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Muse Are Furious At You by Brett Jensen


Muse are one of the hottest groups in the world, they just opened for U2, and have a very big new album. Rock NYC contributing writer Brett Jensen reveals all…

Exactly one half of Matthew Bellamy is furious with you.

The Muse front-man simply cannot conceive why you haven’t overthrown your oppressive, alien-denying tyrants yet. According to Mr. Bellamy, the governments of the world have likely conspired within the next decade to instigate an alien invasion. I’m not joking.

Muse’s last two albums, Supermassive Black Hole and the recently released The Uprising have been utterly awash in revolutionary furor. Aliens are out there, your governments are conspiring against you, and only love will prevail. In Supermassive’s “Assassin”, Bellamy lets it be known that he’d be fine if someone killed all the world’s leaders. In “Uprising”, he (along with some very populist chaps yelling “hey” in the background), remind you that the system needs to be destroyed.

So, get to it.

Or wait, is he serious? He seems rather mellow for a person assured of the space-based doom of the planet. Reference any interview with Matt Bellamy, and you’ll see him giggling about all the conspiracy theories that he’s read. He’ll tell you with a knowing grin that it’s all very silly, but that he enjoys reading it very much!

“Very much” enough to write a three part symphony to end The Uprising which deals with Bellamy’s belief in panspermia, and mankind’s need to expel from Earth our “code to the stars”.

So what gives? The music is certainly exciting and beautiful. What are we to take from this?

The Uprising is an outrageous, yet beautiful album. As with any Muse song you’ve ever heard, you will be unable to catch all nuances with one listen. For all the melodrama and pomp, the Devon-based trio has again put together, a gorgeous little package. There’s nothing else in the landscape of music in 2009 to compare the album to. It’s a very standalone and weird work of art. Unfortunately, whether it is “weird” or “art” will depend entirely upon the listener.

A (very, very, very) common criticism of Muse is that they’re bombastically over-the-top. Yes, my good gracious – yes they are! Please take a deep breath, and let me know what gave you the silly idea that maybe they’ve ever pretended not to be. My advice to all who encounter Muse is this: Don’t even attempt to take it seriously. It’s meant to be breath-arresting fun, so just have fun listening to it.

Imagine a movie critic sitting down in front of Star Wars for the first time just to complain that intergalactic space travel isn’t real. (and what’s up with those laser swords!?) We’d all give him a shy smile and admit that we know it isn’t real. We’re there for the fun. Any lessons you pick up along the way should be taken with all the salt in the world.

Muse’s maybe-view of the universe isn’t intended to be certain. Certainty isn’t fun. Uncertainty is the mother of all romance.

Matthew Bellamy plays Rachmaninoff-level piano solos at a rock concert, and guitar enthusiasts will debate his place among the greats of all time. If you want subtlety… leave the Bayeux tapestry, Faberge eggs, tickertape parades, and Muse alone. They are oh-my-god not for you.

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