Muse – Simulation Theory Review
Updated: Dec 15, 2019
After months of awaiting for the release date, today Muse have released their eighth studio album. But is it any good?
The pre-released singles have divided fans like never before. Many expressing their outrage for the change in style, whilst many praising that change is what muse have always done.
However, with the first single ‘Dig Down’ being released on the 18th May last year, fans have been long awaiting for the album to be dropped.
So how does it compare? After listening to the album, Muse have once again explored a new genre of music as they have regularly done across their career. The album features a heavily inspired 80’s sci-fi vibe which can be seen (and heard) from everything to the artwork, videos and of course, most importantly, their music.
Muse – Simulation Theory Alternative Cover
For me, the highlights of the album were; ‘Algorithm’, ‘The Dark Side’, ‘Pressure’, ‘Thought Contagion’, ‘Break it To Me’, ‘Blockades’ and ‘The Void’.
I found Algorithm to be a strong introductory song to the album which really played up on the ‘sci-fi’ theme to the album. Muse are renowned for their powerful album opening songs and Algorithm was no exception. In fact it sounded like it was straight from the Thor: Ragnarok soundtrack. Just me?
I enjoyed The Dark Side from the moment of its release. To me it is quite stripped back simple song, but in a good way. Is it anything remarkable or the best song the band has ever produced? No, but its almost haunting sounding simplicity works with the album. It is catchy which also seems somewhat reminiscent of ‘Black Holes and Revelations’.
Much like The Dark Side, I instantly liked Pressure the moment I first heard it. It is catchy and effectively plays up the synth-rock tone of the album. Once again, is it the best song? Of course not, but to me, this song was a real strength to some of the weaker songs on the album.
When the song was first released, I was not actually the biggest fan of Thought Contagion. However after hearing it again, I have found it is a stripped back song, but plays again on the synth-rock theme. After listening to the album as a whole, I feel it is a good addition to the album.
Break it To Me has that repetitive rhythm, but I feel like this works really well. What if forms is a song that could appeal to a wide audience. It has that synth rock sound and also Halloween vibe. What I feel this creates is a solid and strong song to the album.
I was impressed with Blockades, as it intertwines the retro 80’s tone and Muse’s rock element. To me, it reminded me of a combination of ‘Origin of Symmetry’ combined with ‘The Handler’. I felt this was a strong addition to the second half of the album.
Much like Algorithm, The Void provides a strong ending to the album. Elements of the song actually reminded me of the soundtrack to ‘War of the Worlds’. I appreciated the soft piano in this song which I felt contrasted well with the sci-fi elements to the song. I enjoyed the gradual build up in this song to produce a strong finale to the album, which Muse are fairly known to do, particularly when looking back at ‘Megolamania’ and ‘Knights of Cydonia’. I feel this is by far the best song on the album.
Track ranking: (Worst to best)
Get Up and Fight
The Dark Side
Break it To Me
Overall, I feel like most albums Muse produce, Simulation Theory is different to anything they’ve produced before. Naturally what happens is that some fans may not like it. Although the album does contain some average songs, these are outweighed by the stellar songs to produce an effective nostalgic-feeling and retro theme to the album.
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