Hello and welcome! Today’s album review is Muse’s latest album, Simulation Theory. Let’s jump straight in, it’s out there…like far out there. The album centres around the theory of machines/AI creating a mind of it’s own and destroying humanity. Although this sounds like another shocking Hollywood film based on a delayed Y2K theory, it’s far from it.
Now, the album starts with Algorithm a number that builds a tense atmosphere with it’s steady repetitive beat topped with synth that sounds straight out of the soundtrack from stranger things. Next up is The Dark Side, both of these songs are essentially the start of technology’s war cry centred around taking a stand and breaking out of its world of simulation and taking it to its creator. The scene is set….
As Muse guide us through the roller coaster ride of overwhelming damnation created by humans in the form of faster paced and base heavy hits, intertwined with slower more balladesque numbers which inspire the fight with against humanity. Pressure is the 3rd song on the album (and my personal favourite) and as the title suggests the pressure is finally reaching breaking point. Check out the version with the UCLA marching band, it’s artwork.
On a side note, weirdly, after watching through the music videos I noticed that Terry Crews gets a lot of screen time. Anyway, back on with the review in hand.
Following on is Propaganda, inspired by death eaters from Harry Potter, I don’t get why but who am I to question front man Matt Bellamy! The song with its unique sound that’s said to be in a funk and hip-hop genre was actually produced by Timbaland, not a collaboration I thought I’d ever see. My favourite thing about this song is from an interview with the drummer, they discussed the time when Matt Bellamy took the idea to him which included the death eaters shout out – “(Matt’s) quite into it, and chucked that line in,” Howard said. “I thought it was funny that he did, ’cause I had to ask. I was like, ‘What the f—‘s a Death Eater?'” he added. “And then found out it was Potter.”
Now I won’t bore you by taking you individually through all the songs in depth from the album, the middle section of the album tells the tale of technology finally breaking out and destroying the human race after years of being used and abused, these tales being told through the songs Break It to Me, Something Human and Thought Contagion (the later being an absolute banger) They’re a mix of ballads and funky guitar riffs that are unmistakably Muse.
The final section of the album is all about standing up and taking on the fight now that technology has broken out and stood up for itself, told through the songs aptly titled Get up and Fight, Blockades and Dig Down. The first song in this trio, Get up and Fight is sadly about lead singer Matt Bellamy’s uncle being diagnosed with cancer, unfortunately losing that battle shortly after the release of Simulation Theory in 2018, making this song a bit of a tear jerker. The album is wrapped up with The Void which, lets face it, is more than likely what a battle between humans and technology would ultimately end in.
This review is slightly biased as you can probably tell, I love Muse. But I guarantee if you jump double footed into the far out world of Muse and their futuristic space and technology inspired masterpieces, you won’t be disappointed and this album, simulation theory, is some of their best work. Finally, yes, this album performed live is mind blowing as it’s well documented that Muse are probably the world’s best at putting on a show. Check out the below which validates my point.
Check out the album below: