When you think of space rock, what should come to your mind is one of two things: spiraling synths and other worldly textures backed by some weird guitars, or Muse. Muse changed the face of space rock in Origin Of Symmetry, their immense sophomore album that birthed what would become an unforgettable and massive sound in all of alternative rock.
Muse's sound is nothing short of grandiose and perhaps a bit overdramatic, but with Origin Of Symmetry, the band hadn't yet picked up the drama that began in 2009's The Resistance. Kicking off with the piano intro of 'New Born,' Matt Bellamy croons mysterious lyrics such as "Stretch it like its a birth squeeze" before the huge riff kicks in. Many of the lyrics on Origin Of Symmetry don't have any real meaning to them, such as single 'Plug In Baby' with its bombastic lyrics and iconic riff and grand closing track 'Megalomania' which chants "The good news is, she can't have babies / And won't accept gifts from me" above the grand cathedral organ, ultimately exploding with one final "Take off your disguise" to end the album on a grand and epic note.
Origin Of Symmetry is an album with a lot of great concepts and a lot of great sounds on it too. 'Space Dementia' exemplifies Muse's spacey textures to their highest degree while showcasing Bellamy's piano techniques, while 'Hyper Music' brings out the riffs and general craziness to Muse's music, also done in 'Micro Cuts' that sounds it comes from another world. You get jazzy, bluesy textures in 'Darkshines' and more ominous vibes from 'Screenager,' while single 'Bliss' explodes with beautiful synth arpeggios and incredible falsettos.
The pinnacle of the album is undoubtedly 'Citizen Erased.' The thick riff accentuates as the band approaches a powerful song about the feeling of being questioned. Bellamy sings about having to cover up the bare truths in the opening verse, singing "Break me in / Teach us to cheat / And to lie, and cover up / What shouldn't be shared." The second verse strips things down to make things more soothing and somewhat more tense before the song explodes back to life, ending in a beautiful piano piece that closes the song off peacefully with "and I've seen all I'll ever need." 'Citizen Erased' is undoubtedly one of the band's finest pieces, effortlessly changing between sections while still tying together a powerful and unforgettable message.
Muse changed the face of space rock in Origin Of Symmetry and really carved out their own success. This record is about as far from a sophomore slump as you can get. Origin Of Symmetry set a whole new bar for rock and put Muse at the very top of it, and they continue to stay at the top of that bar with every passing effort.
Favorite Tracks: Citizen Erased, Bliss, Plug In Baby, New Born
Least Favorite Track: Screenager
Rating: 95 / 100
Stream or buy Origin Of Symmetry on Apple Music: