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Muse - Black Holes and Revelations

Reviewed by Dave on 4th July 2006

I think it’s safe to say that everyone here at Rawkstar likes Muse and I think it’s equally safe to say that when we heard the single Supermassive Black Hole we were a bit disappointed and prepared for a thoroughly horrible album, well I took a gamble and picked up a copy so lets dive right into it.

Muse are a band that change sounds with some regularity their debut Showbiz was clearly an out and out ‘rock’ then came Origin of Symmetry where the band began to craft what many term as ‘space rock’, pianos and guitars met and we all saw how talented Matt Bellamy was and the potential that was seen with Showbiz was realised and the band made the jump to playing massive venues. Then came Absolution and it was obvious that Muse had ascended from simply a rock band to a stadium filling rock band, Black Holes sees the continuation of this ‘stadium rock’.

The opening track Take a Bow is definitely what I would call a Muse track, the intro is similar to that of Sunburn and like Sunburn it continues to build up and guitars begin to crash in and Matt tells us we will “burn in hell”. Equally Starlight the second track is another typical Muse song, with a quiet chorus line that builds and builds but instead of reaching a crescendo it lulls back down into the verse, the song continues to build and fall and in this way throughout it’s very nearly four minutes and makes me want to listen to Origin all over again.

The let down comes with Supermassive Black Hole, for me it is too dance-y it sounds like something you’d find in one of your trendy nightclubs where people drink Bacardi Breezers rather than beer and all the girls wear tiny, tiny mini skirts and some hideous 6 inch heels that they can barely walk in. I will never like this song, not ever, its just not my cup of tea, I dislike Matt’s singing on it and I dislike the distortion they decided to add to his voice for some of the song, the riffs are too repetitive and to me this isn’t what Muse are about.

Once you get past Supermassive though we see a return to the good old days Soldier’s Poem and Invincible provide the slower part of the album that Muse fans will be accustomed to hearing. Assassin is an excellent fast paced song on a par with Plug in Baby in my opinion, which makes me smile because it sounds so much like the Nightrider theme tune and when listening to it I just keep thinking about Knight Industries and Mr. Feaney the talking car.

Hoodoo begins with Mexican duelling banjos and is the third slower track on the album until the middle when the pianos are introduced and the song heads towards dizzying heights only to drop back down to the quiet lull of the opening of the track.

The closing track Knights of Cydonia is a 6 minute space rock epic that begins with galloping horses. It showcases everything we have come to expect from Muse, complex guitar riffs, operatic singing and grand soundscapes.

Black Holes is a good album, perhaps not one that fans of Showbiz or Origin will love but certainly one that the casual Muse fan will be able to pick up and enjoy, still if you want to get into Muse I recommend you go and buy Showbiz rather than Black Holes.

Rating: 8/10
Website: www.muse.mu
Buy It Now: amazon.co.uk


Gravatar Bob says:-

Yes, I believe everyone at rawkstar does indeed like Muse. I'm going to post my thoughts on the album... I'd have given it 10/10! :D

Anyway... I really can't decide which songs I like best... they're all too good!

I can't agree with your views on SMBH though. I admit, at first, I didn't like it, all that much but after hearing it a few more times I really began to like it. It is probably one of the biggest departures from what people may class as 'Muse' on the album, but it is still really good.

I've been a fan since the Showbiz days and honestly can't believe that Muse can still make each record better than the last, I didn't know how they could top Origin of Symmetry, then they go and make the amazing Absolution I then thought 'how the hell can they top that?' and... they've managed it again, so... now my thoughts are turning to, 'how the hell can they top this album?' :D

The bonus track Glorious, available if you buy the album from iTunes (or buy it in Japan :P), is great too. It'll probably appear as a b-side later on though.

4th July 2006 @ 19:58:03 GMT

Gravatar Dave says:-

Well, I've listened to SMBH a lot and it isn't growing on me, which is a bit sad as I'm a rather big Muse fan and I do like it when they try new stuff, but SMBH is just not a direction I'd like to see them go

4th July 2006 @ 23:37:52 GMT

Gravatar Ben says:-

I've not heard anything from it, not even their top 5 hit. Judging from Bob's mark out, however, seems I better

5th July 2006 @ 19:45:08 GMT

Gravatar Simon says:-

10/10 from me too - its easily their best yet. :)

7th July 2006 @ 01:04:52 GMT

Gravatar Dave says:-

Nah, Origin for me is the best, its better than Absolution though

10th July 2006 @ 11:17:05 GMT

Gravatar Bah says:-

I love this album to bits! Some people i know say its not as good as previous albums especially O.O.S, but that's cos they have only heard Supermassive black hole, which is good but there are better songs to release from this truly genius of an album.

Anyone seeing them in November?

11th July 2006 @ 17:18:29 GMT

Gravatar Bob says:-

I will be seeing them in November! Not exactly sure which dates yet... already going to see them on the 24th of August though!

11th July 2006 @ 22:11:08 GMT

Gravatar Rall says:-

I <3 DiscoMuse. Besides, if I was in a shitty townie disco in the middle of nowhereville (it does happen), I'd rather hear SMBH than.. some other crap they might be playing. And if there's even the tiiiniest lillest chance they would play SMBH... I'd be happy.

13th July 2006 @ 12:53:23 GMT

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