By Corinne Love
By Corinne Love
Muse has an affinity for the extravagant.
‘Black Holes and Revelations’ is perhaps the band’s most extravagant indulgence ever.
Nothing was spared.
Sci-fi flourishes, whinnying horses, laser beams, progressive-rock, arena-rock, synth pop – it’s all here.
Muse has collected a series of strange and ambitious musical themes.Question is, does it work?
Originally started as a drum and bass project, Muse revisits the genre with the unsually sly “Supermassive Black Hole”.
Matthew Bellamy utilizes his soaring falsetto but tames it in favor of crooning. It’s Muse trying a new direction, seductive rock musicians.
The lyrics however ruin it “I thought I was a fool for no one, baby I’m a fool for you.” Right, bad pick-up lines do not work here.
Then, things take a turn for curiosity on ‘Revelations.’ On their breakout album “Absolution,” Muse delivered a compact, intense arrangement of songs that pieced together impending doom.
‘Revelations’ is really no different, instead this time around; its a loose, cool arrangement, that adds paranoia along with impending doom.
For starters “Map of the Problematique” by far the furthest Muse has grown, calls to reminiscence Depeche Mode, if David Gahan had a yielding vocal pitch.
Muse pulls it off, effortlessly evoking emotion and precision.
“You will burn in hell for your sins” Bellamy sings on the lead track “Take a Bow,” in his voice one gets the notion he’s dead serious in his assertion.
As to who is burning in hell, the answer lies in every other Muse song: the corrupted government.
Conspiracy theories string together the album and according to Bellamy, without a doubt there is a big scheme about to unravel.
The ballad “Soldier’s Poem” is beautiful, cradling an influence of dreamy chorus singing and delicate folk influences.
Hold on though, there is still that conspiracy, when Bellamy sighs “there is no justice in this world.”
Not to alienate their longtime fans, myself included, Muse sharpen their skill of making attacking, elegant hard rock.
Straightoward in their deliveries “Assassin” and “Exo-Politics” get straight to the point. The point being, Muse wants to rid all comparisons to Radiohead.
Amidst all this great material, “Revelations” does not hold up sufficiently to “Absolution” or “Origins of Symmetry.”
Tracks like “Invincible” and “Starlight” are forgettable. To give them credit though, Muse fearlessly step outside their box of expectiations.
Cleverly constructed, “Black Holes and Revelations” is a step forward for Muse. While most of the album is rooted in over the top theatrics, the theatrics do not cause more harm than good.
It is amazing how this blend of Mariachi accents, Robotic sound effects and consistent alien references make ‘Revelations’ work. Otherwise it would be a huge pile of grandiose rock pile poop.
“Revelations” suggests that the listener, if indulged a bit will find conspiracy theories more fun than possible.