“Drones” by Muse, Album Review

MuseDronesCoverThe most anticipated album of the summer is finally here – and it doesn’t disappoint. Drones is Muse’s seventh studio album to date. With Drones, the band promised a return to simpler times. Instead of dubstep meets symphonies meets Queen meets aliens, the band promised that they’d go back to how they started. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s toned down in any way at all. Instead, one might be able to argue that this is one of the most intricate, advanced albums that Muse has put out to date. And they use all of those simple, basic rock n roll elements and instrumentals to give that album the edge that it needs to tell the story.

 “To me, ‘Drones’ are metaphorical psychopaths which enable psychopathic behaviour with no recourse.  The world is run by Drones utilizing Drones to turn us all into Drones.  This album explores the journey of a human, from their abandonment and loss of hope, to their indoctrination by the system to be a human drone, to their eventual defection from their oppressors.”

          Matt Bellamy, front man and songwriter for Muse

The first half of Drones tells the story of a person, our narrator, slowly losing his sense of self and his humanity to these oppressive forces around him. The best thing about these oppressive forces is that they really can be anything – our families, our loved ones, the media, the government, religion, aliens. The idea of this oppressive force can really, legitimately be applied to anyone, making it relatable to an almost terrifying level.

Though of course, with this being Muse, it has a stronger emphasis on the government being the oppressive force. Muse has never had any problems calling out the government on their policies. In the past they’ve made bold statements with “Soldier’s Poem,” and “United States of Eurasia.” But Drones is like a strongly worded letter not only to America, but to every oppressive government that uses is a shoot first, ask questions later policy.

“The first song is about a person that loses hope and kind of becomes vulnerable to the darker forces and drawn into military brainwashing, and then on songs after that, just sort of battling the dark forces that are trying to control our minds and everything. Then eventually you get to songs like ‘Revolt’ and ‘Defector’ where the person fights back and really takes control of themselves, then ‘Aftermath’ is a kind of rekindling with love type of situation, then ‘The Globalist’ is just like a crazy, ten minute prog nightmare – which is about the rise and fall of a dictator.”

          Matt Bellamy, to BBC Radio One

Each song is just a chapter in the story that Drones is telling, and Matt Bellamy acts as the perfect narrator – playing the part of main character and oppressive force equally well for whatever songs require it. Bellamy has found a new control over his voice, both with emotions and the way that he’s able to hold and project notes. It’s a startling change from the singer who, just a few albums ago, would forget when to breathe and gasped into the microphone at times. But the new style fits him well, and gives the album and narration that extra kick that it needs to really hit you at your core.

The message in this album is absolutely amazing, incredible… and it uses its grand theatrics and instrumentals to shake you and leave an impression. That’s the best thing about this album. You want to make a change in your society, you don’t want to become a drone, you want to revolt, and Drones inspires you to do just that.

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