Muse – Simulation Theory Review

After months of awaiting for the release date, today Muse have released their eighth studio album. But is it any good?

The pre-released singles have divided fans like never before. Many expressing their outrage for the change in style, whilst many praising that change is what muse have always done.

However, with the first single ‘Dig Down’ being released on the 18th May last year, fans have been long awaiting for the album to be dropped.

So how does it compare? After listening to the album, Muse have once again explored a new genre of music as they have regularly done across their career. The album features a heavily inspired 80’s sci-fi vibe which can be seen (and heard) from everything to the artwork, videos and of course, most importantly, their music.

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Muse – Simulation Theory Alternative Cover

For me, the highlights of the album were; ‘Algorithm’, ‘The Dark Side’, ‘Pressure’, ‘Thought Contagion’, ‘Blockades’ and ‘The Void’.

I found Algorithm to be a strong introductory song to the album which really played up on the ‘sci-fi’ theme to the album. In fact it sounded like it was straight from the Thor: Ragnarok soundtrack. Just me?

I enjoyed The Dark Side the moment of its release. To me it is quite stripped back simple song, but in a good way. It is a catchy song which also seems somewhat reminiscent of ‘Black Holes and Revelations’.

Much like The Dark Side, I instantly liked Pressure the moment I first heard it. It is catchy and effectively plays up the synth-rock tone of the album. To me, this song was a real strength to some of the weaker songs on the album.

When the song was first released, I was not actually the biggest fan of Thought Contagion. However after re-hearing it, I have found it is a stripped back song, but plays again on the synth-rock theme. Perhaps it is not the best song Muse has ever produced, but I feel it is a good addition to the album.

I was impressed with Blockades, as it intertwines the retro 80’s tone and Muse’s rock element. To me, it reminded me of a combination of ‘Origin of Symmetry’ combined with ‘The Handler’. I felt this was a strong addition to the second half of the album.

Much like Algorithm, The Void provides a strong ending to the album. Elements of the song actually reminded me of the soundtrack to ‘War of the Worlds’. I appreciated the soft piano in this song which I felt contrasted well with the sci-fi elements to the song. I enjoyed the gradual build up in this song to produce a strong finale to the album, which Muse are fairly known to do, particularly when looking back at ‘Megolamania’ and ‘Knights of Cydonia’.

Overall, I feel like Simulation Theory is a different album, which some fans may not like. Although the album does contain some average songs, these are outweighed by the good songs to produce an effective nostalgic-feeling and retro theme to the album.

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