Discussion in 'Other Music' started by Reed To Black, Oct 8, 2014.
The music itself? Pretty cool. The lyrics and political commentary? Dog shit.
As someone who really doesn't care about lyrical content, only about how the vocals go with the music, I think the album is pretty good.
Hopefully the album makes sense when I listen to it for my first time!!!
And look at my thread go! They grow up so fast.
I'm up to reaper and I'm already pretty meh on this album. This is the first Muse album I've had almost zero connection with.
Reapers is good, but to be 5 songs in and that's the first song that really stood out to me isn't a good thing. The vocals are way overdone on some tracks, and as some people have noted some of these lyrics are just god awful.
...and yes I understand the irony of making these comments on a Linkin Park forum.
At least Linkin Park songs are highly enjoyable, man.
The difference, at least to me, is that the LP songs with the worst lyrics have memorable vocal performances and solid melodies. Until It's Gone is the prime example of that. It easily has some of the worst lyrics of just about any Linkin Park song, yet Chester's delivery is incredible. Bellamy tries way too hard to deliver this dramatic performance that it's almost laughable at times. That combined with the poor lyrics makes the vocal aspect of the songs really bad.
This. I miss the old Muse when it didn't feel like they were trying too hard. I've felt this way their last two albums. That they're trying to hard to be some over the top theatrical/politically conscious band, when their old music just felt much more natural and honest.
I was definitely more blown away by The Hunting Party than Drones.
Like others have said, Muse seems to be trying too hard these days. The Handler is an incredible song. Reaper is alright. Psycho, Dead Inside and the rest are all so passable. Mercy and The Globalist are two other decent songs.
This album sounds much better when listening as a whole, which I think was their point given how it's a concept record but still not intriguing enough. Can't believe a track like Dead Inside is topping the rock charts. It's such a mediocre song from a band that can surely do 10x better.
Any idea what's the first week estimate for this album?
I kind of disagree.
I feel songs like Survive and Supremacy(from the 2nd Law) works with the extremely dramatic vocal performance because the songs themselves were a tribute to bands like Queen and the lyrics/instrumentation fitted the mood of the song.
The concept of Drones just doesn't really fit with the temperament Matt Bellamy is portraying with his vocal delivery and lyrics. It's almost like a parody(which some people don't get at all).
With that said, this album isn't as bad lyrically as some people say it is. Don't get me wrong the first half of the record does have some cringeworthy lines but songs like Mercy do have some really solid verses:
"Absent gods and silent tyranny
We're going under, hypnotized by another puppeteer
And tell me why the men in cloaks always have to bring me down
Running from the ghosts and shadows the world just disavows"
The lyrics/political views on this record might seem a bit basic, but at least they fit together and somehow tell a cohesive story that is easy to digest and understand.
I understand why people would dislike the record but I am personally getting some enjoyment out of it.
Favorites: Dead Inside, The Handler(besides the lyrics), Reapers, Aftermath/The Globalist(kind of)/Drones,
Least favorites: Revolt, Psycho, Drill Sergeant.
Definitely a show-off-y album for the band musically and paired with a lot of the songs being super catchy and fun to listen to, I'm enjoying the album a lot now; yet I'm questioning how long it'll take for me to be sick of it, if I do at all. Oh well. For now, Drones is my mother fuckin' jam
Halfway through and this album is good. Some of y'all are trippin'. Sometimes you just need to listen instead of dissecting everything.
Gave the album a full listen and it was nice. Not amazing but definitely not bad. I was hoping for more heaviness, but it was good overall. Not sure anything but psycho will have many repeat listenings for me though.
that fucking last track....i dont think ive heard anything that bad in a long long while.. how can muse release this to the world thinking "yes. these lyrics are great and totally not completely laughable"..like honestly jesus christ
I love seeing the divisiveness of this album. I'm personally really happy with this album front to back, probably the most I've been since Black Holes and Revelations. Not saying The Resistance or 2nd Law were bad, but this definitely hits all the right notes.
And the end track Drones is fucking fabulous. I'm expecting choirs to perform that shit worldwide.
you know honestly if it wasn't for the lyrics it wouldn't be a bad track. i don't think i'd personally enjoy it but i definitely wouldn't hate it enough to post on here about how bad it is. i probably wouldn't even it hate it but....them lyrics. i actually laughed out loud. they're just...so so bad
Maybe it's years of listening to J-Pop and J-Rock, but I've learned to dissociate lyrics from songs. Obviously there are huge exceptions (anything LP I have to pick apart because I'm Minus), but as a whole I just listen to melodies and harmonies in vocals. Otherwise you'd go listen to say, Red Hot Chili Peppers with the song Charlie or Hump De Bump and cringe hard. But lyrics aside, they are fantastic tracks that I'll jam any day of the week.
you see i can't do this. like sure i enjoy some songs with lyrics that i admit are terrible but i couldn't get over these ones. if you luckily can dissociate the lyrics from the songs however, then obviously i see the appeal. as a whole the songs isn't bad at all, it's just that the lyrics completely ruin it for me. each to their own, i guess
Indeed. The song structure and specifics of the song-writing are what interest me now, primarily. Like for example, the entire Queen-esque feel of Revolt makes me happy in so many ways, especially the call-and-response vocals of the chorus. If I were to objectively look at the lyrics, they're certainly not the best, but the overall song is very kick-ass.
John Frusciante formerly of the Chili Peppers did the same thing. He never cared about the lyrics of a song that Kiedis was writing unless he had to write a vocal harmony.
It's probably why I'm okay with a lot of pop songs that most people hate. I have an ear for an infectious melody or vocal delivery than I do the words being spoken.
That's pretty much how I've always listened to music.
I'll do a quick run-down of my thoughts on the album, song-by-song.
Dead Inside - 4/5
I find this an interesting song to start the album with. I think it makes for a decent transition between the past albums of The Resistance and The 2nd Law in that it starts out with a familiar vibe and sound to songs like "Undisclosed Desires" and "Madness." I really love Matt's vocal performance on this one, and I think lyrically it is one of the strongest songs on the record. The brief guitar solo between verses is neat, but I do wish there were more of it (but thankfully the album does not let up on guitar solos and riffs). It made for a good lead-off single, I think.
[Drill Sergeant] + Psycho - 3.5/5
This song has definitely grown on me since it came out, and I like it. I suppose, what bothered me a bit from the beginning was how this song was based around a riff that they've been playing as an outro to "Stockholm Syndrome" for over a decade. Either way, it's a fun riff and they made a pretty decent song out of it. I like the aggressiveness of the song, as cheesy as it sounds at times. There's something neat to me about the outrightness of "I'm gonna make you, I'm gonna break you, I'm gonna make you a fucking psycho," and "Your ass belongs to me now." It's certainly not the best track on the record, but as an introduction to the 'dark forces' that Matt Bellamy has discussed, it's pretty decent. It is a bit repetitive, so I think they could have done more in the way of introducing other riffs. The bridge and escalating guitar could have been a little less mundane, but otherwise I can't complain too much about it.
Mercy - 3/5
I think this song comes too soon in the story. It has grown on me a bit but I am still not its biggest fan. I feel as though it's such an upbeat sounding song to follow up "Psycho." I do like Matt's vocal performance on this, but the song reminds me too much of "Starlight." Lyrically it is not bad, but I am just not in love with this one yet. It's a bit poppy for me, I guess, if that makes sense.
Reapers - 5/5
This is arguably one of the best songs on the album, and this is the song that makes the most sense for having a former AC/DC producer on the album. I love the guitar/bass riffs throughout this song, and lyrically, while not the strongest on the record, is the most straightforward in referring to drones. I love the references to different drone models (e.g. Hellfire, Reaper, Hawk). Much like "Psycho," I enjoy the outrightness of "killed by drones" and "incidentally, electronically erased by your drones." Matt's solo is excellent and quite satisfying. What really makes this song so good, though, is the breakdown at the end. Granted, "Here comes the drones" is a bit cheesy, but I love the eeriness of the breakdown after the upbeat nature of the first four minutes. Great track in my opinion.
The Handler - 5/5
This is another great track, and sounds like it could have come straight off of Absolution. I think the track only falls short in that the way it builds into its main guitar riff after the chorus could be a bit more...I suppose, over the top? However, lyrically, I like this song a lot. "Leave me alone, I must dissociate from you" is just eerily powerful. And I also really think some of the modulations made to Matt's voice at times are neat. The breakdown is really cool, though Matt's solo could have used a bit more variety if I wanted to nitpick. It really harkens back to "Stockholm Syndrome." Otherwise, this is another standout.
[JFK] + Defector - 4/5
The JFK quote used here is brilliant. Matt is absolutely right in how it is still so applicable today in this context. The way it leads in to "Defector" is appropriate. At first, I was turned off by the song, but the guitar riff and solo throughout the song is fun to listen to and surprisingly catchy. I had this song stuck in my head for a long time before "The Globalist" came into my life. This song falls right into place after "The Handler." It has a very Queen-like sound at times, reminding me a bit of "Survival" from the last album. I think lyrically it is not as strong as it could be, but it makes sense for being the major turnaround moment for the protagonist of the story.
Revolt - 2/5
I am just not impressed with this song at all. I understand its place in the story, but it is far too cheesy and annoying. It reminds me of Pink, and I really do not like her music at all. Far too poppy for my taste, and even after a few listens I just can't fall in love with it. But, considering that Muse has had a string of albums with one or two songs that I really just can't like, this just happens to fill that spot for this record. It almost sounds like they're trying to be like The Killers too with the "You can grow!" bits. Just not a fan.
Aftermath - 3/5
I like the eeriness of the intro of this song. It has the feel of a U2 song, like a "Miss Sarajevo" or "One," but darker. The protagonist finds love again, so you can appreciate the sentiment and feel for the lyrics even though they are a bit cheesy as well. This just doesn't sound like a Muse song, which is partially why I like it. I like the bass line underneath it all (Chris just does an ace job on this album as always). The song builds to the end, and I can't think of the musical artist it reminds me of, but you'll know what I'm talking about when you listen to it. It has a soft rock feel to it that is overlaid with Matt's guitar. Not a bad song.
The Globalist - 5/5
This is the second story on the album, as Matt has described, and sort of serves the place of a sequel to "Citizen Erased," which you can hear. It resembles an intro that the band used to do for "Time Is Running Out," and sounds a bit like "Man with the Harmonica" which they've used to bring in "Knights of Cydonia." It has a very western feel to it, but I like it. Interestingly, this seems to be the moment where the protagonist rises up after having risen and overthrown his oppressors and creates his own dictatorship-of-one, throwing his bombs at the world nearly destroying it. This is really explains the guitar and eery backing vocals over it. The middle section of this song is just incredible. Imagine a song that seems to go even further over-the-top than "Knights of Cydonia" did in terms of the western sound. It's enjoyable. I think it falls away a tad bit quickly into a very "United States of Eurasia" / Queen-esque outro, in which this new dictator excuses himself by saying he "just wanted, needed to be loved." It's a powerful song but it's such an interesting second story.
Drones - 5/5
You need to know the lyrics to this song to fully appreciate it. It's really haunting, and has the sound of a Latin prayer. "Killed by drones. My mother, my father, my sister, my brother, killed by drones." It is essentially just the remorse, guilt, the haunting following those who are killed by drones - who will never see justice. "Our lives between your finger and your thumb. Can you feel anything? Are you dead inside? Now you can kill from the safety of your home with drones. Amen." Very powerful but short ending to this album.
I think there's a few big takeaways from this album. I love how conceptually oriented this album is around drones. I know some people are seriously going to be driven crazy by the cheesiness of the lyrics, the over-the-top aspects of Matt's vocals, and the ridiculous amounts of utterances of "drones," but I do think it's a well-written album around a story. I do agree that Matt, lyrically, struggles in some areas on this album. I think this album had the potential to be much better than it is, but with that said it is still pretty decent. "Reapers," "The Handler," and "The Globalist" are the three stand-out tracks on this album - the first two very akin in sound to Muse's Absolution days.
The only issue with this album is that Muse has become very predictable. Song structure throughout this album is very conventional, and Muse uses largely old tricks to make this album (although it's still a good one). The 2nd Law was a great album for Muse because it was so different for them. Every song was very different and experimental. Obviously, the band made it clear they were returning to their roots with this album - but I think they could have exercised some more creativity. "The Globalist" is very much a structured song that takes on older songs. It is basically "Man with the Harmonica" (which they introduce before "Knights of Cydonia" often) + "Assassin" + "United States of Eurasia"/"I Belong To You". The songs that actually stand out in being so different is "Aftermath," which reminds me of U2 more than anything else, and "Drones". However, everything else is very much a recycled version of something they've done before. "Dead Inside" is very much like "Madness." "Psycho" uses an outro to "Stockholm Syndrome" that they've played live for over a decade. "Mercy" sounds like "Starlight." "Reapers" uses is an outro that's been played after "Plug In Baby" live a few times. "The Handler" reminds me of "Stockholm Syndrome," "Fury" (a bonus track / B-Side to Absolution) and "In Your World." "Defector" uses much of the ridiculous vocal harmonies utilized in "Survival" and "United States of Eurasia" (but this is what the band gets for trying to be like Queen sometimes), and so on.
However, that doesn't ruin the album. I think it just hinders it in that the album doesn't surprise you. This is Muse being good old Muse and just sticking to a concept more closely than they've done in the past (their previous albums are more loosely themed). So, this isn't the best Muse album ever - but it's a solid one front to back (save for "Revolt"). I think people should look past the cheesiness of the lyrics at times and think more about the concept - it's quite powerful, I think.
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