Absolution is renowned for being the Muse album on which Matt Bellamy checks the time and then reads it out to us, and really, who could forget the catchy refrain from "Time Is Running Out": "Hey hey, folks, there isn't much time left", etc. Also some other songs in a maximalist rock opera bubble of solipsism.
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9/10 Nevan Jio Customer review, 14th August 2013
Oh Muse, what are you like. These past few years have been tough for "Real" Muse fans, what with Twilight fandom and Neo EDM Dubsteppers suddenly taking interest in the Devon based Trio. Luckily for us, we can take solace in the fact that their early LP's are still relatively underrated (relatively being a strong word there) much like their towering and all conquering 3rd album: Absolution.
After toying with heavy melodic metal and piano pieces akin to Liberace and Sun Ra having a Jam Session with Metallica, Muse regrouped and matured ridiculously quick for Absolution. Gone almost was the playful racket and live mayhem of Origin of Symmetry/psych mushroom-induced era Muse, instead Matthew Bellamy's songwriting came to the fore while still retaining their bombastic and idiosyncratic nature.
Opener 'Apocalypse Now' was a militaristic piano stomper, a Queen influenced ballad of sorts, but the Queen-isms stopped there as lead single 'Time is Running Out'came next showing off the kinkier and sexier side of Muse. Singles 'Sing for Absolution', 'Stockholm Syndrome' and 'Hysteria' packed out the first half of the LP making it a very accessible opening half hour or so.
Much like Richard D James' attempts to unsettle listeners with his tracklist selection on his early Warp LP's, Muse balanced melodic metal epics with soft, ambient rock excursion sometimes within the same track, like in 'Butterflies and Hurricanes' where crushing choruses and bridges were merged with an orchestral break with the most incredible and complex piano solo ever attempted by a 'Rock' band. It's a wonder how the mainstream ever accepted the oddball trio to be honest.
The LP ends with the Government Bashing ballad 'Ruled by Secrecy' which is my favourite track of the lot. Hearing Bellamy's falsetto restrained to the point where he is whispering is goosebump inducing stuff and again shows his chops as an exceptional piano prodigy; Muse had made their indelible mark on the mainstream.
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- Absolution by Muse
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