Muse’s Drones: What You Need To Know
They’ve sold over 15 million albums, sold out countless stadiums across the globe and headlined just about every festival in existence, Muse return this week with their seventh studio album Drones, here’s everything you need to know about it…
What’s the background?
After the release of their fourth album Black Holes And Revelations, Muse moved beyond their previous status as mere arena fillers and became a band who sell out football stadiums and don’t play a festival unless they can headline. Their next two efforts The Resistance and The 2nd Law cemented their status and also saw the band experimenting more and more, pushing ideas to the forefront and focusing less on just being a blockbusting rock band.
This time out it feels like Muse have made a real effort to refocus on being a rock band, so much so that they’re even headlining this summer’s Download Festival, sharing a stage with the likes of KISS, Marilyn Manson and Slipknot. It’s also spelt out by the producer they’ve hired…
Who’s producing it?
After self-producing their last two albums, Muse have this time opted for Robert ‘Mutt’ Lange, a man who knows a thing or two about making big-selling rock records.
Lange was behind the controls on AC/DC’s Back In Black and Highway To Hell, with Def Leppard on Hysteria and with Bryan Adams on Waking Up The Neighbours. In recent years, he’s also worked with the likes of Nickelback, Maroon 5 and Shania Twain (who he also used to be married to), so he knows how to make records sound grand, catchy and, most importantly, absolutely enormous.
What does it sound like?
The experiments with dubstep seem to have been well and truly left behind in favour of a return to grandiose and powerhouse arena rock. Opening salvo ‘Psycho’ is a swaggering powerhouse, driven by a classic Matt Bellamy riff, cloaked in distortion and darkness, ‘Dead Inside’ is built around groovy keyboards and an offbeat disco rhythm, building to a chorus with a real glam stomp. ‘Reapers’ see Bellamy going full on Bryan May, with a widdly riff and runaway feel, while ‘Mercy’ is a sky scarper sized proto-ballad, complete with Bellamy’s trademark falsetto.
Lyrically, it seems Bellamy has once again returned to the grand issues affecting the world for inspiration, particularly the mechanised elements of modern day warfare and the lack of empathy. Just as dark as ever then…
Any special guests?
Not this time no.
Does it deliver?
It’s a big bombastic stadium rock record, it’ll sound brilliant live, this is the sound of a band embracing every last cliché and making it sound incredible.
Muse’s new album Drones is out now in hmv stores across the UK. You can preview it on the right-hand side of the page.