Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Muse's Official Olympic Song "Survival" Is Decidedly Not a Victory for the World

Posted By on Thu, Jun 28, 2012 at 12:20 PM

"I'm gonna wiiiiiiiiiiiiiin" - CHRISTOPHER VICTORIO
  • Christopher Victorio
  • "I'm gonna wiiiiiiiiiiiiiin"

Does Muse know what a song is? There's admittedly some prior evidence that the three kings of grandimediocrity do, but then there's also "Survival," the band's new, "official" song for the 2012 London Olympics, which sounds less like a thoughtfully arranged piece of music and more like random mash-up of Queen outtakes and clips from the soundtracks to Michael Bay movies. If you can dream a rock anthem element, it's here: Sky's-gonna-fall "Ooooaaaahhh"-ing from a big chorus of voices, Kodak-moment orchestral trim, lots and lots of palm-muted guitar riffs -- oh, and in a gold-medal-worthy feat of literal-mindedness, Matt Bellamy seething "I'm gonna win, yes, I'm gonna win!" (It's the Olympics, and he's gonna win -- get it?)

The whole thing gets going with a righteously annoying fit of Queen-esque piano bounce, as if Muse started this thing off under the ludicrous fantasy that it could be both their "Bohemian Rhapsody" and their "We Are the Champions" in one. Which isn't the first of this band's deluded ambitions. But instead of, like, writing a real song, with parts that do something, and some lyrics you could get stuck in your head, and, you know, a melody, Muse just piled all its big shiny sounds onto each other into one long, blumbering escalation. When, after three eons, the climax does arrive -- Bellamy: "I'm gonna [falsetto] wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiin" -- it feels about as satisfying as paying taxes. You knew something was going to happen, and you had a pretty idea what it was, and then it finally came, and there was no surprise, just a guy screeching in bad falsetto like he's trying out for the opera or something.

All of this wouldn't quite be so upsetting if this weren't the official Olympic song -- the thing all audio-enabled humans on Planet Earth will be subjected to a minimum of four times per day between July 27 and Aug. 12. Sigh. Perhaps, though, there's an upside: This year, when the Olympics are over, when your appetite for athletic triumph has been sated forty-seven times over, and when your nausea at Muse's "Survival" has peaked, you won't have had an actual song ruined for you: Just a very loud aggregation of dramatic noises.

Follow us on Twitter @SFAllShookDown, follow Ian S. Port @iPORT, and like us at

  • Pin It

Tags: , , ,

About The Author

Ian S. Port


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"