With a new album due out in 2018, fans are anticipating which musical direction Muse might be going in this time around. Muse’s sound is constantly in flux and taking on new elements, such as the symphonic accompaniments of The Resistance, or the dubstep and EDM influences of 2nd Law. In fact, it was these experimental efforts that inspired the return to form in their most recent album, Drones.
However, with the release of the album’s lead single, Dig Down, its clear that this will be a return to the heavily electronic production seen in 2nd Law, which may or may not be a good thing. From the opening dubstep wobbles, you might even say that Dig Down is the direct sequel to 2012’s Maddness. The heavily electronic arrangement does little to distance the two songs, but Dig Down seems to lack the color and vibrancy of the previous track.
However, this may fit the song’s lyrical themes of finding faith to keeping going in bleak and troubling times. The verses are definitely bleak and seem unnecessarily long, making them a trudge to get through. Luckily, the chorus is grand and inspiring, and truly allows Matt’s voice to shine. The guitars don’t kick in until the three minute mark, at which point the song explodes into the arena filling rock anthem it should have been from the start. It takes the song to soaring heights, redeeming it from being a total misstep.
Dig Down isn’t a terrible song, but it feels like Muse’s other tracks better accomplish what this song tried too hard to do. Maddness is a much more cohesive dub-rock track, while Uprising is a more compelling anthem. Hopefully the forthcoming album won’t also be overshadowed.
Final Score: B