4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Disappointing. Not bad, but not great either.,
This review is from: Black Holes And Revelations (Audio CD)
It was always going to be difficult to follow on from Absolution, and nigh on impossible to top the brilliance of Origin, but this latest album from the Teignmouth trio doesn't even stand in the same league as the band's earlier works. Gone is the idiosyncratic bombast. Gone are the screeching, insane solos and shrieking sounds of Matt Bellamy pushing his guitar to the very limits. Instead this album leaves one with a strange feeling of almost bewilderment.
The first single 'Supermassive Black Holes' is a good song. But it's not a great song. It is something to dance to, sung in voice that is simple falsetto.....but not Matt Bellamy falsetto. And that's the story of this album really. Perhaps less so than even Showbiz, the 'Muse sound' becomes quite lost. This is not to say that different is necessarily bad, but that it's not fulfilling he potential of this band. The second song, for example, 'Starlight', sounds like a Keane song. In the three albums that have gone before, they've all had a sense of true panache. Here they are merely efficient. It's not all 'bad' per se at all, though. 'Supermassive...' is guaranteed to get you moving or humming at the very least. The finale track 'Knights of Cydonia' is a very good track indeed that builds and builds, with subtle medieval flavouring and a galloping intro that nods to Iron Maiden, perhaps.
But Muse, in their music and in their live shows, are, as their name suggests, inspirational. They are pioneers of showmanship and flamboyance, without simply becoming a novelty act like (arguably, perhaps) The Darkness. You can see what they've tried to do in terms of taking a further step on this space-jazz-funk-rock-opera path, but they've located a murky no man's land with this album. It is by no means a travesty, but it is disappointing, the intricacies of the previous albums paving way for something a whole lot simpler.
Muse have already given us a taste of what they can do at their best. Unfortunately, this is not it.