By: Eric Greenwood
Matthew Bellamy's voice is so similar to Thom Yorke's that it makes me uncomfortable for him. He even has Thom Yorke's exaggerated, breathy gasp and awkward facial ticks down pat. This is not news to Muse, however, who have been beleaguered with the Radiohead imitators tag since its debut, self-titled EP in 1998. But, despite, the daunting Radiohead-colored cloud that hangs heavy over Muse, the band pushes the limits of its slick, pre-apocalyptic rock with a self-assured strut. And, let's face it, of all the voices in rock to be stuck sounding like, you could do a lot worse than Thom Yorke's malleable wail.
On Absolution, Muse's third album, the band continues to refine a sense of intangible paranoia with kinetic guitars that sound like futuristic buzzsaws and lyrical pretension so over the top it would take an unbelievable sell to suspend your disbelief, but Matthew Bellamy delivers his theatrical, oft-clichéd lines with such intensity and vigor, one can't help but succumb to the process. And once you've resigned yourself to play along, Absolution makes you feel like you're cherry-picking some glorious bizarro universe, where Radiohead still worships the guitar.