(Warner Brothers Records)
Out to please everyone at once, Muse’s symphonic-U2-punk-politicalness strikes a lot of different chords, none of them all that disagreeable. Certainly a lot of cut-and-paste goes on here – there’s seriously a bridge stolen from Foreigner in “Exo-Politics” and that’s just the beginning if you feel like playing Whack-An-Influence – but it meshes the way a non-horrible G-rated flick would come together, with lots of pleasant, never-before-heard vibe, the type of album that’d be perfect to have playing in the background when it’s time to interrogate Junior about the Trojans you found under his bed, things like that. Muse doesn’t try to scorch the earth with beauty, relying more on dusty Spandau Ballet and Depeche Mode albums to dictate what they’ll be doing at any given time, and then there’s the Queen thing – these guys’ ultimate supergroup one-off would have been Chris Martin fronting Massive Attack on a re-do of Night At the Opera. So yes, it’s good.