40 of 43 people found the following review helpful
Awful Pun #45: Live & Kicking,
This review is from: Hullabaloo Soundtrack [Eastwest Release] (Audio CD)
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.