I feared this day would come. I have become the very thing that I have criticised before, when it comes to fans complaining when a band changes their direction. However, I wonder if the time has come for me to join the herd of disgruntled followers, after I heard Muse’s new single: Uprising (which you can listen to here).
I have been a fan of Muse for a good 7 years now, since their third album Absolution came out; I have seen them four times (the first of which was accounted on this very blog), and I have been fairly loyal to them in the face of criticism, such as: they are pretentious, or they’ve gone down a poor musical direction. However, even I am scratching my head after the first play of Uprising on BBC Radio 1. Predictably, a lot of the loyal Muse fans will fawn over the latest ‘success’ of Bellemy and Co – although many of these people, I’m sure some of my friend included, would praise Muse just as religiously if the band released an album, which just consisting of Chris Moyles; profusely swearing, whilst kicking a dog repeatedly for two hours – but I just don’t know about this.
The tune itself has already been lampooned by some just-as-questioning fans like me, and the single could be compared to a Goldfrapp rip off; as well as the Dr Who theme. It’s not a bad tune, but I find the electronic direction of the band troubling. I suppose one of the main reasons it bothers me too, is that for three years of waiting I feel I’ve got a bum deal. I know Muse have had four amazing albums so far, and a disappointing one was due – not that I’m completely writing off the album yet, although I am concerned that it’s all going to be like this – but it doesn’t make it any the more pleasant to realise. Also the other preview single, United States of Eurasia, was unconventional to say the least – and grew on me after a bit - and was acceptable as long as one understood that a better track would follow. At least Eurasia had Muse’s ‘epic’ quality sound about it, rather than Uprising’s middle-of-the-road synth sound.
The sound of Uprising, to me, also might signal that the band has sold out a little, whilst trying to cover this up with a bit of political rhetoric in the lyrics. Fair enough they make some thought provoking comments – for instance that: “fat cats should have a heart attack.” But then remember, we buy newspapers to read about politics; we don’t listen to trancey pop tracks to be told what to think, which is something I have often criticised other bands and musicians for doing – Green Day especially. At the end of the day this track appeals more to the sound of 2009, which has already been established as 80s electronica. I thought given Muse’s track-record that they would try something a little different from the crowd. Sadly it wasn’t to be.
Who knows? I may change my tune come September, when the album is released proper. Perhaps I will even come to regret this very blog post, when the track grows on me. All I know is right now is I just hope Muse’s further releases get better than they are now. I have to say as I listen to Uprising again as I write, I'm warming to it slightly. I guess I still am one of THOSE fans. Can't wait till they get Moyles on board!