Muse (band)

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Come ride with me
Through the veins of history
I'll show you how God
Falls asleep on the job

Muse is an English alternative/new-prog rock band formed in 1994 by vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist Matthew Bellamy, bassist Christopher Wolstenholme and drummer Dominic Howard.

They have released five studio albums thus far, with The Resistance the most recent on September 15th, 2009. With regard to singles, the band has been successful in both their home country — where they've had 17 Top 40 singles — and American alternative radio, where they have ten Top 40 singles on the Billboard Hot Alternative Tracks (formerly Hot Modern Rock Tracks) chart.

The band has had three major breakthrough periods in the United States: The first was with their single "Time is Running Out" in 2003, which began their aforementioned string of ten Top 40 Alternative Tracks singles. The second came with the appearance of their 2½-year-old single "Supermassive Black Hole" in the film version of Twilight, which infuriated the band's hardcore fanbase to no end. However, the fans were appeased by Muse's music being featured in two beloved TV series, Doctor Who and Sherlock, featuring "Supermassive Black Hole" and "Uprising" respectively. The third was their performance of "Uprising" at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards — easily the most exposure they've ever gotten in the United States — which caused "Uprising" to peak at #37 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Their music video for "Knights of Cydonia" has its own page, which should tell you something.

Fun fact: the band was originally called the Rocket Baby Dolls after a Hentai. Puts a whole new context to "Plug In Baby", don't it?

Do not compare them to Radiohead in front of their fanbase. We're not kidding when we say that it's the rock fandom equivalent of Suicide by Cop.

Chris Wolstenholme recently told BBC Radio 1, "September and October (2011), that's when we're going to get into the studio to start writing the new album." Fandom, you may now rejoice.

  • Showbiz (1999)
  • Origin of Symmetry (2001, although not released in the United States until 2005, see below)
  • Hullabaloo Soundtrack (2002, a combination live album and B-sides collection)
  • Absolution (2003)
  • Black Holes and Revelations (2006)
  • HAARP (2008, live album)
  • The Resistance (2009)

Muse (band) provides examples of the following tropes:
  • An Aesop: Their fifth album, The Resistance, has a three-part symphony at the end of the album entitled "Exogenesis" which speaks of mankind abandoning a post-apocalyptic, dystopian Earth in order to re-populate and spread their kind across other planets in the universe in order to keep their species alive. Good idea at first, one can think, and that's how it's believed throughout the first two parts. Too bad that by the third part, mankind realizes that the reason they left Earth and they're all together in this mess is that they botched it in the first place, so chances are it'll all become a cycle unless mankind changes its disruptive ways.
    • There's a lot of hope in the third part, which is titled 'Redemption'. A major part of redemption is recognizing that yes you've done the wrong thing, but also that you can still change before it's too late. There can't be redemption without that commitment to do better.
  • Album Title Drop: Black Holes and Revelations is a lyric in their song "Starlight".
    • Absolution appears in the title and lyrics of "Sing for Absolution".
    • The Resistance appears in the title and lyrics of "Resistance".
  • Audience Participation Song: "Knights of Cydonia". All together now: NO-ONE'S GONNA TAKE ME ALIVE!
    • "Starlight" has a famous clap to go with it, which spells out "tits" in Morse code.
      • Also from "Starlight", 'Our hopes and expectaaaations, black holes and revelaaaations....'
    • From "Time is Running Out": 'Bury it, I won't let you bury it...'
  • Band Name Drop: "You are my muse", in I Belong to You [+Mon Coeur S'Ouvre à Ta Voix]. Easily missed; the entirety of "Mon Coeur S'ouvre à Ta Voix" occurs between "Mu" and "se", which are blended into the vocalization.
  • Badass Longcoat: Matthew James Bellamy, in multiple music videos and live shows.
  • Blue Eyes: The fangirls are particularly enamored with Matt's.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: The hidden track on the Starlight DVD. Commonly referred to as 'You Fucking Motherfucker' in fan circles. Also counts as an absolutely massive Cluster F-Bomb of Atomic F-Bomb F Bombs.
    • Averted by the band otherwise, however. Only two studio releases contain profanity and only one instance is particularly strong.
      • "Take a Bow" uses the phrase "burn in hell" ten times over the course of about 4 minutes. However...
      • "Crying Shame," the B-side to the "Supermassive Black Hole" single, contains the line "and yeah we've really fucked it up."
    • Once the band was asked not curse during a Origin of Symmetry-era Spanish TV performance. Taking offense at this due to the lack of profanities in their songs, Matt changed an entire verse of "Feeling Good" to this. Hilarity ensues.
  • Cosplay: Dom is known to often wear a Spider-Man costume (normally sans mask) during live performances. Smaller examples are Chris' Captain America costume and the outfits worn by the band during the encore of their concert on Halloween 2009: Matt was a vampire, Chris was Batman with light-up horns, and Dom was, predictably, Spider-Man.
  • Elmuh Fudd Syndwome: Matt Bellamy is afflicted with this while singing and while speaking. This performance of "Time Is Running Out" shows it off quite well. His pronunciation of the word "proper" ("pwopah") is a meme in Muse fandom.
  • Epic Rocking: While the band does have some songs that fit, most of their output averts this without really feeling any less epic. Their longest (one-part) song to date is "Citizen Erased" at 7:19, which, while quite long, is not entirely unreasonable.
    • "Citizen Erased" seamlessly runs into "Micro Cuts"; the combined song is both awesome and around 11 minutes.
    • Interesting case in their latest album, The Resistance. While the final three tracks are really part of one nearly 13-minute epic, it is mostly symphonic and only select parts have anything that can really be considered rock.
  • Everything Is an Instrument: Even a shoe!
  • Everything's Worse with Bears: Teddy bear uprising FTW.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: Matthew Bellamy.
  • Fading Into the Next Song: Most notably on Origin of Symmetry: Citizen Erased blends seamlessly into Micro Cuts.
    • Space Dementia into Hyper Music into Plug in Baby. Whoa.
  • Fan Service: In the otherwise unsexy "Undisclosed Desires" video there is a gratuitous lingering shot of Dom Howard's buttocks. That this is done while Matt Bellamy is singing "Please me," might make it Ho Yay.
  • Gratuitous Panning: "Micro Cuts" during its solo.
  • Guyliner The "Supermassive Black Hole" video
  • Identical Stranger: Matt, David Tennant and Richard Hammond all look quite similar to one another.
  • Incredibly Long Note: "Falling Away With You".
    • "Prague" more than any other song played by the band
  • Indecipherable Lyrics: "Micro Cuts".
    • Taken Up to Eleven in the song "Execution Commentary", which makes "Micro Cuts" sound clear by comparison. Even the official Muse wiki list the lyrics as "indecipherable screaming".
    • Also present in "Exogenesis: Symphony Part 1 (Overture)"
  • In the Style Of:
    • "Feeling Good", a fairly standard showtune, now a new-prog song.
    • "Who Knows Who", a collaboration with rapper The Streets; a Rage Against the Machine-esque b-side to "Uprising".
    • "I Belong to You (+Mon cœur s'ouvre a ta voix)" features a french bit that covers Maria Callas' "Mon coeur s'ouvre a ta voix"
  • La Résistance: Considering their 2009 album is titled The Resistance, this seems appropriate.
  • Large Ham: Oh dear God, Matt Bellamy. You want proof? Listen to Apocalypse Please. Or Bliss. Or Knights of Cydonia. Or United States of Eurasia. Or Plug In Baby. Or Showbiz. Or Neutron Star Collision. Or Space Dementia. Or House of the Rising Sun. And ESPECIALLY Prague.
  • Last-Note Nightmare; "Eternally Missed" ends with some incredibly creepy whispering. Also, the Scare Chord towards the end of "Space Dementia".
    • That creepy synthy "Ohhhhhhh" at the end of "New Born".
  • Lyrical Dissonance: Many of their songs, but one of the biggest examples is "Thoughts of a Dying Atheist" from Absolution.
  • Mind Screw: Many of their lyrics
    • "Exo-Politics", once one finds out the inspiration for this song. Good luck finding out though.
    • Space Dementia has the aforementioned Last-Note Nightmare and superbly creepy lyrics. Micro Cuts is just nightmarish, and the indecipherable lyrics and pained falsetto don't help either.
    • "Plug-In Baby" is reputedly about either a sex doll or genetically engineered puppies which never grow old. But Matt was on 'shrooms when he recorded it, so he doesn't even remember.
    • "Screenager" is very creepy, not helped when you find out that bones were used for percussion.
    • The guitar parts on the B-Side "Host" are fairly haunting, listening to the song alone at night is probably not advisable.
    • With that in mind, Recess, Shrinking Universe and Con-science are all extremely creepy.
    • When Matt breathes in the song Dead Star, it isn't so much breathing as a disgusting, horrifying slurp. Really uncomfortable, very creepy.
    • The same thing happens in New Born, as well as Time Is Running Out where the lyrics "asphixiated" and "I know I'm trapped" really create a tense atmosphere that is completely at odds with most other hit singles of the time.
  • Miniscule Rocking: Intro, Interlude, and the Starlight hidden track.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Their lyrics are often epic in scope, sometimes crossing heavily into Narm territory: "Take a Bow" comes to mind as an Egregious example. As usual, Your Mileage May Vary.
  • Non-Appearing Title: Many of their songs.
  • Obsession Song: Many of their songs have undertones of this. "Endlessly" and "Hysteria" are both pretty unambiguous, however.
    • Bliss is the most obvious example of this "GIVE ME! ALL OF THE PEACE! AND JOY IN YOUR MIND!".
    • "Sing for Absolution" is probably where Stephenie Meyer got the idea for Edward watching Bella sleeping without her knowledge in Twilight, which is generally known to be one of his more creepy actions. Unlike Stephenie Meyer though, Matt probably meant for it to be a bit off.
    • "Space Dementia" is a particularly creepy one.
    • I want to satisfy the undisclosed desires in your heart
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: So Matt is English, speaks English, but his singing doesn't even sound English. In fact it sounds like some sort of British/American... thing.
    • What? The first time I heard him sing, I could tell he was English immediately.
    • He doesn't really sound English or American or...anything, really. If he has an accent while singing of any sort, it's probably an alien one.
    • The most noticeable exception being the rhyming of "past", "mask", and "heart" in "Undisclosed Desires".
    • Matt, like the rest of the band, is from Teignmouth, Devon, which is quite a large distance from where most UK bands are from (usually London, Sheffield and Manchester). He also has a pretty noticeable speech impediment, which, when combined with his falsetto, means he doesn't really sound like anyone. But he is definitely hard to understand when interviewed because he talks so quickly.
  • Out-of-Genre Experience: "Soldier's Poem", a soft acoustic guitar track with vocal harmonies that could be right out of a barbershop quartet, smashed between "Map of the Problematique" and "Invincible". Apparently, they recorded it with the usual full-band arrangement, but it didn't sound quite right.
    • Other instances are the bluesy "Falling Down" and Alternative Metal track "Dead Star".
      • "Undisclosed Desires" starts off this way, but winds up sounding familiar by end. It's still their only song with slap bass, though.
  • Precision F-Strike: In "Crying Shame" (b-side for the Supermassive Black Hole single), which is the only instance of the word "fuck" in Muse's entire discography other than the absurdly over-the-top Starlight DVD hidden track.
  • Protest Song: For a band that has some of the most incomprehensible Word Salad Lyrics out there, "Take a Bow" has a laser-focused vicious stab at various world leaders that could be the anger march of La Résistance.
    • Doesn't help that it was the trailer song for the movie rendition of Watchmen.
    • Most of their 2009 album, The Resistance, is populated by protest songs, including "Uprising".
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: The chorus of "Uprising".
  • Rockstar Song: Most of "Showbiz"
  • Rock Trio
  • Shout-Out: The Resistance is based on the love subplot between Winston and Julia in Nineteen Eighty-Four; the song mentions the Thought Police. It's possible that the whole album is a Shout-Out- among other things, "United States of Eurasia" has the lyric "These wars can't be won." Sound familiar?
  • Space Madness: The implied topic of the aptly named "Space Dementia".
  • Stockholm Syndrome: One of their songs is both titled after it and based on it.
  • Take That: "Falling Down" is a suprisingly bitter Take That against their home-town, Teignmouth
  • Truck Driver's Gear Change: Several times in "Take a Bow".
  • Word Salad Lyrics
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle: "Uprising" pretends to end about three times, but each time resumes after a second's pause.