Sound — 5
The sound of "Madness" is a complete departure from anything else Muse has released before. The opening introduces a sample of "m-m-m-m-m-mad-mad-mad" layered over a filtered, squishy sounding electronic loop. As Bellamy's voice comes in, it is more reminiscent of a Queen song or U2. This essentially follows traditional song format going into an outro that just reinforces the U2 comparisons. With "The Resistance" we saw a more prominent move towards a Queen/U2 sound but with this single it is even more pronounced.
Lyrics — 5
The lyrics are a standard Bellamy love laced affair. Bordering on cheesy and uninspired, there is nothing here that stands out. As a singer, Bellamy is already established as having a good voice and in "Madness" he tones back the sometimes overbearing falsetto non-sense with his stronger chest voice.
Overall Impression — 5
It will most likely upset core Muse fans, and also possibly appeal to previous non-Muse fans. As a diehard fan of Muse during their "Origin Of Symmetry" and "Absolution" days, I have to say I am disappointing in what they have released thus far from their new album. Out of their 13 tracks coming out, I can already say I don't enjoy 3 of them which include: "The 2nd Law: Unsustainable", "Survival", and now "Madness". I am open to bands experimenting with new sounds and styles, however I don't believe this to be the Muse I know so well that used to be fusing the likes of Rachmaninoff and Bach with traditional rock.