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Muse Get Their Claws Out

Door Chief Brody |

For their 9th album, the British trio return to their roots of restless rock on 'Will of the People.'

We don't expect anything from some bands. For many, their career is on automatic pilot, between XXL stadium tours and new albums that are far from convincing in their entirety but contain just enough hits to make the crowd sing... Muse had been at this point for quite some time... until the release of Will of the People, a surprisingly more compact and concise album (their shortest work, at just 37 minutes), even if still grandiloquent in many ways. But above all, it's a darker, rockier and more direct album, inhabited by a kind of "best of" spirit, as if the trio had fun revisiting the different periods of their career through the songs composed for the occasion.

If the background of Will of the People is rather pessimistic (the eternal criticisms of a certain form of authoritarianism, of a world heading straight towards the apocalypse and other themes dear to Matthew Bellamy), the style is both catchy and in-your-face, like the opening single Will of the People whose militant side automatically evokes Marylin Manson's huge The Beautiful People. A promise is a promise: Muse picks here and there from what they know best. Most of the time, it works! We haven't heard a guitar riff as powerful as the one on Kill or be Killed for ages, whose metal edge, tinged with Tom Morello's Whammy pedal, makes the speakers explode from the very first notes. The same goes for Ghosts (How Can I Move On?), a ballad played on the piano by the band's leader, alone, which hints at the desire to find a kind of atmosphere that takes us back to the Muse of almost 20 years prior.

If Muse hasn't gotten rid of the grandiloquent side of certain arrangements, they sure have managed to integrate them better into their songs. An exercise that, for the past ten years, had made their work pretentious and indigestible on more than one occasion. After a synthetic phase that was cruelly lacking in inspiration, the band seems to be leaning in a more "subtle" way towards progressive rock in some aspects, even having fun injecting a little dose of madness thanks to the album's crazy closing We Are Fucking Fucked, on which slight Queen-like reminiscences land during a perfect noisy finale. Not the best album of Muse's entire career, but undoubtedly the most successful for a good fifteen years.



LISTEN TO "WILL OF THE PEOPLE" BY MUSE NOW QOBUZ

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