Okay, anyone who knows me will seriously think this was rigged, but I put my hand on my heart and swear I did not cheat.
An ‘in my top-five favourite albums of all time’ album was chosen on the blind scroll in my phone, and boy was I happy to “have to” listen to Black Holes and Revelations by Muse for this incarnation of Bathtub Beats, following the previous offerings being just so-la-la.
Woo hoo! Muse! I’ve seen them live about eight times I think, and will be seeing them again in July when they play at the Gurten Festival in Bern. Leo bought us tickets to the VIP area for my birthday, yeah baby!
Black Holes and Revelations, released in 2006, is the multi-award winning fourth studio album from the English trio, which formed in the early 90s. Matt Bellamy, lead singer (and former fiance of actress Kate Hudson which I find quite odd), is a classically trained pianist who joined a band set up by drummer Dominic Howard. Needing a bass guitarist, they approached another band’s drummer, Chris Wolstenholme, who taught himself the bass in order to be part of the group. Bet he’s chuffed he made that decision!
Muse has always mixed up themes on their albums. As Wikipedia says, “Like their two previous albums, Black Holes and Revelations has political and science-fiction undertones, with the lyrics covering topics as varied as political corruption, alien invasion, revolution and New World Order conspiracies as well as more conventional love songs.” I couldn’t have written it better if I’d tried.
From the moment “Take A Bow” starts, Muse sets the scene for some serious anthemic/symphonic rock, which often sparks connections with the band Queen. “Starlight” is another great track, and then it’s my least favourite on the album, “Supermassive Black Hole”. A bit too much weird screaming in the microphone for me, but it was the first single released from the album. For me, others are more worthy, but when they play live they tend to always include it and the crowd always loves it, so that’s obviously my taste shining through more than general consensus.
But it’s worth sitting through, knowing one of my top-10 favourite songs of all time, “Map of the Problematique” is coming up. The wishful “When will this loneliness be over” line gets me every time.
This really is a brilliant album to pretend you’re a drummer. I wish I had a pinkie’s worth of Howard’s skills!
We slide effortlessly through “Soldier’s Poem” with the haunting stripped-back sound of Bellamy’s falsetto voice, down to Track 9, which I had never realised before, until becoming a prune in the bath again, is the beginning of a Mexican/Wild West kind of sound (stay with me here. I’m not talking Mariachi band, but steel guitars, atmosphere and galloping horses) …
Which culminates in THE BEST/CRAZIEST MUSIC VIDEO CONCEPT of … ummm … well … the 2000s? I just love it. There’s a headbanging section that gives “Bohemian Rhapsody” a run for its money too. You might even want to play that section twice (or is that just me?! Listen to it in the dark the second time round). “Knights of Cydonia” must be watched and listed to LOUD if you’ve never heard it before, because this film clip will have you cheering for the goodies, booing the baddies and hoping for a happy ending. And it seriously is the best “end of a live concert” song of all time.
Well, maybe Flaming Lips’ “Do You Realize”, as the confetti and balloons fall down, is up there in that category too, but for totally different reasons.
So, alternative rock lovers, you probably need no introduction to Muse, but for the fresh eyes and ears, I hope you enjoy their sound as much as I do. Be taken on an adventure, with different concepts and themes, different levels of intensity and pace, and one seriously rocking final song. “How can we win, when fools can be kings?”
|1.||“Take a Bow”||4:35|
|3.||“Supermassive Black Hole“||3:29|
|4.||“Map of the Problematique“||4:18|
|9.||“City of Delusion”||4:48|
|11.||“Knights of Cydonia“||6:06|
Wishing you a wonderful day. I’m on a horse (in my head)!