Muse, ‘Madness’ – Song Review
Muse frontman Matt Bellamy wasn’t kidding when he said the group’s new music was partially inspired by Skrillex. While the first listen of Muse’s upcoming ‘The 2nd Law’ album, ‘Unsustainable,’ was full-on dubstep at times, the band’s official new single, ‘Madness,’ impresses with a more restrained electronic arrangement.
Some might wonder if Muse have in fact gone mad based on the opening few seconds. With digitally-altered vocals and a programmed drum beat more appropriate for a dance tune than a rock song, ‘Madness’ doesn’t sound like the Muse that established itself as one of the world’s biggest rock bands.
The track is both futuristic and retro, with whirring electronics balanced by small doses of Queen-like operatic harmonies and an unexpected guitar solo with echoes of Brian May.
Bellamy wrote the song with only a synthesizer and a drum machine after having an argument with his girlfriend. The real-life drama surfaces in lines like, “I need to know is this real love / Or is it just madness keeping us afloat? / When I look back at all the crazy fights we had / Like some kind of madness was taking control / I have finally seen the light / I have finally realized what you mean.”
Bellamy has called ‘Madness’ “probably my favorite song that I’ve ever written.” That’s a huge statement considering all of the band’s other hits, but we’re not going to argue with him. The unusual blend of sounds works far better than it probably should.
Listen to Muse, ‘Madness’