Year 5, Day 35: some hysteria from Muse’s chart-topper, “Absolution”

Year 5, Day 35: Muse – Absolution

173687-absolution

Track List

  1. Intro
  2. Apocalypse Please
  3. Time Is Running Out
  4. Sing for Absolution
  5. Stockholm Syndrome
  6. Falling Away With You
  7. Interlude
  8. Hysteria
  9. Blackout
  10. Butterflies and Hurricanes
  11. The Small Print
  12. Endlessly
  13. Thoughts of a Dying Atheist
  14. Rule by Secrecy

About the Album

Absolution is the third studio album from English rock band, Muse. The album was recorded from September 2002 to June 2003 and released on September 15th 2003 in Japan, September 22nd 2002 in the United Kingdom, and March 23rd 2004 in the United States through East West RecordsTaste Media, and Warner Bros. Records. The album peaked at number one on the United Kingdom album charts and 107 on the Billboard 200. The album is certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America in the United States.

Thoughts on the Album

My first time hearing Muse‘s Hysteria, was on the radio. I think it may have been Y-100 before they went off the air or it could’ve been one of the other radio stations that played alternative rock. It’s such a dark an brooding song, a perfect fit on the album it comes from. Absolution was my introduction to Muse. Their sound instantly blew me away with how powerful and catchy the sound was. Absolution is Muse‘s magnum opus; a masterpiece that pulls no punches of subtlety.

The album explodes to live with the second track Apocalypse Please, which follows a brief introduction. Explodes is an understatement, but there is a lack of a better term for it. It enters with crashing piano notes, thunderous drums, and the unmistakable vocals of guitarist and frontman, Matt Bellamy shouting out…

It’s time we saw a miracle… come on, it’s time for something biblical!

The track is years of work that have been refined and mastered into a vivid simplicity of sorts. Every song on the album makes a statement and the statements made are delivered with a sense of urgency. No more noticeable than with Time is Running Out. Time is Running Out is a compelling tune that is made possible by the screeching and shredding riffs of Bellamy’s guitar. The riffs are full and highly/heavily technical… precise instrumentation.

Stockholm Syndrome has arguably the most recognizable guitar riffs of modern day rock and roll. It is a grandiose and audacious track that will take on a trip to space where you can gaze down at Earth from a distant star… all the while a interstellar guitar battle goes on. Hysteria follows in the same mold and formula, especially with the bass lines being heavy on the distortion. It has easily the catchiest guitar work in their entire discography. There is no dead weight with this song, as it lurches into three part harmonic guitar instrumentals.

Whereas the band failed to produce ballads on previous albums, Absolution features some of the best. Ruled by Secrecy is a prime example. Featuring piano noted played in a longing and gorgeous way, it is punctuated by Bellamy’s nearly soprano range falsetto (he’s a tenor). It just builds up to another piano climax that highlights one of y favorite things about the album: the contrast. From the quietest moment on the album to one of the most epic moments on the album. Blackout features a string orchestra that just puts it over the top and makes for an excellent experience.

Conclusion

Absolution was one of the albums that has stayed with me since middle school. Obviously not every track is a great one or an unforgettable one, but by in large, the let downs are few and far between on this album. Tracks like Hysteria, Time is Running Out, and Stockholm Syndrome are unforgettable tracks. At the time, it was Muse‘s most cohesive efforts. Overall it is a fantastic listen that stretches the boundaries of alternative rock.

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