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Mike Portnoy Names His Favorite Album of the 21st Century

Mike Portnoy Names His Favorite Album of the 21st Century

Mike Portnoy has named his favorite album of the 21st century in a new Instagram post, reaffirming decades of his own high praise for this one particular record.

We all know that our favorites can change over time and what we think is the best of any certain era may be supplanted as well. This is especially true when considering an active era, such as the ongoing 21st century which is the case here.

Even so, the Dream Theater drummer has been a longtime proponent of the brilliance of Muse‘s 2003 album Absolution.

Renewing that support, he shared the album cover on Instagram, writing, “Recent conclusion: Muse’s Absolution is still my fav album of the 21st century! Yes, we’ve had some incredible music the past quarter century… but this one is the only one to crack my personal Top 10 of All Time so far.”

Mike Portnoy’s Past Comments on Muse’s Absolution

In his annual year-end Top 10 albums recap, Portnoy crowned Absolution No. 1 his 2004 list, oddly enough. He said at the time, “Technically this is a 2003 release, but it is hands down my favorite CD of the year and probably the decade as well!” Absolution came out in late September of 2003, so perhaps he just hadn’t spent enough time with it before ranking his 10 favorite albums of that year.

That premonition held true as Muse also claimed the No. 1 spot on the drum legend’s list of the 10 best albums of the 2000s.

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Fast forward another decade from that list to 2020, Portnoy is still blown away by the record. During the pandemic, he uploaded a series of videos exploring his record collection, reflecting on the ones he pulled out to show viewers. In the fifth of eight episodes, the drummer pulled out a pair of Muse albums — 2001’s Origin of Symmetry and Absolution.

“I remember when I discovered this album [Absolution], it probably would’ve been around 2004 or so. I’m not sure. I think [Dream Theater guitarist] John Petrucci turned me on to it. He knew this song ‘Time Is Running Out.’ He heard it on the radio or something and then he said, ‘Hey, have you heard this band Muse?’ I picked up this album and was floored,” Portnoy recalls.

Muse, “Time Is Running Out”

Comparing it to Radiohead‘s OK Compouter and Jellyfish’s Spilt Milk, he dubbed it a “perfect album from start to finish” before rattling off a handful of standout songs.

“The production, the playing, the composition… I can’t say enough about this album. It obviously had a huge influence on myself and Dream Theater those years that followed. You can hear it on Octavarium with a song like ‘Never Enough’ or Systematic Chaos with a song like ‘Prophets of War,'” Portnoy continued.

Mike Portnoy’s 10 Favorite Albums When He Was a Teenager

Legendary prog drummer Mike Portnoy takes us through the soundtrack to his teenage years.

Gallery Credit: Mike Portnoy