15 Years Ago: Muse Unveil Their Most Dramatic Effort, ‘Origin of Symmetry’
When Muse released their latest studio album, Drones, we decided to rank their entire catalog from Worst to First. Coming in at No. 2 was the band's second full-length effort, Origin of Symmetry, and today, July 17, we celebrate its anniversary by revisiting Diffuser Senior Editor Tim Karan's thoughts on the disc. You can see our complete Worst to First ranking for Muse's discography at the bottom of this story.
By 2001, Radiohead had already stopped sounding anything like Radiohead – or anything resembling a rock band, really – and Muse were more than capable of filling that sonic void. With their second album, they took everything that brought them the comparisons in the first place and multiplied them exponentially: more idiosyncratic melodies, more nervous lyricism, more sweeping electronic elements and more of anything else you've got.
As a result, Origin of Symmetry is just about as dramatic (and borderline melodramatic) an album as humans are capable of creating. Each song is constructed more like a symphony than a pop track with dynamic shifts and movements that make each one feel like several – the six-minute "Space Dementia" itself feels like a rock opera unto itself.
Bellamy sounds like Jeff Buckley at the helm of the most ferocious metal band on the planet on "Citizen Erased" and "Micro Cuts" before swaying into the swaggering, soulful likes of "Feeling Good." It's part of the reason that, in some circles, Origin of Symmetry is the height of Muse's artistic achievements.