Album Title: Absolution
Release Date: March 30, 2004
Genre: Alternative
Apparently, most of the buzz around UK band Muse is generated by their live show, which is supposedly second to none. Let's hope it's better balanced than their most successful release thus far, Absolution, which yields many gems but is more often bipolar in its musical style.

For a band that once threatened to sue Celine Dion over name copyright (remember when Celine was planning on calling her Vegas show Muse? These lads weren't impressed), you'd hope that their music is worth all the fuss. And it's not a coincidence that the two best songs on the album are two of the singles. The pre-chorus to "Time Is Running Out" is hauntingly addictive, and the fuzzy guitars paired with thundering drums on "Stockholm Syndrome" really make you perk up and listen. Unfortunately, the majority of the album seesaws between hyperactive ass-kicking and sleepy boredom; the snoozefest of "Sing For Absolution" competing with the piano-key mashing of "Butterflies & Hurricanes," the grandiose symphony of "Apocalypse Now" with the hushed melancholy of "Blackout."

There's some really neat guitar distortion and synth effects throughout, not to mention a pretty voice and some cool dramatic piano chops. But really, in the end you have to wonder if these guys are going for the style or the substance and only ending up partially successful on both counts.

Writer: Caitlin Hotchkiss

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