Origin Of Symmetry review by Muse

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  • Released: Jun 18, 2001
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 10
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.6 (215 votes)
Muse: Origin Of Symmetry

Sound — 9
"Origin Of Symmetry" was the make or break point for Muse. They'd just released their first album, a great, severly underrated piece of work. The only problem was that it was to eclectic. They were simply impossible to pin down into any genre. And so with this album, they knew they'd have to get in line and adhere to some kind of structure.

But instead they did something spectacular. They invented their own genre. With "Origin", all the songs have the same feel of grandeur, of epicness, but none fit into any of the rock genres I can list.

01. "New Born" - A great start. Echoey, serene piano intro which kicks in to a face melting riff. Good strong bassline, massive chorus and a pretty strong solo. Outro riff same as intro, but it feels more suited there. A great song, but much better live.

02. "Bliss" - Here Muse introduce what is to become a staple of their tracks - the arpeggiated synth. It plays all the way through, but is a definite boost to the song, giving it another layer of epicness. Amazing chorus.

03. "Space Dementia" - Matt introduces his mind-blowing piano skills here to great effect. Notable Rachmaninov influence in the verse structure, but an unusually quiet chorus. Bat-shit insane outro of random improv.

04. "Hyper Music" - Muse here with a standard hard rock song. Short, sweet and to the point, with a powerful chorus and kick-ass riff.

05. "Plug In Baby" - A riff can repeat in your head for days on end and be welcome there, it is one of the greats. Standard rock-y chorus.

06. "Citizen Erased" - An epic. THE Epic. "Citizen Erased" captures every element of Muse in one 7 minute brilliance-a-thon. Powerful, heavy riff, amazing chorus, quiet interlude, random solo, beautiful piano outro. A tour de force.

07. "Micro Cuts" - A great track. Matt showcases his haunting falsetto vocals over quiet verses and sludgy powerful choruses. Rocking outro, with one of Muse's great riffs.

08. "Screenager" - Some great spanish-tinged guitar on this track, and a hauntingly beautiful chorus with those same arpeggios. A great quiet moment.

09. "Darkshines" - Another underrated track. Latin tinged verses with lovely bass, heavy distorted chorus, and a great faux brass solo.

10. "Feeling Good" - A great cover of the amazing Nina Simone track. A sing-a-long song with a great rock edge, and a creative verse sung through a megaphone.

11. "Megalomania" - Great way to end a track. Recorded on a pipe organ, with almost circus style verses, amazing choruses and an epic outro, with the chord at the end ending the album on a high.

Lyrics — 10
Matthew Bellamy, the driving force of creativity, manages to write meaningful lyrics about even the most usual song topics such as love. With the powerful anti-government anthem that is "New Born", to the quiet love lyrics of "Screenager", to the angry, negative almost anti-religion lyrics of "Hyper Music", Muse can cover a wide variety of different subjects in their songs. Matt's beautiful voice can song hard and soft, high and low, so there is really no problem with the musicality of the vocals fitting the songs. A great writer, Matt could probably fit anything to anything. Superb from the boys.

Overall Impression — 9
I was wondering whether I'd truly like Muse after "Showbiz". It had some great tracks, but it didn't really keep the energy going all the way through, and then there were the Radiohead comparisons that have since plauged the band. "Origin Of Symmetry" is so great that I'm surprised that people didn't realise how much it kicked those comparisons in the face with a steel-toed boot. "Origin" keeps the energy flowing all the way through, with every track having something different to love. Every time I listen to it, I find something new to love about one of the tracks. It is a near perfect album. My only problem with it is that Muse peaked too soon with it. It was such a great album that they could never write anything as good. And they never have.

8 comments sorted by best / new / date

    StratMaster101 wrote: What a loser you are Sinder Velvin. Go rate a freakin Radiohead album. I like Radiohead as well as Muse, but I don't go bashing other bands. Unless it's like Mushroomhead or Slayer...
    Hey Slayer have some good stuff. I'm not a huge Muse fan, their last two almums have put me off them but this album is good, easily their best.
    best album. new born-great entry! matt, dom, and chris are very talented
    ^ true. Most reviews of Muse albums are shit, people just see Muse's name on the cover and go OMFG 10/10. Great album, but not a 10/10 perfect one. Why is this suddenly back on the UG front page?
    Are there still people reviewing this album.. I mean... it's been a while now.
    I honestly couldn't find any flaws with thisn album. Like Muse's other albums it is good in so many ways.
    I completely agree with Muse reaching its peak too soon. This album is something extraterrestrial, from the outer space. Desperation, nerve, corruption are the words associated with it. Matt Bellamy's performance can never be greater equally as a composer as a piano player and as a singer. Hysterical exhaustion of his voice is so deeply moving that it makes the soul cry along with him. origin of Symmetry contains everything that I adore about Muse. This is the real Muse. Luckily, they still perform those songs, even though much worse than they used to.