Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 16
  2. Negative: 2 out of 16
  1. Absolution's chaotic choruses feel like the triumphant culmination of some earth-shattering undertaking. [Jul 2004, p.146]
  2. Muse have widened the goalposts and re-established what rock is allowed to stand for. Next to ‘Absolution’, even something as majestic as ‘Elephant’ sounds so painfully small.
  3. The most inventive and exhilarating rock music Britain's producing right now.
  4. 90
    A massive concept album that is so gluttonously huge-sounding that it makes The Wall sound like a Sebadoh record. [#10, p.94]
  5. 'Absolution' is Muse's most accomplished album to date, and kicks their - at the time - excellent debut album 'Showbiz' into the ground.
  6. For sheer bravado and imagination it's something that few bands will top this year. [Oct 2003, p.109]
  7. Like Coldplay on A Rush of Blood to the Head, Muse sound like a band who are at the top of their game. Their confidence carries you through the album's excesses.
  8. Absolution is an emotional, philosophical, sophisticated, poetic, and beautiful piece of rock music.
  9. 70
    A daring and triumphant concoction. [#27, p.140]
  10. Despite the daunting Radiohead-colored cloud that hangs heavy over Muse, the band pushes the limits of its slick, pre-apocalyptic rock with a self-assured strut.
  11. Muse continue to make unrelenting hardcore art rock; Absolution is a tad cheesy, a bit too grandiose in its ambitions, bursting at the seams with too many ideas, and thus exactly what any Muse fan craves.
  12. It's too bad that vocalist Matt Bellamy doesn't bring as much ingenuity to his singing.
  13. Ultimately, the arrangements of more than half the songs are defined by their progressive '70s bombast and pretentiousness.
  14. 30
    Pushes the trio's grandiose delusions onto new levels of interpretative-dancing, mirror-cracking excess. [Oct 2003, p.107]
  15. Muse write... the same way Metallica write, i.e. just compiling bits of ‘music’ then sticking them together, except they’re more impressed with their fragments (though they’re simpler and duller and even more remarkably similar to each other than Metallica’s), so they make them go on longer and repeat them more times.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 237 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 5 out of 117
  1. Oct 29, 2010
    Another masterpiece by Muse, following the amazing Origin of Symmetry. Every song on the album is great, with the top 3 being Hysteria, Butterflies & Hurricanes, and Stockholm Syndrome. Full Review »
  2. valenb
    Jun 5, 2006
    A worthy successor to their excellent second album Origin of Symmetry. These are three very talented guys who will leave you breathless on your stereo as well as on a stage. Sure, there may be some Radiohead, Queen, and even Rage Against the Machine similarities, but isn't the best music supposed to draw on the things that came before it? Whatever they've taken, they've made their own. Full Review »
  3. Mar 2, 2013
    Remember Showbiz... Who would've thought that a band who made a album so down to earth with it's alt rock could make something sound so extraterrestrial. Origin of symmetry just opened a gate for us, but as it ends we were disabled to enter, kind of like an ending to an episode of a show which continues to the beginning of the next one. So with absolution muse have not only continued their work they've previously set up on OoS but they added so much on it. Guitars are so heavy that they could recreate the effect of a Moses stick, the melodies are layered perfectly and the album itself is nothing short of a classic. The grandiosity of muses music only adds to the curiosity of whether all those themes could be applied to the world we currently live in, that is, are those lyrics used as a metaphor describing our surroundings covering us so tight. Political songs like time is running out drain from the usual muse theme well of political corruption and brainwashing while other apocalypse invocating songs are doing their job too good that they make you question whether you can take muse seriously. Apocalypse please, an art rock song with a mind dementia inducing piano work that would postpone a true apocalypse until the songs end at least. But muse don't stop here, they make a ironic, even sarcastic, tribute to the underground society (let's call them underground) with ruled by secrecy, they question current beliefs in the unnatural (that is they question the perspective in which we see god and religion) with thoughts of a dying atheist and even pay attention to the human mind and thought and the way they provide as a muse for creating. All of these themes put together on a same record are a bit too much to take and digest, but once they lay down and insert themselves in your head you will be one lucky bastard (of course if you allow them to). Bringing new philosophical foundations to life has never been so much fun, just remember to close that gate until the next release. Full Review »