Review: Muse – Drones (UK, 2015)

We’ve been told not to trust mass media (too much) with respect to pretty much everything. Also when it comes to music you shouldn’t trust ‘em either. And this time I brought another evidence to prove it.

As a long-time Muse lover I heard just a couple of songs from their newest album on a (crappy) national radio. What I heard didn’t get me excited at all, so I passed over.
Few days ago I was listening to Origin of Symmetry on my car, I though how in the world that huge power-trio from the UK would have made such a “faux pas”, so I deiced to give Drones a last chance. And the followings are my two cents…

The album starts with the “easier” and foregone songs, which also are the most commercial ones. That’s surely a smart move (business-wise), but it could alienate those listeners who’re looking for the most intriguing tunes.
That being said, the opener Dead Inside is way better than what I got from the radio though. In fact, as it happens usually, it has been violently shortened and this definitely ruined the song.
The other radio-favourite tune, Mercy, sounds quite standard for Muse. Ok, it is a neat and delightful one, but nothing more.
Finally at track 5 the magic begins, and we start to encounter the real meat out of this long-awaited record. Reapers brings fresh air with a cute tapping-legato intro, a captivating verse and a sublime chorus. Everything infused in a ‘80s like setting molested with huge distorted sounds (vocals included) . And The Handler just continues the goodness with a kinda early Muse taste (Be aware you Origin of Symmetry lovers!). After a quick JFK speech let’s encounter the weakness of the album: Defector. The melody is simply annoying.

But the real milestone of Drones is the epic The Globalist (also the longest one on the entire Muse discography). Eleven minutes shy of all the best this band from UK can give. Ethereal synths, clean guitars intertwining, choirs, vocal melodies and harmonies and THAT bloody build-up. Simply great. Everything with a vague Pink Floyd-ish reminiscence, which is kinda unusual for Bellamy and friends, so good though. And at the end this tune gently flows into the a cappella closure title track. A maze of echoing and operatic voices will guide you towards the real end of Drones. In this surreal atmosphere Drones ends kindly, and despite any comparison with previous Muse’s stuff, it has been able to amuse and entertain me for the last hour.

I can’t hide it, I’m so happy this large act (which I’m quite bonded to) is not dead, but yet alive and kicking!
Again we’re not at the splendour of Origin of Symmetry or The Resistance (but yeah, we all know we usually feel more empathy for things we grew up with) but damn yes, they crafted another stunning as well as enjoyable piece of music. Period!

Label: Warner Bros
Websites: Facebook  | Website
Release Date: 8th June 2015
Reviewed by Teo

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About Matteo "Teo" Gruppi 120 Articles
TSL co-founder, co-owner, editor, CEO, reviewer, interviewer and writer. Basically I do a lot of stuff and I can’t get anything done well. I was born in 1991 and started loving music since 1981. Got my very first band in high school and now I play as a lonely dumbass in 3 projects: Chiral, Il Vuoto and |||. I listen to every kind of music as long as it is good and intense. Favourite genres include: everything as long as it’s good! (but also folk, black metal, 70-80’s rock and post-rock).

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