Positive Song-By-Song Review of Muse's Simulation Theory

Muse released its newest album, Simulation Theory, this past Friday.  If you've never listened to Muse, here's where to start: The Blergh Guide to Listening to MUSE .  But this new album of theirs is also a good place to start.


This is not a critical, Rolling Stone-style review.  That's what I was originally going to write, but thanks to my teenage angstiness and my history with Muse(read the post above), Muse could probably release an album of them sneezing into a microphone and I would applaud it.  However, I'm not under the influence of starry-eye-syndrome when I say Simulation Theory is good music.  (I just made up starry-eye-syndrome.  That's pretty good.)  It's diverse, fun to listen to, beautiful at times and exhilarating at others.
Instead of a critical analysis of Simulation Theory, this is my experience listening for the first time to the songs as they are in the album.  It's what to expect as you delve in, and it's how to enjoy them to the max.

Algorithm
OOOh I'm so excited.
The opening makes me feel like I'm flying through some interspace flow.  And there's that classic Bellamy piano ricochet.  I feel like I'm hanging out with Grandmaster.
This song is frickin amazing.

The Dark Side
This song is such an anthem.  It would be great to dance to at a party and also to cry like a teenager to.

Pressure
What a powerful riff!  This song is so much fun!
I feel like this would be a fun one to cover.

Propaganda
Muse leaked Propaganda at around two in the morning of the day they released Simulation Theory.  I was asleep, but I must have sensed it somehow because I woke up at around three and couldn't fall back asleep.  However, I haven't heard it until now.
Dang.  This a fabulous one.  This is the kind of song that should play during a photoshoot or fashion show.  It's got that kind of beat.
I would also play it quietly to set the aesthetic for quiet studying or drawing.

Break it to Me
So this is what Muse meant when they said they would be trying out hip-hop.  I'm not sure how I feel about it.  But then, there's Matt's soothing voice through the sharp, biting beat.
There are some songs you don't think much of when you hear them the first time, but then you listen a second time and you're hooked.  I think that will be the case with this one.  I'm liking it more as it goes on.

Something Human
This is one of the singles Muse released a while ago.  It stuck with me the first time I listened.  This is a song to listen to driving on a long road with the windows down and the breeze flowing through your being.
I like the instruments and rhythm of this song.  They're very different from Muse's normal style.  In fact, I don't think I've ever heard Muse do this kind of beat before.  It's so upbeat!

Quick note- the Simulation Theory Full Album on Spotify includes not only the regular songs, but also the bonus versions.

Thought Contagion
I've heard this song so many times on the radio since its release that I didn't even listen to it in full this time.  I don't want to get sick of it from listening to it too many times.  It's such a jam.  I bet the live performance of Thought Contagion is wild.

Get Up and Fight
Whoa, this is so poppy.  But I love it.  Like Something Human, I've never heard Muse do this kind of beat before.
Whatever it is the radio music curators look for, this song has it.  I'm sure of it.  I love the little voice riff underneath the break between the verse lyrics.
Ah yesssss
yess
I like this song

Blockades
Haha so I convinced my mom to buy me Lenny and Larry's Complete Cookie to try and this song was perfect background music for me struggling to open it.
I don't know what this song is about but I'm into it.

Blogger glamour: my desk in my physics class haha

Dig Down
Dig Down has been out the longest.  It was actually released as a single on my last day of my freshman year.  It worked out nicely because on the first day of the year I listened to Butterflies and Hurricanes (to motivate me to "be the best" and "change the world"), and I got to end the year with a Muse song, too.  I also attribute Hurricane Matthew to me starting the year listening to Matthew Bellamy, because my song choices definitely influences global phenomena.
Anywho, the song.  I like it because it's really positive.  Like a lot of songs on this album, I think it would be really fun to play.  The beat is something you can sway to.

The Void
This song starts out soft and spooky, like Matt's confiding something in you.  Then the bass starts to hint at big things to come.  And then things dig deeper.  Oh, it's such a show.  The piano in the background is classic Muse.  This song is like a journey.
It left me craving more, like there was something unanswered in the music.  I could see getting addicted to this song.


In the end, my favorite song from Simulation Theory is Algorithm
For a long time, Muse has been pressured by its fans to return to the "old" Muse, their original melodious prog-rock.  I don't really involve myself in the aggressive Muse fan media- it's about the music, man, not the politics- but I always rolled my eyes when I saw people whine about how Muse should go back to how they were.  You can't expect a band to sound exactly the same for twenty years.  That wouldn't say much about their skill and creativity as musicians.  Intentional or not, Algorithm is Muse's answer to these complaints.  It blends that classic Muse thing(what is it? I can't quite put my finger on it) with new-age techy antics and the result is fantastic music.  This album makes me so happy, y'all.  I'm so happy.



Note: I listened to Simulation Theory on Spotify, after super.emazing kindly reminded me that Spotify existed.  The fullmegasuperduperdeluxe album is on Spotify.  It not only includes the main songs, but also the alternate versions(acoustic/alternate reality?/marching band?).  It also has some songs by techno artists, mainly Blia.  I listened to one of those songs and its pretty much what you would expect a song by something called "Blia" would sound like.  No shade.  My point is, I'm not sure if those are really a part of the album or not.  Anywho, thanks to super.emazing for keeping me in the know.

Tl;dr: Simulation Theory has something for everyone.  I would encourage pretty much anyone who likes any kind of music made between 500 AD and now to give it a listen.  You're bound to find something that plays to you.

World peace and love,

Heather <3

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