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Muse

Showbiz

(Maverick)

Muse is a new power trio out of Britain that has rapidly become the most heralded guitar band of the year in the U.K. And they deserve every ounce of praise they’ve been getting. Muse’s stock-in-trade is a big rock sound equally influenced by Radiohead and Nirvana, with all the love for shifting dynamics and slow builds to cataclysmic meltdowns that Thom Yorke and company have patented.


That said, Muse are their own men, not copyists. Showbiz exhibits a remarkable maturity (amazing since these guys are barely out of their teens) and a genuinely effective attempt at musical diversity. “Sunburn” and “Muscle Museum” have their tranquil moments on the verses, before exploding into raging crescendos on the choruses. “Fillip” is the requisite anthem for the stadiums that Muse are sure to be inhabiting soon. Meanwhile, the boys really stretch their wings on the winning “Falling Down,” a vulnerable and gorgeous ballad. Debuts don’t get much better than this and twenty-year-olds rarely produce music this developed. It could be scary how good Muse end up getting.

Rating:

Sarah Zupko founded PopMatters, one of the largest independent cultural criticism magazines on the web, back in the Internet's early days of 1999. Zupko is a former Executive Producer for Tribune Media Services, the media syndication arm of the Tribune Company, and a 10-year veteran of Tribune. Her other pursuits involve writing historical fiction and research in the fields of Slavic and German history, as well as general European cultural and intellectual history. Zupko studied musicology, film, and drama at the University of Chicago and media theory at the University of Texas, where she received her M.A.


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