Sound — 9
This album starts off with "Uprising", a song with a driving bass line and drum track, great synthesized riffs, and a pretty great guitar solo. Along with a chorus that you can't help but chant along with. The next song, "Resistance", is one that I always thought should have gone at the beginning of the album, due to it's long, epic intro. It blends a classic rock sound with rock opera, which seems to be Matthew Bellamy's singing strong-suit. Next is "Undisclosed Desires", a song that seems to have received both love and an unbelievable level of hate. It contains catchy pizzicato strings, drum machine patterns, and some great slap-bass work by Chris. The blend of pop and classical music sounds weird, but really works in this instance. Then comes "United States Of Eurasia", which may be the most impressive song on the album, featuring a full orchestra, incredible piano-playing, huge queenesque vocal harmonies, and impressive drumming. It boasts a middle-eastern sounding chorus, and an excerpt of Chopin's "Nocturne in E Flat". Belamy's rendition of this piano piece has been, and still is my very favorite. Next is "Guiding Light", a ballad with an intentionally cheesy guitar solo. Cheesy or not, it's quite impressive. Bellamy's voice is incredible on this track. The only problem I have with it, is the synthesized chords in the intro. Next comes "Unnatural Selection" with it's fast paced riffs that are perfectly complimented by the half-tempo breakdown four minutes into the song. That minute and a half that makes up the breakdown may very well be my favorite moment on the album. "MK Ultra" probably has the best riff on the whole album, and contains the same level of energy as "Unnatural Selection". There's not a whole lot to say about this song, except that it's incredible. The next song is an interesting one, blending a circus-like 'anything goes' mentality, along with a slow, French section of the song. And a gong. You can't go wrong with a gong. The album closes with the three-part "Exogenesis Symphony". Boasting a forty piece orchestra, some of Bellamy's best piano playing to date, beautiful melodies, eerie string arrangements, and good Lord, there aren't enough words to describe how great it is. The blend of they're bands bass, drums, and guitar, with the classical strings and brass, couldn't sound any better.
Lyrics — 8
These lyrics are the regular thing for Muse. Government secrets, conspiracies, mind control, space travel, the end of the world. That sort of thing. It's never boring listening to these lyrics. "Resistance" is based on the relationship between Winston and Julia in George Orwell's "1984". "Exogenesis Symphony" tells a haunting story about the end of our world, and having to colonize elsewhere in the galaxy to save the human race. You can't understand a word of what's being said in part one of this symphony, but it's actually better that way, as it adds to the eerie effect of the song.
Overall Impression — 10
This, in my opinion, is Muse's greatest work, and my favorite album to date. It certainly compares well to "Origin Of Symmetry" and "Absolution", though you can only barely tell it's even the same band. Which is a very good thing! It'd certainly get boring if they just played OoS over, and over, and over. The most impressive songs are... All of them, really. There's not one song on this album that I would skip. Ever. It's all too good. I love how each song has a sound all it's own, while the album still feels completely coherent.