Newest Review: ... ones on the cover. Muse is made up of Matt Bellamy on lead vocals, guitars and piano (he also wrote all the songs on this album except ... more
Origin Of Symmetry - Muse
Member Name: CheesySpam
Origin Of Symmetry - Muse
Advantages: Brilliant lyrics, instruments are all played exceptionally, some great songs.
After listening to Muse's fourth album, Black Holes and Revelations, I decided to get Origin of Symmetry, the band's second album. It is a departure from the indie sound from their first album, Showbiz, and insteads features loud and heavy guitar riffs, along with some catchy solos and unusual lyrics. It was a risky move for Muse to change their style like this, so would it work? Yes, it did, and is arguably better than Showbiz.
Before I go onto the album, I'll tell you a bit about the band. Muse consists of:
Matt Bellamy - lead vocals, guitar, piano
Chris Wolstenholme - bass, backing vocals
Dom Howard - drums, percussion
The band formed in the early 90's, when Bellamy auditioned as a guitarist for Howard's band. He succeeded in becoming part of the band. Afterwards, they asked drummer Wolstenholme to take up bass for the band and he agreed.
Their first band name was quite depressing - Gothic Plague. They changed their name to Fixed Penalty and changed it again for the second time to Rocket Baby Dolls. With this name, they won a local competition. Afterwards, they quit their jobs and changed their name to Muse.
In 1999, they released Showbiz. It was criticised for sounding too similar to Radiohead. However, the album did gain many positive reviews. They went on to release Origin of Symmetry in 2001. Afterwards, they released Absolution, then their fourth and fifth albums.
Just before I go onto the main review, I just thought I'd mention what makes Origin so different from other rock albums. There's strange lyrics, yes, but there's one thing that makes this unique. It's the way that Muse play the album. Normally in rock music, the guitar is the main focus, but here the bass is, really. The guitar is basically just an extra layer on top of the bass. It may make you a little bit sceptic about the album, but this has a great effect and works really well.
NEW BORN - 6 : 03
This is a fantastic start to the album. It starts with Bellamy's quiet and slow vocals, followed by a very fast and hard guitar riff. The bass then comes in and the vocals return. The vocals are a bit weird, but somehow they fit the song perfectly. You soon hear the very memorable chorus and an unique solo. The song ends with a quiet, strange sounding noise. This is easily one of the best tracks on the album. 10 / 10
BLISS - 4 : 12
Bliss somehow manages to maintain the standard that New Born kicked off the album with. It starts with a catchy keyboard, with a loud guitar coming in afterwards. The song has a disco-ey feel to it. Bellamy's lyrics are quiet casual and aren't very clear, but in a good way somewhat. The chorus is a bit louder. It ends with the keyboard fading out. Although very different to New Born, Bliss is just as good. Can the next track maintain the same standard? 9 / 10
SPACE DEMENTIA - 6 : 20
Space Dementia is another song that sounds different to the previous tracks. It starts off with a slow piano tune and soon becomes more loud and in some way aggressive. Bellamy's vocals soon come in and are extremely weird. Here is an example: 'You make me sick, because I adore you so'. That's what you should expect from Bellamy! The chorus is fairly quiet and the lyrics are about space. The last minute or two features a complicated piano tune. Overall, a brilliant song. 9 / 10
HYPER MUSIC - 3 : 21
Hmm, what to say about Hyper Music...well, it's hyper, really! Far more fast paced than the previous three tracks, the vocals are loud and the guitar is speedy. The lyrics are all about space, like normal with most Muse songs. It doesn't maintain the standard of the first three tracks, but it would have been hard for Muse to have. However, it's still a good song. 7.5 / 10
PLUG IN BABY - 3 : 39
Arguably the best song in the album, and one of Muse's greatest songs. The opening guitar riff is extremely catchy and nearly all rock fans have heard it. The vocals at the start are fairly quiet but they soon pick up the pace and get much louder in the epic chorus. This song also features some very weird lyrics. For example: 'My plug in baby, crucifies my enemies, when I'm tired of giving, woah'. The song is absolutely amazing and you really need to hear it. 10 / 10
CITIZEN ERASED - 7 : 19
Citizen Erased - Muse's longest song to date. It starts off with an abrasive guitar sound with some vibrating bass afterwards. The vocals begin soon and while unusual, they seem to make sense. Bellamy uses his powerful high voice in the chorus. The song goes into a quick interlude, and straight after we hear another verse and chorus. The song ends quietly, with Bellamy's slow vocals. With Plug in Baby, this is one of Muse's best songs. 10 / 10
MICRO CUTS - 3 : 39
It's not a very well known Muse song, possibly because it isn't up to the standard of some of the other tracks on the album. It is still good though and features some unusual sounding vocals. It starts off with a medium-paced guitar and bass, and afterwards Bellamy sings with a falsetto voice. The chorus has a metal-style to it. The end is very fast-paced and loud. A good track. 8 / 10
SCREENAGER - 4 : 20
Arguably the worst song on the album as it doesn't seem to fit in with the rest of the songs. It starts with a somewhat creepy spanish guitar tune with some percussion with it. Bellamy's vocals are soft and slow and it goes on like this for most of the song. The lyrics are all about self-harm and these can be quite intriguing. The last minute or so features a synth. Like I said, it just doesn't fit in with the rest of the album. 6 / 10
DARKSHINES - 4 : 46
This is a lot better than the previous track and the standard of the album is raised again. It starts with a guitar and the vocals arrive quite early in the song, with some percussion playing along to them. The chorus features some loud vocals from Bellamy along with clear drums and bass. The same happens again and the song changes towards the end, where it gets a bit more quiet. Then, we hear a fast guitar and another chorus to finish. A great song. 8 / 10
FEELING GOOD - 3 : 19
A cover of the song Feeling Good, originally written by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley. Muse have changed the song a lot, and in my opinion its much better than the original. It starts with more soft vocals from Bellamy and the chorus features a loud guitar. Bellamy uses a megaphone for the next part and then we hear another chorus before the song ends. An excellent song. 10 / 10
MEGALOMANIA - 4 : 38
This starts with a slow and quiet organ, with some percussion afterwards. Then, Bellamy starts singing and the lyrics aren't too weird here. We have a medium paced chorus after some singing and the second verse then comes in. The second verse features an organ to go with the singing. The next chorus is fairly epic and Bellamy shouts 'aahhhhh' until the end of the song. A very good end to the album. 8.5 / 10
Origin of Symmetry is far better than the already good Showbiz and the only Muse album that is just as good as Origin is the next one, Absolution. It's a brilliant disk and nearly every track on it is fantastic. With mad but brilliant lyrics, a unique sound and generally excellent music, it's an essential album especially if you like rock. You can get it for around £3.60 on Amazon, which is an excellent offer.
RELEASED : 17 July 2001
RECORDED IN : Several places, including Ridge Farm Studio in Surrey and Abbey Road Studios in London.
GENRES : Hard rock, new prog, alternative rock.
TOTAL LENGTH: 51 : 41
LABEL : Taste
Summary: One of the greatest albums I've ever heard. Stunning.