Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

Muse – United States of Eurasia (Collateral Damage)

So it sounds a bit like Queen, then?…


Matt Cibula: These Scaramouches Really Know How to Do the Fannydangle!; Or, How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Almost Like Muse’s Metaphysical Graffiti.

Edward Okulicz: I really like Muse, I admit it. One of the things I’ve always liked about them is that their melodrama knows no bounds, except that which stops them turning into Queen, who were always appalling. Here, they not only crossed that line, they wanked over it.

Iain Mew: Spend ages adrift on piano meandering, catch a glimpse at last of glorious excess… and turns out to just be “We are the Champions”. What a rip-off. Plus it’s not like anyone’s ever listened to Muse for the lyrics, but man these are bad. At least on “Butterflies & Hurricanes” and “Knights of Cydonia” they were ignorable platitudes.

Martin Skidmore: This sounds like a hamfisted attempt to do their own “Bohemian Rhapsody”, especially in the transition to the first loud part, where the harmonies are very Queen. It’s politically fatuous, which is certainly no barrier to success, but I hope its ugly clumsiness will mean it doesn’t catch on. The song actually stops after a while, and we get just piano and strings for a long while. I hated prog the first time round, and I very much don’t want it back.

John Seroff: “United States” is a puffed up but heartfelt bit of End of The Empire symphonic balladry, full of sweep and bombast that codas parenthetically at (Collateral Damage) for more than two minutes of eine kleine poppmusik: piano and strings providing an entr’acte for the changing of the guard from new to newer world order. This meticulously arranged rock operetta so assiduously apes the sheen of Queen that it flirts with copyright infringement. Mr. Mercury isn’t the only target of this not-a-cover cover; equal debts are owed to Messrs. Page, Waters, L. Webber and Wainwright. It’s almost unlikely that the song could emerge as something bigger and more interesting than the sum tribute of its flamboyant influences, but surprise! It does, and it improves notably on multiple listens to boot.

Anthony Miccio: I like how Muse infused Radiohead moaning with Queen pyrotechnics on the last album, but this is more like a Bono op-ed performed by… uh… some classical-crazed contemporary of Queen that didn’t know how to write hooks. (What, you think I’d be familiar with that shit?)

Anthony Easton: Serious cat is filled with piano ballad sadness, let us cheer him up with tales of pirate adventure (that soft to hard is Queen via Billy Corgan’s worst excesses, isn’t it?).

Richard Swales: I’ve never really got Muse. They’re perfectly good at what they do and everything, but there’s just been something that’s never clicked with me. Here, for example, we’ve got them doing their best Queen impression, but while they’ve got all the pomp and circumstance, they just don’t have the charisma to pull it off. At least the producer has cut down on the grating intakes of breath that have littered most of their previous output.

Chuck Eddy: I assumed I’d hate this, and do honestly think the singer is fairly awful and still wonder why “prog-rock” bands these days leave out the “rock”. And as an anti-war protest, at least judging from the lyrics I can make out, it seems like the work of nitwits. But the audacious ambition makes me chuckle anyway.

Jonathan Bradley: All the pomp of one of those parades Kim Jong-Il organises to showcase North Korean might, but without even the thrill of genuine grandiose spectacle.

Doug Robertson: This is like listening to a Pop Goes Classical style CD and, while it definitely sounds nothing like anything else on mainstream radio right now, this isn’t always a good thing.

Hillary Brown: Close to being better — that voice! — but it’s too long and meandering without ever reaching transcendent weirdness or the real pop melodies of what it’s emulating.

Al Shipley: I liked what I heard off Muse’s last album, and Queen is one of my favorite bands of all time, but really, fuck this shit.

Additional Scores

Rodney J. Greene: [5]
Ian Mathers: [0]
Michaelangelo Matos: [1]
Alfred Soto: [2]

9 Responses to “Muse – United States of Eurasia (Collateral Damage)”

  1. This is the worst song i’ve heard since Alfie by Lilly Allen.

  2. In defense of my high score: my initial review was “Mamma Mia! Let it go.” but the more I listened to this the more I liked it. It honestly took about eight listens to open enough where I stopped being glib about it and actually came around.

  3. Not actually the lead single off the new album, thank christ. They’d been on such a good tear, would hate to see it end like this.

  4. I think my zero was too generous.

  5. Is this the lowest score of Jukebox 2.0?

  6. No Doubt got a 2.29.

  7. The lowest score this year is “I Love College”:

  8. This is so underrated its not even funny. Proving yourselves as haters.

  9. You guys have no taste at all. This one the best songs off a yet another fantastic Muse album.