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The letters W, T and F are thrown around all too much these days, but seriously- WTF? The masters of gothic metal made this? No, no it's just so wrong. It's electropop. Even the infallable Wikipedia knows it. This is electropop and with a couple tracks exceptions, it's bad electropop. Commute and Machine are rather neat in a catchy sort of way but the title track is hokey beyond hokey. "I need more rhythm"? Clicks and beeps? This is the kind of lyric and sound that KMFDM would throw away, let alone what a band who previously wrote wholly in old english and sang like opera.
I gave Assembly 75%, and did so because techno though it is, it is good, catchy fun techno. Musique is not. Musique is hokey lame crappy club techno that could only be appreciated on a whole lot of drugs surrounded by glow sticks and 16 year olds on E. And I don't mean the note. Speaking of notes, there are two on this album: high and higher. The light featherweight tones and repetative yet unmemorable songs are too long 3 minutes. And after Aegis! Aegis was slow, dark, sad, somber, beautifull, memorable, elegent, smart, everything that the word gothic means. And then this had to happen. It's like watching a marathon runner trip on a banana peel, and sounds much the same. If you want good electrpop wait for their next album. If you want gothic metal stick to their first three. If and only if you want their complete works for the sake of obsessive complusive disorder, buy Musique, but if you do for the love of god don't listen to it. Life is just too short for that.
Who would have thought Theatre of Tragedy would create an industrial metal album with touches of electro clash and EBM? Well, they did, and it’s pretty a good album, too, despite some of the angry fans have to say about it. “Musique” was the second ToT album I purchased. A friend played “Assembly” for me and I wasn’t too impressed with it overall, although I did enjoy the sound. I wasn’t sure what to expect from “Musique” since I had also been exposed to the band’s earlier offerings. But I was surprised and pleased when I sat down to listen to it. Having been a fan of both industrial metal and EBM for some time, I was instantly at home with it.
This CD is primarily hard riffs, the band’s signature contrast of Ray and Liv’s vocals, heavy synth work, and many electronic trimmings. The keyboards definitely play a central role in deciding the direction of the tracks. This is a big contrast from the near doom like quality of ToT's first two releases. The pace of the songs is very upbeat and relentless. The songs are also shorter and much easier to get into. Almost every single one of these songs is a winner for me. Fragment, Crash / Concrete, Machine, Reverie, Cummute, and Image are where the album shines in my mind.
Theatre of Tragedy have always been a band that is hard for me to figure out. I found the lyrics in their previous albums so corny I almost couldn't take it. I couldn’t tell if they were admitting to gothic metal’s cheesy over use of “thee,” “thou,” and “hast” or if they were serious about it. And with “Musique,” I find myself in the same dilemma. Image is such a sultry song, and when Liv keeps going and going with the dirty talk it’s really too much. Lyrics in some of the other songs seem to border on the satirical. At times, the robotic tones of voice really get on your nerve, and at other times they fit perfectly with the music. The lyrics have a transhumanist / cyberpunk feel throughout and this is only supported by the excessive electro pop touches.
I don’t know what it is about metal, but every time a band undergoes a dramatic genre shift as with the case of ToT, there is always a group of fans that throws a fit and writes said group off as betraying the cause or whatever. “Musique” is a CD you have to approach and listen to with an open mind. Anything less will prevent you from enjoying the good album that it is. For me, this was easy since electronic music is another big part of what I listen to. For others who are more diehard when it comes to metal, I imagine it will be hard if not impossible to overcome their prejudice. This album is worth the buy if you’re into industrial metal and don’t mind excessive dependence on electronic elements.
I must admit that I never expected such a change from Theatre of Tragedy. They went from gothic/doom metal to industrial metal. This change, however, isn't bad. If you don't compare this to "Velvet Darkness they Fear" or the debut, this will sound like a very well done experimental album.
"Musique" has a techno-like sound mixed with industrial metal. It's quite mellow, despite the fact that it's labeled as techno. It has a very futuristic sound that goes perfect with the lyrics that talk about future and technology. However, the flaw that I find in the lyrics is that they're talking against techno music, and at the same time, they're playing it. One line I can think of is in the title track; "Electric music resounding all around". It is clearly said in a sarcastic way, yet "Musique" is electric music which is doing what the lyrics are talking against. However, given that I never really understood the lyrics to their previous albums and I still love them, it won't be fair if I considered any of the lyrics here.
However, not everything changed. The vocals are still the same (to a certain extent). Liv Kristine is still in the band. Even though her voice doesn't sound like it did on their previous 3 albums (or the next album, for that matter), it still contains the same power and serenity. In "Reverie" her voice is amazing during the chorus. Raymond Rohonyi is also a vocalist (like he was in every album). His voice is very techno-like and sounds like a speak-and-spell (which is the same kind of voice they make fun of in "Machine"). However, he sounds much better than on "Assembly" and "Storm".
"Musique" is also very varied. Every song is different than the other and no track is below average (excluding the bonus track, which I will get to later). If I had to pick an absolute favorite track, it's without doubt "Reverie". There's something about that song that makes me want to keep on pressing the previous button (you will too). Although "City of Light" and "Crash Concrete" are also clear highlights.
My only complaint is the ending. Whether you have 11 tracks or 12 tracks on your version, the two songs aren't fitting for the end. "Space Age" is a very good song (weird, but great), yet it lacks Liv, which doesn't make it a good summary for the album. "The New Man" is also a very bad ending, seeing how it should be among the pop crap on "Assembly". It's a song that reduces Liv’s voice to ashes and makes the whole album sound like a complete joke. "Reverie", on the other hand, would've made an excellent closing song, seeing as it doesn't stop instantly (it has a long outro), and it combines every element of the album. However, "Space Age" isn't a bonus track and it's found in every version. Just stay away from the version with "The New Man" unless you enjoyed "Assembly".
So, overall, "Musique" is a great album. You just need to view it as an album from an entirely different band because you won't be able to enjoy it if you compare with their earlier doom metal releases. In fact it's probably my second favorite Theatre of Tragedy album (after "Velvet Darkness they Fear"). I know it sounds crazy to hear a gothic metal fan liking techno, but it's just too addictive. However, don't expect to like "Assembly" if you liked this because they're very different (this is obviously much superior).
One last note; if you like "Musique", make sure to buy the two singles ("Machine" and "Image") because they both contain amazing remixes of the tracks here. It's a bit more techno and a barely metal, but you'll love them if you enjoyed this.
This was the first Theatre of Tragedy album I bought. I downloaded a few ToT songs before I bought this album and it was their earlier work. I thought it was amazing so I bought their new album at the time which was Musique. I put in my CD player and I thought I bought the wrong band. The music was good because I am into the whole industrial techno metal thing but it wasn't as great as the songs I downloaded. I was kind of pissed off, I mean who wouldn't be?
I finally bought another one of their CD's and it was amazing. I love the doom/death metal. Back to Musique; I mean it's not a horrible album, I actually can't get enough of it. I just wish this was ToT's side project. I miss their Doom/Death metal, I'd much rather hear that than this thechno metal they have going.
I thought it was hilarious because they would be singing in Old English and the next album both of them are singing about Computers and Machines. If you're into the old ToT stuff, and you're not into industrial metal, don't even buy this album.
The reason why I give it a 78 is because this CD shouldn't be done by a great doom/death/goth metal band called Theatre of Tragedy, it should have been their Side project with another band name.