My iPod #557: Muse – Hyper Music

“Hyper Music” is the fourth track on the band’s second album Origin of Symmetry. A track of ‘pure anger and disregard for affection’ as once said by Matthew Bellamy in Kerrang! magazine, it was released as a double A-side single alongside their cover of “Feeling Good“. The band decided to film two music videos for the two songs too; whilst that of “Feeling Good” had flower petals slowly falling from the sky, “Hyper Music”‘s features very unstable camera handling, extreme close-ups of Matthew Bellamy’s head, and a headbanging crowd for the final chorus.

Still, it is the perfect visual accompaniment to the song’s bouncing energy and aggression. It all begins with a plectrum scratch which becomes more and more distorted before the band enter to launch into the song’s riff. Similar to a lot of early Muse songs “Hyper Music” focuses its attention on a person who Bellamy couldn’t bare to take shit from anymore, this time he totally erases them from his life – regarding them as someone he never loved nor wanted in the first place. Bellamy holds this negativity and exudes it in his wailing vocal performance, with bassist Chris Wolstenholme pulling the strings throughout delivering a powerful ascending bassline that drives the song’s momentum.

A great track. One that, admittedly, I like a lot better when I was younger. But still a headbanging listen all the way.

Tomorrow comes the last of the H’s and I don’t know whether to feel relieved or saddened by this. Will keep you updated.

My iPod #365: Muse – Feeling Good

Muse’s take on the Anthony Newley and Lesley Briscusse original was released on the band’s second album “Origin of Symmetry” thirteen years ago. As well as being the second to last track on that, it was released as a single alongside another album track “Hyper Music”. As a result, both videos made for the tracks are set in the same location albeit there are a few differences in the colour palette here and there. The three members perform in front of their fans who have had their faces digitally altered in order to look like freaks, petals fall slowly from the sky, and Matt Bellamy fiddles around with a megaphone during a verse.

“Feeling Good” is recognised for being an actually very good cover of an old track. Probably one of the best covers of the 21st century. Why? Not really sure. I guess that it’s because it was the first modern rock cover that had been done for the track, and Matt, Chris and Dom pulled it off very well. It is a cover that is so, so simple but still rocks. And you can’t blame someone who, listening to it for the first time, would think it was their own original song because they adapt it to their own style so easily.

I rate it.

My iPod #111: Muse – Bliss

I think this is the first Muse song to come up in this whole iPod thing I’m doing. That’s good. At least I can interest you with a story of how I came to like the band, and why so many of their songs have their spot on my Apple product.

The year was 2003. Muse were about to release their third album “Absolution”, and there was this new song of theirs…. something about running out of time. Of course I know it’s “Time Is Running Out”. I remember my sister liked the song a bit. I think they played the song on Top of the Pops and CD:UK and all those music shows. I remember seeing a glimpse of the video for “Sing for Absolution” on CD:UK, but I didn’t think it was that good. Not as good as “Time Is Running Out” anyway.

Fast forward three years later, and everyone was getting hyped for “Black Holes and Revelations”. “Supermassive Black Hole” was the hot shit, and it was on MTV2 that there were countless repeats of older Muse videos. Now that I was eleven, I could actually absorb what I was listening to. I was much more interested in music, and mostly spent my time watching MTV2. I realised that Muse weren’t too bad. They were pretty awesome. They make good songs. This is where Bliss comes in.

The “Bliss” video features the lead singer Matt Bellamy falling through the earth, whilst Dom and Chris look on, until he eventually falls out the other side into space and then disintegrates into the unknown. I thought the video was cool, the rapid camera changes and the focus on Matt’s flailing T-shirt really captures the urgency of the song. It’s got a belter of a chorus, and is driven along nicely by Christopher Wolstenholme’s bass – much like various other songs on “Origin of Symmetry”, the album on which the song was on when it was released as the band’s second album in 2001.

Yep. Apart from Arctic Monkeys, Muse was the band that got people talking in 2006. It was a good time to be alive.

Until tomorrow.

Jamie.