New Album by Muse: “Simulation Theory”

: Andrew Wessel, Herald Contributor

The newest record from famed alternative rock trio, Muse, has finally arrived. “Simulation Theory,” released on Nov. 9, combines the band’s signature sound with the sounds of 80s techno and electronics. The main album consists of eleven tracks. However, there is a super deluxe version of the record that includes ten more tracks that are alternate versions of various songs off the main album.

The first track on the album, “Algorithm,” holds the core elements of Muse. With orchestral strings, heavy bass and guitar riffs, and melodic vocal harmonies, this song will surely pique any listener’s interest. It begins with a trance-like keyboard melody and electronic drums which sets up the sound of the rest of the album. Just before the vocals begin, there is a beautiful piano solo that pays homage to past Muse records such as the 2003 release, “Absolution.” The theme of the song is that there is an artificial intelligence that is rising up to fight its creator. The chorus of the song points this out by singing, “this means war with your creator.” Lastly, the vocal harmonies in the last chorus are reminiscent of the vocal patterns from the band’s 2009 release, “The Resistance.”

The third track on the album, “Pressure,” will make you want to get up and dance. The guitar riff and vocals intertwine making it very easy to sing along to. The pre-chorus guitar riff in this song is also very reminiscent of the post-chorus riff in the song, “Psycho,” from their 2015 release, “Drones.” The super deluxe version of the album has an alternate version of this track that features the University of California-Los Angeles Bruin Marching Band. When you listen to the alternate version, it makes you want to be at a college football game cheering your team along to the song.

The best song on the whole album has to be track number eight titled, “Get Up and Fight.” It has an anthemic-rock feel, especially in the chorus. In this song, the lyrics talk about the vocalist (Matt Bellamy) wanting to keep the love of someone close to him and how he cannot go on without it. This is in direct reference to his uncle who passed away from cancer this October. The chorus has a double meaning; it is about his uncle, but it is also directed towards people in general that are going through similar situations. “Get up and fight, we’ve gotta get up and fight.” He is telling the listener that if you want to make a positive change in your life, you have to fight for it. We cannot just sit and expect change to come in our lives, only we can do something about it. Another thing to note is the continuation of similar themes from past albums such as the use of piano and arena-shaking drums in the chorus.

This record greatly surpassed the fans’ expectations of the band’s experimentation with the new and old techno and electronic sounds. This is a great album for anyone and everyone who likes alternative rock.