Muse's fourth album is one of the year's most overblown records, mixing together huge, doomy soundscapes, snarling guitars and space-age sound effects with Matthew Bellamy's operatic wail and lyrics about stuff like death, injustice and "superstars sucked into the supermassive." This isn't so surprising coming from these sub-Radiohead gloomsters; what's surprising is that most of the time, Black Holes and Revelations actually works. There's room for melody on seductive songs like "Invincible," an epic with military drums and laser-beam guitar. Sleek, falsetto-laden lead single "Supermassive Black Hole" bangs like prime Depeche Mode, and "Starlight" sets sparkling patter and Coldplay-style swoons over an almost power-pop groove. A couple of sci-fi anthems "Knights of Cydonia" and "City of Delusion" are as ridiculous as their track names. But if you manage to suspend your disbelief a little, Black Holes and Revelations will push your pleasure buttons.
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