Outside Lands Festival 2011: 18 Things Seen & Heard

80 Billboard Rating

MUSE
"Madness" (4:39)
Producer: Muse
Writer: Matthew Bellamy
Publisher: Warner Chappell Ltd.
Warner Bros.

The bass wobble that has become a defining characteristic of modern electronic music is a fickle thing: those rattling pulses typically favor excess over the sensation of a subtle pulse. With the sound's ubiquity in EDM, it's no surprise that the wobble has entered the rock realm, most recently on "Madness," the first single from Muse's new album "The 2nd Law." Though the bass here is a tad flatulent, Muse thankfully display great tact with its core, letting the sound take center stage and settle. That bass wobble serves as the foundation upon which frontman Matthew Bellamy croons, a guitar ticks, and those harmonies soar, leading to a "drop" that's less of a dubstep freakout and more of a U2-esque rock catharsis. If this is the brave new world of bass, Muse make a solid case as to why, and how, rock can get involved.

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