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222 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 28, 1999
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Says NME: "Muse is exceptional and utterly worthy..their tunes are all spectacular, stadium-sized a band that teeters on the edge of perfection can go from strength to strength is beyond me. But they do. Oh Lord, they do." Says influential BBC DJ Steve Lamacq: "A handsome mix of brute noise and fragility..the most requested and revered of the new bands played on Radio One." Discover your own Muse on this young U.K. trio's debut album, Showbiz.

Often compared to Radiohead, the youngsters in Muse make no bones about their love of Thom Yorke and company. Like Radiohead and their other favorite band, Nirvana, the tracks on Muse's debut go straight for the quiet verses and windstorm choruses associated with those acts. Unfortunately, Muse don't have that crackling aura their idols possess, and that's something that no amount of production can fix. Still, it's hard to write them off completely after hearing the single "Muscle Museum," which hints at brighter days on the horizon. Radiohead's Pablo Honey wasn't that great an album either, and look at them post-OK Computer. If they're going to crash American radio, they'll have to wait until the next release. --Jason Josephes

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Sunburn
  2. Muscle Museum
  3. Fillip
  4. Falling Down
  5. Cave
  6. Showbiz
  7. Unintended
  8. Uno
  9. Sober
  10. Escape
  11. Overdue
  12. Hate This & I'll Love You

Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 28, 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Maverick
  • ASIN: B00001SIES
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (222 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,664 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

60 of 64 people found the following review helpful By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 9, 2005
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Despite the recent explosion of dancerock from the UK, Muse is perhaps the most powerful Britpop band to emerge in years. If you want comparisons, they're equal parts Radiohead and Led Zeppelin, with a unique sound that is both melodic and raw. Few debuts are as intense as Muse's "Showbiz."

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.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 17, 2000
Format: Audio CD
It's fantastic!! I am a huge Radiohead fan (I love Nirvana too), but that definitely doesn't mean that only Radiohead fans will like this CD, as it has a unique sound, and although Matthew's vocals sound scarily like Thom Yorke at times, (which is, admittedly, one of my favourite Muse details) their music differs from Radiohead's music in many ways. As for my favourite songs... "Sunburn" is obviously wonderful, I bought the album after hearing that song on the radio, "Falling Down" (such beautiful vocals), "Cave", "Showbiz" (one of my most favourite ever songs of all time ever, together with "Sunburn"), "Uno" (that song rocks!!! It's so much fun to listen to) and "Overdue". But however much I listen to the final track, "Hate This & I'll Love You", I just can't decide whether I like it or not. It's just one of those songs.
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.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By vlad on February 7, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Well, Radiohead? I really doubt it.
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.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Max Pax on January 1, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I like both bands, Muse and Radiohead, and I don't see why they are compared. They have nothing in common, exept that they make both emotinal music. Although I like Radiohead more, this album is still excelent. This is Muse at their rawest, most emotinal and simply at their best, although this is the least accesible of all their albums. The stand out-tracks are Showbiz, Sober, Cave, Escape, Unintended, (of course) Muscle Museum and strangly enough I do like Overdue alot. Showbiz and Muscle Museum are by far the most exciting tracks on the album, you can really lose yourself in one of those songs. Sober is lyrically a masterpiece, Cave is a first class rock-song, Unintended is more mellow and Overdue is poppy and very catchy. Sunburn is an emotionally great intro. What the hey, they are all great songs on this album, Muse at it's best like I said before. Although I don't recommend this to buy if you're new to Muse. Buy Origin Of Symmetry if you're new. Buy this if you want Muse's masterpiece.
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