Pperhaps Matt Bellamy is the greatest thinker of our time. After all, he spent much of Muse's career warning us about the technological conspiracies to conquer the world. Yes, we thought he had spent too much time on the outer edges of YouTube, but he looks a little less particular in Cambridge Analytica's age. Which, of course, is the point at which he chose to follow the Muse's eighth album with the most conventional rockstar complaint of all, on Something Human, a semi-acoustic and countryish accent on how hard the life of the traveling rockstar: "10,000 miles left on the road / 500 hours until I'm home / I need something human." No, Matt! Report the drones, the robots and the lords of the aliens! You may, however, perhaps understand why he felt that the Muses needed change. After all, there are probably only so many times when you can record exaggerated songs on your pathological terror of the power structures of a future world without wondering if it is a suitable pastime for an adult. So Simulation Theory is dragged as Muse's synthpop album (it is not), strongly inspired by the 80s (well, in its cover, less in much of the music). There are new producers, including Shellback and Timbaland, in charge of finding a new face in the Muses. What they do, to a certain extent. Propaganda seems to be that the Muses are trying to be the prince, which is not entirely convincing, as he rises and fights the bolts on a chorus of power ballad on an elegantly controlled verse.
But it is still the less exciting moments of the poppy: the cascade arpeggios of Blockades, which give way to furious power agreements. Or Algorithm, with its non-amplified synth bass line, urgent strings and Bellamy emulation on how "the algorithms evolve / Push apart / Render obsolete / This means war." This is when you feel gripped by an inexplicable desire to march through the streets waving a massive flag, warning your neighbors that the robots are coming to kill us all.
Obviously, it would be better if the robots did not come to kill us all.
But for the humor of humanity, we hope that Bellamy will maintain the nagging suspicion that this will actually happen. Better what keeps on telling us about life alone on the road, baby.