My review of the songs on Muse's upcoming Simulation Theory album.
|Muse is my favorite band. For anyone who doesn't know, Muse is an English rock band consisting of lead vocalist and guitarist Matt Bellamy, bassist and backing vocalist Chris Wolstenholme, and drummer and percussionist Dom Howard. Muse was formed in 1994 and are the creators of songs you might have heard of such as Uprising, Hysteria, Starlight and Thought Contagion. I started listening to Muse last year when I heard The Resistance for the first time. So here's a backstory for the Simulation Theory album. In May of 2017, Muse released a single called Dig Down. About 10 months later in February 2018, Muse released another single called Thought Contagion. Around this time they confirmed they had an album planned to release in late 2018 to early 2019. On July 19, 2018, Muse released the next song in the line-up called Something Human, a song apparently about their nearly three years touring and finally returning home and settling down. Finally, only three days ago from me writing this they released the next (and most likely last) entry to the singles saga called The Dark Side. So now I'm going to do an in-depth review of the 4 songs on the album.
Disclaimer: most of this is based on my opinion.
1. Dig Down.
This song was released before I had really gotten into Muse. At this point I had only known The Resistance and Starlight. So when I really got into their music, I discovered they had literally released a song while I was listening to them. So I'm gonna start with some critical reviews before I get to my reviews. Dylan Yadav, an author on the website immortalreviews..com, wrote "Cheesiness and over-dramatic movements are what make Muse so endearing to their fans. Something in their overblown grandness just leads to an epic sound that everyone can love. Things seem to gone a bit too far with this new track of theirs, though, as Muse hit a new level of cheesiness in 'Dig Down.'" He writes that the song quote "doesn't go anywhere" and it's "not something that really defines Muse as a band. I agree with that. It was a weak start to this album. Yadav makes it clear that he doesn't dislike the song, but its just missing a lot that would make it a good song.I think it's a good song. The intro riff with the Kaoss pad (that electronic pad on Matt's guitar) is pretty good and often gets me confused with the intro to Madness. I think the chorus is strong given the heavy theme of the song. If you really look into the lyrics of the song its been thought that it is supposed to resemble suicidal thoughts and trying to encourage that voice that says "even when the times are darkest, you can always fight it and there is always a way out of it." The line "When the darkness descends and you're told it's the end. You must find a way" should be a kind of given to that. From another opinion, Genius contributor Wrl6199 annotates on the line in the chorus that goes "When you're close to the edge with a gun to your head, You must find a way. The user says "You should not give up for anything. This is a common theme throughout the song meaning that no matter how hard things get you should never kill yourself." I feel like that was handled well as a song. The last 5 or so seconds can get stuck in my head on loop for hours. I have no idea why. All in all I give this a solid 6.5/10
2. Thought Contagion.
I was well into Muse when this song came out. I was so excited when the various teasers were released. It was a Thursday after school when I remembered that Muse just released a new song. I dropped my backpack and ran to my room to listen to this song. Immediately I was blown away by the opening 15 seconds alone. So when I finished the song I was in awe. The more I listened to the song the more I started developing my critiques on it. One thing I thought that was the chorus was kind of underwhelming. That's because there isn't one. There's a pre-refrain and a refrain. Now I'm not surprised that the refrains are the same, that's not uncommon in Muse, but the actual refrain is very short and very underwhelming. Can you guess what the refrain is? "Thought Contagion. Thought Contagion". That's it. The pre-refrain is slightly more interesting. "You've been bitten by a true believer. You've been bitten by someone who's hungrier than you. You've been bitten by a true believer. You've been bitten by someone's false beliefs." Something else in the song is that there are subliminal references to Nazism. When it says "brace for the final solution", its referencing what the Nazis would call the mass execution of the Jewish solution. A much more light hearted hidden message in the song is that Matt Bellamy said the song is about memes and meme culture and how something can go viral. Literally. Writers Braudie Blais-Billie and Amy Phillips on the website Pitchfork write "During an interview with Mac, the band said the song was inspired by Richard Dawkins and the concept of memes." Overall I give this song an 8/10
3. Something Human.
I over-analysed the ever loving crap out of this song when I listened to it. So I saw a YouTube video uploaded by YouTube user Bauer Danov which was of Matt playing the acoustic guitar and singing the song. I immediately clicked off to avoid spoiling the song until it was released on iTunes. So I heard the part where Matt says "this is the first song I wrote after the Drones tour". So when I first heard the pre-chorus lines "Oh, oh, oh, ten thousand miles left on the road. Oh, oh, oh, five-hundred hours 'till I am home" I immediately put two and two together that this was a song, as I said earlier, is a song about their almost three years on the Drones tour and returning home and settling down. So when I saw Matt playing the acoustic guitar I wasn't actually expecting the song to be made with the acoustic guitar. And I'd say the combination of the acoustic and whatever synthesizers they used was actually really well. I'd constantly been trying to pair a theme when I heard Dig Down & Thought Contagion since every Muse album has a theme and I settled on a retro theme but when Something Human came out and it was about spending years on the road and finally coming home I was confused. I think I would compare this song to something like a combination of Invincible and Soldier's Poem. I would rate this song a 7/10.
4. The Dark Side
This song came out three days ago. For me and a lot of other people it came out of nowhere and just dropped on our heads. I love how the song wastes absolutely no time in getting into the instrumentals. For my taste in music I like having the songs build up in the instrumentals to the vocals and for me I think you would have to pull it off with the right timing to actually work for me. For a song to just drop the instrumentals you can't just like drop into a chorus right away. The Dark Side pulled that off very well. I haven't listened to it much yet so I'll have a much more in-depth review in the second part of the Simulation Theory review in November. For now, I'm giving the song a solid 8.5/10
I give this song a total 30/40.
Thank you for reading if you've read this all the way. Please leave any tips or opinions in the comments.