on 15 January 2005
Coupled with a DVD release, Hullabaloo is an odd record. The tracklisting for the CDs is haphazard, missing off some of the better B-sides and the standout live tracks from the Le Zenith performance. And even despite these problems, this is *still* an awesome album.
Disc 1 is a compilation of B-sides, which is pretty unusual considering that Muse only had two albums out at the time. Personally I think they would have been better waiting until now and then doing a chronological release. Even with some notable omissions (including Futurism, Coma and live favourite Agitated) the B-sides disc has some fantastic songs on it, not least Nature_1 (a bitter acoustic number twisting at the last moment into electric guitar heaven) and Hyper Chondriac Music (a stripped down, acoustic version of Hypermusic).
The live CD is where Hullabaloo truly excels. Before listening to this Muse were a band I liked who I'd probably see live if I got the chance. Afterwards, seeing them in concert became my Holy Grail. Some bands, however good on record, are a dull and uninspiring experience live as they merely play the songs as on the albums (except with dodgier vocals). Oasis spring to mind. But from this album it's clear that Muse pull out all the stops live, transforming even their slower songs into extended, ground-shaking behemoths (seeing people mosh to piano is a bizarre experience to say the least). Even the songs from Showbiz, which on record sound tinny and simplistic are beefed up into massive indie rock anthems. The ennui-laden Muscle Museum in particular has been turned into a howling plea for attention, and Cave is played at double speed for double the excitement.
See this album simply as a taster for seeing Muse live, because if you can listen to it and then decide not to go then you must have something in your ears. Muse are the best live band in Britain, something I hope is going to be confirmed at the Brit Awards in February. Until then, air-guitar your heart out to Hullabaloo.
British band Muse broke into international fame with their third album "Absolution," and establishing them as a remarkable young rock band. They're epic, intense, dark, and majestic in a proggy-Pink-Floyd-meets-Led-Zeppelin kind of way, and so it's hardly a surprise that "Hullabaloo" is a remarkably strong collection.
No, it's not a new album. Rather, it's a collection of B-sides, rarities, and a 2001 live concert. Most bands don't sound too great in either case, but Muse does. The first disc is made up of their B-sides and rarities, which tend to be quite good actually.
It doesn't start off promising, with the schizophrenic prog-rocker "Forced In," which would be fine if it weren't for the endlessly cycling synth that obscures everything else. But things get stronger after that, with the explosive downward spiral that is "Shrinking Universe" ("There's nothing left to die for!"), the softer poppy "Recess," and the surprisingly gentle acoustic ballad "Map Of your Head."
Most of the other songs follow those examples, either being epic and bombastic or quieter and more intimate. With, of course, some eerier songs thrown in, like the rippling sweetness of "Shine Acoustic." Are they as good as Muse's proper albums, especially since a few B-sides sound like the lost soundtrack of the X-Files? Not really, but they are remarkably good, and still better than average.
Which brings us to the live performance, which took place in October of 2001, in Paris's "Le Zenith." Well, to put it simply, these guys rock. It opens with a cheering crowd, right before they kick off into a tornado of bass, drums and guitar. Unlike many rock bands, these guys lose none of their power or musical richness in live performances.
The inevitable flaw? Well, that would probably be Matt Bellamy -- he doesn't sound too different from in the albums, which is nice but it's sometimes hard to hear him above the drums, explosive synth and spiralling bass. However, the guys lose none of their intensity musically, and it's hard to find a single flaw in their playing. If Muse are known for their prowess in live performances, then it's easy to see why.
The B-sides are a minor treasure trove, while the live album is a gem in itself, bringing their concert to life as nothing -- except a DVD -- could. A must-have for Muse fans.
on 27 November 2002
Muse, in my opinion, are the best band in the world. I love listening to their albums and singles, but nothing compares to going to see them live. For those who are yet to witness the almighty Muse first hand, then this CD goes to show why you should. The opening, Deadstar, erupts with such a loud, ferocious riff that you start jumping up and down without even knowing it. Its that good. Thats enough of the live CD, the real shiner here are the B-sides. For those people who love Muse, but havent bought every single, this collection here is beautiful. Get a taste of the excellent, rocking 'Yes Please', and a bit of the alternative piano/synthesizer based 'The Gallery'. Star of the show is 'Hyper Chondriac Music'. A calmer, slower, but so much better version of hyper music, and hyper music was great in the first place.
If you cant buy the DVD, the least you could do is buy this.
on 2 September 2003
I bought the standard CD version of Hullabaloo when it first came out, but i just recently bought a universal DVD player (Pioneer DV-565a) and wanted to try some stuff out on it.
I loved the album so i bought this to compare what SACD can do.
Alas the first CD is just that... a CD, no Super Audio here.
However, CD2, the concert from Le Zenith in Paris is given the 5.1, DSD treatment. Now thats certainly a good thing. To start with i just thought that i would be getting a bit of ambience, hearing the crowd around me or the sound echo around the concert hall, and indeed thats what i did get... but i got a whole lot more.
Comparing the CD and SACD versions i find the SACD version to have a lot more body to it, listening at moderate volumes i can feel the music and it feels right. Now i have a problem that when i have to listen to the normal CD it just sounds big and hollow.
The CD version has more impact, but its just wrong, the SACD version has a far more real sound, and since its a live concert thats what you want.
Given 5 stars just for CD2... consider CD1 a bonus.
Equipment used - Pioneer DV-565a player, Marantz SR4300 amp, Acoustic Energy Evo 3's, centre and 1's
on 15 August 2004
People seem to be against the Hulaballo album but when properly listened to and taken in, it become quite obvious that it is an amazing album
Nothing much can be said about the live album except that it is brillient. Muse are perfect on stage, there is none of the disappointment that seems to come with some bands live albums. The tracks are played perfectly with some minor alterations on Matts part. The singing, even on track like "Micro Cuts" and "Citizen Erased" is amazing. The only problem with the live Cd is that there is not many alterations. It sounds a bit to much like the studio recordings themselves except with a lot of screaming from the audience. Another bad point is that they took some tracks off. the DVD has more on the Live side
The B-sides album is a whole different story. the tracks are on this because they dont really fit with the songs on the studio Cds but all the tracks are fantasic. "Nature_1" is a typical muse song and now one of my favourite. Tracks like "The Gallery", "Map of Your Head" and "Forced In" are much more experimental yet are all very good in their own way.
You really cant expect the B sides to be very "muse" but all the tracks are pretty damn good. the cd is worth is well worth it and seems to return to my CD player quite often.
on 2 July 2002
its muse live. so obviously its good. but its not just a rehash of the studio recordings, which is what tends to happen when some bands with excellent musicianship (like bellamy's) go live...it seems much more spontaneaous as if his riffs that evening (and any other) are played with genuine feeling--they become more interesting and the songs become more powerful. and he can really really sing.
on 31 December 2004
Live albums are often churned out by ageing or troubled bands that don't have enough front to put out a hits album or alternatively - already have a hits album and want to cash in more. So by this definition, Muse's Hullabaloo Soundtrack is a bit of a puzzle. Firstly, Muse are still in their youth, barely boasting two studio albums, let alone a back catalogue of ups and downs. Secondly, this live album leaves out their hits! (Plug in Baby, New Born, Bliss, Hyper Music are all reserved for the DVD presentation) and instead we have a collection of Showbiz's best bits (Showbiz, Cave, Muscle Museum, Sunburn), single only releases (Dead Star & In Your World) and a rare b-side (Agitated).
The next suprising thing about this album is that the live tracks don't just sound like the CD being played in an echoey room! Muse - famed for their live act certainly add a different dimension to the tracks on offer here. In many ways showing how their first album 'Showbiz' should've sounded, Matt Bellamy's improvising and showboating give real character to songs that were previously a little unremarkable - Dead Star is transformed into a massive sounding song and Darkshines also comes off well. Even the already brilliant Citizen Erased and Screenager reach new highs and Showbiz is probably the stand out track as Matt Bellamy trully beats his guitar into submission (watch the tremolo picked bridge section on the DVD - its fantastic to watch). The only real dissapointment of this live CD is the ommission of a few tracks from the DVD - particuallarly Uno which like Dead Star is completely transformed thanks to Bellamy's live arrangement).
Then theres B-Sides CD. B-Side compilations are probably the only thing more eyebrow raising than a live CD and this one is particularly obscure. Why it was tagged onto the live cd I don't know as it has no relation to it at all. The tracks themselves are take them or leave them. B-Sides are usually b-sides for a good reason, and here we have a mixture of the experimental and Muse at their least inspiring and strangely quality b-sides like 'Futurism' and 'Agitated' are not included. This one is definately fans only, and could've been left on single b-sides.
On the whole good - the live CD is worth the purchase just to hear the Showbiz tracks in all their glory, but a better buy would be the Hullaballo DVD.
on 29 September 2002
This was my very first Muse album purchase, having only heard their more famous songs, such as Plug In Baby, Showbiz and Hyper Music. Despite only one of these songs actually appearing on the album, I bought it, because i'm a fan of live music (however badly some of these replications are). Having began with CD2 - the live album - I was blown away by the scorching power and intensity that Matt Bellamy and co produce live. Since then, I have bought both studio releases AND the DVD version of Hullabaloo (which includes the more famous songs such as Plug in Baby and New-Born, and some of my favourites such as Feeling Good, Sunburn and Uno).
The first CD - the b-side collection - shows how good a songwriter Bellamy is. Take "Shine" - the accoustic version shown shows how great the song actually is, and the songs "YEs Please" and "Map of Your Head" show how diverse Muse are when creating songs, and just how structured EVERY song they write is. This is definitely a must-buy CD for anybody who has heard a Muse song - for the one highlight of the album - Citizen Erased.
on 29 May 2003
I went to one of the concerts by Muse late in 2001, which is where the music from disc 2 of this album is gleaned from. So, naturally I had to buy this album as on the night Muse were incredible. The live disc is 'good'. I say this with a pinch of salt because, although it has fantastic music on it from a great concert, it is not the whole show. The omission of Bliss, New Born and particularly Plug in Baby is very disappointing. However, on a whole this is a worthwhile buy, the b-sides are also very good. A relieving stop-gap before the highly anticipated release of their new album in August.
on 9 July 2002
What can I say, I am a big fan of Muse, so I bought this album as a neccesity, but was i surprised to find a B-Side cd packed full of great songs, experimenting with different styles (map of your head being an ideal exapmle), the CD2 captures the real spirit of Muse Live, with spontaneus guitar riffs almost exclusive to the gig.
If you aren't a big Muse fan, this is still a must, a real taste of Muse here.