Listen: Muse out-bombasts Queen on Olympic theme, ‘Survival’

Muse goes for the gold on “Survival,” its theme for the 2012 Olympics, but falls far short.

The British group”s bombast makes Queen seem tame in comparison. There”s soaring strings, loud guitars, a short-lived jaunty piano melody, chanting, rhythmic changes, lead singer Matt Bellamy”s gritty, steely, high-pitched urgency and lots of other shenanigans going on all in search of a song.

“Survival” is a jawdropping exercise so overreaching in its attempt to create something grand and motivational that it”s almost hard to take it seriously. 

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Bellamy told AP that the tune was written to “express a sense of conviction and determination to win.” That may be, but it sounds like the band took every possible idea that could be used to convey that and threw them all into the mix without any regard for any reason or, quite frankly, musicality.

Plus, the lyrics see-saw between unity: “I”ll give my strength to the whole human race” and annihilation: “I won”t forgive/vengeance is mine.”

Even for Muse, who has sold millions based on its sweeping anthems, this is a new level of fervor (And I say that as someone who loves the “Les Miserables-like drama of “Resistance”).

The song will be played before medal ceremonies, according to AP. That is going to get old really, really fast unless they only use the tinkling ELO-like piano intro.

What do you think of “Survival?”