Guess Who’s Back…

(Disclaimer: This blog format, while visually awesome, doesn’t let me put apostrophes in the title. I know, it’s annoying me too.)

Got some supermassive exciting news for you – but first of all an apology. When I first started this blog in January I had every intention of updating it regularly with the latest music and entertainment news, reviews and musings. I managed a total of six posts and kept it going for just over a week. Which is a bit pathetic, I know. But now I’m back and I’m determined to kickstart Shufflepod – and what better way to do that than with the news that one of my all-time favourite bands has announced its upcoming return to the musical arena?

Yes, at long last Muse are back! Last week the band released a trailer for their new album The 2nd Law, to be released this September. Like almost every new Muse album, it’s already split the fans. Some love it, some hate it and some are just baffled.

First thoughts: cutting through all the scientific waffle, the music sounds awesome. At first I thought it sounded similar to Muse’s last album The Resistance, with the sweeping classical movements and dark, subversive tone. Matt Bellamy (the band’s eccentric frontman and principal songwriter) seems to be obsessed with all things abstract and unfathomable, and it looks like this album will be no exception. While The Resistance delved into his favourite conspiracy theories (apparently one of the songs on there is about the British Royal Family being descended from giant lizards), The 2nd Law leans  towards theories of a more scientific nature. Even the title itself is a reference to the principles of thermodynamics (yes, I had to google this.)

The urban/dubstep twist at the end was surprising, and I don’t know how much (if at all) this is going to feature on the new album, but I wouldn’t mind hearing more of it. What I like about Muse is that they’re always evolving and  experimenting with different genres, rather than sticking to the same tried and tested formula. Sometimes this is to the irritation of their hardcore fans (I remember the uproar that Supermassive Black Hole caused when it first came out.) But I like the unpredictability; I think it’s one of Muse’s best qualities. It’s not like the classic favourites – Plug In Baby, New Born, Hysteria etc – are going to disappear from their set list any time soon.

The other thing I like about Muse is that beneath the dark and twisted exterior, they actually seem to be three genuinely funny guys who don’t take themselves too seriously.

Back in 2001 the band were invited to perform on the now long-defunct Saturday morning TV show, Live and Kicking. Unfortunately, what the producers meant by “performing” was actually lip-syncing. Muse decided to have a bit of fun with this. What followed was a drummer fake-playing bass, a bassist fake-playing drums, and an incredible piece of keyboard choreography:

Nine years later the band were invited to lip-sync again, this time on an Italian TV show to promote The Resistance. Proving that they haven’t mellowed with age, “The Muse” once again decided to make a few line-up changes. And once again, the audience and presenters were completely clueless.

Whatever happens to Muse on their next album, I hope they never decide to grow up…