Muse – “Drones”. Two months later. Aftertaste
Disputes over the new work of Muse “Drones” have already subsided. And now, a couple of months after the album’s release, we’ll take a look at it again, so to speak, having tried this material over time.
Since ancient times, when people were not busy erecting grandiose structures, hunting, reproducing or uploading photos on Instagram, they looked at the stars and asked eternal questions: who are we and where are we from? what is our purpose? what is the fate of mankind? Most of us manage to get rid of the damned existential doubts and thoughts about the meaning of everything temporarily or forever, but some people, like Matthew Bellamy, turn their paranoia and fears into a constant source of inspiration (and income).
Muse frontman poses global issues for the seventh consecutive album. The disc “Drones” is presented by the group as a conceptual narration of a little man who is disappointed in love and people (“Dead Inside”), subjected to ideological processing (“Psycho”), becomes a weak-willed puppet of the system, an insensitive machine that executes orders (“Reapers”) , sees (“The Handler”), rebels against the oppressors (“Defector”), incites others to rebel (“Revolt”) and regains love and hope (“Aftermath”). This story, according to the members of the group, has an alternative, less optimistic ending – “The Globalist”, in which the protagonist, “instead of trying to deal with internal problems, chooses the path of destruction and destroys the whole world.”
One of the disc’s themes is the same fear of the rapid development of technology that has plagued Matt since the days of Origin of Symmetry, fears for the fate of mankind in the era of the development of artificial intelligence (in this Matt shares the position of Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk). One day, drones will no longer just spy and shoot home videos and begin to make decisions about killing people on their own, and the events described in the Terminator will become a reality.
At another level, this album is dedicated to Matt’s other favorite topic – mind control. The chosen ones who control the “herd”, brainwashing, silent tyrants, devouring souls, the resistance of a simple person to the System – old Orwell could be proud of his worthy follower. And if you delve even deeper, you can see behind the facade of simple texts an attempt to deal with philosophical questions about free will and the place of man in the universe. The dictator in “Globalist” is identified with the biblical king Nimrod, who challenged God and tried to “get to heaven” from the top of the Tower of Babel. (Nimrod is known as the “great hunter”, hence, perhaps, the line “The greatest hunter will survive them all”). “The Handler” makes you think about the most important Manipulator – the Great Mind – pulling the strings of fate, whose puppets, perhaps, are all of us … However, “it’s not necessary to delve into the concept of the album,” says Matt, “you can just enjoy the music, especially without thinking about the meanings. ”
Musically, Muse does not betray themselves and with a proudly raised head (and a bold grin) march along eras (from the Renaissance to the present) and genres (from variations on Elgar’s themes to a soundtrack to a western in the spirit of Morricone and hard rock solos). Not without the obligatory wink of Queen: the Brianmei solo in “Revolt” and the polyphony in “Defector”, bow to Tom Morello in “Reapers” and references to Dire Straits, Gilmore, Rod Stuart, Deep Purple and other notorious characters in “Aftermath”. And for the third consecutive album, Bono’s spirit is in the background somewhere, laughing cheekily. And if all this diversity was not enough for someone, at the very end he will find the main surprise in the form of an imitation of church polyphony, a soulful four-voice acapelic work in which Matt sings on behalf of ghosts of people killed by drones.
Muse surprisingly manages to reflect the zeitgeist, to show a historical section. And they are also good at creating songs that talk about serious, sometimes scary things that you can dance to. And although many dismiss this theater of the absurd, to others all these postmodern plays that the group puts on the stage of our mind are very much to our liking. Show must go on.