Sound — 9
Most of the songs have catchy opening riffs, fuzzed-out chords and synth backing. The solos rely on elaborate effects and speed to create a smoke and mirrors effect to make them sound sophisticated. The balance between power and melody is always a fine line, but Muse seems to have found a magic formula that avoids the "emo" tag. People compare them to Radiohead, but frankly, Muse has much more of an edge and power, and only the vocals remind me of them.
Lyrics — 8
The lyrics are good. I wouldn't call them great. I just don't think they are very poetic. This is not really a problem; since the music is so good the lyrics just need to "hold the fort" and they do.
Overall Impression — 9
The album is very fuzzy, a la "Siamese Dream" (Smashing Pumpkins) as it opens with the track "New Born." The most memorable riff is from "Plug In Baby." I love the uniqueness of the band; they stray from the beaten path. It's pretty incredible how they created a multi-dimensional sound from a three piece band. The worst part is how short it is (11 tracks). The falsettos on "Citizen Erased" are less than perfect (strangely, the falsettos are better live). I would definetly replace it if it was stolen.