Monday, 24 May 2010

Muse fan unhappy at Twilight single

Okay, so that title isn't exactly world news. Or is it? Muse are a global band, which means it's world "something". And in my opinion they have never done anything obviously bad - until now, which makes it news. The new Muse single, official song from the Twilight film Eclipse, is bad.

THE SONG
When Muse announced they had a single called "Neutron Star Collision (Love Is Forever)" coming out I was excited - I thought it would be another excellent combination of futuristic sci-fi and romantic poetry that we've seen on Absolution, Black Holes And Revelations and The Resistance. How wrong I was.

The song itself is about the blandest pop song anyone could ever write with a title of "Neutron Star Collision". It may grow on me a little bit, but that would just take it from "awful" to "something I would never choose to listen to". I can't even remember a worse* single they've released - the closest thing I can think of is In Your World from the 2002 double A-side with Dead Star, but that still has an awesome piano/guitar riff. "Neutron Star Collision" rates lower than many b-sides and album tracks the band have made.

THE VIDEO
Oh god. It's an official song from the official Eclipse soundtrack, which means it has clips of the film in it. For any average-to-middling band, this might be seen as a step up - or maybe just acceptable with something as cringe-makingly terrible as the Twilight series. A good business decision, perhaps, for a band that would otherwise struggle for financial security, like when the Dandy Warhols gave that annoying song to Vodafone, or when Shed Seven re-recorded the lyrics of Speakeasy for mobile phone shop The Link.

But Muse? Muse who straddle the world like a pop-rock-electronic-prog colossus? Muse, who withdrew from Maverick Records to retain artistic control of Origin Of Symmetry? Yes, Muse who now sell out stadiums, arenas, tours, etc. etc. and still write and record challenging, intelligent music. It's just flat-out plain unnecessary.

The big irony of official-videos-for-the-official-song-for-the-official-film(-of-the-official-book) is that now, in the Youtube age (when any 12-year-old can make a cut-and-paste video of their favourite film with their favourite song), Neutron Star Collision - the product of an amazingly creative band and a production company making a multi-million dollar film - looks like a cheap and tacky fan video.

MY POINT
Muse are one of my favourite bands ever. Like, top 2**.
I'm not the biggest Muse fan in the world - I've never queued up for hours to get a glimpse after a gig, and I even criticised a girlfriend once for buying an autographed EP on Ebay in 2002 for about £25 (which is now probably very rare and worth a lot more, but that's not the point). But I've been a fan since the first album Showbiz 10 years ago and love, to a greater or lesser degree, everything they've done. They're fantasically awesome and they're better than this.

I know Stephenie Meyer was always a fan of Muse when she started writing the first Twilight books, and I realise it makes absolute sense from a business point of view. The video itself looks very cheap to make, I imagine they got paid a lot of money up front to do it, and will make a lot of money from the sales (both now and in 20 years' time when the series will be inevitably re-made), and it will open their back catalogue to a lot of vamp-chick-lit fans who would never normally consider listening to interesting, quality rock music. And I know that Supermassive Black Hole already went on the soundtrack for the last Twilight film. And maybe I should even be grateful that it's not from a real Muse album, which shows even the attitude of Muse themselves towards it creatively.

But seriously.

I think I'll wait another 3 years for the next mind-blowingly brilliant album, rather than listen to film-sponsored wallpaper paste.

You too can have the disappointment of watching the Muse video for "Neutron Star Collision (Love Is Forever)" on the MTV site here.

* When I say "worse" I mean creatively. Yes, the song is catchy, and it sounds kind of cool - because it's a direct rip-off of songs from their last few albums (e.g. the Knights Of Cydonia drums). Muse are awesome because all their singles and albums have creativity at their heart and soul; this song, by their standards, is lazy.

** The other is the Manic Street Preachers, if you were wondering.

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