Album Review: Drones by MuseDate: July 20, 2015
As an alternative hard rock band hailing from England, Muse has definitely made a prominent name for themselves since their debut in 1994. As they redefined the concept of originality, 1994-2009 Muse produced a sound like no other, synthesizing wailing guitar riffs, unique high-pitched vocals, and overall creative and exceptional musicianship to their dedicated and developing fan base. With groundbreaking albums such as Showbiz, Origin of Symmetry, Absolution and Black Holes and Revelations, Muse demonstrated the highest quality of original, unique alternative rock music in a time when all music began to sound the same. With the release of The Resistance and The 2nd Law, Muse introduced more of a technical pop sound into their rock genre, and while this new sound seemed to introduce Muse to mainstream music culture, the hard guitar riffs and impressive piano solos that dedicated fans came to know and love seemed to dwindle away under a new techno sound.
With this year's latest release of Drones, as a dedicated Muse fan I have to admit that I was disappointed. This album seemed to fully encompass Muse's "new sound" as a techno-pop band with some hard alt rock thrown in. Debuted single and first album track "Dead Inside" basically solidified my disappointment with this new album, as it seemed to really demonstrate the loss of original sound that put Muse at the top of my playlist years before. While not all of the tracks have a heavy techno influence like "Dead Inside", other tracks such as "Mercy", "Reapers" and "Revolt" feel as though they were made to fit the pop-rock genre, becoming too mainstream and only integrating a few guitar riffs just for the sake of integrating them. Just as with the past two albums before it, Drones sets itself as an album that represents Muse's general shift away from unique progressive alt rock and into a more popular, mainstream techno "rock". The album is in no way a flunked album however, as it still demonstrates the band's incredible musicianship and talent. As a long-time Muse fan however, I feel that Drones does no justice to the unique sound that originally got me hooked to this progressive band.
Please Note that the opinions expressed in this review are the opinions of the writers alone. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions of WSOU, Seton Hall University, nor any of its affiliates.