Muse just don’t worry anymore. That’s the feeling that comes from this album.
As Ultimate Classic Rock point out;
‘There’s nothing subtle about Muse. There never has been. And that’s always been part of their appeal, as well as one of the reasons their detractors have stayed away from their music going on a quarter century now. Like Queen, a band Muse has been frequently compared to throughout their career, the Matt Bellamy-led group takes a sledgehammer approach to arena-sized theatrical rock. They’ve never met a kitchen sink they didn’t want to introduce to their songs.’
They’ve had the Prog shout, the push to the mainstream, the downbeat album and the huge arena pleaser.This band have moved around, they don’t stay anywhere for long and it’s difficult to get a bead on them. Long may that continue. This album accesses something else;
Haven’t I Heard That Before?
You’re greeted by the title track; The Will Of The People, with that crunching beat, Industro feel and chanting, it reminds me of something…it’s Marilyn Manson’s ‘The Beautiful People’ isn’t it? At least at the beginning – see what you think…
Perhaps it’s just me. Anyway, I think it’s audacious. To have fun in that way; that’s what it sounds like to me anyway and I like it.
It doesn’t stay there, it has Blues fun and a fuzzy guitar has its way with the track, but Glam is never far away.
Back To The Future
This Muse album is on point. That’s because 80’s Pop, 80’s Synth Pop, 80’s Art Pop even, is a chart dweller at the moment and this album is full of it.
‘Compliance’ has Giorgio Moroder spending synth section, there’s a touch of 80’s Pop in ‘You Make Me Feel Like It’s Halloween’ – that is all such reined in fun which never struts its stuff on the dance floor, this album has other ideas and needs to keep it’s powder dry.
We even have an icy, brittle synth line in ‘Verona’, insert your Visage or Ultravox comments here.
As Loudersounds said;
‘Fittingly, Muse are as fired up as any righteous mob. While the album’s first single, Won’t Stand Down, merges their recent synth-pop leanings and the brutal metallic crunch of classic Muse albums..’
Don’t think this is craven, it never feels like the bandwagon is coming down the hill, rather it sounds like Muse are just playing together, seeing what comes out and enjoying the results. And Matt Bellamy’s swooping falsetto fits perfectly.
Is That All?
Of course not, this is Muse, that do enormous songs with massive aspirations. And so that grand piano (it might be upright, it just sounds grand) in ‘Liberation’, those pitch-perfect Queenly harmonies telling us that they still love this.
And they also adore musical theatre. So few recognise this in Muse, but just lend an ear to ‘Won’t Stand Down’, plucked strings, a reverberating bass to hold it up and Bellamy’s heartfelt, open, searching vocal, it doesn’t hold back at all, it has no embarrassment to get over the footlights and reach the cheap seats, the gods – there’s a reason why it’s called that. It isn’t just theatrical, this has a back and forth, and never going back now musical theatre style.
So What Is It?
Loads. One thing, then the other. An enormous amount of music, which Muse show us, laugh, and then reveal another gem. They don’t take requests, this is the album they wanted to make then, they’ll probably be somewhere else now.
And at this point, the band go wherever they want. Where will that be? I can’t wait to see.