Sound — 7
The Good: - Dubstep-influenced songs are interesting with standard band equipment ("Follow Me", is probably the best Dubstep-Rock crossover). - Use of orchestra still works for the band. - A lot of Muse ballads, which are beautiful pieces of music. - Catchy songs like "Survival", "Madness" get stuck easily in the head. The Bad: - Dubstep. Is this a cry for attention? Every artist is entitled to experiment, but maybe this was too much. That being said, this album might alienate old fans. - A few too many ballads ("Follow Me", "Explorers", "Madness", "Save Me". That's four ballads out of thirteen songs). We want something that explodes like "Stockholm Syndrome" or "Knights Of Cydonia". No song particularly does that, even though there are several intended to ("Supremacy", "Survival", "Panic Station"). - Two tracks devoted to news-like speaking ("The 2nd Law"). Why the hell are these here? An Innovation: - MIDI pad added to the bass guitar, making it a double neck to create the dubstep wubs. Interesting. Sound: - Typical Muse sound with wubs in it. No interesting techniques or solos or any new guitar vibes. A little bit underachieving compared to most Muse songs.
Lyrics — 6
The Good: - Lyrics are well written, easy to follow. Typical of Muse. Definitely geared towards the love song crowd. - Bellamy's singing ability has not fallen off the map at all. Still hits falsetto notes like Freddie Mercury (although Mercury definitely had more flare). - Couple of songs about current financial issues and world issues ("The 2nd Law", "Animals", "Explorers") add interest in lyrical world. - Best Lyrics On The Album: "Panic Station". The Bad: - Why is Chris Wolstenholme singing on "Save Me" and "Liquid State"? You can't replace Bellamy. It just won't do. - Lyrical monotony: The lyrics seem like they are geared to younger fans. Quite boring compared to other lyrics that Muse has produced. - Vocals are largely unmemorable.
Overall Impression — 7
The Good: - Solid Muse tracks in "Survival", "Panic Station", even dubstep tracks "Madness", "Survival". - Bellamy's singing is on par with previous albums. Expect nothing but great falsetto The Bad: - A dubstep inspired album is the band falling for a fad like the Kiss Disco Album. It's okay, but not fantastic. - Why is Chris Wolstenholme singing? Overall: Largely unmemorable album with solid band backing. Not much innovation in terms of music. Typical Muse album. Nothing unusual except the dubstep. Bottom Line: Listen for the singles you want and buy those. The album is nothing to be fanatical about if you're an old fan or if you're a new fan or even a dubstep fan.