Meagan, lead singer of Odds Fish here, with the first of many blogs I will be writing for a new series I am going to be doing for the Odds Fish Blog. This is “Meagan’s 11 Favorite Songs,” a very special blog series in which I will be featuring bands/musicians I love and 11 songs of theirs that I would consider my personal favorites. (Why 11? Well, it’s my favorite number after all. Plus, you know… Spinal Tap.) As I love so many different genres and styles, I’m sure I will have many, many more of these blogs to write! (I may even take suggestions down the line on who to write about next! Stay tuned!)
To start the series, I wanted to feature a band that is still active now, one that inspires me a lot, and one that I feel Odds Fish would mesh well with. (Like, we would open for them in a heartbeat… less than a heartbeat.)
So, to start the “Meagan’s 11 Favorite Songs” series, I have selected one of my favorite bands of all time; a band who pushes boundaries, yet who still makes their music accessible; a band who can blend alternative, progressive, and psychedelic rock with pop music, symphonic rock, and electronica and still have it sound authentic, raw, beautiful, and epic; a band that creates pure art with every album – the one and only: Muse.
Meagan’s 11 Favorite Songs: MUSE
I’m not going to lie… picking just 11 Muse songs to be my favorites was incredibly difficult. I love Muse. They have had me as a solid fan for so many years. I discovered them when I was in college at Grand Valley State University (2002-2007) and have been into them ever since. (I even got my sister and some friends into them too.) The ability Muse has to create new sounds and new ideas, in not just each album, but each song, is something that definitely has not only continually drawn me back to them and their music, but has absolutely inspired me in my work with Odds Fish. So yeah… only 11 favorites… it was tricky, to say the least. So much so, that I had to include a few honorable mentions.
So before we get into the list of my 11 favorite songs for Muse, let’s talk about 5 songs that didn’t quite make it to the official list:
A newer track, I know, but I still really enjoy “Dig Down.” It is a more low key Muse song, but yet it still has an energy and urgency behind it, which I can literally feel in my body when I listen to it.
“Unnatural Selection” may be one of the more strange Muse songs, but that is probably why I like it so much.
Just another beautiful Muse song… I do tend to go in more for the showy, epic, rock pieces that Muse offers up to us, but there is something so tender, but also so edgy, in “Madness” that just draws me in.
The instrumentals and vocals of “Citizen Erased” are raw, unapologetic, engrossing, engaging, and yet also make me feel a little crazy when I’m listening to them; not sure what that’s about. But I actually like the feeling, as I think the song really connects to all parts of my being, even to the dark and/or contradictory aspects of my nature, and to the parts of me that are affected by my depression and anxiety. It moves me.
“City of Delusion”
This song was the one that was the closest to making the official list. I actually almost put it up at #11 as a “tie,” but in the end, I wanted to be true to my top 11 choices truly being only 11 in number. But I do love “City of Delusion.” So much. There are so many different thematic parts in it, that it continually keeps listeners engaged, and the soaring vocals are just so unbelievably beautiful to take in. Have a listen for yourself:
Now that we have talked about our honorable mentions, let’s get into this list! Here is “Meagan’s 11 Favorite Songs: MUSE”
Meagan’s 11 Favorite Songs: MUSE
These are my 11 favorite songs, listed from 11-1, from one of my favorite bands: Muse
11. “Thought Contagion”
This song is incredibly pop driven, yes, but that is not always a bad thing. I like some pop music, and this is a great pop jam from Muse. It uses enough “ohs” and repeated words to appeal to younger listeners, but still is engaging enough to keep the appeal for those of us who have been fans of Muse for years. It may not be technically better than “City of Delusion,” but I seem to keep coming back to it over and over. I really like that it can appeal to larger audiences as well, so that is why it makes the #11 slot on the list.
To me, “Resistance” is just such a well crafted song. There are quite a few thematic changes within it (not quite as many as in other songs by this eccentric and eclectic band, and that’s okay) but it also maintains a consistent pace that keeps an average listener actively engaged and not overwhelmed. With a beautiful, sweeping vocal line at the beginning of each chorus, great instrumental accompaniment throughout, and stellar production, this song had to make the list.
09. “Plug In Baby”
Wow… “Plug In Baby” – what a blast from the past! This comes from the first Muse album I ever heard all the way through: “Origin of Symmetry.” It is actually one of the songs that first got me into being a Muse fan. It’s raw and dirty in it’s sound, yet somehow still polished and pop-infused in a sense. That’s Muse though, always blending sounds and feelings that don’t normally blend, and making musical art that often contradicts itself, but in a way that makes the listener think harder, listen harder, and genuinely appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into it more.
From the exciting opening ascending lines that occur from the very first moment of the song, to the epic strings that join in, to the subdued and sweet and then exotic and soaring vocals that are layered in, to the gritty guitar riffs that follow, and beyond, “Supremacy” is simply a treat for the ears. Yet, I find that when I talk to other music lovers about Muse, this song is one of theirs that is severely under-heard and underrated. Let’s change that!
Ah yes, the song that I used to get other people into Muse. “Uprising” is great because it is an anthemic, stadium-chant kind of song in parts, but it has some great lyrical content and guitar riffs anyway, in spite of that (or, I guess, in addition to that.) There is a reason it was such a mainstream hit and that so many people still recognize it today – it is a good, catchy song that is fun to sing, cheer, and fist pump along to. So it gets the #7 slot.
There are so many aspects of “Starlight” that I adore, but when it comes right down to it, it’s the vocals that do it for me the most on this song. Matt Bellamy uses so many parts of his vocal range and it is just so beautiful. When he sings “I just wanted to hold you in my arms,” it makes ME want to be the one in his arms!
05. “Time is Running Out”
This song has so many strong sections that occur in such a short amount of time, and I just love it! The verses, choruses, bridges, and instrumentals are all so fantastic in their own rights, and then, when combined, they make the greatness that is “Time is Running Out.” I love this song.
“Hysteria” is a track off of “Absolution.” It is a bit hard, a bit dirty, and a bit edgy, while still having that symphonic, theatrical touch that Muse has in spades. It is a song that just really, truly, rocks! It has some great riffs in it that aspiring musicians can most definitely be inspired by, and as with pretty much all of Muse’s songs, the vocals are amazing – emotionally stirring in ways you don’t hear as much from bands nowadays.
03. “Undisclosed Desires”
I don’t know why I love “Undisclosed Desires” as much as I do, honestly, but I can listen to this song over and over and not tire of it! I love to sing along with it as well, which may be a big part of why I like it (I AM a vocalist, after all.) But, whatever the reasons, I simply enjoy this song so much, and so it gets my #3 spot on the list.
02. “Supermassive Black Hole”
It doesn’t take more than a few notes to realize “Supermassive Black Hole” is going to be a hot jam; the opening riff is gold, and then the song just continues to kick butt from there. What more needs to be said?
01. “Knights of Cydonia”
What else could possibly be my #1 favorite song by Muse? “Knights of Cydonia” is just such an epic song, and to me, it showcases a lot of the “best of the best” of what makes Muse MUSE! From the fantastic guitar lines, to the symphonic swells, to the beautifully crafted lyrics and vocal lines, this song is simply one of the best songs ever, not just from the Muse song catalog, but in all of rock n’ roll, in my opinion. It’s sound reminds me of the artistic theatricality of Queen (another one of my favorite bands) but yet it is still so very much authentically Muse. I absolutely love it, and it is my #1 favorite song by Muse!
Thanks for checking out the first edition of “Meagan’s 11 Favorite Songs.” If you like the series, let us know, and maybe even get actively involved in the bands I talk about next!
And until next time… if you’re not already…