Sound — 9
Muse has always been an extraordinary alt-rock band for me. I worshiped songs like Stockholm Syndrome and Plug in Baby. But with BH&R they showed a new side of themselves. But with 'The Resistance' they go were they have never been before. With songs like Guiding Light and Undisclosed Desires they sound like more like a pop-rockband. But with songs like 'Uprising' 'Unnatural Selection' and 'MK Ultra' they show that they still know how to rock. Dominic Howard mentioned in Wembley that SMBH has a bit R&B in it. On this album you`ll hear that he likes it apparently. 'Uprising' 'Resistance' and 'Undisclosed Desires' have a bit an Timbaland beat in it. On 'The Resistance' there is a lot of variety as for the bass. Distorted, a slap bass, cello or the synth/wah effect. No lines like Hysteria, TIRO or Bliss. But ofcourse the bass isn`t neglected on this album. With quick licks in 'Uprising' or 'Resistance' Christopher shows that he still knows what to do. And Matthew Bellamy isn`t always on the guitar or shredding on the piano. Some synth-type chords can be heard in for example 'Resistance' and 'Guiding Light.' But he shows his funky rhythm feel on 'I Belong to You'. To end a brief summary of the songs 01. Uprising: groovy distorted bass, a bit R&B drum and a lyric about a revolution. As powerful as we are used from Muse. 02. Resistance: after the weird but cool intro again an R&B kinda drum can be heard underneath some interesting chords leading into a rock (pre) chorus. Amazing outro if you ask me. 03. Undisclosed Desires: although this is the strangest thing Muse have ever done I really like this song. Slap bass, Timbaland beat and a lot of strings. Beautiful song. 04. United States of Eurasia: piano chords with violins in the background. Building up to a Queen-style chorus, an Arabian riff leads into the 2nd more uptempo verse. The vocals in the outro are also pretty much like Queen. Collateral Damage comes after it. It`s Prelude No. 23 by Chopin I thought it was. But I don`t know it for sure. (don`t flame me if I`m wrong) 05. Guiding Light: massive drums, an explosion of synth chords with staccato bass and high guitar chords which show a bit similarity with Invincible. A guitar solo which Brian May could have written and then again the dramatic chorus. To be honest, I hate this song. But that`s me. 06. Unnatural Selection: church organ intro which follows into a heavy guitar riff. A bit New Born/Futurism style. A mysterious breakdown with a bit an uninspiring guitar melody. A bit metalish outro, but I think this song is one of less of this album. 07. MK Ultra: by far my favourite song of the album. Uptempo song with an amazing verse chorus and interludes. On of the more rock songs of the album because of the heavy riffs. Powerful lyrics also. This song compromises Guiding Light and United States of Eurasia for me. 08. I Belong to Yo: funky, groovy piano chords with synth-bass. A classical piano breakdown with again the dramatically Muse we know that last on for some minutes. Then again the groovy piano chords with. Appealing song I think. 09. Overture: one of the three pieces Bellamy has written for an entire orchestra. A lot of violins, strange chord progressions, dark drum, dramatic guitar riffs with high falsetto makes an epic song. 10. Cross-Pollination: the 2nd part of Exogenesis. Rachmaninov style piano intro leads into a waterfall of notes with violins and a choir in the background. A breakdown with heavy bass and drum and as an excellent outro again a waterfall of notes. 11. Redemption: a slow classical piano intro, with again a lot of strings. But after two minutes it`s gets more mellow, a song to drift away on. The outro is again the same type as the intro.
Lyrics — 8
Fat cats had a heart attack, thought police and United States of Eurasia. I am a massive huge fan and I have to say that the lyrics are not so recognisable, and that`s not because Matthew is singing in French in 'I Belong to You.' I have to admit that I think the lyrics in overall are not as good as before. In 'Uprising' none of the sentences about a revolution really impress me. But the chorus of 'Undisclosed Desires' is strong and although I don`t know where MK Ultra stands for but the lyrics have something. But terms like unnatural selection? They lost me there. And where I adored him because he never made the too obvious rhymes he did it sometimes on this album. They lost a bit of that beauty if you ask me. Matthew Bellamy is known for his extreme falsetto belts and sometimes a bit wining melodies. I don`t hear that last one so often on this album, wich I don`t regret. The high falsetto can be heard in the backing vocals of for instance 'Unnatural Selection' or 'United States of Eurasia' Queen has been a huge influence for these songs, and I recognised a bit Serj Tankian here and there. Although there are not much extreme high Mr. Bellamy shows again he`s a great singer. Excellent melodies which are sung a bit strange sometimes like the first verse of Uprising.'
Overall Impression — 9
I have compared this album pretty often with the other ones. But Muse have done something entirely different. They`re a band who create different moods and keep innovating. As I already said, they lost a bit of their lyrical beauty. But that`s not the biggest point. I am a massive fan of Muse (look at my username if you doubt) because their songs had original chord progressions, like Stockholm Syndrome or Take a Bow. On this album that beauty is less present. Not all the songs are dead easy. But I was hoping for more of the original chords and riffs, such as MK Ultra and the breakdown Unnatural Selection. Guiding Light' the chorus of The Resistance' and the rest of Unnatural Selection' are uninspiring if you ask me. But after listening to all the Exogenesis and I Belong to You' I`m completely satisfied. And although Undisclosed Desires' doesn`t have any of those fancy chords but I think it`s a magnificent song. What I think is a shame is that they didn`t put the Osaka Jam on the album as they said they would. They are no really hard-rock songs on this album, in contradiction with what they said. On this album there would be their hardest song ever. Can`t find it unfortunately. So if you want an album with 9 alt-rock songs and 2 ballad-type you`re wrong. But if you want to listen to some great music and aren`t really close minded, I can recommend this. I still worship Muse because this album is great even though it`s not what I hoped/expected. It`s different, but after listening to it a few times, it`s different in a positive way. Muse have done it again, they made a completely new inspiring album. The Muse-sound is still present, and that`s biggest compliment you can give it.