“Psycho” by Muse, Song Review

Muse. Image Cred: Danny Clinch for muse.muMuse are back on the scene with a brand new song called “Psycho,” off their upcoming album, Drones, due to release June 8th. Every note in this song completely vibrates with energy and talent. It starts off slow, with audio clips from a drill sergeant and a new recruit. This slow intro and audio clips set the tone for the whole song, as well as clue in listeners as to what the meaning of the song is – because most of the time, whether it’s realized at the time or not, most of Muse’s songs tend to have a bigger message and meaning to them.

The lyrics are brutally blunt though, making the meaning and story easy to find. Matt Bellamy sings about turning someone into a mindless psycho, a mindless drone, to kill on command and to not ask questions – using more curse words in one song than he has in his whole time as the band’s frontman and songwriter. He makes the task of turning people into mindless drones sound easy, and the frequent audio clips from the drill sergeant and the new soldier make it obvious what Bellamy’s referring to when he sings these lyrics and help move the story along. (Plus, in the video, the cameo on the robot like creature and the uniform of the drill sergeant make it pretty obvious as well.)

The song is driven not only by the vocals and lyrics, but by the instrumentals too. It’s heavily guitar driven, but the nice thing is that the guitar doesn’t overwhelm all of the other elements of the song – because there are a lot of beautiful elements. However if you’re a long time Muse fan, like I am, then the guitar riff might sound a little familiar. The melody and riffs that they use in the chorus and throughout “Psycho” have actually been heard, in the outro to “Stockholm Syndrome” on HAARP (Live from Wembley Stadium), released in 2007 – or at least, it seems like that, because they definitely sound similar. I guess Matt Bellamy wasn’t really fibbing when he said they would try to go back to basics. Indeed, the song “Psycho” seems to be stripped of the more electronic elements and instead focuses soley on instruments that can be played in the studio. Aside from the intro, the audio clips, and some easily made effects at the end; it really does seem stripped back to what we might have heard, say, on Absolution or maybe even Origin of Symmetry?

At the same time, “Psycho” stands on its own, a totally new song with a brand new meaning and feel behind it. Which is what makes Muse so great, because even when they are reusing old concert outro riffs, it’s something totally new, unique, and never heard before. Combined with the depth of the songs and the themes behind it… well, it’s definitely what’s going to help Muse go down in history. I can’t wait to hear more from Drones.

Song Rating: 5/5

Image Cred: Danny Clinch for muse.mu

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