“Citizen Erazed” by Muse
Muse’s “Citizen Erazed” is a song with undeniably deep lyrics, on top of the title (which is never actually mentioned in the lyrics) also being of a thought-provoking nature. Indeed some analysts have gone as far as to postulate that this piece was inspired by 1984. 1984 is a George Orwell penned conspiratorial novel from back in the day that many people consider to be prophetic. Indeed said work has served as the inspiration for pop media than can be mentioned here. It is actually considered one of the greatest books of all time.
But that noted, based on the actual lyrics as well as Matt Bellamy’s explanation, what it appears the vocalist is actually griping about, primarily, is like the media being all up in his grill.
When this track was dropped, said vocalist was only in his early-to-mid twenties. But still, by that time Muse had already proven to be a noteworthy band. And you know that when a band blows up, it is the frontman that is always being interviewed or what have you. And not only that, but also some very serious queries – for whatever reason – are regularly thrown their way.
Perhaps it is such that we human beings tend to presume that our minstrels and other entertainers are wiser than the average man. But in any event we are now living in the information age, and you can imagine how such attention can prove tiresome.
These Crazy Questions!
In relation to this song, Bellamy has noted that he “spend(s) more time than most people being asked about purpose, and it’s a strange feeling”. Dang. Many people twice or three times his age can’t answer existential questions, and here we have a young dude who is faced with such dilemmas on a regular basis.
Indeed in the case of celebrities like himself, such instances are exacerbated by the fact that his responses actually go on record. So once again going back to Bellamy’s explanation, he’ll rise up to the challenge and answer such questions alright. But he is doing so understanding that his knowledge is incomplete.
So in the aftermath of what he says actually coming out in print, it’s like he doesn’t even agree with his previous statements anymore. And you can see by the climax of the first and second verses that he’s tired of people throwing monumental inquiries his way.
Song’s Title (“Citizen Erazed”)
So in trying to connect the title to what’s being put forth in the verses, what the vocalist is basically saying, most simply put, is that he wants to be left alone. Or being viewed from a different angle, constantly being harassed, even through the act of persistent questioning, is akin to the singer being dehumanized by those who engage in such activities.
Admittedly though, the outro seems to steer the listener in a different direction. This time around the vocalist comes off as wish he desires to start life anew, i.e. have ‘all of the memories erased’ – an idea theoretically more in congruence with the title than what has been put forth above.
Narrator longs for Freedom
But all things considered, such as there being virtually no likelihood of his memories actually being erased, then the conclusively sentiment would harp back to his desire for a ‘freedom’ that he once enjoyed. The freedom in question, as compared to present, was characterized by the fact that back then he wasn’t being persecuted by the addressee, who comes off as someone(s) who is not allowing poor Matt the opportunity to just sit down and take his time, thinking for himself.
Facts about “Citizen Erazed”
The official release date of this song was on 17 July 2002. “Citizen Erazed” is a part of Muse’s “Origin of Symmetry” project. This project is Muse’s second studio album.
In 2021, a 20th anniversary edition of “Origin of Symmetry” came out. This new edition was titled “Origin of Symmetry: XX Anniversary RemiXX”. And on that occasion, a remix of “Citizen Erased” served as the lead. Actually it was the only single from the project. In other words, even though this song was not originally issued as a single, it has still proven to be a fan favorite.
This track was written by Muse frontman Matt Bellamy. And he also gets production credit. His bandmates Dominic Howard (drummer) and Christopher Wolstenholme (bassist) are also credited as the song’s co-producers. Other names that appear on the official list of producers of this song are:
- John Leckie
- David Bottrill
Bellamy once dedicated a live rendering of “Citizen Erased” (which was conducted in Sydney) to Julian Assange. Julian is best known as the infamous (depending on one’s perspective) founder of WikiLeaks.
This song is a product of Mushroom Records and Taste Media. The latter label supported Muse’s first three studio albums.
Muse’s “Origin of Symmetry” Album
On the 18th of June, 2001, the album, “Origin of Symmetry” was released by Muse. It was released as their second studio album.
The English rock band had the album recorded in multiple recording studios in England, including the Ridge Farm studio in Rusper.
Muse, David Bottrill, a record producer from Canada and Englishman John Leckie hold production credits for the album.
In the US, the album charted at No. 161 on the Billboard 200. It however put up a more impressive performance in Europe, peaking at No. 3 in the UK. Below is a look at how the album also fared in other European countries:
- Scotland – 5
- Belgium – 2
- Italy – 5
- Ireland – 3
- France – 2
Sales of over 2 million copies of this album had been recorded as at 2018.
In the UK, the album has been certified, 2x Platinum. It has received a Platinum Certification in Australia. In Belgium, Italy, Switzerland as well as the Netherlands it has received Gold Certification.