Tuesday, 15 September 2009
It's hard to find words to describe just how epic some of the songs on the new Muse album sound. One track, "United States of Eurasia (+Collateral Damage)" is a mix of piano ballad, Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody", the score of Lawrence of Arabia and Chopin's "Nocturne". Another track, or rather, the last three tracks, are a three-part symphony entitled "Exogenesis".
Despite all the odds, Muse have somehow skyrocketed far beyond even their own high levels of pomp and absurdity but when it works, it's a masterpiece.
Some things don't work though. "Guiding Light" rubs me the wrong way. It seems far too synthed and cold as a result. "I Belong To You" on the otherhand is a misplaced Maroon 5 song that for all it's grandeur suffers from being just too odd. The french vocals and (Sweet Lord) the clarinet solo are both horribly misjudged. The song just doesn't fit in.
That said, the album is constantly intriguing. As a concept it's ingenious, in execution, not without its flaws. It's difficult to predict where Muse will go from here. They seem to have reached the pinacle of epic space-rock with The Resistance and all that such a feat entails, for good and bad.
For the iPod Playlist: "United States of Eurasia", "Exogenesis - Symphony Parts I,II & III"
Verdict: **** (4/5)
Monday, 14 September 2009
Did South Park not teach you anything, Kanye? When will you learn that everyone thinks you are an asshole? You ruined everybody's night at the VMAs.
Tuesday, 8 September 2009
I didnt like the Arctic Monkeys. I always lumped them in with Oasis and Kasabian as one of those English lad-rock bands that sit well with the typical drunken English lout in a football shirt. In a word, Britpop.
It is with much delight that the third album from the band, Humbug, changes my perception entirely. Here, under the guiding hand of Josh Homme, is a band trying to shake off this image. They basically went into the desert and got stoned. The result is a strange combination of scorching desert rock and blues with a poetic undercurrent.
The first four songs are stellar. Almost fit for a Quentin Tarantino soundtrack. The single "Crying Lightning" is a grower and it's such a change of pace from their earlier work. The almost psychedlic caress of "Secret Door" is soothing and yet forboding almost like a strange high from the band's peyote experiments.
The downfall of such ambition is in this case a lack of melody and structure that scuppers the album. It's a trip in musical form and from a band i had previously written off, it's a trip I'd be willing to take again.
Verdict: **** (4/5)