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Album Review
Muse - Blackholes and Revelations Album Cover

Muse - Blackholes and Revelations

Reviewed by
8.9
This review was written by an AP.net staff member.
MUSE - Blackholes and Revelations

Since the release of their debut album, Muse has been viewed by many as Radiohead Jr. Sharing similar vocal techniques and overall sound, Muse didn’t receive very much exposure in the United States until the release of Absolution in 2003. The album received critical acclaim, yet the band was still seen as the poor man’s Radiohead. Now, with their 4th studio album, Blackholes and Revelations, Muse look to distance themselves from the Radiohead comparisons by adding a few new tricks to their huge arena rock sound. Produced by Rich Costey, (who also produced Absolution), Blackholes is an eleven track opus that balances the peaks and valleys very nicely, forming the album is a very smooth and atmospheric listening experience.

The album begins with a pulsating electric tone and a subtle bass note as Matt Bellamy’s voice starts very low and slowly rises and crescendos with the beat until that pulsating beat turns into a full-on assault of your ears. The jagged guitar riff from Bellamy along with Dominic Howard’s staggered drumming sets the pace for the rest of the track, as it continues to rise to arena rock standards. The next track, “Starlight,” takes the pace down a notch, instead incorporating a dancey synth chord with Chris Wolstenholme’s steady bass line. The song has a very new-wave feel to it. “Supermassive Black Hole” will make longtime fans do a double take upon first listen, as Muse tries out a bit of glam-rock. Bellamy’s silky falsetto carries this song. “Map Of The Problematique” changes the direction of the album, taking a turn into the industrial sound. Again, Howard’s tight drumming sets the tempo just right as Bellamy’s guitar jots up and down throughout. “Soldier’s Poem” takes the album into another valley, as this 2 minute ballad follows a simple guitar pluck and the band use group vocals in a way reminiscent to Queen. Muse keeps the pace down with the gentle “Invincible,” which features a steady marching drumbeat. After that break in rhythm, Bellamy and company finally amped it up again with the stadium-rocker, “Assassin,” as Bellamy’s guitar pierce through the thick bass of Wolstenholme, as this track is certain to get you moving. Muse again tampers into the dance craze, this time with the tango-tinged “City Of Delusion,” a track brings out the guitar and strings in full force and Bellamy’s voice balances between a commanding baritone and his shrieking tenor. The album closes with the epic “Knights Of Cydonia,” a track that darts from fuzzy guitar riffs to a galloping drum beat. This track is a great showcase of how talented this trio is at their instruments. After 2 minutes, Bellamy’s steady voice enters and the electronic effects add another dimension to this track. The second verse again channels Queen, as the backup vocals from Howard and Wolstenholme crescendo along with Bellamy’s voice, followed by a roaring guitar solo. “Knights” is one of the best songs Muse has ever written and it’s an exhilarating finish to this grandiose album.

After listening to this album, one can tell that Muse have shed the tag of being Radiohead’s little brother, as they do a fine job of incorporating different techniques and genres into their already explosive rock noise. Blackholes and Revelations is a beautiful album, as it perfectly positions the peaks and valleys of each track. They know when to bring it down a bit, as shown in “Soldier’s Poem,” as well as when to kick it up a notch, evident in “Assassin.” Muse does not dwell on one sound for very long, as they change up pitch, signatures, and tempos often. The only question that remains is, is this Muse’s best work? It’s hard to say after only a handful of listens, but I feel that Muse has raised the bar. Blackholes and Revelations is a brilliant piece of work, and should be a staple in many lists at the end of the year. Get out of your Blackhole and put this album at the top of your “must-buy” list.

Additional InformationTracklisting:
1. Take A Bow
2. Starlight
3. Supermassive Black Hole
4. Map Of The Probelmatique
5. Soldier's Poem
6. Invincible
7. Assassin
8. Exo-Politics
9. City Of Delusion
10. Hoodoo
11. Knights Of Cydonia
Produced by: Rich Costey

Muse are:
Matt Bellamy - vocals/guitar
Chris Wolstenholme - bass
Dominic Howard - drums

Release Date: July 11, 2006
Record Label: Warner Brothers

Official Website;Official Myspace
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 69
07:38 PM on 07/18/06
#2
jaimej
too caught up in the beautiful
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Very impressive DrewB. <3
07:40 PM on 07/18/06
#3
Tony Pascarella
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Originally Posted by Drew Beringer
and should be a staple in many lists at the end of the year
Is that a hint, Drewbie?

AOTY!

Just kidding; good review, man.
07:42 PM on 07/18/06
#4
Drew Beringer
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Originally Posted by Tony Pascarella
Is that a hint, Drewbie?

AOTY!

Just kidding; good review, man.
It's a guarantee in every review thread of mine these days, I'm used to it.
07:43 PM on 07/18/06
#5
moises_naruto
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you suck at writing reviews... enough said
07:44 PM on 07/18/06
#6
Steve Henderson
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Well-written review, but personally, this album piles it on way too thick for me. I feel like they are going so far out of their ways to mind-fuck me with all the shit going on with each track that it is almost hard to focus on the music.

Absolution >>>>>>>> Black Holes if you ask me :shrugs:

PS - Thanks for taking the review from me! I just said all I have to say about the record in that one post.
07:45 PM on 07/18/06
#7
Steve Henderson
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Originally Posted by moises_naruto
you suck at writing reviews... enough said
Some assholes might elaborate on a claim like that.
07:45 PM on 07/18/06
#8
underthetalking
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I need to pick this up now. Absolution and Origin of Symmetry are both fucking amazing.
07:45 PM on 07/18/06
#9
Drew Beringer
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Originally Posted by moises_naruto
you suck at writing reviews... enough said
hah thanks,
07:46 PM on 07/18/06
zeketheplmbr
erection selection
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Originally Posted by moises_naruto
you suck at writing reviews... enough said

Take it easy prick.
07:51 PM on 07/18/06
jonbolden
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Quote:
you suck at writing reviews... enough said

if you don't have any constructive conversation, please don't take up space.


An interesting review. I don't know much about the band's history and it was nice to have it wrapped up. Personally I would like to see them get away from their predictable intervals in the chord progression. Although they are catchy and very epic sounding, I sort of want to see them expand their overrall tone. I agree that they really keep stepping into their own corner, but I think it's just that-- a corner. Still a great sounding recording with monster sound. I don't mind all the extra stuff too, but I think someday they will pull it all together and really take that extra step into something truely original.
08:03 PM on 07/18/06
CROMagnon
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i wholeheartedly agree, although you will probably abandon this view in a week ;)
08:06 PM on 07/18/06
thexflamesxburn
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Originally Posted by moises_naruto
you suck at writing reviews... enough said
i thought it was good.
08:08 PM on 07/18/06
zeketheplmbr
erection selection
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I think this is a great album.
08:19 PM on 07/18/06
dontgrabtindy
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this album is fantastic, and they are 204294204 times greated live, best live act out there

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