Muse Inspires the Crowds (2000-01-08 Liberation article)

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Translated article about the French January 2000 tour

Muse Inspires the Crowds

Franked or decried, the young English pop trio stirs the passions. Muse: CD "Showbiz", Naive. In concert, Saturday in Rouen (Exo 7), January 10 in Lyon (Ninkasi), the 11th at the Elysee-Montmartre (Paris), the 13th in Marseille (Espace Julien), the 14th in Bordeaux (Krakatoa), the 15th in Orleans (Astrolabe), the 18th at Bataclan (Paris).

By Gilles Renault

- January 8, 2000 at 22:05

Among all the posturing that takes us in this universe

Highly futile, subjective and volatile that pop (and must be), the Muse case is not the least spectacular. So he has been pouring out so much and more saliva and ink during the past semester, to say just about everything and its opposite.

"The future of rock". Selected pieces: "When you realize that you have not been tempted to listen to OK Computer (the latest album of Radiohead) over the past twelve months, so much is self-fulfilling, turn immediately to Muse" God only knows what condition they will be at age 30. "(Melody Maker)" It is fiery and powerful, but also surprisingly sweet, a great introduction "(Rolling Stone)" The future of rock has a name ( English): MUSE "(the Inrockuptibles)." No doubt the event of this season "(Télérama)." With graces of elephants, these English confuse lyricism and rock firefighter "(Le Monde). often with the grace of a pig stumbling in the mud "" (Magic).

New gifted gifted to pick up the moon for some, glabrous creators with two fingers of the sham for the others, the three Muses signed for four albums on Maverick, the label of Madonna will have at least succeeded one thing indisputable: to do more talk about in less than a year than many other artists in a career. Even if the hatch is less of a surprise pouch than a tenacious willingness to be at the top of the stairs in these three childhood friends there, we pass the couplet on the school benches, the provincial boredom, etc. Five years of gestation preceded the current marathon, which sees the little squad roam Europe on a tour bus and collect the first parts (Skunk Anansie, Live, Bush) until finally appearing at the head of

Ingenuity. It remains to evaluate the life expectancy of this training native of Devon (in the extreme south of England), so young that it would soon succeed the prowess to pass Supergrass and Ash for models of maturity, even Blur and Sweden for bands of roquentins. Because, it is a fact: Matthew Bellamy this name, just that, homophone of such a literary hero rhymes rivalry and cynicism, guitarist-singer-twink to the head of weasel capped firecracker (with a big freeze budget for photo shoots ), Dominic Howard, blond drummer suggesting a curious cross between Dave Gahan and Martin Gore (the torn pair of Depeche Mode), and Christopher Wolstenholme, frizzy bassist with the false airs of the painful Tears for Fears Roland Orzabal, totals their 64 years,

From where this ingenuity more or less maintained, that one will soon assimilate to the cranery (one of their songs does not call it Hate This & I'll Love You), even arrogance. And a certain frankness that can encourage these brat to quote among their main traits of character: whimsical, selfish, irritable, cockroach. As to assume cinematographically speaking of unstoppable tastes of toilets (their pantheon 99: Fight Club, The Matrix, The World is Not Enough), that we will check on the cover of their first album the very ugly drawing of a girl in White dress flush with the tuft, fluttering on a bluish crater, himself titled with a sense of provocation consistent with the above-described profile of its authors, Showbiz.

Dramaturgy. This brings us to the musical aspect, noisy and glitter, which raises, him, the following double question: these alter ego also successful Travis are doomed to burn as quickly as all these Menswear, Gene Shed Seven or Mansun, once thoughtlessly worn to the pinnacle in England, then about as quickly debunked? Or can they apply to the duly crossed succession of the late Jeff Buckley and Radiohead (which they do not hesitate to cite, in the same way as Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, or Rage Against the Machine), with the subsequent difficulty to stand out without hanging around such references?

Very clever who, for the time being, will be able to decide. So much one must recognize in their first compositions an efficiency made of rouerie and intuition, so explicitly assumed and malignly mastered that the finished product, double fabric, "blisters" and convolutions understood, does not displease. For the same reasons, moreover, that they would indispose elsewhere: this ability to outbid in the emphasis described with words still too great for them, "spirituality", "self-expression" "without breaking the rib, here at less that deserves an accessit.

So, go for the vocal acrobatics of our British Bellamy, able to lead the charge (Sunburn, Muscle Museum, Showbiz) as to add to this "intimism" pathos that may one day light the lighters in stages (Falling Down, Unintended).

In the same way, let us sign for these sometimes finicky arrangements (piano, Hammond organ, mellotron, to make the join), put at the service of a dramaturgy swallowed by incandescence; or this profusion of guitar that will reassure more than one of the ex-fans of Echo and the Bunnymen or Psychedelic Furs to the current fans of Placebo on the viability of a genre that is said seriously heckled, but which, at least in this case, starts to fill up everywhere.

With his composure and his passion, Muse probably did not finish getting bladders for lanterns. Which is not too bad, as long as you do not expect more. At least for the moment.

Gilles Renault

See also