This album sounds like the scribblings of a deranged Scientologist, as Muse opt for weird and dorky rather than quality content. Matt Bellamy reached for the stars on Simulation Theory, presumably in the hope he could land on a UFO, but instead he ended up six feet under the musical surface; killing his band and any shred of credibility he had left in the process.
I won’t beat around the bush here, this album is hilariously bad. There are moments on here where I genuinely wonder if they’ve been made as a joke. Muse have always been somewhat of a parody band in all honesty, stealing a living off Radiohead for many years now but in an attempt to do something a bit different they’ve managed to sound even worse than before. Matt Bellamy has well and truly channelled his inner space freak on the new Muse album Simulation Theory, but the result is hardly a Star Wars-esque classic. If I were to compare this album to a film it would be more likely The Emoji Movie, so blissfully unaware of how easily mocked it can be for sheer incompetence.
It became painfully obvious what we were in for from the very start of the very first track. It is conveniently titled Algorithm considering I’ve spent all day trying to work out the algorithms Matt Bellamy sourced to make himself believe this hot mess was a good way to start your album. Get Up and Fight is a cringe-fest designed to try and sound like a stadium rock classic when it actually sounds more like the kind of track you’d hear on an advert for a budget airline. Propaganda could well be the worst song of the year and Blockades just makes my skin crawl both lyrically and instrumentally; there are so many negatives it becomes difficult to keep up.
There is but one tolerable song on this relentless ride of rubbish, track three Pressure has a solid rock guitar riff and a fairly catchy hook but that’s about as far as my praise goes. It says an awful lot that their strongest effort on the album is a carbon copy of their old school weirdo rock blueprint that made them popular. It lacks originality and is nothing more than okay.
The last time I heard an album and was so enthralled by how excruciatingly bad it sounds was 2015, when Kid Cudi brought out his troubled disasterpiece Speedin’ Bullet 2 Heaven and in many ways I see this Muse album taking a similar route. Simulation Theory seems so hell-bent on distracting you from how poor the music is through the use of strange concepts that all it manages to achieve is highlight its shortcomings further. Bellamy spouts half-hearted, semi-involved political jargon over an unexplainable blend of sluggish rock-opera and futuristic synthesisers that sound like they should be on the soundtrack to Close Encounters of the Third Kind. It’s not very often I am lost for words, but Muse have finally done it, I’m stumped.