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20 Best Muse Songs - As Voted By You

By Mark Beaumont

Posted on 01 Aug 12

 
 




As Muse prepare to unleash new album 'The 2nd Law', we present the band's 20 finest music moments - as voted for by NME.COM users over the past couple of weeks



  • 20.   Starlight


  • A spangly glam moment from 2006’s ‘Black Holes And Revelations’, ‘Starlight’ was one of the first signs of Muse’s modern gloss edge.


    Photo: Ed Miles/NMEPhoto: Ed Miles/NME



  • 19.   Sing For Absolution


  • Muse’s biggest ballad, ‘Sing For Absolution’ is a hymn to a dying humankind, even though Muse’s own attempts to save the human race amounted to a really expensive video where they blasted off to populate another planet only to crash-land on a desert Earth. Typical.


    Photo: James Looker/NME
    Photo: James Looker/NME



  • 18.   Feeling Good


  • We’d heard Big Band versions before, but never this big. Muse took Nina Simone’s tender soul serenade to a brave new day – a kind of 60s ‘One Day Like This’ - and pumped it so full of preening pomp rock it ended up feeling really quite brilliant.


    Photo: Eva Vermandel/NME
    Photo: Eva Vermandel/NME



  • 17.   Hyper Music


  • An early chunk of Muse funk metal, Chris channels the maniac spirit of Flea, Matt comes over all Hendrix and, somewhere in the flurry of furious fret-mangling, some poor bugger gets dumped: “I don’t want you and I never did…


    Photo: Dean Chalkley/NME
    Photo: Dean Chalkley/NME



  • 16.   Supermassive Black Hole


  • Having shifted the recording of ‘Black Holes And Revelations’ from Chateau Miraval in rural France to clubland Manhattan, Muse caught the disco bug in time to make ‘Supermassive Black Hole’ sound like Prince joining Crystal Castles.


    Photo: Andy Willsher/NME
    Photo: Andy Willsher/NME



  • 15.   Dead Star


  • A between-album single recorded live on 2002’s ‘Hullabaloo Souundtrack’ album, ‘Dead Star’ is Muse in full-on metal mode, Chris and Dom pounding out a virtual Download while Matt does his best impression of a pitchfork-wielding devil imp auditioning for Joseph…


    Photo: Dean Chalkley/NME
    Photo: Dean Chalkley/NME



  • 14.   Space Dementia


  • The point on ‘Origin Of Symmetry’ where it became clear Muse were morphing into a newer and classier breed of rock band, ‘Space Dementia’ is a shifting, multi-sectioned prog piece complete with drifting interludes, perfume-ad pianos and a coda of marching mecha-mammoths.


    Photo: Ian Jennings/NME
    Photo: Ian Jennings/NME



  • 13.   Sunburn


  • The debut album’s opener was virtually proto-Muse, all haunted piano, Chris’ masterful bass meanders and a guitar solo like a Death Star recharging.


    Photo: Hamish Brown/NME
    Photo: Hamish Brown/NME



  • 12.   Muscle Museum


  • The first breakthrough track, rarely played live today, was a mischievous and mysterious shimmy of snake-charming guitars, Egyptian synths, Metallic Matt wailing and proof that, even by then, they’d paid their dues: “I have played in every toilet…” Unless, come to think of it, they were coming out as rampant cottagers.


    Photo: Andy Willsher/NME
    Photo: Andy Willsher/NME



  • 11.   Showbiz


  • Akin to ‘Vegetable’ popping up in a list of the Top Twenty Radiohead songs perhaps, but the debut album’s title track – a brooding mood piece in which Muse found their noise-some feet - is equally as worthy of its place.


    Photo: Eva Vermandel/NME
    Photo: Eva Vermandel/NME



  • 10.   Butterflies And Hurricanes


  • The ‘Absolution’ masterpiece which showcased Matt’s inner concert pianist, breaking from one of rock’s most elegant modern classics for a bout of virtuoso ivory-bashing that’d make Rachmaninov soil his breeches.


    Photo: James Looker/NME
    Photo: James Looker/NME



  • 9.   Map Of The Problematique


  • Come 2006’s ‘Black Holes And Revelations’, Muse were venturing into electro-goth-pop territory, not least on the Depeche Mode-esque ‘Map Of The Problematique’, a tune about how - as a result of population growth, energy depletion and shrinking resources – you will probably one day have to eat your mother’s corpse to survive. Sorry.


    Photo: Dean Chalkley/NME
    Photo: Dean Chalkley/NME



  • 8.   Time Is Running Out


  • The cream of Muse’s all-out pop numbers, this ‘Absolution’ highlight was a banger from the android nightclub at the end of the universe.


    Photo: James Looker/NME
    Photo: James Looker/NME



  • 7.   Knights Of Cydonia


  • Hands up anyone who, post-puberty, thought they’d ever find themselves head-banging like an angry stallion to a prog metal song about ancient Martian warrior kings full of galloping horses, mariachi trumpets, 60s ‘Telstar’ wibbles and a riff like Led Zeppelin arm-wrestling Beelzebub? Liars.


    Photo: Andy Willsher/NME
    Photo: Andy Willsher/NME



  • 6.   Citizen Erased


  • Completing a trio of Top ten ‘Origin…’ tracks, ‘Citizen Erased’ was the album’s seven-minute centrepiece and one of Muse’s finest early opera-rock gems.


    Photo: Hamish Brown/NME
    Photo: Hamish Brown/NME



  • 5.   Bliss


  • Traditionally the moment at Muse gigs where everyone goes “ooh! Balloons!”, 2001’s ‘Bliss’ is perhaps the catchiest song ever written about wanting to electronically download someone else’s happiness into your own brain.


    Photo: Amy Brammall/NME
    Photo: Amy Brammall/NME



  • 4.   New Born


  • A vision of a Matrix future from the ‘Origin…’ album and a prime example of Muse’s occasional ruse of lulling you into a sense of tinkly piano serenity then stomping on the Vocanic Feedback pedal, holding you down and beating you in the face with a riff mace until you look like Anne Widdecombe’s arse.


    Photo: Ed Miles/NME
    Photo: Ed Miles/NME



  • 3.   Plug In Baby


  • Not number one? Really? ‘Plug In Baby’, to these ears the best rock song of the 00s, was where the ‘Origin Of Symmetry’ era Muse hit hyperspeed on the back of a riff beamed direct from Olympus and a hook that made crucifying enemies and de-wiring yourself from “unbroken virgin realities” (i.e. getting laid?) sound spectacular.


    Photo: Andrew Whitton/NME
    Photo: Andrew Whitton/NME



  • 2.   Stockholm Syndrome


  • Amongst Muse’s most intense and hardcore tracks, ‘Stockholm Syndrome’ – using the real-life syndrome of hostages falling in love with their captors as a metaphor for a dysfunctional relationship – builds from verses of heads-down shredding into a chorus that bursts from the band like the chest-beam at the end of The Fifth Element.


    Photo: Perou/NME
    Photo: Perou/NME



  • 1.   Hysteria


  • “I want it now! I want it NOOOOW!!” howls Matt Bellamy from the far end of a pop metal wormhole as Muse’s biggest fan favourite, from 2003’s ‘Absolution’, crunches and careers by in a barrage of Titanic bass and riff as energised as a barrel of Helium-3. And what exactly does he want? A female orgasm. FACT.


    Photo: Danny North/NME
    Photo: Danny North/NME





 
 
 
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