Worth the Wait
Nearly four years have passed since Absolution, the third full-length release from Muse. The long wait is happily rewarded with the musical departure and expansion on Black Holes and Revelations. The English musical trio continues their lavish orchestrations combining vocal harmonies and a darker indie rock base with classical piano undertones. “Hoodoo” begins with a Spanish flare, showcased by a solo guitar then vocal-guitar duet. The vocal proclamation perfectly matches the drama, particularly as the piano provides a robust Rachmaninoff entrance. The deviations within the track are quite remarkable; the varying musical styles shift seamlessly.
“Knights of Cydonia” sports the same identifying traits. The mystifying introduction transforms to a bold, dark instrumental vamp. The fast-paced groove is so entrancing, there’s a worry that any verse will ruin it. Contrarily, the tone of the vocals pristinely matches that of the music.
“Supermassive Black Hole” adds a sexy flare to any step; the stiff and more electronic beats create an instant attraction. Bellamy’s high-pitched vocals complete the seduction as he sings, “Oh baby don’t you know I suffer? / Oh baby can you hear me moan?”
Muse maintains the supremacy achieved in the more upbeat tracks with the two slower, ballads. “Soldier’s Poem” features good-ol’-fashioned harmonies defying the glum subject matter. Conversely, the optimism approached in “Invincible” is paired with a slow distortion build and steady artillery-style snare drums.
Black Holes touches on several musical styles, and Muse has perfected the art of orchestration. With such fulfillment it’s easy to make comparisons to other bands, but the more appropriate approach is to file Muse with the innovators, for their sheer excellence is what ties them together.