Worst New Song of the Week: Muse's "Madness"
You may recall that we weren't terribly kind about Muse's song for the London Olympics. Mostly because it resorted to obvious sports cliches and sounded like the theme tune to Flash Gordon. And the theme tune to Flash Gordon only works within the context of being played over and throughout a movie that's set in space, and features hirsute flying winged people and ladies in shiny satin outfits. But we digress. We thought maybe Muse had a momentary panic because of all the pressure of representing the U.K. at a magical hour. That they'd choked, and would be fine soon enough. Then we heard Muse's new single, "Madness," and decided that it's the worst thing to happen to music this week. Here's why.
0:28: The "Muh-muh-muh-muh-muh-muh-mad-mad-mad"s begin. It's creepy on some level and a bit maddening, but we'll let it go because, after all, the song is called "Madness." There's a good chance the band is trying to drive us to that with all this weird, tinny repetition.
0:29: Hang on a second. We were so distracted by the "muh-muh-muh"s, we almost didn't notice the wamp-wamp bass happening. Come on now, Muse. The best thing about you is the guitars. It has always been about the guitars. And you've just removed them entirely to try and look cool in front of the dubstep kids. Smacks a bit of desperation, fellas.
0:40: Why is Matt Bellamy singing like a kid doing karaoke who's trying to make his voice do a vibrato thing, but doesn't know how? We all know Matt Bellamy has the strength and skill to pull off a massive vibrato because he does it all the shitting time. It's like he's pretending he doesn't know how to sing here. What's that about?
0:51: Queen Rip-Off Pt. 1: "Some kind of maaaaad-ness" reminds us of parts of "It's a Kind of Magic." Wasn't the homage to the Flash Gordon theme enough Queen stuff for one year?
1:00: Why is there still no guitar happening?
1:27: Matt Bellamy pretending like he doesn't know how to sing again. What's he playing at?
1:35: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Wamp-wamp-wamp. We get it.
1:46: "Hoo! Huh-huh-huh-hoo-ooh-ooh..." Things just took a turn for the Prince in here.
2:00: Jesus, is this song ever going to go anywhere?
2:26: Queen Rip-Off Pt. 2: That multi-layered, vocal weirdness. All a bit 3:26 minutes into "Bohemian Rhapsody", isn't it?
3:07: Pt. 3! Not to pull back on that whole stealing-stuff-from-Queen thing, the Muse guitar finally kicks in, sounding a great deal like the guitar from this:
3:29: Queen rip-off over. But so's the guitar. Big sigh.
3:45: Hang on, Bellamy's voice is going back to normal. Come on Matty! You can do it!
4:07: Back on form, Bellamy. Only took your four bastard minutes to find your voice... Sheesh.
4:10: Finally! Some passion! Some drama! Some goddamn energy! We like this bit. We know they were going for a slow build and everything, but they should've done this approximately two minutes ago and kept amping it up from there.
4:34: Bellamy channels Bono.
4:35: The guitar (it's back!) channels The Edge.
4:56: Guitar dies. Song goes boring again.
5:05: The End. Look boys, if we wanted to listen to a weird combination of Queen, Skrillex, and U2 balladry, we'd get one of our DJ friends over to do a hilarious mash-up. Can't you just go back to being Muse?
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