- Audio CD (30 Jun. 2003)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: CD
- Label: Warner Bros
- ASIN: B0000CG3K6
- Other Editions: Audio CD | Audio Cassette | Vinyl | Mini-Disc | MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (333 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,671 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Origin of Symmetry CD
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Pomposity, bombast, pretension and prog-rock: they're four crimes that blight the landscape of modern music and Origin Of Symmetry--the second record by Teignmouth angst-rockers Muse--is guilty of every single one. But the truly astonishing thing about this record is the way it twists every one of these cardinal musical sins into spectacularly silly and starkly individual strengths. Where their debut album Showbiz was rightly dismissed as little more than Radiohead-lite, here Muse sound defiantly like their own band: on "New Born", they're torn somewhere between the purity of front man Matt Bellamy's angelic vocal tones and the corruption of a huge, dirty, distorted bass riff that electrifies the sound into crackling life; on the fraught, operatic "Bliss", they sound like an unholy--but very welcome--cross between synth-heavy Krautrock legends Tangerine Dream and youthful choirboy angst-peddlers JJ72; and even a wonderfully dippy take on the Nina Simone-popularised jazz standard "Feeling Good" is carried off with the requisite deadpan countenance. Bellamy's impassioned voice, in particular, is on spectacular form, soaring skywards until it cracks into a beautiful falsetto reminiscent of Jeff Buckley's greatest vocal moments. So gloriously overblown, it deserves to be huge--Origin Of Symmetry is a fascinating, flamboyant and satisfyingly individual album. --Louis Pattison
Top Customer Reviews
The trouble with Muse is that they make the creation of superb art rock look so easy that most listeners will take it for granted. Unless you've been around a few years and listened to a few other bands' attempts to create this sort of music, then you may fail to appreciate the unique mix of creative talent, inspiration, sheer hard work, and encyclopaedic knowledge of rock history that must have gone into this project.
Sadly, the only influence most reviewers on this site have spotted has been Radiohead. That's fair enough up to a point. Matt Bellamy sounds a bit like Thom Yorke on some songs, and Muse owe Radiohead an even more important debt: It's only because Radiohead carved out a mass market for this kind of art-rock back in the late 90's that there is an opening for new bands like Muse now. However, it is unfair to write Muse off as copyists. On the contrary, they have in some respects surpassed Radiohead at their best, matching the sonic ambition of Radiohead's later work without sacrificing the melodic sweep and the compelling hooks that made "The Bends" so listenable. What's more, Bellamy's voice is a considerably more flexible and emotionally powerful instrument than Yorke's, and embraces far older and deeper influences going right back to the late '60's.Read more ›
From the maniacally fearsome opener New Born there's little breathing space as each track emerges from its lair of feedback to assault your senses. Bliss, the new single gives way to the organised chaos of Space Dementia, a mammoth piece which threatens to 'destroy this world'. And after hearing it, it's easy to see why. Then comes the defiant Hyper Music, returning to the intense riffing of the opening track and adding some excited bass. Soon after is Plug In Baby, with it's tense riff and bouncing bassline, the introduction of which has to be heard live to be fully appreciated. Then, Muse define the word 'epic' with Citizen Erased, a 7+ minute opus which still can't prepare you for the rending apocalyptic scream of Micro Cuts. A track which would probably beat Space Dementia's boast and destroy the whole universe; a musical black hole perhaps...
Then things calm down a little with Screenager, brimming with claustrophobic angst, but soon pick up with Darkshines' confused atmospheric rock. Feeling Good, the Nina Simone cover, manages to retain the sexiness of the original while giving it that triumphant edge Muse manage so well on this CD. To finish things off, the grand, deliciously overblown Megalomania with its church organ just about sums up what this album is about and provides what can easily be put into the 'finale' drawer.
I don't think I've heard any album quite so desperate to escape from the CD and start an interplanetary war, but then its to Matt Bellamy, Chris Wolstenholme and Dom Howard's credit that that's what they've made. A fully deserved five stars.
I took a bit of a chance buying their first album "Showbiz" as I hadn't heard their stuff before. I was not disappointed. (And if I'm really honest the only reason why I bought it was because I thought the vocalist looked a little bit like Wolverine out of the recent X-men film.). "Showbiz" got me hooked and I wanted more. However, of the two albums "Origin of Symmetry" is the better.
Muse's music is stylised and is instantly recognisable but the album still retains a good deal of variety. "Screenager" is fairly slow and melancholy; "New Born" is more of a slow build up while "Plug in Baby" is solid rock. My personal favourites are "Hyper Music", "Bliss" and "Citizen Erased". The opening for "Hyper Music" is an absolute killer.
This album however, also has a quality that it is hard to define. There is something about this album that makes it so much greater than the some of its parts. The best way I can describe it is that each of the songs seem to become alive, learn to walk and go their own way. This album has such verve, that when you're listening, it makes you feel alive.
This album is great. I loved it. I even liked the case.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A great album with some classic riffs from the Mozart-like genius that is Matt Bellamy who alongside Dom and Chris created a work of art that stands the test of time-every track is... Read morePublished 15 days ago by michael angus
Product arrived safely packaged and in working condition. This is an amazing album.Published 27 days ago by Amazon Customer
Muse are really good at what they do which is to fuse extracts of classical / orchestral tunes together with rock music. Read morePublished 2 months ago by AGAD
My son and I love Muse and this was one of the CD's he was missing.
Got it in time for when it was needed.
My favorite Muse album. Brutal and orchestral in a way they just don't do anymore. Citizen Erased remains my favorite song.Published 3 months ago by Ilovemycat