Muse gets lost in simulations

Muse at Joe Louis Arena during the Drones World Tour.

Is rock finally dead?

As hip-hop and pop continue to dominate both the airwaves and charts, rock music seems to have found itself stuck between the proverbial rock and a hard place.

Luckily, Muse, Britain’s most famous progressive rock band, has taken up the fight to keep rock alive.

After releasing a number of singles to garner interest, Muse released their eighth studio album, Simulation Theory, Nov. 9.

With its highly stylistic Kyle Lambert cover art, the 1980s influence which runs throughout the album is on full display. 

While he is perhaps best known for his work on Stranger Things, Lambert's hyper-realistic 80's-style movie poster is one of the best aspects of Simulation Theory.

Though the album itself has a nice sound, most of the songs feel like they are missing something; it's as if they were rushed.

Also, album mismanagement, which is the biggest problem plaguing Simulation Theory, is responsible for the lukewarm reception.

The first single, "Dig Down," came out way back in May 2017 and does not vibe with the rest of the album.

I believe Muse initially intended to build the album around this song, but somewhere along the way, they lost track.

Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it), "Dig Down" is a fairly mediocre song which never should have made it past the final cut.

Just putting it out as its own single would have been the better option.

Another issue with the album is the other four singles were released over the course of 2018.

While "Thought Contagion" is the standout of the album, it came out in February. 

Fans have been able to listen to it for almost a full year.

"Something Human," which came out in July, is mediocre at best.

"The Dark Side" and "Pressure" –  two of the best songs on the album – have been out since September.

By the time the Simulation Theory was released, I had already grown tired of three of its best songs. 

I was looking for something new to wow me, and "Algorithm," the album's first track, was the only song to do so.

Simulation Theory has a cool concept and trippy music videos, but its lack of depth, the mismanagement of its best songs, and hollow atmosphere left me feeling underwhelmed.