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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

resenting feeling like my buttons are being pushed

My problem with MUSE, based solely on partial exposure to "Uprising" (But those are the best kind of belief systems, right? Unexamined, unstudied, and arrived at hurriedly with limited data?):

One would think that "Uprising" would be directly in my wheelhouse. It has a thumping beat, heavy guitar, revolution-lite lyrics. But as yet I've been unable to listen to it all the way through. And I finally figured out why that is. It's because it sounds focus-grouped. It sounds like they grabbed a bunch of disaffected teenagers as they were coming out of Hot Topic, sat them down in a room, and asked them questions like:
1. Would you like a song with a loud, thumping beat, or minimal percussion?
2. Would you like a song with loud, thumping electric guitar, or gentle, folksy acoustic guitar?
3. Do you want to appear mainstream rebellious, or mainstream compliant?
4. How do you feel about The Man?
5. Do you want to be under The Man's thumb? Or would you instead like to stick it to The Man, at least in word, if not action?

Then they got the results, fed them into the Song Generater 2000 and bleep-bloop, it spit out Privileged Teenager Call to Arms, Version 859-a. It's the warlike descendant of "Where Have All the Flowers Gone" and "One Tin Soldier Rides Away."

I'm reserving final judgment for now, but I hope MUSE has something a little more creative to offer. People who know them: are they worth our time?

8 comments:

Claire said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Claire said...

Are you trying to pick a fight? To tell you the truth, I had only listened to one or two of their songs before we went to the concert. That shows you how into them I am. They're OK. Not my favorite band. The concert was fun, though.

Nate said...

I guess I always thought the idea behind rock n' roll was a "loud, thumping beat" with "loud thumping electric guitar" and a rebellious tone that made everyone want to "stick it to the man". Sorry Muse doesn't do it for you...

Layne said...

Whatevs, Nate. They're not even sticking it to The Man. They're totally tools of the system. Maybe. What do I know, I haven't even listened to their music.

Tori said...

Whoa! You read my mind again. Just yesterday I was driving and Muse came on the radio and I thought, "you know, I think I hate this band." I was actually going to post about it but I got distracted by cookies. Story of my life.

And I think you hit the nail on the head - they sound very Let's Do Something Commercially Viable and Pretend We Hate Commercially Viable Music to me.

Layne said...

Tori--HA! That's great. As the wise man says, "The whole thing smacks of effort."

All8 said...

muse? who?

Wait a minute, did Tracy pop?

Bamamoma said...

I'm with ALL8. MUSE is a band that plays music that people generally love but perhaps they are just lame? I guess now that I'm out of the land of only country and gospel-pop, I may have to learn about this thing called rock.