Songs of our time

music review

Songs of our time

Songs of our time

The English rock band, Muse, are known for their energetic live performances. The band consists of Matthew Bellamy (lead vocals, guitar, piano, keyboards), Christopher Wolstenholme (bass guitar, backing vocals) and Dominic Howard (drums, percussion, synthesisers). Drones, their seventh studio album, is a concept album, following the protagonist’s journey from abandonment to indoctrination as a “human drone” and eventual defection.

The opening track, “Dead Inside”, is a stomper with staccato military beats, while “Drill Sergeant” is a track designed for live performance. “Mercy” is a pulsating piano-led power-anthem fit for stage performance. “Psycho” is a glam rock style track which recalls the likes of Marilyn Manson. The allusion to the drones is explicit in the lyrics of “Psycho” (I could use someone like you/ Someone who’ll kill on my command/ And ask no questions.). “Reaper” is a fast and furious riff and rhythm-laden aggressive track. “The Handler” is a classic Muse with searing riff and vibrating rhythms.

“JFK” is a stomper which begins with a famous speech of John F Kennedy slamming the corruption of democracy through greed. Certainly a song of our times. “Aftermath” is a more subtle track on the album, beginning with a faintly eastern hum, bringing out the best in Muse, and a climax for the stadium audience. “The Globalist”, a nearly 10-minute track, is sheer operatic rock melodrama. In the closing title song, “Drones”, the band chants “Killed by drones” in unison, almost like a Tibetan chant, for three minutes, listing the various family members killed by drones.

Most of the tracks in the album are standalone good old classic style drums-bass-and-guitar rock with a strong anti-war message thrown in.

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