Sound — 9
this album shouldn't really be classed a one genre. Parts are Prog-rock, parts are more pop influenced, some is operatically influenced, and a bit of it is a bit bluesy! It is easier to judge song by song: 01.New Born: the album opener. Starts off quietly with a piano intro, and soobn switches into one of the most epic songs I have ever heard. Heavy distortion in the chorus, catchy bass rhythms in the verse and vocals that make you pick up that air guitar and play along! 02.Bliss: a more pop-influenced number. the piece runs with an digitally augmented arppegio piano/synth which sticks into your mind and doesn't dissappear. Along with a strong bass line, power chords and well-placed dynamics, this song really is, as Matthew has said himself, a 'crowdmover'. 03.Space Dimentia: this is very different. No guitars this time, a piano, bass, drums and a synth is a different lineup of instruments from anything on their previous album. The introduction sets an erie tone, with some incredible piano skills on display. This runs into the aggressive piano riff which powers through the verse, with the synth taking over in the chorus for a softer sound, along with effects on the vocals. 04.Hyper Music: contains one of those incredible riffs that Muse are so good at, this piece is one of the most aggressive they have ever written. Hard and fast describes this piece perfectly. Runs onto Plug-in Baby. 05.Plug-In Baby: this is one of the best songs they have ever written. With one of the most distinctive guitar riffs in existance. Along with a brilliant bassline, a vocal range that runs from an average man's vocal range to some of the highest (but not the very highest! ) vocals you may ever hear from a man. A must learn piece for any guitarists. 06.Citizen Erased: their longest piece ever. His only song in which Matthew uses his 7-string guitar, it is a fantastic mixture of guitar riffs, chord arppegios, synth sound effects and powerful vocals. Worth all 7:19 minutes. 07.Micro Cuts: based on opperatic music, This piece contains Matthew singing a high G#, the highest note he has ever sung in a studio recording (also sung in Showbiz - Showbiz). Very interesting piece. 08.Screenager: mostly acoustic, this piecetakes a number of listens to fully appreciate, and I woundn't say that it was their best. The synth chorus is a highlight, though, and is still a very good piece. 09.Darkshines: uses a MIDI controller for the fake-trumpet solo, This too is a bit unusual. but much better than Screenager, I would say. The crazy piano chords in the pre-chorus are my favourite parts, but the the whole piece is an enjoyable experience. 10.Feeling Good: a cover of a blues classic, this piece is one of the best songs of the album, going for just a keyboard, bass and drums. This is my favourite version of the song, and it is one of very best pieces Muse has ever performed. Really gets you singing along. 11.Megalomania: the only song that uses a church organ - yes, a church organ, and a few unusual techniques in the percussion. No guitars, this song is a fantastic way to end the album, with a climax through the piece. Prompts you to take that 'evil genius' stance during the chorus, especially in the chords opening the chorus. The end just feels extraordinary.
Lyrics — 10
Matthew is a poetic genius. The lyrics have both obvious and hidden, deep meanings which make him a fantastic lyracist. His vocal range is incredible; it rivals the late and great Feddie Mercury! He truely has a way with words. I'm sure every guitarist knows exactly what he means when he sings "My plug-in Baby cricifies my enemies when I'm tired of giving". His lyrics are no dissappointment on this album.
Overall Impression — 10
Out of all of Muse's creations, The Origin Of Symmetry has some of the most varied content they have ever written. It has both the prog-rock with synths you expect from Matthew, Chris and Dom, but it also has some interesting pieces that on a first listen would be a complete surprise. I must admit that it is my favourite Muse album, as it has some of their most epic-sounding masterpieces. If I lost it, would I buy it again? No. I would find who stole it, beat them into a can, and take it back myself. It would be worth it.