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Muse – ‘Madness’

Olympic bombast behind them, Muse get their soft rock on

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Photo: Press
So is this the much-touted new dubstep sound then? It begins with a “wub wub wub” sound, so it must be, but this isn’t the kind of wub-machine gun employed by Skrillex and co, it’s more “Wubbin’ you, is easy ‘cos you’re beautiful.” That’s right, Muse have taken the defining noise of ‘base music’ and used it to create slinky, soft rock sex music.

To say Muse sound a bit like Queen is neither new nor clever. But listen, this one sounds like late-period Queen: the Queen of the late-‘80s ‘Invisible Man’, when people didn’t like them as much as they used to. The melody also sounds weirdly like George Michael’s ‘Faith’.

Whether it’s in spite of or because of the above, ‘Madness’ is, nonetheless, a brilliant single. Propelled by a crisp beat, coloured by a great Matt Bellamy vocal it even packs in a squealing, Brian May-style guitar solo.

With the release of their Olympic theme, NME declared Muse had jumped the shark. With this one, they’ve tamed the shark, slapped a pair of wraparound shades on it and ridden it bareback to shore.

Dan Stubbs

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