Muse: Under Review

Sexy Intellectual temporarily abandons mining rock’s storied past to put one of the biggest bands in the world under the microscope for their latest “Under Review” title, and goodness knows they picked a good subject. “Muse: Under Review” contains some raw early footage of a group of bored teenagers from Devon who had to travel to America to get the press in their own country to take notice, only to have their second album refused by their initial champions. (It has since been reissued.) The band’s former manager explains the initial business dealings involving the hiring of John Leckie to produce their debut Showbiz (with Leckie himself appearing to talk at length about the album), while writers and biographers break down the evolution of the band’s sound. Since this is an unauthorized biography, the band does not contribute except in the form of a couple interviews with a third party early in their career, so the piece is fleshed out with the help of music videos by the band and artists like the Strokes. It’s all perfectly nice, but you can only hear someone call someone “fantastic” so many times before it loses all meaning, and with a running time of 106 minutes, it tends to wear out its welcome right when they get to discussing the band’s biggest album, 2006’s Black Holes and Revelations. Still, this DVD contains some interesting stories about the band’s early years that even their biggest fans may not know. (Sexy Intellectual 2010)

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