Formed in 1997 in Teignmouth, Devon, England, Muse consists of Matthew Bellamy on guitar and lead vocals, Chris Wolstenholme on bass, and Dominic Howard on drums. Throughout their career, they’ve released several albums. Among those in the back-catalogue are Showbiz (released in 1999 with singles including “Uno,” “Muscle Museum,” and “Cave”), Origin of Symmetry (released in 2001 with singles including “Plug In Baby” and “New Born”), Absolution (released in 2003 with singles including “Hysteria,” “Time Is Running Out,” and “Stockholm Syndrome”), Black Holes, and Revelations (released in 2006 with singles including “Supermassive Black Hole,” “Starlight,” and “Knights of Cydonia”), and The Resistance (released in 2009 with singles including “Uprising”, “Undisclosed Desire”, and “Resistance”). Their most recent album to date is their 2012 effort, The 2nd Law, which includes the singles “Survival,” “Madness,” and the upcoming “Panic Station.”
The album’s first overall single “Survival” first debuted as an official song for the London 2012 Olympics and was performed in its closing ceremony, although it was not broadcast on NBC in the U.S. The song seems to provide a hat tip to rock band Queen, notably with its arrangement and lyrics in the intro, with the latter providing a throwback to “We Are the Champions” with lyrics like “I’m gonna win/Yes, I’m gonna win.” The next single, “Madness,” provides some laid-back synth-rock with some synth bass being emphasized as a drum groove plays. Along with those parts, there are some guitar riffs laid within the mix, along with a solo to keep the song going. The song “Panic Station,” which was announced as the album’s third single in September on the UK’s XFM, provides some funk-rock influences with its use and mix of guitars and synthesizers.
In addition to those singles, the album also has some interesting highlights worth mentioning. “Follow Me,” in which EDM producer Nero helped out in the creation of the track, incorporates some of his elements in his music with Matt Bellamy’s singing. “Big Freeze” provides an upbeat sound with funky guitars. “Save Me,” which features bassist Chris on lead vocals, is one of the two tracks that focuses on his struggle with alcoholism (with “Liquid State,” which also features Chris on lead vocals, being the other); in “Save Me”, guitar and keyboards are emphasized along with lyrics that express this battle (“Save me from my superstitions/Now I’m free, from this old condition”).
In conclusion, I recommend Muse’s The 2nd Law. If the previously mentioned songs are satisfying enough upon listening to them, I recommend the entire album, thus making this my album pick for November 2012. That about wraps up my article for Aerrow Shapiro’s Record Club. Tune in next time at around the first week of next month for another album pick.
Aerrow Shapiro is a KSSU.com DJ who hosts a weekly hour-long alt/indie show called Aerrow Shapiro’s Hour of Power, which (as of the date of publication) currently airs every Tuesday at 5 PM PT on KSSU.com. For more information you can check out the show on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/HourOfPowerKSSU) and on Twitter (@hourofpowerkssu).