A uni­fied the­ory of ev­ery­thing

Herald Sun - Hit - - MUSIC -

It pays to not take your­self too se­ri­ously. Wolf­mother dis­ap­peared up their lupine be­hind on Cos­mic Egg in 2009, Ar­cade Fire didn’t do them­selves any long-term favours on wrong-way-go-back ef­fort Ev­ery­thing Now and Muse put out Drones in 2015, which “fol­lowed a sol­dier from aban­don­ment to in­doc­tri­na­tion as a ‘hu­man drone’ and even­tual de­fec­tion”. Zzzzz. I saw you nod off at the word in­doc­tri­na­tion. So did I.

Well, hello McFly, any­body home? Muse go back to the fu­ture on their eighth al­bum, Sim­u­la­tion The­ory, a filmic synth-rock fan­ta­sia of songs that re­mind me of Dream Theater, Spinal Tap, early Kasabian and (bows) Queen. You will have as much fun with this record as Rami Malek did play­ing Fred­die Mer­cury in Bo­hemian Rhap­sody.

Open­ing track, Al­go­rithm,

goes Pink Floyd sans Syd Bar­rett plus Nine Inch Nails in a neon-lit fair­grounds flight sim­u­la­tor. Clearly, they are on.

Matt Bel­lamy di­als up the drama on The Dark Side, “Break me out, break me out, Let me flee, Break me out, break me out, Set me free,” then gives us the fun­ni­est note on the al­bum, “For all my life, I’ve been be­sieeeeeged.”

Get Up and Fight is loads of fun, it starts like a nearly-cheesy mid ’90s club an­them be­fore Bel­lamy turns up the histri­on­ics a lit­tle too much (even for him).

Pro­pa­ganda sounds like The Dark­ness try­ing to make Flight Of the Con­chords change teams. Bel­lamy pants and gives the come-hither eyes, a tree mon­ster voice re­peats “Prop­prop-pro­pa­ganda” then a slide gui­tar slips be­hind the vel­vet rope and slots into the VIP sec­tion drink­ing an Old Fash­ioned. That’s the vis­ual.

Muse have res­cued their ca­reers and artis­tic in­tegrity via an al­bum that never drones.

VER­DICT The disco rock space opera Muse were born to do


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