I’ve been wanting to post about Muse’s new album Simulation Theory for a while now.
The British band’s upcoming album is being sold - through cover art and music videos - as a whirlwind tour of ‘80s pop genre cinema, something that's both popular and contentious at the moment. All its music videos thus far have been high-budget, genre-heavy ‘80s throwbacks, full of werewolves, time travel, lasers, and movie and pop culture references. It’s a bit much at times. Intriguingly, it’s all apparently building toward a full-album video along the lines of Beyonce’s Lemonade or Janelle Monae’s Dirty Computer. Just...with a lot more neon and monsters.
The latest release, “Pressure,” also features none other than the great Terry Crews fighting gremlins at a high school dance with a proton pack.
Opinions on Muse are divided, I know. I’ve been hot and cold on the band’s escalatingly over-the-top evolution since I fell in love with Origin of Symmetry back in the early 2000s. They're clearly having fun here, which suggests some bonkers live shows to come, but this is a vastly different sound to what they started out with.
This hyper-stylised ‘80s throwback "look" is pretty close to played out, if not entirely so, thanks to the likes of Kung Fury, Stranger Things, or the Blood Dragon video games. It's certainly a point of intense debate among fans: some dig the nostalgia and fun of it, and others feel it's trying too strenuously - even pornographically - to achieve those feelings. Regardless of whether you view it as a positive or a negative descriptor, the eventual full Simulation Theory video is going to be ridiculous.
Still, hopefully we can all agree that more Terry Crews content is always a good thing. Keep blasting those gremlins, Principal Crews.