Sound — 10
When you hear this album for the first, two things can happen to you: you love it or you hate it. The truth is that it depends on what you like about Muse. If at first you only liked heavy stuff like "Hysteria", "Stockohlm Syndrome", "Microcuts" or "Cave" you will probably hate this new album and for you the band has lost its charm. But if you like all of Muse's stuff, even their worst B-side, you'll love it and you can even consider Blackholes & Revelations as the best thing that Muse has done by now. The true point is that Muse have drastically changed their sound and we all could notice that when we first heard Supermassive Blackhole. Let's face it, which one of us didn't get stranged enough with it, and who didn't said "What the f--k!" out loud? Probably none of us. I mean, if you are a true Muse fan you'll find out that Muse is not a standar band that is limited to one specific kind of rock music. They can do anything they want and they have that right since Showbiz. What I'm trying to say is that all of Muse's albums are very different the one from the other. Showbiz is way too different from Origin of Symmetry and this one is very different from Absolution and the first cd of Hullabaloo. So you should not be surprised/angry/panicked with the changes made in Blackholes & Revelations. Even if it's the most radical change that the band has taken, it is the next logical step into Muse's career; you had to see it coming since you first put the Absolution CD in your player. And to say the truth, Muse have conserved most of what distinguished them from the other bands and even better, they've improved and they've become even more versatile, they've learned how to manage the intensity of the album (actually the energy in Blackholes & Revelations increases from song to song; it has a "soft" begining, it takes a rest with "A Soldier's Poem" and it ends with an epic chorus compained with a great riff in "Knights Of Cydonia"). But still throughout the whole album you can find "echoes" from the other albums; riffs like the ones in "Assassin" remind a lot of the ones used in "Stockohlm Syndrome", and that's only one example.
Lyrics — 9
In the lyrics matter, it's the same. They 're not that different, it's just that Matthew Bellamy seems to have left aside the personal topic and started to worry about politics and society. If you make a comparisson between all of Muse's lyrics, this is also "the next logical step". Absolution shyly showed the band's social and political worries, and songs like "Apocalypse Please", "The Small Print" and even older ones like "Citizen Erased", are a living proof of that. The thing is that on this record the political topic is more notorious, but nothing new! And, as usual, Muse has this great synchronicity between what their lyrics say and the music they play, even if now the massive chours is what sounds the most ("Supermassive Blackhole", "Invincible", "Assassin", "Exo-Politics", "City Of Delusion" and of course "Kinghts of Cydonia" are all songs with a chorus that seems to be done by more that only two persons (Chris and Matthew).
Overall Impression — 10
If you want to give it the attention it deserves, Blackholes & Revelations can be your favorite Muse album, but if you prefer to be another one of those psychorigid persons that want it all "as it was always meant to be", you should not even listen to this album. We all Muse fans should comprehend that the band has been changing since they first rehearsed and this new album should not be a surprise 'cause it's not that different from the other ones. Muse has simply grown.