Whether it's lucubrating with paranormal phenomena, denouncing obscure international conspiracies or alerting us to the apocalypse that looms over us, Muse embodies – in the combination of impudence glam, progressive developments and electronic stitching – the most excessive, grandiloquent and variegated version of that stadium rock that resists to die in a century that seems destined to the sunset of the guitars.
5 out of 10
His journey, which has accumulated obstinate faithful and irredeemable detractors, has marked a downward curve, and it would seem that from the deck itself to the Blade Runner of this album the band is fully conscious, as it assumes its most flagrantly eighties work. Although it arrives -and- irremediably late in a context in which films like Drive (2011), series like Stranger Things (started in 2016, the person in charge of artwork it's also from the cover of this album) and tons of records (from Empire of the Sun to Chromatics, going through dozens of folk rockers in the process of recycling) have spent years hurrying revival: what many call synthwavand and that is not more than the synthpop always under a mantle of modernity.
Only an unexpected access of humor, a self-parody maneuver with which to amuse the staff or a breath of fresh air with which to shake their raincoat could redeem them in the eyes of those who do not subscribe to their devotees cam. Once the first two options are eliminated, the third one remains: the usual Rich Costey is joined this time by Timbaland (Missy Elliott, Justin Timberlake), the Swedish Shellback (Katy Perry, Taylor Swift) and Mike Elizondo (Eminem, Dr. Dre) to the production of a disc that works better in those moments when Muse does not sound like Muse.
The first, Timbaland, contributes to Propaganda be an exciting nod to the electro funk lascivious Prince, more accomplished than the recent efforts of Lenny Kravitz. Shellback achieves that Bellamy's tremendismo and his own is embedded in a petardazo bubblegum pop almost teenager like Get Up and Fight, maximum exponent of the conciseness (at last!) of an album whose subjects barely exceed four minutes. And Elizondo helps Dig Down is erected in review, with epic extra XXL, del Freedom! 90 by George Michael. The rest of this album without a unitary concept – praise be to God – does not stop sounding, yes, to the Muse of always, for a lot of synthetic varnish with which they cover everything, including Tom Morello guitars and the crisp rhythmic hip hop of the resultona Break It Down. The Devon trio lives up to the title of their album, because it is when they take their theory of simulation – basically, to mutate in others – to their most daring level when they come up with their best version. It is not little: in view of the precedents, it could have been much worse.