Sound — 10
This album was a shock to me as a whole, neither of the singles interested me at first, madness grew on me and has turned from a dull song to a great song, survival at first I thought was ok, but too cheesy then when I listened to it properly and heard all the harmonies and the choir and the falsettos and everything mixing together now it musically rivals other greats by much like "Exogenesis" and "Citizens Erased" simply because musically it is a work of art. Supremacy is one of Muse's greatest album openers if not the best, definitely up their with new born and take a bow, its Led Zeppelin influenced heavy rock that gives you reminders of "Origin Of Symmetry" and "Absolution" with heavy 7 string riffs, that lead into soft marching drums into double time solo all with immensely powerful Matthew Bellamy signature falsettos that nobody can replicate. The next song is panic station, which is such an over the top song when I first hear it I thought this could be the best or the worst song on the album simply because it is so over the top and un Musey it could be too much, but it has turned out as one of my new favourites, just because of its funky upbeat catchy nature, slap bass mixed with Stevie Wonder style licks make this song epic! Prelude is a symphonic build up to the masterpiece that is survival, not much more to say. Follow me is this slow song at the start that you think may be one of the more subtle songs, then it kicks in and the chorus, OMG the chorus on this song is so amazing haha powerful catchy love this. "Animals", one of the best songs on the album no doubt, changing between a 5/4 to 6/4 to 4/4 time signature constantly, this is another throwback to "Origin", maybe "Screenager"? Epic solos in the middle, purely an outstanding song. "Explorers" is lovely comedown from the hype at the end of animals, a lullaby if you like, another one of the better songs on the album, this build up and layering and texture all adds up to a beautiful song. "Big Freeze" is a U2 inspired song, starts with a Map of the problematique style guitar effect awesome chord changes in this song, and an epic solo, catchy chorus too. "Save Me" is the first of two songs that Chris Wolstenholme wrote for this album, Matt said he chose it because it is so different to anything they have done before, and it is, soft, not building much just a nice chill song, almost acoustic, and Chris' voice is surprisingly soft which adds to the effect. "Liquid State", now this is more like what we would expect from Chris, sounds like some of his Helsinki jam riffs all mixed in, at first I didn't like this, it didn't seem to have a catchy riff, but then you listen and know when its happening as with most songs this grows on you, Chris's better song I think, heavy another 7 string song, almost metal by Muse's standards. "The 2nd Law: Unsustainable", this song has such a movie like intro with a raw anti dubstep section which then mixes with the strings and Matt's amazing vocals to make an amazing song. The best part is all of the guitar was recorded real time and he only used a whammy pedal to make these effects which would usually take a spotty teenager and a mac to do which I respect, also will be amazing live. And finally "Isolated System", this song is probably my least favourite, isn't bad at all, just with a lack of vocals, it is slow and doesn't go anywhere, compared to "Exogenesis" at the end of "The Resistance" and "Knights Of Cydonia" before that this is a bit of a let down, still a great listen though.
Lyrics — 9
The lyrics on this album are way way more personal than muse have ever gone before, telling stories of fights and troubles in relationships love, only similar to that of a few on "Showbiz", still with some political songs like "Animals" and "Supremacy" deep meanings and tell a story as always, Matt's voice has never been better, he hits his highest chest note in madness at the end and one of his highest falsetto notes at the end of survival. Chris' songs are about his trouble with alcoholism and have deep meaning and are sung appropriately as always though Muse have a tendency to use their voice as an instrument instead of a way to tell lyrics, not necessarily a bad thing because of Matt's amazing voice just you can't take in as much from the lyrics.
Overall Impression — 10
Definite buy I'd say, got to number one in no time, I personally bought the box set which has a thermal reactive lid. If I lost this I would buy another one simply because it is on the whole my favourite Muse album. For heavy stuff it would be "Origin" and for rockier stuff it would be "Absolution" but all round this has the best vocal performance, most developed lyrics, most musically advanced songs, and most diverse range of songs, you won't get bored because each song is so different from any other on the album. I thought this album would suck but it has turned out way above all possible expectations, muse have once again pushed it to the limits and pulled it off, hardly anything I would change, I just love this 80's style Queeny U2ey funky heavy metally Zeppeliney mish mash of everything you could ever want from an album.