Map of the Problematique

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"Map of the Problematique"
Mopt cover.jpg
Single by Muse
from the album Black Holes and Revelations
Released18 June 2007
RecordedAugust – December 2005
Songwriter(s)Matt Bellamy
Muse singles chronology
"Map of the Problematique"

"Map of the Problematique" is a song by English alternative rock band Muse, released as the fifth single from their fourth studio album Black Holes and Revelations on 18 June 2007 as a download.[1] The release date followed the two concerts Muse performed at Wembley Stadium on 16 and 17 June.[2]


"Map of the Problematique" is an electronic rock song featuring heavy use of synthesizers, distortion, flanging and octave shifting. Written in the key of C minor, it moves in common time at a moderately fast tempo of 125 bpm. Lead singer Matthew Bellamy's displayed vocal range spans from B♭3 to C5. His vocals in the song are overdubbed to create an echo effect.

The main riff does not feature any dominant chords, which gives it a more modal sound. The chords being played are C minor, E♭ major, A♭ major, and F minor.[citation needed]

The song has drawn frequent comparisons to "Enjoy the Silence" by Depeche Mode due to their similar chord progression and arrangement. Bellamy has also cited Depeche Mode as inspiration for the song in interviews.[3]

The title is a reference to the book The Limits to Growth (1972) and the Club of Rome think-tank who would create a "map of the problematique" detailing the "global problematique" - a set of likely challenges the world might face in the near future.[citation needed]


Originating from rehearsals before the recording of Black Holes and Revelations, "Map of the Problematique" was one of the later songs the band started work on. It was originally played on synthesisers before being transferred to guitar, giving it a darker sound, although initially the intention was to keep it as keyboard-orientated as possible. The rhythm section was recorded after the guitar tracks. This was different from anything the band had done before, according to bassist Chris Wolstenholme, "because the whole theme of the song was based more on the sound and creation of this sound".[citation needed]

The riff was written on keyboard; at producer Rich Costey's encouragement, Bellamy recreated it on guitar by splitting the guitar into three signals, which were processed with pitch shifters and synthesisers.[4]


"Map of the Problematique" is one of Muse's most frequently performed songs in concert, being played at almost every show on the Black Holes and Revelations Tour, the majority of concerts on The Resistance Tour, being performed fairly often on The 2nd Law Tour and Drones World Tour. A live version was released on the HAARP album and DVD.

Track listing[edit]

Digital download[5]
1."Map of the Problematique"4:18
2."Map of the Problematique" (Does It Offend You, Yeah? Remix)4:24
3."Map of the Problematique" (AOL Session)4:25 exclusive download[6]
1."Map of the Problematique"4:18
2."Map of the Problematique" (Live from Wembley Stadium)5:05
3."Map of the Problematique" (Rich Costey Edit)3:40
4."Map of the Problematique" (Does It Offend You, Yeah? Remix)4:24
5."Map of the Problematique" (AOL Session)4:25

Chart performance[edit]

The song reached number 18 in the UK singles chart in its first week of release, and was more successful than "Invincible", the previous single.


Chart (2007) Peak
UK Singles (OCC)[7] 18


  1. ^ "Map of the Problematique release info". 8 June 2007. Retrieved 8 June 2007.
  2. ^ "Muse to Release Map of the Problematique". 28 March 2007. Archived from the original on 30 April 2007. Retrieved 12 April 2007.
  3. ^ "Depeche Mode Influence info". 9 April 2007. Retrieved 8 June 2007.
  4. ^ Touzeau, Jeff. "An Evening With Rich Costey". Electronic Musician. Archived from the original on 30 March 2019. Retrieved 9 December 2018.
  5. ^ "Map of the Problematique - EP". iTunes. Retrieved 8 May 2013.
  6. ^ "Map Of The Problematique ( exclusive) - MP3". Muse. Retrieved 8 May 2013.
  7. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.