Album review: Muse – Drones

Photo: Originsofsymmetry - Reddit

Matthew Bellamy, the lead singer of debatably the greatest rock band of this millennia, has finally escaped his comparison to his “hero” Thom Yorke, in the band’s most unique studio album, ‘The 2nd Law‘. Now, with the release of the 7th studio album ‘Drones‘ the name Matthew Bellamy stands firm and strong on its own.

Matt Bellamy at Musilac 2015. Photo: muse.mu./Hans-Peter van Velthoven
Matt Bellamy at Musilac 2015. Photo: muse.mu./Hans-Peter van Velthoven

The first album single, ‘Psycho‘ was released in May 2015. The song starts with a very emphasised guitar line which brings hard rock back to modern music. However, the song detached itself from the natural known Muse complexity with its simple, drum and bass lines which could be played by beginners of the instrument. Yet, Bellamy, the lead singer and guitarist maintained an original creativity to the song through the vocals and distorted guitar which captivate the audience.

A week later, Muse released their second single, ‘Dead Inside‘. The song creates a sense of refreshment from all the crap in mainstream music these days, as it relates hard rock to modern computerised bands. The contrast between the monophonic drum rhythm and polyphonic backing vocals accompanied by the bass and guitar is an artistic masterpiece unlike ever heard before.

Credits- Warner
Credits- Warner

Dead Inside‘ restored the Muse style of prog/alternative and electro rock, typical in older albums since ‘Showbiz‘ and has a sense of belonging to ‘The Resistance‘ with its resemblance to ‘Undisclosed Desires‘ and ‘Uprising‘. Muse continue to return to their roots with ‘Mercy‘, the third album single, sounding extremely similar to ‘Starlight‘. Similar to ‘Exogenisis: Symphony‘, ‘Drones‘ (the song) tries to imitate classical music, this time tackling the baroque period with typical polyphonic textures and complicated melodic lines without accompaniment.

The hard prog rock heard in ‘Reapers‘, ‘The Handler‘, ‘Defector‘ and ‘[JFK]‘ eventually slows down in ‘Aftermath‘ – a pop-like song with a four chord progression and a catchy chorus.

Reapers lyric video. Photo: Muse/Warner
Reapers lyric video. Photo: Muse/Warner

The most disappointing song in the album ‘Revolt‘ sounds awfully too much like a musical and it is a miracle how it managed to get into the final album. The song is filled with cheesy backing vocals as if been produced by Glee productions.

The Globalist‘ tries to imitate ‘Bohemian Rhapsody‘ and ‘Stairway to Heaven‘ in its structure and rebellious lack of chorus. However it is the most powerful song in the album in terms of delivering a strong message.

Muse at Pinkpop 2015. Photo: 3fm
Muse at Pinkpop 2015. Photo: 3fm

This brings us to the overall meaning of the album which is the most important part. As Bellamy said: ‘To me, drones are metaphorical psychopaths which enable psychopathic behaviour with no recourse. The world is run by drones utilising drones to turn us all into drones. This album explores the journey of a human, from their abandonment and loss of hope, to their indoctrination by the system to be a human drone, to their eventual defection from their oppressors.’ And this message is powerfully and beautifully delivered through this album both through musical and lyrical media. However, even with its intense meaning, and neglecting the musical and melodic ingenuity in this album, the repeated lyrics are somewhat boring. The lyrics are dull and rhymes become redundant and excessively reused. Although many might think that this is a minor detail, for a concept album, lyrical creativity and abstract depth creates the base for the album.

Overall score: 3.5/5

By: Anonymous