Album Review
Muse - H.A.A.R.P. Album Cover

Muse - H.A.A.R.P.

Reviewed by
Muse - H.A.A.R.P.
Record Label: Warner Brothers
Release Date: March 18, 2008
At 21 years of age, today is the first day I’ve ever searched for a map of the United Kingdom. Yes, I know it may seem that my elementary education system must have failed me. However, I owe my inspiration of typing in “map of the United Kingdom” in my Yahoo! toolbar to a certain band that has slowly shaped my musical taste as the Colorado River shaped the Grand Canyon—Muse.

In my existential life as a 21 year old, Muse have been a band I’ve upheld in a great sense of wonderment. But through building this house of cards known as my life, I’ve come to realize that in order procure a true understanding of a band’s music, you must see them live.

The band’s newest live effort, H.A.A.R.P. is as close to a live experience I’ve yet to have with Muse, and with that, it is also much better than many concerts I have attended, despite my perception being channeled through a flat plasma screen. H.A.A.R.P. is as breathtaking as a live DVD can be.

This review has been stuttering to enter a proper opening. The truth is that preparing to comment on an experience such as H.A.A.R.P. is like describing the inside of a hurricane from a first person point of view. The cinematography is staggering, with the eccentric presence of lead vocalist Sir Matthew Bellamy juxtaposed against a massive screen of flashing lights, with two neatly placed satellites adorning both sides of the stage. The band’s live music is compounded in extravagance, instituting an even heavier grandeur on “Butterflies and Hurricanes” and further frustrating the qualms of guitar entrepreneurship on “Supper Massive Black Hole”; Bellamy is a maestro for a front-man.

Bellamy’s wonderful idiosyncrasy aside, the product of Christopher Wolstenholme’s bass lines and Dominic Howard’s forthright skin-pounding is utterly visionary. Live, the true musical genius of the three-piece is understood with an exclamation point, adding inklings of improvisation throughout (see: the close of “New Born”) and keeping no stringent musical walls. The stage production itself amplifies this practice to the point of using a robot as a stage hand (see: the end of “Invincible”).

In the midst of this sonic depth, with most songs driven by intensity, the band takes a stride and slows things down with “Soldiers Poem,” a step that may let the audience slip into ennui. However, with the introduction of acrobats floating through the air on giant balloons in “Blackout,” the audience is again left with nothing to do but pick their jaws up from the floor.

It’s true that the UK has spawned some of the best rock and roll artists to date, legends like Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin. Rock and roll seems to be ingrained in the white blood cells pulsing through the blue blood of this small archipelago. Muse are a continuation of this tradition of excellence, and London a symbol of the band’s prodigious history. H.A.A.R.P. is an essential piece to any Muse fan’s collection, whether he or she may be the band’s biggest superfan or merely a Muse dabbler.

Recommended if You LikeRadiohead, Coldplay, the great lands of the United Kingdom

This review is a user submitted review from topher465. You can see all of topher465's submitted reviews here.
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10:18 AM on 04/28/08
every shining time you arrive
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Hello friends. Thanks for reading. If you wish, add me as a friend so you can get updates as to when I post a staggering blog entry or a thought-combusted review. That would be nice.
03:55 AM on 07/20/12
rose love
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