Muse: Under Review is the perfect guide to how Muse came to be one of the greatest British bands of the past decade. The 117-minute documentary delves into much of the business side of the band’s back story. It features interviews with their former manager, producer, and several music critics.
Under Review starts in Teignmouth, England where you learn about how the band was formed. You also get a sense of the members’ musical taste back in the 1990s. Muse is such a unique band that understanding how they were formed and what their musical influences were is very insightful.
One of the most fascinating bits of information was about lead singer Matt Bellamy’s father. His dad was a member of the 1960s group The Tornados. The group is credited with having the first trans-Atlantic hit song with “Telstar.” It had a futuristic sound that had me feeling like I was listening to one of Muse’s ancestors.
I found the DVD especially informative as I had wondered why I hadn’t heard of Muse until they released 2003’s Absolution. Apparently, the band had difficulties gaining ground in America while they were doing well in the rest of the world. Early on, some in the music industry didn’t get their sound while others knew they’d be a big hit.
If you’re a big fan of Muse then you’ll enjoy the detailed recap of the focus, direction, and success of each of their studio and live albums. The DVD does a great job giving context as to what was popular at the time and it also gives the view of Muse’s music from the label’s standpoint.
Under Review also includes clips from music videos and milestones like their first time headlining the Glastonbury Festival and sold out shows at Wembley Stadium.
The critics that are interviewed throughout the DVD are critical at times, but for the most part are positive about each and every development in Muse’s career. I would have preferred a slightly more critical view. It also would have been nice to include more interviews from the band members themselves. Overall though, Under Review is a great guide to how Muse became one of the best bands out of the United Kingdom. I highly recommend it for Muse fans.