British rock band Muse released its most recent album, Simulation Theory, two months ago in November 2018. Receiving mostly four to five-star reviews, the album is a complete success. But, on a deeper level, how does it perform as a complete album?
Stories Come in Many Forms
Simulation Theory is more than a simple album. Most artists follow a general theme in their creative works when assembling an album, much like Muse does in Simulation Theory. But it is more than a simple compilation of singles. Muse succeeds by using their immense talents to craft individual tracks that, when listened through the album’s entirety, create a fully cohesive story.
Although this may be difficult to observe during your daily commute or at the office, Muse’s accompanying music videos help to communicate the story’s whole. Truly, Simulation Theory is a testament to the old adage, “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”
Beyond the album’s success on the story-telling front, how else does Simulation Theory perform? The answer is: amazingly. Still sounding true to the Muse fans have come to know and love, the band created an ‘80s-esque feel that left us with a deep sense of nostalgia. Heavy use of synthesizers and high-hats produce an ‘80s aura that could extend Muse’s influence beyond its current fanbase.
Longtime fans already love Muse and will likely continue to do so. But this new take on Muse could capture older generations who prefer similar musical elements commonly included in the music of the ’80s. This path was largely intentional, evidenced in the music video for “The Dark Side” when the word, “Retro” emerges from the background.
Simulation Theory is a modern take on storytelling filled with thought-provoking verses and imagery. And then they wrapped it neatly in an aurally-satisfying ‘80s feel. Muse’s latest album is a complete success. Given the opportunity, it will capture new listeners, adding to the rock band’s already substantial fan base. Do your ears and mind a favor and check it out. What have you got to lose? After all, this only a simulation.