Critics who claim that English alternative rock band Muse has already jumped the shark probably haven’t heard the latest single, entitled Madness, yet. The song is classic Muse, not in the sense that it sounds like their old songs, instead it continues the band’s practice of taking several mismatched genres and blending them all together to produce a unique, infectious song that can still be categorized as rock.
Much like the mental condition, Madness starts out slow, with steady beat from the drum machine that brings to mind early 90s slow dance hits from George Michael or Mick Hucknall.
At first listen, you may keep thinking that you’re hearing the song’s intro, waiting for the overdriven guitars, the thumping bass, and the pounding drums to kick in, but you’ll be waiting a long time because the slow groove doesn’t change until you get to the third of the song – that’s when the smooth guitar solo kicks in and it crescendos into a wall of guitars, punctuated by lead singer Matthew Bellamy’s powerful voice.
Even if Muse really did jump the shark (with their 2012 Olympics song, Survival, being the most likely culprit), Madness proves that the band can turn around and tame the shark instead, that they’re still the same Muse they still belong to the upper rungs of the British alternative rock scene.