Sound — 9
Most Muse fans usually will appreciate anything the band puts out. Some encourage change while others disprove of it. Sorry fans of Showbiz and Origins of Symmetry, but this is not a complete regression to those days. This is a sound that you probably have not heard Muse do before, which always makes their albums so special. This one is special in its own particular way. The common Muse sound that is present in all albums is not gone, but this album does contain a lot of other things around it that has not been done by the band. Call it genius or call it sell out call it whatever you want, Muse is back in action and doesn't show signs of slowing down with this album. Let's get down to the nitty gritty, the stuff you all want to hear. 01. The album starts off very mainstream sounding and radio friendly. "Uprising," is a typical stadium rock chant foot stomper that will get people excited. 02. "Resistance" will also create a mainstream sound mixed with a great and simple Matthew Bellamy piano riff that will please many. 03. "Undisclosed Desires" is a no-guitar dance rock song that would almost be a club sounding song. It mixes instruments well and, if you can look past the differences between this and other Muse songs, it will please most Muse fans. 04. "United States of Eurasia + Collateral Damage" tormented Muse fans for a good few weeks with the treasure hunt. This song combines dramatic piano, blatant Queen inspired harmony, and an Arabian piano riff to create a rapidly changing highlight of the album. This song is good, yet comes across as a let down because this song seems like it was trying to be a kick ass epic rock song (i.e Knights of Cydonia) but only comes across as a good Muse song. 05. "Guiding Light," sounds like a Christianity song of hope almost with a somewhat catchy sound. This song almost comes across as the weak link kind of, lacking a Muse authenticity. The interesting Matthew Bellamy solo makes the song good, reminding me somewhat off "Invincible," off of the Black Holes and Revelations album. 06. "Unnatural Selection" is where the album starts picking up to fast paced epic Muse riffs and, in my opinion, reminds me of previous Muse albums. These songs should be more than pleasing to those who want older Muse stuff. The riff reminds me of "New Born" and the breakdown and passionate (almost "Blackout"-esque) solo leading to an epic rise to the fast paced riff reminds me almost of "Citizen Erased". This song should stand out easily and mixes all styles of Muse, including this album. 07. "MK Ultra" was not very favorable when the 30 second clips were released. Not only were those clips misleading, but it covered what a completely splendid song this really is. The riff in the beginning is very favorable to all Muse fans. The singing is probably some of the best on the album and the changes made throughout the song will most likely stand out to any Muse fan as a highlight. 08. "I Belong to You/Mon Couer S'ouvre A Ta Voix" this piano riff is very catchy and makes this song incredible. A French opera piece from the opera "Samson and Delilah" breaks into the song and features the best singing ever by Matt and showcases what a splendid voice Matthew Bellamy has. Very unexpected, yet it does not clash with the song. It then builds up only to return to the original piano riff, which is very interesting and gives the whole song a unique feel. 09-11. This is the highly anticipated "Exogenesis Symphony" that begins with an emotional riff that builds up and then feeds into a "Bliss" (from Origins of Symmetry) esque riff. Vocals are a dark quiet falsetto similar to that of "Micro-Cuts" (from Origins Of Symmetry). The next movement is Muse in a nutshell. Classical piano and great Matthew Bellamy playing mixed with an epic collection of all instruments used and an unknown, confused, almost fearful, tone to it. The last part winds it down and ends the piece beautifully. There are massive amounts of different stuff in this symphony, giving anyone a chance to find a part that they most attach to.
Lyrics — 6
Lyrics have progressively, in my humble opinion, became worse and more boring over the years for Muse. Some lines sound recycled and others just sound too simple and meaningless. If you agree with me on the categorization of these following album lyrics then you will know what I mean about the album when you hear it. Showbiz was standard rock lyrics about heartbreak and what not. Origins of Symmetry were about phenomena that is out of our reach and the unknown. Absolution lyrics generally were death and Armageddon sounding stuff. Black Holes and Revelations was paranoid and conspiracy based. If you agree with me generally on those, then you will find this album is about mostly confusion about everything bigger than we as humans. Not bad concepts for songs, but the lyrics don't stand out on this album nearly as much as earlier albums. The lyrics seem to fit, but aren't all something I would expect to see in a deep poetry book.
Overall Impression — 8
If you read the track-by-track sound review, then you will see that, although very different and progressive from previous albums, it still contains Muse material that has been on previous works. Overall this album is not recycled like many bands tend to do with their own material, yet it is not a complete shift that will disappoint those who fell in love with the previous Muse work. This album was created, as the band said, as a more authentic feel and not trying to give the people what they thought they wanted. Either way, it is a Muse album and although I still prefer Origins of Symmetry, I will still be putting that album down and popping in "The Resistance" still and it will always be seen in my eyes as a stand out album that deserves much attention. Grab it today and I guarantee no Muse fan will be disappointed with the whole album.