Sound — 10
I'm not gonna say how much I have been waiting for this album! After 2001s origin of symmetry, people didn't think muse could follow up. However, they not only managed to match their previous effort, but beat it with 2003s Absolution. Once again, Muse have done the impossible and beaten themselves again. This album is superb for many reasons, but mainly because it fits together as a whole. Every song brings something new to the mix, and no song is poor (unlike their previous efforts which had some filler). The music is more subtle, there is less piano here than absolution, more guitar but less distortion, more vocals, thankfully the bass and drums are as good as ever but still some newcomers will be put off by the opener Take A Bow, which, despite being one of the best tracks on the album, is not easy listening. Parts of it sound like Space Dementia from OoS. However, let every track on the album grow on you and you will realise that muse are light years ahead of the opposition for the sheer basic fact that they are the best songwriters of the last 20 years. The guitar is better than before because Bellamy has learned how to use minimalistic riffs (such as invincible) and the odd break, but the song always comes first, and only solos where it suits. Of course, the solos are still as bizarre as ever, but only for the better. Doms drumming has gotten better again- he is brilliant on every song, particulary Starlight and Exo Politics. Chris and his bass really add the feel to each song, and his amazing riffs in Invincible and City of Delusion prove his talent. Some songs on the album have a dark groove that really gets you going, some are simple, short and sweet, and some, of course, are completely off the wall in concept and execution. Someone has to think of a rating system that goes above 10, but for now.
Lyrics — 10
Matts lyrics have changed a bit. Opener Take a Bow may shock some people with its clear political message with little else to interpret, but have no fear, that is not the case with the rest of the album. There are some references to global warming "Glaciers melting in the dead of night", and (as before), some references to breaking away "Stay away from me, make a fortress and shield your beliefs". Bellamy sings "I can't get it right since I met you", presumably talking about his girlfriend. The backing vocals really work and make you wonder why muse havent tried it before. The song where the lyrics really shine is Knights of Cydonia, the album closer. As the guitar subsides and Matt sings "No ones gonna take me alive, the time has come to make things right" and the guitar comes in, you realise his lyrical power and after hearing the album the only reaction you can make is to press the repeat button. Wow indeed.
Overall Impression — 10
This kicks all other music you have heard out the window. July 3 (or July 11, if you live in the USA) should be marked out on your calendar as the day your life will change.