They've done this since Black Holes, which was a fantastic album, and supermassive black hole was a fantastic pop single. They release some wacky sideline song as a single, there might be a few like that on album, but it is never "the album". They produced an entire album of B sides alongside around Origin of Symmetry and there were quite a few for Absolution and Black Holes as well, those are some of my favourite tracks.
I like my music to be versatile, and that's why music is so great, because it's timeless. You can go back to an album and it doesn't sound worse, often it sounds better with a new hifi or whatever. And unlike a lot of bands, at least after the first "album tour", Muse play loads of their old songs and they're still strawberry floating amazing live as I first saw them in 2006 and the Brighton date for the fan Psycho tour, which was probably the best gig I've ever seen. Muse are a live band. Who cares about their studio releases when they have like 100 tracks now you can play whenever you want.
Let an artist do whatever they want, I say. Populism/fandom has no place in dictating what an artist does - it's when they do that that they're really dead, as they're not creating anything anymore. You're not going to get the same music out of a 30 something as a 19 year old on mushrooms, dragged into a massive tour / gigantic crowds very quickly. You're going to get overproduced, introverted stuff that shoots off at weird angles. With the occasional throwback in there. There's only so many great chromatic minor riffs in E/A/B you can write (or steal from classical romantic music) with the same 3 piece setup. I'm glad they're still going really, most bands break up or one of them dies, all the while fans are clamouring for the same bloody title/single song they released 15,20, 30 years ago. God help them.
Im all for artists changing and evolving if the music still makes you feel something. No one wants to be a greatest hits band that just tours on the strength of 30 year old albums. But ive not heard anything post Absolution from Muse that interested me even a little. I liked Muse cause they were an off the wall rock band, they didnt really sound like anyone else at the time, like some insane mix of Jeff Buckley and a metal band on crack. The new stuff is just too pop oriented and bland. Maybe some people like that, maybe BH&R or Drones is your favourite Muse album and what turned you on to them, and thats fine, but i'm currently listening to OOS for the first time in probably a decade, and i'm like "holy gooseberry fool this is still good". I do not get that vibe when i hear Supermassive Blackhole or this new jam which is to be polite, not very good.
Some bands change and evolve and get away with it but its few and far between. People always say Metallica just evolved post AJFA, but there's a difference between evolving and churning out decades worth of shite which what Metallica did. Its a very tough thing to do and i cant think of many bands that have had a big change in direction that ive actually enjoyed.
imo it's not that different to something like Madness or Mercy, both tracks I like. Or Undisclosed Desires which I would even pick out from my library when that album came out (along with Unnatural Selection).
Granted apart from the apex of the song it's mostly forgettable.
Listened to Drones all the way through tonight and there are some great tracks on there, and it's all very consistent and fits together (I think they did say it's a concept album, so that makes sense).
I've definitely said this before, but ever since Black Holes and the stadium tour (namely Wembley), it's all been about sing-alongs, with basic lyrics and big harmonies, big beats etc. It's really hard not to get caught up in that atmosphere of that at gigs and then it all makes sense, I just don't really care anymore.
I don't seem them turning back from that for a while if it seems to be getting them radio airplay and million sellers.
Weaker albums overall don't bother me because they still play classic songs and interestingly when they play a B-side I probably never listened to originally it's a big thrill. Like Fury, The Groove or I'd even like to hear Easily or Glorious - both songs similar to the last 1-3 albums, but written about 15 years ago. Ever since I started seeing them live, my attention to the studio albums lessened, I use that as a platform to listen to whatever I like, and I picture them normally as a band on stage and there, they're incredible. I don't picture a bunch of album covers and a list of tracks where it's like, oh dear that song there is bad. I don't really do that with any bands, though.
Edit: This single was released last month along with the video? I even heard in on the radio 3 weeks ago and I'm never in a car.
Btw when they did the same single/video releases before, I thought Uprising was meh and I kind of hated Isolated System. When Supermassive Black Hole game out, people where going "lol Britney" etc. but I really loved it after a few listens.
Same old really. Their singles are weird. You'll get 3 or 4 decent songs from their current albums, but arguably if you listen all the way through to Showbiz or OoS when Bellamy could hardly sing and not whine (a transition from their unreleased demo that is really, really painfully obvious if you listen to it), some of those songs aren't really very good. They're just familiar. Some of them don't even have lyrics and are just doodles. Others are really similar, like I'll mix up the song names and not remember them at all.
I think the average muse fan, they might claim they like this album or that album, but there are probably 3-4 max songs that stand out on their own right, that they can actually recall by name and sing the melody. The rest are what you honestly call "filler".
Black Holes was about 80% good stuff, but I don't think I can really say the same for OoS, Absolution and certainly not Showbiz. I forget those songs all the time, except Cave and Muscle Museum.