Sound — 10
Well, it's been a long, long three years. What have Muse been upto in that time? A lot, surprisingly. Well, touring a lot. For the few of us at Earls Court, we've heard parts of Take A Bow. For the few of us in Italy recently, we've heard various songs, namely a lot of the new album. But what about the rest? Muse were playing a few songs in 2005, but with a much rawer, heavier sound than found on the album. Muse decided to take a step back, in terms of the darkness found on Absolution, and then a step right, and then another step, and so on. You get the idea. The result is a musical blend of songs. We have spanish guitar (Hoodoo, City Of Delusion, Knights Of Cydonia), we have piano ballads (Take A Bow, A Soldier's Poem and Starlight kinda), and we have unusual songs that might have fitted into other bands repertoire, (Map Of The Problematique, which seems to be Muse melded with Depeche Mode, and Supermassive Black Hole), and we seem to have classic Muse (Map again, KOC again, and Invincible). Taking just one track, Invincible, this seems to showcase what Muse do best. They use bass, drums, lyrics, vocals, synth and guitar to amazing effect. And, to use a pun, together, they're invincible. Yes, shoot me if you want to. I still say that the album is an awesome blend, and yes, even SMBH fits on nicely. And there's UFO noises on the album. How cool is that?
Lyrics — 10
The lyrics are a change from the first two Muse albums, but some of the lyrics could have come from Absolution. And some lyrics have changed. This album is more politically themed, "During the struggle, they will pull us down, but please, please let's use this chance to turn things around" as an example from Invincible. "There's no justice in this world and there never was." from A Soldier's Poem. Actually, the second half of the album, and I use second half to describe everything from ASP to describe the second half as politically themed. Assassin especially. Matt uses his normal range of voice, i.e. falsetto squawks, normal singing, and slightly higher pitched singing, throughout the entire album. Knights Of Cydonia showcases his talents especially when performed live as he uses his entire range of vocal talents in it.
Overall Impression — 10
It's easily the best album of the year. All the songs are pretty damn awesome depending on your mood. Especially if you're feeling in a bit of a flamenco mood. If anyone stole this album, I would skin them alive and then chuck them through a jet engine and then reclaim the album. And then destroy their town. Just 'cause this album is that damn good.