15/01/2010

2. Muse : Map Of The Problematique

(Black Holes And Revelations, 2006)

This is a song that creates a very palpable atmosphere and plunges you head first into it. I see a man driving through the night on wet city streets, over flyovers, hours along deserted motorways, to reach his love. Clearly something apocalyptic (there's always something apocalyptic about Muse) has separated them and now he will not stop before he reaches his destination. I can see the film now.

The music has a restless, seething, barely restrained power that always seems on the verge of an explosion but never indulges in it. The soaring anguish when Matt Bellamy sings
Loneliness be over
When will this loneliness be over
contrasts magnificently with the circling chords and insistent beat.

There's a hint of Depeche Mode's Enjoy The Silence about the chord sequence, but where Enjoy The Silence has a stripped down, oiled up elegance, Map Of The Problematique throbs with a desperate obsession.

I enjoyed Muse's previous albums but with this one they polished their formula to a gleaming shine.  It accompanied me on the daily commute to Coventry a couple of years ago when I was working on a project there and this song remains my most played according to my stats on last.fm.

Back to the complete Best Tracks of the Noughties

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