumental but M83 style.

The last two tracks are some real good shit. Euphoria is a straight up anime opening song which is a descriptor I never thought I'd use for a Muse song. It's short it's punchy it's catchy as hell it's got the falsetto ending. Fucking Fucked is like a shitpost song and I expected a shitpost song but I was not sure if I would like the shitpost song. Maybe the past couple of years have rendered me insane but I truly felt this track. It's also funnily the opposite of The Void. It's looking at the darkness of the world and instead of saying "we will always triumph over it" saying "lol".

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I will also add, the first released tracks also were way more political. It gave the vibe this would be another Drones like song but about the past couple of years. I was also not that excited to hear 10 tracks of Matt going into his "meta-centrism". But the majority of the album ended up being more personal reflections and reactions to the modern times. And interestingly I think the politics of the album work out better because of it. Trying to balance mourning, love, fear, (literal) euphoria, and anger while it feels the world is falling apart? That just feels so much more apt to the times. So much more universal than an us-vs-them anthem.

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I have not been on since May when the title track leaked.  That was intentional. I hadn't heard any songs besides WSD and Compliance from March until just now, as I just finished my first listen through of the album! (I waited the week it took for my sick deluxe vinyl package to arrive)

 

This is not an album I'm likely to have a lot to say about... but that is NOT directly proportional to its quality. I love it! I love every song! I actually couldn't say that about Simulation Theory and The 2nd Law when I first heard them, and I'm still a bit iffy on a couple tracks from both of those. By shortening the runtime and keeping things at a perfectly balanced 10 songs, Muse managed to pack all of their good ideas into a small enough package that none of their bad ones outweigh the good on any song.  That's fantastic!  It's absolutely not a record that's going to change anyone's minds about whether or not they like Muse or whether or not they still like Muse.  If this record doesn't do it for you, I imagine much of the last three records was also not really your style either.  I suppose what differentiates WOTP is that every song feels like part of a unified statement, nothing feels out of place sonically or stylistically, which is honestly kinda new for Muse. They've been doing the Queen thing of having completely different sounding tracks sonically and stylistically on the same album for a looooong time now.  That's not to say there's no variety here, but it's not as hot and cold as Simulation Theory, which will jump from the fun riff rock of Pressure to whatever the heck Propaganda is to the RATM meets Justin Timberlake of Break It To Me in as many songs.  There are obvious diversions into their ballad stuff, their metal stuff, their pop stuff, but it all feels like colors in the same palate this time around. It's a very consistent listen start to finish. A few songs stand out as immediate favorites, Kill Or Be Killed and Liberation for sure, but nothing really gets less than a B+ from me.  

 

Anyway I'm sure everybody is of the exact same opinion as me on this totally not divisive record from this completely agreed upon band in this totally peaceful and not over-critical forum environment. 🙃

 

....oh and I am NOT watching any of my usual music YouTubers reviews for this. I can already tell from the thumbnails and titles exactly how its doing with the Fantanos of the world, lol.

Edited by Bohemian-Cygnus-Running-Out
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On 8/28/2022 at 9:24 PM, MartianSpaghettiRider said:

Y’know what? Since I’m having trouble to sleep tonight (it’s still quite hot here where I live and there’s also a couple of personal issues looping in my thoughts, but nothing really serious), I’ll engage. 
 

For example, I noticed that WOTP songs seem to be put in pairs in order to represent the opposites, or the lights and shadows, of a given theme.

WOTP / Compliance —> The angry populist mob is trying to overthrow the government they hate / The said government and other social structures like gangs and religious cults try to get a hold of the mob by instilling a false sense of belonging and security against a difficult world

Liberation / WSD —> The bravery and determination to let your voice be heard and go against your oppressors with a commonly shared sense of mocking sarcasm / The same bravery and determination but displayed from the single individual’s POV in an irate, ferocious light, to the point of aiming to the destructive annihilation of their oppressor

Ghosts / Halloween —> A sincere, heart-wrenching longing for an authentically pure love lost to the pandemic / A grotesque exposition of an abusive relationship behind closed doors during lockdowns

KOBK / Verona —> The worst survivalist instincts emerging from humans during hard times to the point of eliminating “love and compassion” / A love story born from pure passion and protection despite the world falling apart around it, as a demonstration that people can get through that without losing their humanity

Euphoria / WAFF —> A wishful, hopeful, energic (but maybe also a little desperate?) call for a positive shock in order to soothe the pain for the current situation / A nihilist statement on human condition in relation to the global disasters happening around us… but with a good healthy dose of rebellious rage in order to carry on and ride through the storm, whatever happens.

Dang, I love this evaluation.

 

Also I said in my previous post I wouldn't have a lot to say about this album, but I just monologued to myself about it and it's place in their catalogue and what it means for about 30 minutes still only after one listen so..... maybe I do, lol.

 

I'm so happy reading back through some of these comments to see so many of y'all are actually digging this one.  I was expecting groans and hatred like has been the norm for years, but it seems many are really enjoying this more than they expected they could.

 

To me, this feels like a self titled album.  The fact that it isn't I think is either a holdover of Matt's love of nerdy/political concepts or a middle finger to the idea of ever just self titling an album.

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That last point is a really good one – I think this would have made a great self-titled album. It perhaps would have taken the sting out of the slightly silly grand concept of it all. And the more coherent genre-spanning would have lent itself to a self-title.

Glad to see lots of people liking Euphoria. I think it's an absolute blast. But it got me thinking – yes, it is in the mould of Get Up And Fight (this one was a miss for me) and Revolt (more of a hit but not perfect by any means) but lest we forget... Crying Shame? That dates to 2004 and looking back now is very much in a similar mould.

Same goes for Neutron Star Collision, maybe In Your World as well. If Muse's first album had featured Crying Shame, Revolt, Get Up And Fight, Euphoria, Neutron Star Collision, TOADA and In Your World, some of these songs would have been looked on much more favourably.

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A loooong time since posting here, and I've never been that much into doing album reviews.

Also a loooong time since I found an album immediately this much catchy - had to listen to it twice in a row already the first time, so here I am 10+ playthroughs later, giving my 2 cents...

  • WOTP - at the moment one of my least favourites on the album: the music itself works for me, but lyrics, or actually more the .. melody? the "willofthewillofthewill" -part, you know what I mean... irritates me pretty much to no end.
  • Compliance - works for me quite well, but can also see why some people don't like it as much... But I'm proud to like it!
  • Liberation - Queen much, eh? 😂Still a great great piece -- and as someone (kueller it was) stated, it might've been even better, with .. something more added to it. Anyway, a great one already as it stands!
  • WSD - catchy, good tune, good heavier stuff - perhaps it being the first release out of the album, it's already a bit "worn out" (even though I haven't listened to it that much) but I still like it as well.
  • Ghosts - oooh ooooh oooooh so god damn beautiful song and sad song and sending shivers down my spine, 😭/😍simultaneously. Just. Love. It. ❤️
  • Halloween - tongue so deep in the cheek that you start to worry it pops through 🤣 Lol, anyway, can see this one working as a definite party-starter on live gigs! (Also kinda reminds me of the band Ghost and their stuff - which I also happen to like)
  • Kill Or Be Killed - definitely my current favourite of the "heavy" songs on the album!
  • Verona - ahh this one is also right there, beautiful, not as minimalistic as Ghosts, but definitely a lovely tune ❤️ (I guess I'm growing old as I find myself liking the ballad-y songs more and more 😅)
  • Euphoria - great pop-Muse track! I find myself liking this more and more after each playthrough
  • WAFF - one big 🖕-- that works like a charm! Just listening to it as I'm here finishing - started to think whether this would work live with the verses sped up in tempo a bit? Or would it just become too big of a chaos 😂

To summarize: a great album, currently only WOTP being more in the "ehhh dunno" category for me. And pretty much every other piece being at least in the "liked" category, if not even "loved" (at least Ghosts, Kill Or Be Killed, Verona, Euphoria and WAFF out there for me)

It was definitely a good thing that Muse kept the album length at 10 tracks and under 40 minutes - it's a tight package, and as stated probably a million times here already, the lows aren't that low either, and the highs being so high (and way outnumbering the lows) makes it a solid album.

For me, the first Muse album since BH&R feeling this solid ❤️

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I like the album overall, although it may not be  everything I wish Muse "should" be.

But I have a bigger issue with the production/mastering side of things. The Dynamic range is pretty much terrible all through, with the lowest point being Kill or Be Killed at a whopping low 3 DR (!). No wonder it sounds so "in your face" and fatiguing. 

Didn't Matt at some point badmouth Rick Rubin for the "loudness wars"?  Seems ironic now  considering his music is some of the industrys worst, dynamically speaking...

I recently purchased The 2nd Law Hi-res version, the one that has improved dynamics apart from the resolution aspect. It sounds much better, although it might be a bit subtle for the untrained ear at a first glance.

Will of the People would sound so much better if it got a similar treatment.

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At under 40 minutes I'm thinking about how I've been on this damn site for almost a decade seeing posts about the benefits of shorter records. I think those were from Clunge? And here they are with a quick and punchy record. I think I'd get tired if it was 50 minutes.

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