Muse are one of the world’s best live bands but their albums leave us a little unmoved; they all sound like Muse. Whatever the varying degrees of theatricality, campness or volume it’s still just Muse.
Feel free to disagree. We know that sounds a bit like the Labour activist who complained to us when the Tories changed leader: “The Conservatives have just replaced one Tory with another,” but you know what we mean.
This, their ninth album, is about a man (or a populace) rebelling against the world in which he/they live(s). A decade ago we would have referenced George Orwell and 1984 but now it’s Liz Truss and the Government that has cracked down on dissent, deports refugees to Rwanda and rewards its cronies.
The trouble is that Will of the People is less Enter Shikari, who make genuinely angry music, and more Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds, kind of “The Martians are coming but here’s a catchy song as they fry your eyeballs with their death-ray”.
Will of the People opens with a glam-era sound and stomping, shouting a protest, although the riffs are good. Lyrically, it sounds better than it actually makes sense. In one line the crowd will “Free your sons and daughters” in the next it’s “Throw the baby out with the bathwater”… so is the baby a son or daughter or not?
Compliance switches sides, speaking for the oppressor, while The Liberation is a musical twist on We Are The Champions. After Won’t Stand Down, the revolution makes way for more routine fare.
You Make Me Feel Like It’s Halloween has a stonking guitar break that will sound great live, and comes complete with a nod to Vincent Price and the end of Thriller. Verona is a bit U2, Euphoria borrows from Giorgio Moroder and an old Muse chorus.
We Are F—ing F–ed closes, a sentiment one can only agree with, is as its titular summation of its subject matter suggests, about climate change.
World class musicians, witty lyrics, plenty of pop culture references, will sound great live … but just another Muse album and probably not one of the best.
Protest over here
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