Rockers Who Have (Successfully) Gone Back To Basics
    • TUESDAY, JULY 30, 2013

    • Posted by: David Spelman

    In a recent interview with the London Evening Standard, Muse lead singer Matt Bellamy has stated that "as a band I think we're at the moment of collapse...We're at the point of being forced to go back to the basics." This got us thinking about other bands that reached their "peak" and then proceeded to produce excellent music without it being extravagantly overdone or, in Muse's case, in need of lavish touring pyrotechnics. Going back to basics really has two meanings for bands - either simplifying their sound, or playing in a way that is similar to their earlier records. This could be a step in the right direction for Muse, and could help change our opinion of them. Here are some good models for Bellamy to follow:

    Bruce Springsteen

    We begin with a man who has pulled off both forms of "basics." On 1982's Nebraska, The Boss whittled down his sound to acoustic guitar, a little harmonica, and some of the most pained, emotional singing he'd ever done. Last year's Wrecking Ball had Springsteen's trademark serious, politically-charged lyrics coupled with the uplifting, spirited tunes he is known for.

    Pearl Jam

    Following the failures of experimental records like Binaural and Riot Act, the band have gone back to their grunge sound more and more on each new record. New album Lightning Bolt is out in October, and single "Mind Your Manners", is so grungy and riff-heavy, it's almost a call back to "Animal".


    Known for his experimental, fast-paced psych-funk, Beck surprised everyone with his seventh album, Sea Change, a collection of stripped-down, acoustic guitar-based tracks. After discovering his girlfriend was cheating on him, Beck penned sad, introspective lyrics that drew Bob Dylan comparisons. It doesn't get more basic than a man and his guitar.

    Kings of Leon

    Sadly, the band has moved too far away from the dirty southern rock of Youth and Young Manhood and Aha Shake Heartbreak. While not quite as raw as something like "Red Morning Light", it seems as if the Followills are moving closer to their roots, as their
    new stuff sounds grittier than anything on Come Around Sundown.

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