Muse – Hullabaloo

Album Review by Mark Bayross

This double CD has been released to coincide with the band’s DVD and video of the same name, a live document of last year’s two triumphant shows at the Paris Zenith. The first CD is a collection of B-sides and rarities from 1999 to 2001, while the second is an eleven-track selection of highlights from the Paris shows.

As anyone familiar with Muse will know, they are no shrinking violets, and much of disc one demonstrates how much further they are willing to push the boundaries of their sound given the opportunity. From the pile-driving scream-a-long of YES PLEASE to the thunderous flamenco guitars of NATURE_1 and the epic HYPER CHONDRIAC MUSIC, this collection has all the drama we expect from Muse.

But it’s not all pomp and bluster – also included here is a previously unreleased acoustic version of SHINE, while the playful waltz of MAP OF YOUR HEAD provides a refreshing change of pace. Unlike many B-sides compilations, these are much more than just throwaway tracks.

Of course, for most people, the main event is on CD 2 – the live recording of the Zenith shows offers a thrilling glimpse of the energy of a Muse performance, and the constant cheering of the 12,000-strong crowd layers on the excitement. I defy anyone not to get goose bumps on hearing the full-throttle opener DEAD STAR as it’s driven along by the tumultuous roar of the crowd.

Perhaps my only reservation would be that the live highlights chosen for the soundtrack eschew all of the ORIGIN OF SYMMETRY singles – no BLISS, NEW BORN, PLUG IN BABY or FEELING GOOD. This all the more bizarre as they all get stirring renditions on the DVD / video – maybe this is a deliberate incentive to buy both?

Still, the HULLABALOO soundtrack makes for thrilling listening, and the first disc is pretty dapper too. This is an album no Muse fan will want to be without.

5 stars

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