On November 9th, Muse released their eighth studio album. Simulation Theory comes in various editions, ranging from 11 to 21 songs in length. It has been three years since the release of Drones, and fans have been eager to find out in which directions their new album will be going. The band teased a few of the songs earlier this year, such as “Something Human” and “Dark Side.” But now we are able to get the full Simulation Theory experience.
Fellow Nerds & Beyond staff writer Finn and I teamed up to tell you what we think about the changes, to give you some of our favorites from the new release, and to provide our review of the album.
1. Favorite Song on the Album:
Finn: “The Dark Side” has been my favorite since the single was released. It has what I believe are [lead singer Matt] Bellamy’s best vocals on the album, and that classic distortion on his voice makes it that much better. The music behind him is floaty and grand, just how I like my Muse songs.
Conny: From the first tease of the song, I really loved “Pressure.” It reminds me of my older favorites like “Bliss” or “Plug In Baby.” It has the drive and buildup I really enjoy in a song, while still showing the way Bellamy uses his voice as an actual instrument. The song is a perfect mix of melodic harmonies and aggressive riffs, which makes it an absolute favorite of mine.
2. Least Favorite Song:
Finn: “Something Human” is not a bad song, but it is my least favorite on the album. The lyrics do not connect with me and I don’t care for the music overall. Bellamy still sounds incredible on it, as usual.
Conny: “Propaganda” had a weird vibe for me at the first listen. It sounds a bit too experimental for me, and I will probably skip it when I listen to the album. It might work well live; sometimes I have to hear the songs performed [live] before I can enjoy them recorded.
3. If you had to describe the album in one word:
4. Song you are looking forward to seeing/hearing live:
Finn: “Pressure” seems like it would be the most fun to see live.
Conny: Really looking forward to the way they are going to perform “Get Up And Fight,” especially considering their latest tours where they have been playing with holograms, screens, and lights.
5. Which song is “classic” Muse?:
Finn: “Blockades.” It reminds me of the overall feel of some older Muse albums, like it could easily have been on Black Holes and Revelations.
Conny: “Dig Down” immediately reminded me of “Madness.”
6. Which is the most innovative?:
Finn: “Pressure,” the version featuring the UCLA Bruins Marching Band. It is quite a different, fun take on the song.
Conny: “Break It To Me,” because it’s tickling my need-for-harmonies senses. It is kind of wrong, but also works because of the different phases in the song.
7. Overall opinion/rating:
Finn: As time goes on, I will be able to fit this somewhere in the list of other Muse albums (definitely above Drones). For now, I will give this a solid 7/10.
Conny: The first listen was definitely a struggle. I was missing a few more solid songs, but I appreciate that the band is trying out new sounds and tries to experiment. My opinion will probably change when I hear the new songs live, but for now I’m also leaning towards 7/10.
Simulation Theory is now out on all big streaming platforms and on CD, Vinyl, and (believe it or not) cassette.