Drones ★★★ Warner

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - MUSIC REVIEWS - LAU­REN MUR­PHY

You can say one thing about Muse: they never fail to sur­prise. On the Devon trio’s sev­enth al­bum, that means in­cur­sions into a cap­pella singing ( Drones) and 1980s soft rock ( Af­ter­math) – which is as dis­con­cert­ing as it sounds. At times, Drones sounds like Matt Bel­lamy and Co are mor­ph­ing into a para­noid ver­sion of Queen that bab­bles about the third World War and con­spir­acy the­o­ries, but oc­ca­sion­ally their hip-swing­ing, funk-in­fused swag­ger and Bel­lamy’s op­er­atic vo­cals pay div­i­dends, as on

Psy­cho. At their most po­tent, Muse seem like an un­stop­pable force, us­ing a three-piece rock set-up to truly push bound­aries. At their most self-in­dul­gent, their pompous prog is teeth-grat­ingly te­dious, as heard on the ridicu­lous 10-minute-long The

Globalist. With this col­lec­tion, they get the ben­e­fit of the doubt – but only just.

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