Thursday, December 2, 1999
Houston, Texas
Volume 65, Issue 71

Cougar Comics Online
Album Review: Raekwon

Concert Preview: 311


About the Cougar

U.K.-based Muse puts feeling and emotion behind new set, Showbiz


Maverick Records
12 songs, 49 min



By Christine McCreary
Daily Cougar Staff

If there were such thing as an A+++ album rating, Muse's new release Showbiz would get it, and then set the standard by which its predecessors would be measured.

Currently touring the U.K., the English band Muse is comprised of Matthew Bellamy (vocals, piano), Dominic Howard (drums) and Chris Wolstenholme (bass).

Ralf Strathman/Maverick Records

Rock band Muse has released Showbiz, an album that is as good as it gets.

"All we used to do was hang around, smoke and listen to music. There wasn't anything else to do," Bellamy stated.

While performing during a short stay in the United States, Muse played on the Santa Monica Pier, and caught the attention of Madonna's record label Maverick. Muse was quickly signed, and the rest is history in the making.

Muse's sound can be compared to that of Radiohead, Placebo or Queen. Its album is reminiscent of the music played throughout the movie Velvet Goldmine.

Track two, "Muscle Museum," is by far one of the best on the album. It's a high-powered song teetering on the brink of insanity as Bellamy's vocals climax to the sound of eerie electric guitar rhythms and piano accompaniment, as he sings "She had something to confess to / But you don't have the time so / Look the other way."

"I don't think that many bands feel that strongly about their music," Bellamy said. "It's sad but I think Nirvana was the last band who had that.

"Music should be an outlet for your emotions. If it wasn't for Muse, I think I'd probably be a nasty, violent person. It's definitely a release, and that's the way it should be," he said.

With a waltz-like rhythm, "Falling Down" features Bellamy singing in a Freddie Mercury-esque fashion.

Another noteworthy track is "Cave," in which Bellamy pushes the audience away as he releases a pent-up fireball of angst.

However, the audience won't stay gone for long as Bellamy pulls them back in again with his pouty, seductive lyrical style.

Track six, the title track, is another angst-infused song with lyrics like: "Controlling my feelings for too long / Controlling my feelings for way too long / For our darkest souls to unfold," and is destined to receive frequent airplay.

Showbiz, with its overall enthralling sound, is guaranteed to pacify listeners until Muse makes it back to touring in the United States, which, with any luck, will be soon. The ideal setting for the ultimate Muse experience would be up close and personal in a small venue ­ perhaps Numbers.

To view some cool band photos or preview some of these tunes yourself, check out Muse's Web site at: www.muse-official.com.

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