Muse's Official Olympic Song "Survival" Is Decidedly Not a Victory for the World

Categories: The Horror

MUSE_3.jpg
Christopher Victorio
"I'm gonna wiiiiiiiiiiiiiin"
Does Muse know what a song is? There's admittedly some prior evidence that the three kings of grandimediocrity do, but then there's also "Survival," the band's new, "official" song for the 2012 London Olympics, which sounds less like a thoughtfully arranged piece of music and more like random mash-up of Queen outtakes and clips from the soundtracks to Michael Bay movies. If you can dream a rock anthem element, it's here: Sky's-gonna-fall "Ooooaaaahhh"-ing from a big chorus of voices, Kodak-moment orchestral trim, lots and lots of palm-muted guitar riffs -- oh, and in a gold-medal-worthy feat of literal-mindedness, Matt Bellamy seething "I'm gonna win, yes, I'm gonna win!" (It's the Olympics, and he's gonna win -- get it?)

The whole thing gets going with a righteously annoying fit of Queen-esque piano bounce, as if Muse started this thing off under the ludicrous fantasy that it could be both their "Bohemian Rhapsody" and their "We Are the Champions" in one. Which isn't the first of this band's deluded ambitions. But instead of, like, writing a real song, with parts that do something, and some lyrics you could get stuck in your head, and, you know, a melody, Muse just piled all its big shiny sounds onto each other into one long, blumbering escalation. When, after three eons, the climax does arrive -- Bellamy: "I'm gonna [falsetto] wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiin" -- it feels about as satisfying as paying taxes. You knew something was going to happen, and you had a pretty idea what it was, and then it finally came, and there was no surprise, just a guy screeching in bad falsetto like he's trying out for the opera or something.

All of this wouldn't quite be so upsetting if this weren't the official Olympic song -- the thing all audio-enabled humans on Planet Earth will be subjected to a minimum of four times per day between July 27 and Aug. 12. Sigh. Perhaps, though, there's an upside: This year, when the Olympics are over, when your appetite for athletic triumph has been sated forty-seven times over, and when your nausea at Muse's "Survival" has peaked, you won't have had an actual song ruined for you: Just a very loud aggregation of dramatic noises.


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Follow us on Twitter @SFAllShookDown, follow Ian S. Port @iPORT, and like us at Facebook.com/SFAllShookDown.


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18 comments
xdomisx
xdomisx

to the author:

go kill yourself, hater.


have a bad day !

one2three
one2three

Your article is an insult to journalism AND music. Way to kill two birds with one stone, Ian. There's nothing wrong with expressing your subjective opinion. I'm sure that your humorously deluded sense of entitlement is one of the reasons you were hired in the first place. But please, do not make the mistake of trying to pass your opinions off as fact without, at the very least, supporting them with reason. For example, you claim that Muses's supposed "fantasy" effort is not the first of the "band's deluded ambitions." Which deluded ambitions are you referring to? If you're talking about the dream of someday winning a Grammy, they've done that. And if you're talking about selling out arenas worldwide, they've done that, too. And though I disagree with your nonsensical claim that Muse's song sounds like a mash-up two Queen songs, when did it become a "fantasy" or crime to be influenced by a band whom you respect and admire? "Instead of, like, writing a real" article that people could actually respect and learn from, by making points that perhaps mean something, you merely attempted to shove your worthless opinion down the throats of the two people who actually follow your blog. And no, I'm not one of them. I came across your article because it's circulating as an example of lazy journalism. Understand that freedom of speech and expression are all well and good, but being a journalist does not mean stepping on the toes of others in an attempt to get ahead. Overshadowing others tastes and preferences with your own and insulting artists whom are the subject of your article are not what journalism is about.

 

You can keep deleting my comment, but I'll just keep reposting the same thing. As a critic, you can dish it but you can't take it?

 

Chuck
Chuck

Hey Ian, shut up already, You don't like muse, we get it. Those that can't do critique am I right? I doubt you have any musical talent at all, or maybe you wanted to be a musician once and are envious of the global success of MUSE. Hey envy is a bitter pill, so they are not your cup of tea. The lyrics are Trite but the tune is damn catchy and elevating and the end is climatic, wtf were you expecting it to end with... it's not a fesking murder mystery, it's a song at least they can play musical instruments and make arrangements unlike that other manufactured crap around today.

 

I get that you feel they are overated, so what?, so are you. When an article that starts thusly..

 

"On an improbably sunny midwinter day, amid green pastures and meandering cows, two unassuming musicians are waging a revolution against the established order of the recording industry."

 

Can win an award, then I guess anything is fair game, I mean.. "Amid green pastures and meandering cows"... c'mon for Christ's  sakes how puke worthy is that trite piece of literate cliche?

 

Just looking over the article again. My god man...I mean, MY FUCKING GOD... you really -can't- turn an original phrase can you? Why do they even pay you?. They should add music critics to the lawyer and banker pile of, " Useless shit's we could do with out ".list.

Handi
Handi

Why do you have the photo from Muse's Live at Roskilde Festival then?

Handi
Handi

And I have to tell you this: I've listened to this countless of times since it came out, and it happenes to me every time when the song reaches the final climax, right before the guitar solo, a feeling of unexplainable ambition and excitement like I've never experienced from any Muse song rushes in. It is the music itself that shocks people, and that's why so many of them like it

Handi
Handi

I agree to what this article has proposed and what it tries to present. Indeed, "Survival" from Muse isn't actually quite fitting the theme of Olympic. But Muse haven't write a single for Olympic before, and as a nube in such field, Matt Bellamy did a fine job composing something that is more or less related to sports spirit. And as a rock band that holds a flag of "alternative" & "neo progressive", it was hard for them to compose something that is classical, like the last Olympic in aBeijing. Muse can't do such this as "You and me..."

ZzzParrots
ZzzParrots like.author.displayName 1 Like

The song was chosen for the Olympics, not directly written for it. The people in who made the decision for the official song of the Olympics obviously heard the relevant lyrics, saw that the band is British (which bodes well for the London based event) and thought that a loud, orchestral sound would be good for a stadium setting. So, could you, "like", at least try and include more balanced views (you know, as a good review might) and include less of the obvious predetermined dislike for Muse? Oh, and just because Queen had a musical style doesn't mean it's off limits forever after. 

alxdna
alxdna

By the way the last part is intended for the author of the 'article', not you ZzzParrots

alxdna
alxdna

Spot on... this song was chosen for the Olympics as oppossed to written for the olympics... I find patethic people that criticizes musicians for their creations and please note that I say musicians as oppossed to Justin Bieber and all that crap.

If you don't like it, fine just don't go trashing other people's work specially when sure as hell you couldn't come up with 1/4 of a melody... and in case you do go on and write the next best thing, either way please find a real job and stop talking sh!t about others it really makes you look like a douche.

Shiteat
Shiteat like.author.displayName 1 Like

Fuck you. You suck.

dermutt
dermutt

This is actually a great song, very British, because it doesn't sound much like "eye of the tiger" many American's wont get it.

Michael Westermann
Michael Westermann like.author.displayName 1 Like

So I take it you don't like the song. I'm ok with it. Muse could basically fart into an MP3 file and I'd like it.

A.O
A.O like.author.displayName 1 Like

Never seen such a subjective review before. If you already despise Muse, why even try reviewing a new song of theirs? Of course it's gonna be over-the-top, extremely bombastic with tenfolds different layers of vocals, strings, piano and choirs. That's what Muse is.   About this particular song, I can understand that people don't like it but in your case, you've already decided that you'll hate it. Next time, please shut up instead? Thanks.

Henri Asseily
Henri Asseily

Utter garbage. Unbelievable. I have to agree 100% with Ian, to my sad regret. Because it's always easier to bash something than find the good stuff. But in this case, there's nothing, nothing redeeming.

Iheartmoosiq
Iheartmoosiq

ouch. chill out, man. it's not their best work by far, yes. but it's for the cheesy Olympics "soundtrack" and everything you're complaining about the song is SIGNATURE Muse for years and years. Queen like hooks, the drama, the over the top sound... you can't really complain about that in the song unless you dislike all of Muse's work. that's how they always sound. that's them. 

Gordon Elgart
Gordon Elgart

I gotta tell you, Ian. I've listened to this more than a dozen times today, and I can't stop. I love bombastic, over-the-top music, and this totally nails it. The odd repeated background vocals, the bouncy piano, the soft background use of the "We Will Rock You" beat subtly tucked inside, and the guitar solo is an unabashed classic. All that said, it's a horrible song. It's a gigantic lumbering beast coming to stomp on music. It will destroy all melody and dynamics that try to stop it. Run, people, run!

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