Emenius Sleepus, on april 16, 2004 4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Sound: The first full-length offering from what is probably the best band I've had a chance to hear, brings to us the sound that is now regarded as classic Muse fans came to know and love. This is one band that just can't be pigeon-holed: literally EVERY song is different. You will find classical and tango influences, there's-no-tomorrow monster riffs, ballads, weird sounds a la Tom Morello, piano licks, blues - this album has it all. Backed up by Dominic Howard on drums, and Chris Wolstenholme on bass, this juggernaught will weld itself permanently in your cd player. // 10
Lyrics: Matthew Bellamy - the band's frontman/lead guitarist/singer/piano player/songwriter and musical god and whatever else - I've lost count - addresses maybe familiar themes. But the difference between Bellamy and a lot of typical lyrics about love or death, is that Bellamy's efforts ar far more artistic, deep and clever. The guy's a genius, whether you like him or not. Whatever the topic, the lyrics and the music always go hand-in-hand, and for the debut album this is certainly most impressive. // 10
Overall Impression: As I said earlier on in the review, Muse can't really be pigeonholed. And although some have compared them to Radiohead and the like, once you listen to this record and all the subsequent efforts of theirs, it is obvious they are a unique ensemble. Muse are a tight unit with imaginative and clever songwriting, outstanding musicianship, and a must-own for any music fan. Maybe it's not my favourite album by the band, but when they allow to vote 6, I'll review the rest. Brilliant. // 10
Thepluginbaby, on december 01, 2004 4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Sound: Showbiz is Muse's first album and it is by no means shoddy. The album starts off with a piano riff not that disimilar to that of 'New Born' soon it breaks into a heavy guitar based chorus accompanied by spiralling bass lines and hysterical vocals. It is from this first track that you realise that you are listening to Muse. Next is 'Muscle Museum' which starts with a doning bass line and a simple guitar riff that is just very catchy. Then comes 'Fillip' an underated classic on the album that contains many random guitar noises, it too has a great chorus and a really good bass line. Track 4 is 'Falling Down' this is quite different from anything Muse has done in their later album its quite bluesy in its clean sound. If you have heard anyone shun the band as just a Radiohead clone its probably because they've heard this track. Track 5 sees one of the album's highpoints - 'Cave' it is familiar Muse to anyone: a simple razor sharp guitar riff with a brilliant (again) chorus. It progresses into a eleoquent piano piece before breaking out into a fantastic soaring guitar finale, it really is addictive. After 'Cave' we are left with a Jumangi drum beat that sounds like the apocalypse, the bass line comes in gradually as well as the guitar. This is the albums highpoint 'Showbiz' an undisputed classic. It builds and builds with deconstructed chords before unleashing a suspended riff before dropping (like an atom bomb) into the chorus. Its just a great epic song about breaking free and it is such a progression it demands to be heard on repeat. The album continues with another Radiohead esque song 'Unintended', this is Muse being (dare I say it) romantic it sounds almost medievil. Soon the festivities resume with Bellamy choking his guitar during the intro of 'Uno' another hardcore classic. This is followed by 'Sober', which I first heard on the soundtrack to Gran Turismo 3, it features heavy use of the old phase shifter as well as Bellamy doing fulsatto. The best bit on this song has to be the breakdown just before the end, its just great- sounds like Texas Chainsaw on Speed. Another mellow track starts 'Escape' this starts of nicely enough but soon declines into heavy distortion which again sounds like death, which is a good thing. Following this is 'Overdue' which is similar in its mellow beginnings but it also soars into awesome high distortion riffing. Finally the album closes with 'Hate this And I'll love you' (yeah) Radiohead esque again but definitely on a par. This album sounds awesome and unless you've heard 'Origin of Symmetry' or 'Absolution' (or even 'Hullabaloo') it'll sound really original. However Muse enthusiasts who have not heard it will recognise some differences it doesn't sound as polished its more ravenous. // 10
Lyrics: Matt Bellamy is a god not only can he play guitar unlike anyone else today, he can screech and wail without embarrassing himself. The lyrics on this album aren't as accomplished as later Muse efforts. It reminds me a lot of the first Nirvana album in this way. Songs seem to be about typical Muse related stuff, paranoia, breaking free, frustration and inadaequacy on a cosmic scale. Note track 4 - 'a thousand houses burning down' what does it mean? It probably means something, I just don't know. 'Showbiz' however are great simple lyrics 'Controlling my feelings for too long' it really sounds like Matt is going to explode and he does. With this album it's less what the lyrics are, it's more how they are sung. // 8
Overall Impression: This is Muse's first album and they sound ambitious. Very ambitious, luckily they pull it off with their next three albums. Every Muse fan should own this. Every Britney Spears fan should own this! It's just great inventive music, it has to be listened to quite simply. If it were lost, I would buy it again without question. I would also find that bastard who stole it and slice his throat with something sharp and draw out his entrails and display them around the street. // 10
IRONSABBATHze12, on august 27, 2008 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: Showbiz is Muse's first album. When you first hear this album you know that muse has gotten better since their beginning, and you also realize (after hearing their next works) that muse published this album at the wrong time. Muse probably came into fame with their single Plug in Baby from Origin of symmetry, and with their live performances (Muse is for sure the best live band of the decade and the fifth of all time after The Who, Queen, U2, and Bon Jovi). The problem with this album being published in 1999 was that people where so into cr*p like hip-hop, rap, and techno and rock had not been rescued yet nobody listened much to muse till Origin of Symmetry. Showbiz reached #29 in the charts so it was heard after all yet was unable to find success in the U.S. The album sold 900, 000 copies in U.K and 100, 000 in the U.S.. The singles did not do wrong and unintended even reached #20. Yet I do have to say that if this album would've come out now it would reach #1 easily.
Year Single Chart Position
1999 "Uno" UK Singles Chart 73
1999 "Cave" UK Singles Chart 52
1999 "Muscle Museum" UK Singles Chart 43
2000 "Muscle Museum" UK Singles Chart 25
2000 "Sunburn" UK Singles Chart 22
2000 "Unintended" UK Singles Chart 20
The sound of this album like every other album of muse is great. Since this album you realize that all of Muse's band members would make it to top 100 charts of skills (guitar, bass, and drums). In this album there are a lot of new sounds never heard before and uses this "heavy intro, soft chorus, or soft intro, heavy verse etc. technique showed in songs like fillip, muscle museum, and showbiz". // 9
Lyrics: As any person could realize at soon as they hear muse that the singer skills are awesome it does take a little longer to realize that the lyrics are not superficial (only in Unintended). The lyrics are awesome, for example in showbiz (controlled all my feelings for too long, forcing my darkest souls to unfold) you see that he is talking of anger alienation, despair, and desolation (muse's favourite topics), and in Unintended he is talking of loovee (like any other band), so they are varied. This album only compares to works from artists like Radiohead, Soundgarden, and Nirvana. It also is similar to muse's second album: origin of symmetry. // 10
Overall Impression: This is my overall impression of the songs:
"Sunburn" - my God! Was the first thing I thought when I heard this song, it is clearly of their most beautiful songs and is their best piano song (followed by bliss and new born). The song has great vocals, great drums, and great guitar (in the chorus; or in their guitar version of this song). The song is for sure on the 100 best alternative rock songs and in muse's best 5 songs. Overall rating: 5 out of 5.
"Muscle Museum" - this song is funny. Not in humour but in its structure, it uses the soft intro loud chorus structure which does well in this song, this song also follows well after Sunburn because of its organization, and this song has a great bass. This song is awesome but I do say it is missing a solo. Overall rating: 4.5 out of 5.
"Fillip" - I say this song contrasts well with the first two songs because of its ''loud intro''. I do say however that this song might have too many sounds. The bridge is probably the best part of the song and like muscle museum it is missing a solo. Overall Rating: 4.2 out of 5
"Falling Down" - This song is excellent, it is soothing and has a hippie essence in the psychedelic guitar. Overall Rating: 4.6 out of 5.
"Cave" - the best of this song is definitely not the sound but the lyrics: Leave me alone it's nothing serious. This is indeed one of muse's heaviest songs it still does not cross the border with metal yet is close (somehow similar to Slipknot's Vermillion; disagree with me if you like). Overall rating: 4.5 out of 5.
"Showbiz" - the song that names this album, no wonder why. This song is the greatest song of muse after new born, hysteria, and butterflies and hurricanes. This song features an excellent bass, drums, and guitar. It also features the best vocals in all of Muse's songs. This song however is not the best received along muse's fans and critics. An important remark is the song's solo that is mixed with bellamy's screams and guitar. Overall Rating: 5 out of 5.
"Unintended" - This song has a great guitar and if you were getting tired of cave's, fillip's and showbiz's high voltage rock this is a good relief. However, the lyrics of this song have a lack of imagination but they go well with the song. Overall rating: 4 out of 5.
"Uno" - Muse's first single (didn't do well however). It features the heavy intro and chorus and soft verse technique used in fillip or some later works of muse like Hysteria. Overall rating: 4.5 out of 5
"Sober" - this song is also of Muse's best songs. It features a catchy intro and verse, and a loud chorus. It also is a song with a lot of effects. Overall Rating: 4.8 out of 5.
"Spiral Static" - I can't believe they didn't release this song on the normal version, it is awesome. 4.5 Out of 5
"Escape" - this is probably the second best song of this album, after showbiz or you could even call it a tie with showbiz. This songs features a soft verse and loud chorus, along the song it keeps getting heavier and better. The guitar is the best in this album. Overall rating: 5 out of 5
"Overdue" - this song I personally do not like because of its pop rock technique, yet it is good for a change. Overall rating: 3.5 out of 5.
"Hate This & I'll Love You" - I do have to say that this is the perfect song to close this album (all of Muse's albums have a great closure except for Black holes and Revelations that ends in Knights of Cydonia). It is such a good song and it makes you wish the album wasn't over but it is. Overall impression 5 out of 5. // 10
Stealthbass, on november 04, 2005 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: This is one of their good albums. An ambient alternative album. Not a very hard rock. Both Overdue and Cave are. Very intense and orginal. Starts off as a soft ambient sound and works its way to more hard/medium ambient alternative sound. Has a great mellow melodic sound. Great bass, guitar, drums, piano, lyrics, and sound effects. Ideal for a rock and calm sounding band. // 10
Lyrics: The lyrics are good. Mostly easy. Some harder. But fits the peices and style. The style being mellow melodic. Good soft sound. The singer has very good control and flows evenly and perfectly. Always the in the right style of the music. // 8
Overall Impression: Not there very best but good. This band is very high in status and ability. This is a softer ablum. But this album is still great. Some of the best and most impressive songs: Overdue, Cave, Muscle Museum. There is nothing I hate about this album. I love the flow of the sound and the mellow melodic sound of this album. I would buy this back if lost/stolen. Great overall. // 9
FreeBird101, on april 22, 2006 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: What every guitarist needs good riffs and a crazy range of effects. Very different and has a wide range of songs that involve some easy going stuff like 'Unintended', some piano stuff like 'Sunburn' and some heavier stuff like 'Uno' and 'Cave'. This album has something for everyone. // 10
Lyrics: I don't know how Matt Bellamy does it he can play he guitar with amazing skill but also plays piano amazingly and then on top of this he can sing as well (which is also amazing). His singing is just great he can sing at a range of pitches and it does not make your ears burst his lyrics are also great with some great lines like 'She burns like the sun and I can't look away, she'll burn our horizons make no misake' only Matt Bellamy could come up with genius like that. // 10
Overall Impression: Considering it was their first album I think it is amazing and they only got better in their later albums but if you are a real Muse fan (like me) then you should really get this album it was the start of muse breaking into the music world. You should also buy all their other albums, but to get a better understand of how they started off you should get this album! So that is why I'm giving them 10 all round because I think that the album is pure genius in all aspects and that Matt Bellamy is God. // 10
oddbod92, on january 19, 2007 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: Muse use a great combination of piano and guitar, along with effects etc., in this album, making it great to listen to. The piano is used for 'Sunburn' but a guitar comes in for the chorus, along with bass, making the song varied and very good. This CD ranges from quite rocking songs, such as 'Fillip', to slightly slower less energised songs, such as 'Falling Down'. Not necessarily their best album, but it's still a heck of a lot better than many other albums. // 9
Lyrics: The lyrics on this album are fantastically written and, once again, Muse have created lyrics to suit the mood of the music. There is a slightly strange song, however, 'Cave' in which Matt Bellamy tells us to "come in my cave," a bit strange, but nontheless, a great song. Many people may say that Muse are depressing, but they are certainly not. The most "depressing" song on this album is 'Falling Down' which mentions "5000 houses burning down", but the song has a great little guitar part to it, and it really isn't as depressing as it may seem upon first listen. // 10
Overall Impression: Muse cannot be compared to any other artists as they are so individual, it's just Muse, and nothing but. My favourite songs on this album are: Sunburn, Muscle Museum, Fillip and Uno. These are songs that have been written incredibley well and I never get bored of listening to them, in fact, the whole album never gets boring, unlike most albums. I'd buy this album again because it is so well written and is such a good album, and I love the way that Muse take Matt Bellamy's Piano and Guitar skills and mix them together in one album. // 9
vagelier, on april 07, 2010 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: Showbiz is the debut album of the three alternative rockers named Muse, who are now one of the most powerful and, in my opinion, best progressive musicians out there. Showbiz is full of dynamics, screaming, moaning, far-fetched influences, passion, artistic messages and noise. While it's not very poppy, it still generated a cloud of die-hard Muse-fans which probably lasted until this very day. Let's get started, shall we?
While Muse had already built up a reputation in the "underground" with their dynamical, falsetto and heavy style, their first album was not the least bit disappointing. Most of the tracks are unique and contain some old, some completely new musical ideas and influences. Matthew Bellamy's creepy falsetto-moanings haunt through the CD in a terrifying but awe-inspiring way. The arrangements are simply beautiful, there are a lot of tiny little riffs which keep the songs from boring. Add some amazing cover art, 12 great tracks in the genre of prog-rock and voila, there's Showbiz. // 7
Lyrics: 01. Sunburn: the piano intro with Bellamy's ghastly vocals and burst-out in the chorus, chanting the line "She burns like the sun/And I can't look away", including his excellent arpeggio's turn this into a proper song, and a great opener. It's slightly too boring to call it one of the peaks though. 3/5
02. Muscle Museum: the vague bass and disturbingly implacable riff kick off this alternative masterpiece. Muse are both thought-through and blind power here, the name of the song being the words before and after the word "Muse" in a dictionary. The pre-chorus with the short guitar solos and the amazing chorus - again with the same melody but that's not a problem at all - are simply brilliant. In the second verse Bellamy's short guitar riffs are also those kind of small details that make these songs worth your while. Needless to say, the song ends in an immense musical eruption of Arpeggio's, raw sneering guitars and kicking bass. Probably the best song off the album. 5/5
03. Filip: though the intro might seem slightly unoriginal, the softer verses with great lines such as "its scent has been blowing in my direction" and the heavy chorus make this a solid song. 3.5/5
04. Falling Down: Muse's beautiful soft-ballad. This one is simply breathtaking. Again, Bellamy's amazing arpeggio's turn this into an epic build-up and here, before the middle of the album, there is some calmness in it which was just about necessary after 3 extremely loud and dynamical tracks. Yet it builds up into one climax, with Bellamy's screaming voice giving you goosebumps all over your body. Excellent choice of placement and a tremendous song. 4.5/5
05. Cave: the anxious-intro and the cynical lines of "Leave me alone it's nothing serious/I'll do it myself it's got nothing to do with you" set the mood for this song. My guess would be that it's about self-isolation. Another really great song. 3.5/5
6. Showbiz: the title track and another one of the pinnacles of this amazing album. This piece is alternatively structured and builds up the tension for about 3 minutes before there is an enormous breakdown. "Controlling my feelings for too long" and "Pushing us into self-destruction" are those kind of lyrics that will make you feel horrified but will keep you listening. And that happens with Showbiz. Ergo, another highlight. 4.5/5
07. Unintended: the 2nd delicate ballad on the record, slightly more soft than Falling Down. Needless to say, it includes dazzling melodies and graceful chord sequences. Muse again show that they are capable of more than just rocking out hard. "You could be my unintended choice/To live my life extended/You could be the one I'll always love". Utterly astounding. 4.5/5
08. Uno: this is another excellent song. The intro of sneering electric guitars but then the sudden verses with are more soft and beautiful and yet again the explosion of the choruses. Maybe a but too much of a standard Muse song, it's great nonetheless. 3.5/5
09. Sober: with the pop-rockish intro and the choruses this appears to be quite similar to the other songs. But the marvellous bridge make this song still an well-formed track. 3/5
10. Escape: the queen-esque vocal harmonies and yet the loud and hard interludes are a combination of Muse's talent to make loud, catchy riffs and beautiful melodies. Well done, Matthew. 4.5/5
11. Overdue: the intro & verse riffs are actually relly good. And the rhythm of the pre-chorus is also excellent. The chorus is slightly too boring after listening to 10 songs alike it, but it still is a proper track. 3/5
12. Hate This & I'll Love You: the end of the album which is 5 minutes in length is again pretty good. Not a standout track though. 3/5
The standout tracks must be Muscle Museum, Showbiz, Falling Down, Unintended and Escape. The lyrics are superb and fit the genre perfectly, and no-one can argue the vocal capabilities of Matthew Bellamy. // 9
Overall Impression: Muse's Showbiz is a combination of a lot of different styles. The negative of this otherwise ideal CD are that the songs are slightly too similar and boring. Yet it shows us that Muse are capable of a lot and definitely for a dbut, it's a brilliant effort. Seeing how Muse have developed after Showbiz it's a must-have to any Muse-fan or prog-rocker and it shows a clear image of their development through the past decade. If it were stolen, I'd definetely buy it again, even if only to have my Muse-discography remain complete. Though the coming albums - Origin of Symmetry, Absolution and Black Holes & Revelations - are of a much more refined quality, Showbiz shouldn't be overlooked and is an exquisite debut to the Teighnmouth Trio. // 8