Drones by Muse (Album Review)
Muse are one of those modern music entities that just cause internal confusion for me. They have a big sound. They have written and produced some great tracks. However there are times when I just can’t connect, their anthem hits make me feel they sometimes force themselves to be commercial. Yet, those commercial hits are good. It may be in part down to the mad personal views held by their front man. Now that I have revealed my schizophrenic being, its time to introduce Drones the new album by Muse.
Drones have to connotations, boring, rambling and monotonous as in, listen to them drone on. Or the polar opposite technical pieces of kit that help spy and conduct their business well away from the person in control. (Starting to sound the same as the first para) but which end of that spectrum does the new Muse album fall in to?
Now Muse have commercial pedigree, 2nd Law went straight to number one in the album chart, with critics falling over each over to wax lyrical over its composition and the ability to break down traditional barriers of genre. So the bar is set high.
Drones is different to that album and takes another slight shift in style. Utilising some different expertise in the shape of producer Matt Lange. He has managed to bring out hints of old rock like Guns n Roses and Queen as well as lacing it with a bit of a classical feel through the orchestral elements.
Some tracks on the album are exploratory and delve in to well trodden subjects such as relationships, but Muse develop the story telling in their own way. A great example is Dead Inside which talks about somebody being in a relationship yet not being themselves. Slowly they stop who thy are and become Dead Inside. Not sure is this is auto-biographical following the split of Matt Bellamy and Hollywood wife Kate Hudson, but it is a well trodden experience of people in lengthy relationships.
Tracks such as Psycho, attempt to look at every day topics such as being a slave to the day or struggling to achieve that perfect work/life balance. The moody number has a bit of a Depeche Mode feel to it, which isn’t a bad thing. However, I am struggling once more to find Muse’s identity and to understand where they are as a band. Each track you could draw comparisons to somebody else Reapers is Guns n Roses; The Globalist has a Rage Against the Machine feel and so on.
This is typical of Muse as I hinted in the opening. None of the tracks are awful. Most would sit comfortably in a stadium set but none really tell me who Muse is and what they stand for. That is until the closing tracks which explains the title. It explores the sensitive subject of Drone warfare and speaks out against the use of drones in modern conflict. Whilst the track isn’t offensive it does seem a little out of place with the rest of the body of work the album represents.
So sadly, whilst I can’t say there are are any mega hits or equally any stinkers on Drones. Muse just haven’t helped me determine how I feel about them. As such, it leaves me a little underwhelmed and more in the camp of, I can’t really be bothered with them. So for me on the drone spectrum, Drones and Muse sit more firmly on the “droning on end of the spectrum” than the technology. Probably, where they would prefer to sit.