Muse’s “Compliance” Lyrics Meaning

Living on this Earth is such that, from the cradle to the grave really, there’s always someone telling you how to live or what to believe. And such aspirations, as premised by Matt Bellamy, don’t only belong solely to the institutions that musicians usually lash out against in that regard, such as the government or religion. Instead, Bellamy even listed the likes of the following:

  • gangs
  • demagogues
  • social media algorithms

In his eyes, the above are among the “powerful entities” that are shoving lies down our throats.

He implies that they are doing so in the name of economically exploiting us, as the conspiratorial goal of such organizations is generally understood. To him, all the aforementioned bodies need just one thing from us. And that is “our Compliance”. He goes on to insinuate that their very existence is predicated on mass approval.  

Or perhaps a simpler way of describing Matt’s tirade (as it actually ties into the lyrics) is that these forces are basically selling us ideologies. In doing so, they are falsely advertising that by following their way, that ever-elusive sense of true fulfillment and peace can actually be attained.

But then countering it all, once again going back to Matt’s explanation, is “our own internal voice of reason and compassion”. 

You Should be Compliant!

If you actually read all that Bellamy had to say in relation to this song, let’s just say that it’s a lot more passionate than anything you’re likely to get from this analysis.

But to make a long song short, what the vocalist is basically doing is condemning the powers that be. He condemns them for not being what they present themselves as. For as presented, they come off as having the answer to lives’ problems. But then it’s like, why do their formulas always require “compliance” on the part of the individual?

In all, Bellamy has referred to this song as being about submitting oneself “to authoritarian rules”.

Muse's Matt Bellamy explains "Compliance"


This is a piece which may not appeal to some of the more mainstream-minded readers out there. In other words, to truly appreciate “Compliance” a listener first has to be, as with Muse itself obviously, under the impression that the major institutions of the world are in fact, most simply put, lying to us.

But in an attempt on our part to further simplify all that’s being said, it would appear that the vocalist has concluded that personal self-government is the true path to freedom. Or put differently, all of the big voices out there have their own agendas in terms of the lifestyles that they espouse.

Lyrics to Muse's "Compliance"

Facts about “Compliance”

This is the fourth track on the playlist of  Muse’s 2022 album titled “Will of the People”.

As for the song itself, it was released on 17 March of that same year. It is the project’s official second single. The following labels backed this endeavor:

  • Warner Records
  • Helium-3

The album’s first single is titled “Won’t Stand Down“. It came out in January 2022.

Muse produced this song, with the band’s frontman, Bellamy, being its writer.

The first announcement of this track was made about a week before its release.

The music video to “Compliance” was filmed in Poland. It was directed by a visual artist named Jeremi Durand.

Bellamy reportedly beatboxes on this track.


8 Responses

  1. Hullabaloo 22 says:

    After reading other articles that made ‘Compliance’out to be an anti vampire, anti mask song, it was nice to come across this piece which reflects more what I took the song to mean.

    • Odin says:

      Science authorities are no exception to all other ‘reality dictators’ as they claim that only they can explain reality, wants us to believe their narrative about what’s going on in the world, and that we need to do what they tell us. Religion takes the old minds, science takes the new minds. All controlled, all compliant.

  2. The voice of reason says:

    To me it seemed like Muse was saying something they are against,many people will do this to…blah blah blah long story short they are saying ”don’t comply to certain things like anti vaxing,anti masks and other beliefs”

  3. Anonymous says:

    The song almost seems to be suggesting that if you comply that the pain will go if one considers covid to cause pain and masks to be compliance you end with a entirely different narrative

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