Not As Invincible As You Thought

Many people saw the latest Muse single 'Invincible' as an unusual choice due to the subdued guitars and ambling vocals. The deliciously sweet vocals provided by Matt Bellamy are enough to sustain interest throughout the track but despite the tender lyrics, the song appears to be missing the emotions and depth that made Muse the exciting and diverse band that so many people know and love.

Things have changed an awful lot since I stood excitedly outside the Portsmouth Guildhall on 2001 waiting to see Muse live for the first time. Hearing loss, far too much merchandise and a variety of live shows, later, and I am sat reviewing the latest single from Black Holes & Revelations- the hardest review I have written in the years I have been at Room Thirteen. Why? Because I am torn between the truth and my loyalty to a band that I have avidly followed for six years, a band that inspired me to write and to enjoy music at every possible opportunity and to share this love with others.

There's a certain spark normally found in their music that wears well against the years and they are now the kind of gateway band into rock music that soothes parents and stops them from fretting about the dangers of guitars and bad language. Muse are a vital part of the UK music scene, but it is painful to listen to music as bland as this when you know the band are capable of so, so much more.

You cannot fault Muse technically- this single is no exception and is rather dreamlike, with its frail and tender vocals- and live they are one of the greatest bands to emerge from the UK in years. Their legendary performances at both Glastonbury 2004 and Reading & Leeds in 2006 are frequently talked about- gleefully by those in attendance and with a twinge of jealousy from those who could only watch on TV, but the passion that is displayed in their older releases and, thankfully, on stage still is lacking in their work from 2006 onwards.

'Invincible', whilst a beautiful song, is in fact rather sterile when compared to the haunting beauty of 'Screenager' or even 'Unintended' for instance. There's a warmth in those tracks, a rounded feeling that is simply missing from 'Invincible'. Overall, 'Invincible' is a very frustrating song, because whilst it is obvious that the bands heart is in the right place, somehow it just seems slightly unbelievable.

Put simply, the song leaves me cold and I find myself devoid of any emotions- a distinct change from the barrage of emotions that wound themselves tightly around both Muse's pre-2006 work and my heart.