MUSE

(UNITED KINGDOM)

ABSOLUTION

(2003)
LABEL:

MUSHROOM

GENRE:

ALTERNATIVE ROCK

TAGS:
Easy-Listening, Symphonic, Technical, Theatrical
"A perfect blend of vigorous and direct rock, lyrical grandiloquence and desperate sensitivity, "Absolution" remains one of Muse's most accomplished albums."
CORTO1809 (26.11.2014)  
5/5
(0) opinions (0) comment(s) (1) Biography + (2)
"Showbiz" was the album of the revelation, "Origin Of Simmetry" that of the recognition, "Absolution" is that of the consecration. Consecration of a band who has been able in three albums to polish the rough diamond of its genius to transform it into a jewel shining with a thousand lights. For, if "Absolution" is in the continuity of its two predecessors and takes back all that has made their success, it erases the rough asperities that remained.

The purists will shout at the scandal. Muse is commercial, for the general public, shame on him for aspiring to the recognition of the masses! However, where is it written that Art can only be confidential and reserved for an elite of self-proclaimed aesthetes? What is this curious theorem that would have talent be inversely proportional to popularity, condemning the best to anonymity and consecrating only the mediocre? Muse's skill lies in having found the magic formula that allows them to fill their albums with songs that are just as suitable for FM as for the stage, while maintaining the necessary sophistication to please the most demanding music lovers.

What is this formula? First of all, an incredible charisma that grabs the listener by the gut and never lets him go. The power of the sound, the communicative warmth that emanates from it give the irrepressible desire to shake your head, to stamp your feet, to move your body to the rhythm of the music. Then addictive melodies, easily memorable and whose apparent simplicity seduces the soul and the heart. The rise and fall of arpeggiated chords are now a signature of the band as recognizable as the voice of their singer. This voice, another essential asset, powerful, sensitive, with an impressive range. A key part of the war machine that is Muse, but which does not overshadow the musicians' playing, Dominic Howard's heavy yet delicate drumming, Christopher Wolstenholme's twirling and dynamic bass, Matthew Bellamy's saturated guitar riffs, but also his limpid flights of fancy on piano. Finally, this capacity to diversify his music, changing styles, rhythms, alternating constantly softness and quickness, while keeping a unity to the whole album.

After a short introduction made up of martial drums, we are immediately gripped by the absolute darkness of 'Apocalypse Please' and Bellamy's plaintive voice announcing the end of the world. Time Is Running Out' which follows is not much more cheerful ("I think I'm drowning, asphixiated"). The title which starts in softness goes up in power towards a refrain with a fiendish efficiency. Sing for Absolution' is soft and desperate, shared between the crystalline arpeggios of the piano and the fragile and distant vocal.

The first three tracks, excellent by the way, are all in dark restraint, the fear and the despair replacing the rage and the revolt and it is necessary to wait for 'Stockholm Syndrom' for the band to find the aggressiveness of its previous albums with saturated guitars, raging drums and galloping bass. Falling Away With You' is the semi-acoustic parenthesis to which the band has now got used to throughout its albums.

After a short and dispensable 'Interlude', 'Hysteria' revives the mastered fury of 'Stockholm Syndrom', immediately contrasted by the atmospheric 'Blackout' whose unreal slow theme suspends time for a luminous passage from life to death, at the same time desperately sad and yet soothing. The dynamic 'Butterflies & Hurricanes' only calms down for a short detour into classical music for a Rachmaninov-like piano solo.

If 'The Small Print' and 'Thoughts Of A Dying Atheist' although enjoyable are slightly below, 'Endlessly' finds the empathy of 'Blackout', between pianissimo keyboards loops and minimalist drums, mezzo voce vocals, rapped samples and languid violins. Ruled by Secrecy' closes the album in the same register, without any real explosion, everything being played in the intensity and the dramaturgy.

Although it includes many paroxysmal moments with adrenaline rises and brutal eruptions of rage, 'Absolution' appears more peaceful than its two predecessors and of an absolute darkness. Marrying to perfection vigorous and direct rock, lyrical grandiloquence and desperate sensitivity, it remains one of the most accomplished albums of the band's discography.
- Official website

TRACK LISTING:
01. Intro - 00:22
02. Apocalypse Please - 04:12
03. Time Is Running Out - 03:56
04. Sing for Absolution - 04:54
05. Stockholm Syndrome - 04:58
06. Falling Away with You - 04:40
07. Interlude - 00:37
08. Hysteria - 03:47
09. Blackout - 04:22
10. Butterflies & Hurricanes - 05:01
11. The Small Print - 03:28
12. Endlessly - 03:49
13. Thoughts of a Dying Atheist - 03:11
14. Ruled by Secrecy - 04:54

LINEUP:
Christopher Wolstenholme: Basse / Choeurs
Dominic Howard: Batterie
Matthew Bellamy: Chant / Guitares / Claviers
Audrey Riley: Invité / Arrangement Des Cordes
Paul Reeves: Invité / Choeurs (9,10)
Spectrasonic's Symphony Of Voices: Invité / Choeurs (5,12)
   
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