Oh Boy: The New ‘Compliance’ Single

Fellow compliance enthusiasts, we have unsettling news from the arts and entertainment desk today. The rock band Muse just dropped its new single, “Compliance” — and, um, it’s really weird and creepy.

For those not musically in the know (which usually includes me), Muse is a band out of England. They’ve been around since the ’90s and have had a decent number of hits, like “Supermassive Black Hole” and “Starlight” in 2006 and “Uprising” in 2009. They’re heavy on synthesizers, grinding guitars, and vocals from frontman Matt Bellamy. One friend of mine who’s a fan described their sound as “if New Order and Rush had a baby.” The description fits.

Anyway, at noon today Muse dropped the first single from its forthcoming album. That single is called “Compliance,” so of course I was intrigued. Then I watched the video, which is below. Please do the same, and the next 3 minutes and 42 seconds can speak for themselves. 



Soooooo… yeah. What the [expletive] was that?

I mean, the groove is good. Bellamy can still wail with the best of them. Technically the music and instrumentation are flawless. Not my favorite Muse song but definitely a good kickoff single for an upcoming album and concert tour.

But lyrics about falling into line and staying blindly loyal to authority? A music video that looks like a cross between Interview With a Vampire and Firestarter? Not really in step with the message that corporate ethics and compliance officers want to send about speaking up and adhering to ethical principles even when the price is high. 

Indeed, David Osborne, an ESG consultant in England, suggested that compliance officers might want to use this video as a teachable moment with your workforce: talk about how people might assume the word “compliance” means one thing, but corporate compliance programs actually use the term to describe something quite different.

As to the single — well, it is what it is. Then immediately after watching the video, YouTube sent me straight into an ad about SOC 2 compliance. Sigh.

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