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The English rock band Muse has very patiently built up a versatile oeuvre. With a sale of 20 million records, they are one of the most successful rock bands of recent years. Each Muse album has a different approach, combining symphonic rock with electronic music. What are the ten classics of Muse?
10. Map of the Problematique
Map of the Problematique from the album Black Holes and Revelations (2007) is clearly influenced by dance music. Muse knows how to master this in a characteristic way, in which drummer Dominic Howard plays a starring role. The song is about problems that humanity will encounter in the future. It was therefore perfect for use in the trailer of the pessimistic science fiction film Children of Men.
9. Neutron Star Collision (Love is Forever)
Muse’s contribution to the romantic vampire film The Twilight Saga: Eclipse gives the band a good chance to show their emotional side. After their songs were heard in the two previous Twilight films, Muse now specially composed a new song. Neutron Star Collision (Love is Forever) has a dramatic structure in which the piano plays an important role. The ghost of Queen can probably be heard most clearly here.
8. Stockholm Syndrome
The first single from the third album Absolution (2003) makes the guitars tear. At Stockholm Syndrome you can hear the influence of Queen on Muse very well, for example in the harmonies during the moment of rest. The subject of the song is the psychological phenomenon where hostages begin to sympathize with their hostages. Muse sings the song in a contradictory manner from the perspective of the hostage taker.
Muse’s music can be loud and complex, but they do not forget to make a more accessible song from time to time. Starlight by Black Holes and Revelations is driven by a buzzing bass line and a light piano melody that sounds perfect on the radio. It would therefore grow into one of their best-known songs and is almost always played during concerts.
6. New Born
New Born from the album Origin of Symmetry delicately misleads the listener. Matthew Bellamy sings a sensitive intro until suddenly a loud guitar riff sounds and the song accelerates to metal tempo. The text of New Born shows a side of Muse that would become increasingly important during their career: the negative impact that technology has on daily life.
5. Plug in Baby
The band had had a first version of Plug in Baby for years, but the song was missing something. For example a good intro. That was corrected in 2001 with a guitar riff that seems to be influenced by Bach and is often seen as the best of the decade. In the video, the title is taken literally and women are transformed into scary bionic machines.
Uprising was the first single from the album The Resitance (2009) on which Muse uses more electronics and the influence of Queen can be heard more clearly. Nevertheless, the single Uprising with its accessible opening melody is much more reminiscent of other songs, for example the intro of the television series Doctor Who of Call Me by Blondie. In the spirit of the album, Uprising is full of social criticism fired by Bellamy in short sentences.
3. Citizen Erased
Muse is famous for its guitar riffs. Citizen Erased is an epic song from their second album Origin of Symmetry (2001) that starts with a squeaky riff. After all sorts of detours, the riff returns and turns into a ripping guitar solo. Because of its subtle transitions and outbursts, Citizen Erased has been a fan favorite for years. This was proven by the high position of the song when fans were allowed to choose their set list for concerts in 2010.
The massive bass line from Hysteria can rightly be called a classic and has been copied countless times since 2003. In addition, the number has been used in a large number of advertisements and games. Hysteria has a nice balance between intensity and pop feeling, whereby the usual high-quality guitar parts are not forgotten. The video clip, in which actor Justin Theroux plays the lead, is a sort of tribute to Pink Floyd, one of the predecessors of Muse.
1. Knights of Sydonia
Knight of Sydonia (2006) has an ambitious and very unpredictable structure. It takes two minutes before the vocals are started. Bellamy sings the first verse in a dragging way, but is interrupted by harmonies, after which the song continues on a completely different track. As is often the case with Muse, Knight of Sydonia is full of musical references to other songs, such as film music from Once Upon a Time in the West and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Even better is that the guitar sound was based on the famous song Telstar from The Tornados, the band in which the father of Matthew Bellamy played. This game with references was continued in the amusing video clip that is made up of spaghetti westerns, kung fu films and cheap science fiction films.