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Audio, Cassette, September 28, 1999
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A steady piano melody ripples by, followed by some steady drumming. That, in turn, segues into the expansive bombastic rock'n'roll of "Sunburn." Matt Bellamy sits in the middle of the song, singing in a trembly voice, "I'll feel/A guilty conscience grow/And I'll feel/A guilty conscience grow." Then he bursts into an anguished howl: "And I'll hide from the world/Behind a broken frame/And I'll run forever/I can't face the shame..." The music crests with it, a panoramic blend of guitar, bass and piano.
And that's only the first song.
The songs that follow are just as powerful, if a bit lower-key. Muse dabbles first in some truly ominous guitar pop, followed by acoustic ballads, and an angsty lament or two. Then, about halfway through the album, things get loud again -- songs like the title track have a wall-of-sound guitar'n'bass melody. In these songs, Muse sounds eerily like a British version of the Smashing Pumpkins.
Good as their debut was, Muse wasn't at their peak with "Showbiz" -- they hadn't quite perfected the epic-guitar thing, and the production isn't at its best. But they are still a compelling listen -- the climax of "Uno" is the sonic equivalent of being hit with a tsunami. For a band that was still defining their sound, it's remarkable.
Chris Wolstenholme does an exceptional job with the driving bass, while Bellamy pulls double, triple and sometimes quadruple duty, playing everything from Hammond to piano.Read more ›
Another thing, I'm not a huge fan of "Muscle Museum". Yes, I do know I'm possibly the only person in the world. It seems to be everyone's favourite. And I just don't understand. I always seem to be different. But anyway, if you've heard "Muscle Museum" and you're not keen on it, PLEASE don't be put off by it, because I'm not keen on it either but I still found the album AMAZING.
Don't let this album pass you by. It's a fantastic piece of work.
Muse are close to the genre, alright (as well as many other bands are closer to one or another style), they are from Britain, ok, they even love Radiohead, but the list of similarities rather ends here.
For me, what makes them differ from their brit colleagues is the fact that they have more muscles - the music ones, of course: they sound different from any other since they have their own originality that is supported by their rich bass lines, heavy electric guitars and nice latin ones, and beautiful lyrics. They have even more: they've got the unique spirit of this album, the one that makes me believe they possess a huge talent and a definite future.
Sunburn, Showbiz, Uno, and Unintended are undoubtedly great songs that shape the cd well, however, for me, the real standouts are Muscle Museum and Escape.
Fillip, Cave, Overdue, and Hate This and I'll Love You are each unique in their sound, but overall just show the same perfectness of their creators.
Really worth buying and looking forward to their next album.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Muse's first album is warming up for what's to come from this spectacular band, and my favorite love song of all time is undoubtedly Unintended. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Andy B
Avid MUSE fan so I had to get this, have to say though was expecting a bit more than 3 tracks that I liked. The rest of the CD is okay.Published 6 months ago by Amanda Orr
An incredible first album; I discovered it only after listening to some of their later albums and fell in love with this one just as I had all of their others. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Alpha