Worst New Song of the Week: Muse's "Madness"

Muse Madness.jpg

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?

Follow us on Twitter @SFAllShookDown, follow Rae Alexandra @Raemondjjjj, and like us at Facebook.com/SFAllShookDown.

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Muse is a great band, they made it in the world; all you have is fucking blog!


This is so stupid. Queen sounds nothing like Muse. Beat is different. if you don't like it don't listen to it.

FeMorj like.author.displayName 1 Like

This article kills me.


You know what I think? I think you don't get this song. I think you can't connect with it emotionally and it frustrates you because you know so many people who love it. You must think very highly of your taste in music and think you're the know-it-all when it comes down to it. The fact that you're part of the poor minority who can't grasp the beauty of this song, you felt the need to put down your egotistical, narrow-minded thoughts into an article, to try to convince everyone how you are right. And how do you go about trying to win us over? By breaking a beautiful song down into 19 parts where you cry and moan about how bad it is. I bet you gave yourself a pat on the back after writing this thinking "I just came up with 19 reasons why this song is bad from beginning to end! Now everyone will see that despite the popularity of this song, my knowledge of music proves this song sucks!"


Please, Rae Alexandra, embrace the fact that this song is amazing, and you just don't get it. The next time you hear a song that everyone loves and you hate, just tune it out and listen to something else. No need to share your ignorance with those who can appreciate a good song.


And stop writing about music. You don't know what you're talking about.


This article is spot on and is EXACTLY what I thought in my head when I heard this song on the radio a month ago. The Queen bit more specifically. One of the worst Muse songs yet.

jinjonator2000 like.author.displayName 1 Like

this review comes off as cynical and sanctimoniously self-righteous.  worse, saying what happens at 4:00 should have happened at 2:00 and that they should have built from there makes no musical sense at all.  won't be reading any more of this critic's reviews.

4ablueocean like.author.displayName 1 Like

What a lame review. This is finally one Muse song I love.


correction, Explorers sounds like Don't Stop me Now, 

Madness as the article mentioned is the one that sounded like I Want to Break Free


unfortunately this isn't the only song on the 2nd law that sounds like another song. part of Animals sounds like the System of a Down song Question, Follow me sounds like the Nero song Promises (the whole style of the song is Nero-esque), Explorers sounds too much like Queen's I Want to Break Free. and i'm sure it doesn't stop there. 


very disappointing coming from a huge muse fan


Finally, thank you, this is one of the most irritating songs I've heard in a long time and I like most of Muse's stuff a lot actually.  Everyone compares them to Radiohead who I am also a big fan of although I think the vocals are really the only thing about Muse that might be similar.


This has to be one of the most poorly written articles on music I've ever read. What is your musical background and education? You can't have peaks without valleys. The climax at the end of the tune would not have been NEARLY as effective had they introduced it into the song earlier. The pacing of this song is in fact brilliant. 


You of course make no mention of the production value of the song either, which is absolutely top notch. It is mixed to perfection, and is one of the fullest sounding pop songs I've ever heard.




Someone with a music degree


This is one of my favorite songs right now and probably ever.  


If you took down your closed-minded walls, you probably would have heard the lyrics and realized this is very relatable to many people...so the lyrics alone are a great foundation to the song.  


If you don't like the way it sounds, that's too bad, but that doesn't deem it the worst new song.  Clearly, your audience disagrees with you.  Why should artists even make new albums if you think they should stick to being the same?  Every new album is a chance for them to reinvent themselves pertaining to their lives and experiences.


It irks me to see poorly written posts/articles.  Take a pill or something, open your mind, and re-write.  Please.


Pfft. You'd rather hear Pink?

WynterzPhyer like.author.displayName 1 Like

This article is completely biased and misinformed. MUSE is not just one instrument, i.e. guitars. MUSE uses many combinations of musical genres and joins them into one musical piece, or more commonly known as a song. From Bass to piano, and synths to the organ. 


Have you even listened to common dubstep? Madness is no where near such music. 

Where you even get Queen and Skrillex from this song, I cannot figure out. How you confuse Madness with Magic is beyond me. 


How many songs by MUSE have you listened to? Not all are purely guitar.


To translate this "Article": This song does not have what I like. That makes it is a terrible song.

To sum up the comments: You are an idiot. This song is excellent, whether you like it or not.


The majority have spoken. You are outnumbered here. This song does not meet your tastes obviously, but that doesn't make it bad either. Move along and find another.

The song itself is very well performed. It is entertaining to listen to. Its message is bold and clear.


Want a terrible song? http://youtu.be/j5SNOAcD3ak (Black Out Band - Video Games)


DasCoolAndAll like.author.displayName 1 Like

Why was this even allowed to be written? SFWeekly, come on seriously guys do you even see the utter bullsh*t your people post?


That was probably the biggest waste of an article on this site.

therealcoley like.author.displayName 1 Like

Worst piece of self indulgent bollocks I have ever read, and I'm not that fussed on Muse. Find a new career Rae Alexandra, and for gods sake don't play any Radiohead, your tiny little brain may just implode.

wetfett like.author.displayName 1 Like

You've got to be kidding me...this article is a load of shit. Instead of breaking down and examining the song, the author just bitches and complains about it. The majority of the arguments made are invalid and this should be disregarded as purely opinion 

wherearemysoup like.author.displayName 1 Like

Um. Why did I just read this post? Dumbest article ever read.

Ethan like.author.displayName 1 Like

I'd be willing to respectfully disagree if you at least made a compelling argument, but what the hell did I just read? Are you trying to corner the market on stupid?


I hear ya, Rae. Muse have jumped the shark, I think.

SimmyRx like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

"It has always been about the guitars?" Fuck off. 

Have you heard the power in the bass line of Hysteria?! The drum solos Dom plays at the end of each gig? You can feel everyone in the stadium literally stop breathing when he plays his solos. And the mad piano solo in Butterflies and Hurricanes? Oh and not forgetting Matt's vocal range. That contributes to what Muse are about just as much as the guitars do. Muse are so much more than just about the guitars, so next time please do think about what you're saying. 

adelsaafan76 like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

get the fuck out of here. muse never disappoints and madness is an amazing song. it's refreshing because muse has never done a synth driven ballad or song like this before. whoever wrote this is a fucking hack. quit nitpicking every single bit of the song and criticizing muse about how they're ripping off other artists when the truth is they aren't. yeah, there are queen, george michael and u2 influences. so what? is that a bad thing for artists to have influences from other amazing artists too? muse is too "mainstream" now and they've jumped the shark? that's some absolute bullshit cause muse is probably the most original band out there. no other band can mix alternative rock, heavy metal, classical music, and electronica and make it sound good. and not that many singers have the roaring falsetto, guitar shredding, and piano playing skills of matt bellamy or the bass playing of chris wolstenholme. and for 3 guys to make that sound is astonishing. no one could match that. and muse sounds a million times better live than in the studio recordings. if this hack wants muse to be the old muse, then this fucker must be one of those origin of symmetry fanboys too. you're not a fan of muse if you keep complaining about muse not making another oos. you want muse to make the same shit all the time? that's ridiculous. let a band experiment cause it gets boring when a band makes the same stuff on every new record. and muse hasn't failed with experimenting. black holes & revelations and the resistance were both amazing yet peple still bashed it. those people have no fucking ears and don't have a taste in music. if muse made the same type of songs on every album, they'll sound like some hack band like nickelback. so for this fucking hack writer, go listen to some nickelback or some fucking hipster music that consists of chants and long dreary noises

musemadmrsmac like.author.displayName 1 Like

 @adelsaafan76 Just  want to say I totally agree with every word you've written. I love all of Muse's work, and look forward to seeing what they have got next for us! That is why they are never boring, they move onwards and upwards. I love all their cheeky use of other influences...I also think I hear some Pet Shop Boys...I will never tire of them. Ever.


@OriginOfEurasia Oh my actual days. WHAT IS THIS FOOLISHNESS?!?!?! FUCKING MORONS!

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