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Simulation Theory

Chad Synan, North Staff Writer

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In early Nov. of last year, popular British rock band Muse released their eighth studio album titled “Simulation Theory”. Featuring a host of synth pop, electronic rock and some callbacks to their older, metallic days, this album promised its fans a unique examination of the prominent science fiction topic of simulation. However, it pales in comparison to their 2015 release “Drones”.

Stylistically, the two could not be more distinct. Featuring an array of commentary on modern war strategies (specifically, that of unmanned drone warfare), “Drones” delivered to its listeners heavy guitar riffs with enough variation among each track that you can’t help but tap your foot to the beat when you hear one of its songs.  

Simulation Theory”, on the other hand, attempted to mix multiple genres of music in order to capture a sensation of anti-realism that -unfortunately- comes off as more dissonant and unsettling than intriguing and creative. For instance, “Dig Down”, the first single released preceding the album,  although providing solace during times of political duress, places to much emphasis on electronic sounds, and it subsequently comes off as a weaker entry. Another one of their singles, “Something Human” also falls victim to this same issue.

But there are a few exceptions to this rule. Two songs on the album do successfully blend genres and still maintain the intended feel of the song. First, the song “Pressure” does a fantastic job of using autotune and background sound effects in a way that effectively complements the upbeat rhythm of the drums and bass guitar. The second song, “Thought Contagion,” calling back to many rock anthems of day’s past, effectively juxtaposes the motivational, quiet verses with powerful, flamboyant choruses in a way that is creative, yet not confusing and uninviting as many of their other tracks ended up becoming.

Overall, “Simulation Theory” delivers to its listeners an album that is undeniably ambitious. Its efforts to integrate multiple genres produced some successful tracks,  yet will go down in their collection as one of the more experimental albums that was lacking in several areas.

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Chad Synan, North Staff Writer

Hello everyone, I would like to start by saying that I'm absolutely elated that I'll be writing for Ruff Draft this year! This is my first year writing,...

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Simulation Theory