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Muse - 'Neutron Star Collision (Love Is Forever)'

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Fraser McAlpine | 12:31 UK time, Wednesday, 19 May 2010


If you'll forgive (yet) another gross oversimplification of the way things are, the job of every songwriter is to create an alternative world for their audience to visit. This is what people need music for. They can visit it wholeheartedly, as an escape, while shutting their eyes to hide any clue that they currently already reside in a perfectly functioning plane of reality, or they can try and lay it over the top of their daily life, so reality acts as a kind of facial background to music's drawn-on-moustache.

There is also some difference as to what kind of moustache the songwriter wishes to draw. Some try and keep things as close to the real world as possible, carefully detailing each hair and follicle, so that the only difference between the two planes of existence is the moustache itself. Others draw on a cartoon moustache, specs, a false nose and then change the colour of the sky.

Muse, it's fair to say, would also add chrome antlers and some scaly green bloodshotting to the eyes.

(There is a video. But you can't see it. Not here. Not now. Not yet.)

What's fascinating about this song is that it sees Muse turning their reality-altering Preposteriser Ray on their own back catalogue. Taking (only) slightly less melodramatic love songs - LOVE SONGS FROM THE END OF INFINITY SQUARED, lest we forget - like 'Invincible' and even parts of 'Plug In Baby' (similar melody in the chorus) and making them bigger, broader, more overwhelming, if such a thing is even possible.

And the way they've done this is to wholly embrace the music of Queen, and West End musicals, as if this is what they meant to sound like all along. They're We Will Rock You, only with scruffier haircuts and more lyrics about space. I can see why some Muse fans might feel let down by the softer, less rockmonstery bits, but it's not like these elements haven't been part of the band's sound from the start.

And as a soundtrack song to the Twilight series of films - a series which is all about the reality-crushing pain of troubled love - it's a perfect fit.

One final thought: there are times when listening to Matt Bellamy sing is similar to watching someone fill a balloon with water. The more time goes by, the more you wonder when he's gonna explode. The good news is, if he ever DOES, you can bet it'll be in the most extravagant and astonishing manner possible. The man's a pro.

Four starsDownload: Out now
BBC Music page

(Fraser McAlpine)

Above and Beyond Magazine says: "Neutron Star Collision...reminds [me] of their previous work Origin of Symmetry, which is in my mind, the real and honest Muse."

Details Of My Life says: "It's a bit campy and devoid of any serious rock and/or roll."

Twilighters Anonymous says: "To be quite honest, I would love anything that Muse wrote and put together."


  • Comment number 1.

    Not sure about this song, I like the chorus a lot but the verses sound like borrowed from Knights Of Cydonia and in general the lyrics are too cheesy. It doesn't help that the whole thing somehow feels like a Matt Bellamy solo track, it good that they're trying something a bit different but I have to say I prefer tracks like Plug In Baby, Supermassive Black Hole and Uprising. Hope it's a grower. 3 Stars

  • Comment number 2.

    It is for Twilight so naturally it's going to be cheesy. Bella and Edward 4EVA! :P

  • Comment number 3.

    I heard it was a song that Bellamy wrote ages ago that didn't make it onto The Resistance, if so I wouldn't be suprised. What I don't get is why this looks set to chart higher than Uprising when Uprising is a much better song.

  • Comment number 4.

    Wait, just realised that Roll Deep are at no.1 at the moment so my argument of better songs should chart higher goes out the window.

  • Comment number 5.

    Hmmm. Muse, much as I want to love them, are just a bit too wacky for me. I can't doubt their stunning musical ability, Bellamy is awesome in not sense of the word, it's just all a bit too much for me. Oh well, each to their own and all that...

  • Comment number 6.

    Ah the new Muse single . . . .

    From the forthcoming Twilight - Eclipse .

    Ah , R - PATZ . . . . *faints*

    *10 minutes later *

    Where was I ?

    Oh yeah . . . Muse !

    When I first heard this , I thought it was a Darkness tribute band , going all out to "outcamp " Justin Hawkins , and it sounded more overblown than a 100ft party balloon , or a certain Chelsea left back on a night out with 10 blond hairdressers .

    On closer inspection , this song is draped in adventure and grandeur , and will dovetail the films escapist love story, perfectly .

    The chorus is a winner too .

    A worthy Muse single , and a probable top ten hit !

  • Comment number 7.

    I agree completely, Spirit! I think it's a great song.

  • Comment number 8.

    I think it's time I said to you Randy , how much I enjoy your excellent writing .

    I read with a real sense of appreciation .

    Also Harry's album reviews , are proving to be excellent, worthy , pieces of information to the blog .

    Add that to the general positivity and justified comments from the chartblog commenters , who generally give viewpoints with valid reasons , and you have a first class site .

  • Comment number 9.

    Absolutely first class.

  • Comment number 10.

    Hi there, long time lurker, first time poster here.
    Have to say that when compared to their back catalogue i find this song a little lacking. Not sure where the problem lies, just a sense of 'meh' - if such a word can ever be used to describe the almighty Muse - whenever i listen.
    That said, i hated 'Resistance' at first listen, only to find myself humming every track in the days that followed and eventually falling in love with it.
    Maybe the same can happen for 'neutron star collision'...

    BTW, Jonesy, Spirit and Enigma, keep up the good work... never dull reading your comments, views and ocasional mad rants.

  • Comment number 11.

    You don't know how happy that bit of appreciation made me devil.

  • Comment number 12.

    And welcome as well, keep posting :D

  • Comment number 13.

    'long time lurker' makes it sound like you've been stalking the site. Nevertheless welcome to our strange internet community


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