Black Holes and Revelations (Warner Bros.)

ACL Music Fest Reviews


Black Holes and Revelations (Warner Bros.)

Muse may want to consider changing its name back to Rocket Baby Dolls, as the moniker best describes the manufactured, galactic caricature the band has become of its former self. The urgency of the UK trio's apocalyptic Absolution and the neurotic "Hyper Chondriac Music" of 2002's Hullabaloo is all but lost in the Black Hole that is Muse's fifth release. Opener "Take a Bow" attempts to re-create the extraterrestrial terrain of "Shrinking Universe" and "Space Dementia," but like the majority of Revelations, its electronic buildup and soft-hard-soft dynamics fall flat. "Knights of Cydonia" reeks of the same pretentiousness, from the Stadium Arcadium sonorousness of the drums to the "Bohemian Rhapsody" layered vocals and guitar freak-out. It's six minutes of self-indulgent gibberish that comes across like the lost theme for Battlefield Earth. "Map of Problematic" is a Depeche Mode B-side at best, while Matthew Bellamy's a carbon copy of Thom Yorke on vocals and Tom Morello guitar on "Assassin," save for the lyrics, which reduce the concept of infinity into mere hyperbolic flattery ("There's no one like you in the universe"). The big bang of Muse's Revelations sounds good in theory, but it ultimately gets lost in space. (Sunday, 7:45pm, AT&T Blue Room stage)


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