Music - Muse - Simulation Theory - I Wanted to like it... - 3/5
The quandary. What happens when a band that you have had virtually no resonance with enters a genre of music that you have an almost obsessive understanding of?
We are about to find out, as the often melancholic, gods of depression rock band ‘MUSE’, tackle the might of synth-wave/new wave electro, fuck, even “out run”! with their latest offering, Simulation Theory.
There are key components to even be considered for the Mr Jazzy Woops Genre…
1. Bright neon graphic title.
2. Film soundtracks and video games. Check. All of which encompass the feeling of Nostalgia. For those of us lucky enough to grow up in this era, it’s intrinsic in our being.
So, is this album fire? Muse set the stall out with ‘‘Algorithm’’ as the opening track and it’s a beautiful saga setting war cry with the lyrics “This means war with your creator” setting the tone for what’s to come and ticking another box relating to the video of the track. The video itself starring Terry Crews (Deadpool 2. I Won't mention White Chicks..) The video is awash with homages and hat tips to Tron, The Fly, Weird Science, The Matrix and even Max Headroom! No, still not following me? Get back in the sea..
The tone is set further with “Dark side” it gives a sense of oppression against something greater and while I would normally be wincing at the voice of Matt Belamy he and the band add further orchestral foundation to this album and it’s intended direction.
Then bang!! You are pulled into a brass section rumpus on “Pressure” with none other than the UCLA marching band. I must admit at this point I was thinking WTF? Visions of American football bands zig zagging back and forth and some plump band master launching his staff in the air. Why? It’s catchy but for f@#k sake!
“Propaganda” attempts to draw us back on line and the acoustic guitar is licking away beautifully. We are thrown around somewhat between “Break it to me” which doesn’t know what it is to “Thought Contagion” which will undoubtedly satisfy the Muse diehard. Able to sing along a characteristically simple anthem.
Then this album gets lost entirely. ‘‘Get Up and Fight’’ starts nearly exactly like something from the late 90’s . I can’t put my finger on it but if you know what’s going on, will you do tell me? ‘‘Something Human’’ has Erasures ‘‘A little respect’’ hook, woven into its fabric.
By the time I arrived at the really good ‘‘Dig Down’’, ‘‘The void’’ claws it a little back but by then I was totally lost. Perhaps that was the intention?
There are some really great pieces contained in the album, let down by not knowing which way to go. I wanted to fall in love with it.
Buy it here
Stream it here