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Released: Sep 14, 2009
Genre: Alternative Rock, Progressive Rock, New Prog
Label: Warner Bros., Helium 3
Number Of Tracks: 11
'The Resistance' is unique, emotional, musical, and just plain beautiful in some places.
Kwyjibo2006, on october 02, 2009 20 of 24 people found this review helpful
Sound: After "Black Holes and Revelations", I, like most Muse fans, was very unsure about how the Teignmouth trio were going to reach such stratospheric heights again. After reports of the band self-producing in northern Italy with a full orchestra, it was all a bit worrying. Had Muse, the same Muse to sell out Wembley Stadium twice, finally bitten off more than they can chew?
Thankfully, the answer is no. In fact, never has the band sounded tighter. As always, "The Resistance" follows Muse's tradition that bigger is always better, with titanic guitar solos and layered melodies throughout their latest epic. A concept album of sorts, "The Resistance" deals with love and leaving earth. It would be best to review the album track by track:
01. Uprising: with it's Doctor who synth and Blondie-style riffs, the album opens with Dominic Howard's anthemic drums and Christopher Wolstenholme's bass hook, while Matthew Bellamy shouts "They will not force us, they will stop degrading us". An intimidating start to the album.
02. Resistance: as the eery instrumentals of the first 2 minutes fade away, Muse comes with a slightly Queen-esque slab of stadium rock, with chants of "He could be wrong, could be wrong, but he should've been right". The song gallops towards a dramatic climax before breaking down towards the end.
03. Undisclosed Desires: probably the song which will turn most fans away from the album, this love song sounds more like Timbaland than Muse. It may be too much of a departure for some. The emphasis of the song would be Matthew's lyrics, such as "I want to reconcile the violence in your heart", coupled with Christopher Wolstenholme's excellent slap bass.
04. United States of Eurasia (+Collateral Damage): yes, this is a mix of 1984 and Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody. Truly stellar piano work by Bellamy on this track, proving that he can truly be both Brian May and Freddie Mercury at the same time. With it's haunting arabian breakdown, "United States" certainly packs a punch before fading into a loose recital of Chopin's "Nocturne in E flat major, Op. 9, No. 2". Truly one of the album's highlights.
05. Guiding Light: more anthemic drums and bass on this one, as Bellamy croons that there's "No guiding light left inside" before bursting into an epic guitar solo. Monumental guitar riffs follow, leaving no room for a breather.
06. Unnatural Selection: after beginning with an etherreal church organ, Muse blasts into this full-throttle track which seems to leave even Matthew Bellamy gasping for air. However, the true high point of this song is the tempo change about midway through, which features an oddly Jack White-esque solo. The song picks up after Bellamy and Wolsenholme pull it all together for a Rage Against The Machine type finale.
07. MK Ultra: described by the band as a symphony of sorts, MK Ultra showcases more of Muse's classical influences. With it's frantic pace and string section, the track also features plenty of sing-along hooks like "They're breaking through" and plenty of psychedelia before finishing with a riff reminiscient of "Stockholm Syndrome".
08. I Belong To You (+Mon Coeur S'Ouvre Ta Voix): one of the more piano heavy tracks on the album. It sounds a bit too Tom Chaplin at times, with lyrics like "I've traveled the whole world to say I belong to you". Just like "United States", the track features an interlude, this time showcasing Matthew Bellamy's french vocals, before the drums and piano return for the conclusion and it's clarinet solo.
09, 10, 11. Exogenisis: Symphony
Definately the moment everyone was waiting for, and it is a masterpiece.
Part 1 (Overture): a forty-piece orchestra plays arpeggiated chords while Matthew Bellamy sings in long, barely comprehensible breaths before breaking into a haunting guitar solo. If it weren't for the seering guitar and beautiful drums, you could mistake this overture for Gustav Holst's orchestral suite, The Planets.
Part 2 (Cross-Pollination): this section begins with pure piano before bursting into an elaborate, drum driven second half. More proof that Muse is always out to challenge themselves musically, while the orchestra continues.
Part 3 (Redemption): the third and final part of the symphony (and the album) finishes with more piano and builds into a final emotive, epic chorus with Bellamy singing (with so much emotion it's scary) "Let's start over again". A long chord holds as the Exogenesis, and the album, comes to an end. // 9
Lyrics: As usual, Matthew Bellamy has written all the lyrics (and all the arrangements) to "The Resistance". Lyrically, the album deals with love, and anyone (and let's face it, most of us have) read George Orwell's "1984" will catch on to it's themes within the songs, particularly "Resistance" and "United States of Eurasia".
Never before has Bellamy put so much passion into his singing. It's simply amazing that he can sing and play with so much passion, at the same time. More glorious backing vocals from Wolsenholme on this album compliment the songs and Bellamy perfectly.
Album highlights, lyrically, include "Uprising", "Resistance", "Undisclosed Desires", "United States", and "Exogenesis", particularly in the "Overture", where his barely understandable lyrics make the song just that more moving and haunting. // 10
Overall Impression: A word to the wise: anyone who didn't like the experimentation of their previous album will consider "The Resistance" a final betrayal. This album is certainly not Muse's most commercial album, but definately their most realized. Some people may find the record to be over-indulgent, a bit too much, and at times it is, but that is exactly what Muse is trying to do. "The Resistance" once again proves that Muse are comfortable with their asparations, and is, in my humble opinion, the best album of 2009. // 9
takenthecannoli, on october 02, 2009 8 of 11 people found this review helpful
Sound: So, there I was, sitting at home, nothing to do, nothing to look forward to, and, all of a sudden, I realize that the new Muse album is available.
Then and there, I stopped, and had the sudden and inexplicably urge to run outside, grab a firehidrant, swallow it and let the contents underneath cleanse me in a violent spurt of murky liquids - if only to stop myself from going insane that this record is FINALLY HERE.
Don't believe the lies the Twilight fangirls feed you - despite what they say ("Muse is good"), Muse is actually good. I've said before (somewhere, I'm sure) that they're one of the few GOOD bands of the 2000's.
I won't bother with the history of the band - I'll bring you up to speed, however, on their last couple of efforts, one of which I've reviewed. 2004's "Absolution" was a pretty solid record, with great tracks like "Ruled by Secrecy" and "Hysteria," and was followed by 2006's "Black Holes and Revelations." This was a stylistic step for Muse, especially on tracks like "Soldier's Poem" and "Hoodoo." However, I felt that they didn't take a big enough step, and that some tracks were a little weaker than others - the aformentioned were on the bottom of my list of favorites, topped by "Starlight" and "Map of the Problematique," which were, stylistically speaking, old news.
And now, we have "The Resistance." Well, where do I start? The sound is a big step in a smart direction for Muse - much like Panic at the Disco, Fall Out Boy, and My Chemical Romance (just to throw in some more 2000's artists) took steps that were differently stylzied than their previous work, but fit them just as well, Muse has done the same.
They've taken a dive into more piano-oriented music, ala "Starlight," but moreso. Instead of just one bit of piano repeated throughout, full songs are accompanied. As well as the piano, it's got a LOT of orchestration, and even a three-part symphony (though constructed less like Beethoven, and more like... Well, Muse). The opening track, "Uprising," is like nothing Muse has ever done before, with sort of a dance feel for the verses, and a nice chorus. The same goes for "I Belong To You," in which there are French lyrics as well as English. "Resistance" has an opening which is probably the best intro to any single song I've heard in a long time. "Undisclosed Desires" has some dance influence, as well - one of the best tracks on the record. They do all of this while staying true to themselves, as the clich goes, never once feeling like any other band. The most traditional Muse song here is probably "MK Ultra." "United States of Eurasia" is simply magnificent, starting with soft (IE, sort of traditional) piano, and going into this epic sort of track that you'll have to listen to before you believe me rave about it. We all know, however, that not since last summer (where I had my insane spurt of reviews purely for the sake of status) have I given any artist a "10" for anything. I will admit, I find it difficult NOT to give this a 10, because this record is simply fantastic. The one thing I guess I'll squeeze a star out of is that parts of the symphony feel more like a regular Muse song than part of a whole. And this is just little parts. The symphony is still fantastic. If I could, I'd give it a 9.5, but seeing as that's not how the rating system here works, I'll move on and give the sound a 9. // 9
Lyrics: The lyrics are the one place where Muse doesn't necessarily exceed expectations, which is an honest relief to me, because I was afraid I'd have to give this record a perfect score and be criticized by the general masses (except for the obnoxious Twilight people, etc etc). "Uprising" is fairly straightforward, but not so much that they sound like the new Skillet record; "Resistance" is alright; "Unnatural Selection" is pretty good; "MK Ultra" is good as well. I do like the French in "I Belong To You," in which they actually use the word "muse."
Singer skills (forgive me if I completely forget the man's name) are exceptional - maybe a bit more operatic than he's shown in the past? And he takes advantage of that low octave "reach" he's got. Sometimes, it gets a LITTLE over the top, which he does sometimes, and while that works with the songs, I don't know that I'd call it a singer "skill." Lyrics, as usual, go just fine with everything else, while not necessarily exceeding my expectations. Lyrics and singing - overall, good, but not as big a step as the sound in general. // 8
Overall Impression: I'd heard raving reviews about this album for the longest time (or what felt like a long time), and I can honestly say that I'm going to take a hike on that (band)wagon. I'm neither a subjective person, nor a Twilight fan (for the record, I read the thing, and thought the FIRST one was OKAY. After that, I was intensely disappointed), and I think it's safe to say that, when I say this record is good, you can trust my judgment just fine.
This is one of the best albums to come out in the 2000s. Listening to this made me believe that music isn't actually doomed, an idea I'd concieved as I listened to All Time Low's new album (which wasn't THAT bad, I GUESS, but, despite that I've heard it only once before, it was very familiar - I threw it in a pile with Plain White T's and The Jonas Brothers).
"The Resistance" is unique, emotional, musical, and just plain beautiful in some places. I can only pray the upcoming Twilight sequel doesn't misuse (by which I mean use in any form) any of these great tracks. If it weren't for me not believing in perfection (or being a perfectionist? I may never know), I would almost give overall impression a 9 or 10 (points lost to the lyrics), so I guess I'll settle on 9. The album's original, musically stable, and still Muse. Best tracks are that much harder to pick out, because they are all fantastic, for the most part, but I suppose I can pick the best of the bunch - "Uprising," "United States of Eurasia," "I Belong to You," "Undisclosed Desires," "Unnatural Selection," "MK Ultra," and the Exogenesis symphony, which is a rather large collection, but I'm telling you, this album is that consistent with quality. I've just noticed that Muse seems to really like the letter "U" in their titles.
Anyway, go and get this album, as soon as it's available for retail, and I swear you'll see me there, as well. Cross your fingers for the Twilight thing. // 9
longman101, on october 02, 2009 1 of 4 people found this review helpful
Sound: Muse take on this album from a completley different perspective. They are the producers, making an album under frontman Matt Bellamys house in Italy. There are absolutley no restrictions. They could make this album perfect, and they did everything to make sure it did. We were treated to videos the likes of the band clicking into a microphone in a toilet, or drummer Dom recording a snare drum in a field of sheep.
Previously, Muse have only used strings in a couple of songs, ('City of Delusion' to name one), but there is a very prominant string section on The Reststance, completely arranged by Matt. Whether its the soothing violins at the begining of United States of Eurasia, the epic riff later in the song, or any part of Exogenesis, the 12 minute prog-rock symphony, they all fit in perfectly.
Something else that has always been constant in Muse songs is the presence of piano or guitar. Not anymore. Undisclosed Desires is not only full of keyboard and synth, but brings slap bass and the keytar back into the mainstream. But the lack of these instruments is not missed as the layered vocals and general epicness of the song assures that thiss will be a future hit.
Huge riffs in MK Ultra and Unnatural Selection reassure guitarists that there will be something to tinkle with for a while and go crazy with, whilst gig-goers are assured that the tour is going to be a ball. Piano in I Belong To You and USoE suggests we will be seeing Matt getting busy behind the keys.
However, there one thing that, in my opinion, let the album down. Guiding Light. Its plain, simple and cheesey. I just don't like it at all. It isnt as if it is barely listenable, in fact, there is a breath taking guitar solo, but thats is. Inspirational lyrics sure, but it's basically Invincible II. // 9
Lyrics: As we would expect from Muse, they have created an album full of conspiracy and crazy themes. Uprising is about the banking crisis, ('They will not force us. They will stop degrading us'), United States of Eurasia is about Europe and Aisa uniting to start war, ('These wars, they can't be one. Does anyone know or care how they begun?'), MK Ultra is about CIA mind-control systems,(Invisible to all. The mind becomes a wall. All of history deleted with one stroke.') But the strangest is one of the weirdest things I have ever heard. Exogenesis is about humans being sent from a doomed planet, and now we must do the same as we are a doomed planet, ('Spread, our codes to the stars. You must rescue us all' 'Let's start over again.')
But even Bellamy's French verse in I Belong To You is beautiful and compliments the piano perfectly.
To the releif of most Muse fans, Matts falsetto has returned, (Uprising, USoE and Exogenesis.) Chris' backing vocals can be heard alot more than on previous albums which sounds great and a change to Bellamy's voice being overlayed time and time again. // 10
Overall Impression: If you ask a Muse fan what there favourite album is, they will probably say Origin of Symmetry, and I would agree. Muse at the peak of craziness, full of riffs and passion. But I would say The Resistance is right up there with Absolution for second place. Exogenesis aside, I was most impressed with MK Ultra, Unnatural Selection and Resistance. Although, as you already know, my least favourite song on the album in Guiding Light. If you have to listen to one song on the album, and you have the time, Exogenesis is one of the greatest compositions modern rock has produced. Muse have certainly outdone themselves. Viva La Resistance! // 10
unregistered, on october 02, 2009 1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: The Resistance includes Muse's brilliant sound that has been forming since their very beginning in 90s. In fact, this Muse-sound is a reason itself to buy their new album. But don't worry, there's plenty of other reasons.
The music has evolved and new album is more into long songs and theme-changing interludes. Some songs (such as United States of Eurasia, Resistance) are bit of Queenish but in the good way.
Muse weaves its way through different genres from metal to electronica and alternative rock to pure pop songs. Bellamy's riffs are sharp and they remind me of "Origin of Symmetry" -times and songs like "Newborn". Especially intro and outro riffs of Unnatural Selection and the starting riff in MK Ultra are pure genius! // 10
Lyrics: The Resistance continues in the same lyrical winning streak than previous Muse albums. Bellamy's trademark lyric themes such as dystopian future, losing control, space, religion and conspiracies are still here.
Uprising is a protest song to the reccent situations in bank world and has some brilliant lines such as "fat cats had a heart attack".
Song Resistance indicates to the Orwell's novel "1984" and retells the story of Winston and Julia.
MK Ultra's theme is derived from Project MK-ULTRA, the code name for a CIA project that sought to use drugs for the purposes of mind control and interrogation.
Exogenesis Symphony's lyrics are about humankind's last hope to find a place to live in space when planet Earth is collapsing. Dystopian future and space in same packet!
Bellamy is with no doubt one of the best rock singers in the Earth these days. The Resistance is not as falsetto-driven than albums before excluding Exogenesis Symphony which is sang in Bellamy's trademark falsetto. // 9
Overall Impression: The Resistance bears similarity to Queen in some parts and there are two songs that feature music from other artists, "Collateral Damage" (the outro of USE) is Chopin's "Nocturne Op.9 no.2 in Eb-major" and middle section of "I Belong to you" is from opera called "Samson and Delilah" and is the song "Mon Coeur S'Ouvre A Ta Voix".
Influences taken from Rage Against the Machine are more clearly there with bluesy riffs of Uprising.
Most impressive songs of the album are definetely electronic "Undisclosed Desires", "Resistance" and "I Belong to You". "Desires" features new elements in Muse's music such as programmed drums etc. "Resistance" is such a pop song and has the best chorus in album and "I Belong to You" is something we've never heard before.
I love whole album's music. Muse keeps on proving that they are one of the best bands in this world although they step into more progressive areas. Only the artwork has went into worse direction. Maybe Storm Thorgeson's artwork in BH&R shocked me so much that I need quite a shock to get impressed more.
The album has filled the huge expectations that I had before release. // 9
americnidiot, on october 02, 2009 0 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: Muse returns after a few years to follow up Black Holes and Revelations. It's difficult to explain the sound of this album because it's so varied. The album has the heavy distorted guitars and massive riffs we're familiar with from the Origin of Symmetry area in songs like Uprising and Unnatural Selection. The trio also incorporates classical elements that are near their Absolution sound, most notably in the three part symphony that concludes the album. Electronic sounds are also put into effect in MK Ultra and others. It's hard to label this as one sound. It's the love child of Chopin, Prokofiev, Origin of Symmetry, Absolution, BHaR, Queen, 80's synth, and Jazz.
01.Uprising: rolls in to a bass line that sets the mood for the record. The song is the first single, and for good reason. It incorporates a Dr. Who type synth over the bass and leads to a nice guitar breakdown through the song.
02.Resistance: starts out eerily and a bit slow, but continually builds up to one of my favorite muse choruses. It's a very solid song which could have started the record as well.
03.Undisclosed Desires: It's hard to describe this song. It may be completely uninteresting to the more edgy side of the muse fans, but it has a very hip hop meets Enya sort of feel. Don't worry, I hate Enya, but this song grows on you the more you heard it and soon you'll be singing along to what at first seems a mediocre track.
04.United States of Eurasia (+Collateral Damage): the most Queen song on the album. It's very Bohemian Rhapsody meets persian strings meets epic vocals. A great song which is ended by a piano piece by Chopin ala Bellamy.
05.Guiding Light: sort of the ballad of the album, it begins with massive drums leading to a simple type chord progression with meaningful lyrics. Probably my least favorite track on the album, but it's still extremely solid and not deserving of a skip by any means.
06.Unnatural Selection: the heaviest song in my opinion. Starts out with a church organ similar to Megalomania, but then breaks into MASSIVE riffs until an eerie bass breakdown. The song ends with another breakdown similar to the outros we've become accustomed to in their live shows.
07.MK Ultra: begins with a synth and then leads to great verses and heavy riffs. One of the best tracks on the album.
08.I Belong To You: I was iffy about this one from the preview, but it's actually an extremely catchy song. Jazzy piano drives the song with a nice drum beat set by Dom. Even the singing in French doesn't bring a section of this song down.
09.Exogenesis I: an epic starter. Strings build to a great "riff" and some guitar and vocals as well. This could easily go in a sci-fi movie.
10.Exogenesis II: a piano solo leads into a verse that builds and builds with drums into an all out masterpiece that ends calmly.
11.Exogenesis III: the perfect ending track. It starts with a soothing piano that somewhat builds, encouraging us to start over. It makes sense, we start with Uprising, and through the whole process of resistance, we deconstruct and restart over again.
While the symphony isn't 12 minutes of epicness, it really impressed me by showing Bellamy's composing abilities. // 10
Lyrics: The lyrics in the album are generally strong. Some will complain about verb tense usage in United States of Eurasia and other minor details, but for the most part, the lyrics are quite good and with the themes of both resistance and love. Bellamy is back with his tradition singing style. Some will argue it's too whiny, but it's trademark Matt. There's moments of a lower spectrum than we're used to, while there are moments of the signature falsetto. // 9
Overall Impression: This album is probably the most complete muse album in my opinion. It's the perfect blend that should satisfy most muse fans, although it will undoubtedly lose some more rock fans and gain a more mainstream audience. But, that being said, the album is near perfect. It's worth the money to purchase it, for sure. Do yourself a favor and pick up this album. // 10
rocklee1431, on october 02, 2009 0 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: Before I begin, I think I should say that I am a hardcore Muse fan, but I will try to review this album without prejudice. Also, this album is being realeased in many countries September 14th, the 15th in the U.S. and Canada. But Muse has given people a chance to listen to all the songs ahead of time.
As many people know, the band, Matthew Bellamy (singer/songwriter/guitarist/pianist/many things), Chris Wolstenholme (Bassist/Backing vocals) and Dom Howard (Percussion) is interested in conspiracy theories. This album is based primarily on their suspicions and other subjects like love.
Muse takes the classical side of their music to another level on this album. Almost every song involves some sort of strings or symphonic instrument, which is not a bad thing. It compliments each song nicely and makes it sound more refined. They have even gone as far as to put on a symphony broken down into the last three songs composed by Bellamy. Now I'll break down each song individually.
01.Uprising: this song has gotten a lot of airtime on the radio ever since they released it as a single and rightfully so because it's probably the most mainstream song on the album. It starts off sounding like a classic rock anthem with the bass and drums coming in real heavy. The title pretty much explains what the song is about, an imminent takeover of some sort. This song will keep your head banging the whole way through. 4/5
02.Resistance: starts with a sort of space theme then goes into a little piano segue. Before the chorus they do a little harmonizing line recurring(It could be wrong, could be wrong). Very catchy song. It seems like this song is more about the need to hide and keep secrets from the people out to get you. 4.5/5
03.Undisclosed Desires: what struck me is that it's more of a dance song. It sounds inspired by Depeche Mode IMO. Sounds as if he is trying to win over someone and purify them, kind of weird, but whatever. 4/5
04.United States of Eurasia: another song that was fully released a while ago. Starts off with a quiet little piano melody and eventually erupts into a Queen like singing explosion. What follows is an orchestral part that sounds a bit exotic or oriental. The end is a piano piece called Collateral Damage. 3.5/5
05.Guiding Light: no, not the soap opera (why do I know that?), but it is a drama/love song. Begins with a very strong bass drum and snare beat. A lot of strings in this song in addition to a nice little solo with a very distorted guitar. 4/5
06.Unnatural Selection: a very paranoid/angry song. Starts off with an eerie organ and singing and erupts into a riff we haven't really heard since the Origin of Symmetry days that's full of energy. This is a very guitar heavy song which is done masterfully in my opinion. Also, it is quite long (about 7 minutes) and includes a trippy section in the middle. 5/5
07.MK Ultra: this song is straight conspiracy and suspicion. The name of the song is allegedly a secret program of the CIA. The intro creates that sort of paranoid atmosphere and the rest of the song follows suit and gets a little heavy and features a riff similar to the one in Unnatural Selection. 4.5/5
08.I Belong to You (Mon coeur s'ouvre toi): this song threw me for a loop. Starts off with catchy piano then it sounds sort of like an Abba song, but in a good way if that makes any sense. Very disco feeling until the middle. The beat stops and Matt is just singing quite creepily in French. The downfall is that part sort of drags on for awhile. Other than that, I loved the song. 4/5
09.Exogenesis Part I (Overture): beautiful song overall, but once again I feel it drags on for too long, which is what orchestras tend to do I guess. A lot of strings and Matt playing great piano. 3.5/5
10.Exogenesis Part II (Cross-Pollination): more of the same with more piano basically. Features some odd bongo drumming, but it's a nice touch. Still beautifully written though. 4/5
11.Exogenesis Part III (Redemption): this song almost reverts back to the album before track 9. There are actual drums and singing this time and it basically just sums everything up with Matt saying that they should start over and get things right with whatever crazy things were going on in this fictional story. Ends quietly with some piano. 4/5 // 8
Lyrics: As always, the lyrics are very deep. Generally, they can be categorized into suspicious/conspiracy inspired lyrics or those about love, or sometimes a combination. Some may say they are ridiculous or over the top but I believe that they just make you think. Sometimes if you're concentrating on the lyrics too much you'll over-think the fact that they are beautiful.
Also, Matt's voice flows brilliantly with the music as it always has. It's clear he only puts in what he thinks will sound perfect. His singing is superb, but the one thing he is lacking is falsetto. That has been his trademark for years and he used it very sparingly on this album, appearing in only a few songs. But that is the only thing I can find to complain about with his voice. // 8
Overall Impression: I've listened to the album a few times now and each time it only gets better. It needs a little time to sink in. For example, the first time I heard Guiding Light, I wasn't impressed. After a few listens I find myself having it stuck in my head sometimes.
The only album or artist that I can even begin to compare this with is Queen, or Muse themselves which is a stretch. Some songs like United States of Eurasia and I Belong to You undoubtedly have influences from Queen. In general, Muse has taken their music farther than ever before and have essentially created their own genre.
The sings that really stood out to me were Resistance, Unnatural Selection and MK Ultra. I belong to you may have been on here if it wasn't for the creepy part. Each of these three songs is packed with energy and creative riffs and beats.
I discovered that I enjoy all of the classical influence on the album. Even if putting an entire symphony on here may be a bit much, at least it was original. It gives people who like fast paced songs something and people who like slow songs something as well. If you were to listen to it in order straight through it flows well.
After I buy this album on the 15th, if I were to lose it or it was stolen, I would definitely go back out and buy it again or track down the person who stole it and injure them badly. Overall, another excellent record from a band who has once again pushed the limits on musical creativity. // 9
MaXiMuse, on october 02, 2009 0 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: 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. // 9
Lyrics: 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.' // 8
Overall Impression: 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. // 9
TLO421, on october 02, 2009 0 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: 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. // 9
Lyrics: 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. // 6
Overall Impression: 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. // 8
sabreslash, on october 02, 2009 0 of 16 people found this review helpful
Sound: When I first bought The Resistance, I instantly regretted buying it even before listening to it. I knew it wasn't going to as good as Absolution, or origin of symmetry. It's going to be a dissapointing mainstream attempt from very talented musicians who are slightly confused about what genre they are. Oh, how wrong I was. and a bit right actually.
Some songs on it like: Guiding Light and the french one, are poor. Very poor. One sounds like a weird jazz record and the other one sounds like a christmas song. But unddisclosed desires and uprising, are good. Nice tunes. United States Of Eurasia isnt that bad, its just a bit too queen influenced. All the other songs are great, but one song is probably their best guitar songs ever. Unnatrual selection. Amazing riff and a proggressive song structure, make this GENIUS! // 8
Lyrics: Like every muse album the lyrics don't make sense. Or am I too stupid to understand them? I don't know what there about, and if I did I would probably in university right now studying a really hard version of maths. Or just maths.
Matt Bellamy is still as good as he will ever be, and his style really goes with the music. Overall, its a nice effort but not so good on lyrics. But who cares about lyrics anyway? No-one listens to them. Or is it just me? hmm... // 6
Overall Impression: Its not as good as most muse albums, but its better than Black holes and revelations. some songs like Uprising and Unnatrual Selection are very good and are on my list of most listened to songs on my entire libary. They are that good. The rest of the album is quite dissapointing, and the last 3 songs on it have got 5 stars on some reviews, but really, they're only good if you like classical music. I quite like them, but you need a taste for classical.
Their isnt much to love about this album, but there's a lot to hate. there's too many mainstream attempts. Guiding Light is abismal, and he french one doesnt't make sense. One thing I do love is Unnatrual Selection, which is one song I will love for a long time. The other songs are a bit average or just above average.
Overall, this album is good with some down sides. Personaly, I think they tried too hard to make themselves global superstars. I kind of hope they make it. They still ahve a very strong fanbase in the uk and a growing following in america. Well done Muse, You've done it again. Just do something like Absolution next time, OK? // 7
Pirate Dave, on october 13, 2009 0 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: The years 2007 to 2009 were pretty long and hard. For me, at least; I graduated from High school, went to college, and worked on a portfolio to get into Dundee Art College. So when Chinese Democracy, Dig Out Your Soul, and Duffy arrived, I was fairly disappointed. But, although I probably stand alone, I can genuinely say I was impressed by Muse'sThe Resistance. And I'm a fussy bugger.
I understand all the criticism completely. The epic symphony is perhaps a bit too ambitious. And, like other bands like Editors, Kings of Leon and The Killers, they have joined the more refined bandwagon of synthesisers and pulsing bass and drum beats; but is it necessarily a bad thing?
From what I remember pre-2000 (,and that's relatively little,) Muse were a raw, gritty band, full of soul and charm. Matt Bellamy would wail along to his choppy guitar skills, and his two best mates from High school would make sure he got through the gigs and didn't upset his mother too much, which is important when you're young. And that's how I'll always remember them.
But somewhere between Absolution and Blackholes and Revelations, they lost themselves (as I'm sure many of us did). They moved on from entertaining Mushroom and A & E record labels, and started satisfying the ever growing public thirst for improvisation. And so Muse were reborn as contemporary artists, and moved into the dangerous playing fields of Mercury and Brit Awards.
But he's where I ask the question: would you really have it any other way?
Many a band has fallen into the pit trap of modern music; Coldplay tried and failed to reignite their previously unique sound, and Keane redid Under the Iron Sea oh, sorry, released Perfect Symmetry. C'mon, they were pretty much the same. And that's where Muse went right.
The Resistance is completely different in style, still maintaining the same enthusiasm and professionalism, by not being under the constraints of traditional record labels. It took ages to come out, but it was three years between Absolution and Blackholes as well, broken up by the release of their B-side album Hullabaloo, so I don't know why people complained so much. I'll be honest, it took a couple of intense run-throughs on iTunes DJ before I got into it, but once I did, I was hooked.
I'm not usually as obsessed by albums so much, I'm fairly fickle and jump between bands. There's just something so natural about The Resistance, it feeds your inner rebel, and ignites that space left by three years of nonsense from the charts.
It begins as Muse always does, with a charged piece which sets the tone for the rest of the album. Uprising is one of their more commercial songs, after Starlight, and performs with a kind of jumped up vibe similar to Goldfrapp; but stick with me; trust me I'm an art student, I won't lie.
The true opening song for me is Resistance, a poignant tribute to the book 1984 by George Orwell. Muse have always favoured the gripping, angst-filled pursuits of love; look at Invincible for goodness sake. But instead of filling the piece with daft lyrics and over exaggerated riffs, I feel Muse have gone for a more straightforward approach, and not overdone the song. The rhythm is exciting and emotional, whilst not tripping face first into Emo-pop, and focusing on the tragedy of the story. The song bears weight, and clarity, in the touchy subject of government censorship. A truly successful song in my opinion. // 8
Lyrics: To be fair, the success of Undisclosed Desires and Guiding Light is dubious. I can see exactly what Muse were aiming for: simple songs, influenced by contemporary music. They were most likely to be tongue-in-cheek, and for a bit of fun. But I can't help feel that they've taken themselves a bit too seriously. Undisclosed Desires is a good song but just good. Centred around an R&B setting, Muse wonders out of the ghetto, into the train station. Still very much Muse, the first time you listen to it, it fills you with a sense of dread; after I heard Muse where producing an album based off of Map of the Problematique, I though it would be a whole album of Undisclosed Desires, so I'm fairly relieved. It maintains Muses' originality, but doesn't quite satisfy their latest endeavour. Guiding Light is a more preferable choice of the two here. For me, it's a nice song. Very much influenced by the Prog-rock genre, it would've been a smash in 1981. Dom Howard is probably the hero here, balancing the songs equilibrium between progressive androck. To be honest, it gently entertains the camp child within me, and that's all I need from time to time.
The back end of the album is significantly more substantial, and revives and works on songs from Muses' repertoire, such as Micro Cuts and The Small Print. Unnatural Selection and MK Ultra are for the adolescent in all of us, that timid little sod who started breaking out at twelve, and ended up sordid and twisted by fifteen. Long live Radiohead! Unnatural Selection returns to Bellamy's obsession with the organ: an endearing, stark, dramatic instrument; I'm sure anyone who's been to Mass will tell you it's scary to be told you're going to Hell by a man on a piano the size of a house. Unnatural Selection delves into that feeling, and plays on it, literally. The song bounds through verse after verse of astonishing bass riffs, accompanied by Bellamy fiddling away enthusiastically. Much of this album is a labour of love, and I'm sure Muse loved this song. The interlude in the middle reminds me of the interlude in Fillip, and other songs where Bellamy's epic voice dominates and goes out of it's way to impress. MK Ultra is ecstatic at being released into the world. It charges out, and plugs a gap I've not heard since TSP. It goes through a systematic process of verse, riff, chorus, breakdown, repeat; very straightforward, and it bloody works. Then it tops it off by erupting into the bridge after the enigmatic line, We are losing control. For me, it's the follow up to Time is Running Out, because it returns to what Muse are good at: pure, unfiltered rock.
I Belong to You is something else, though. It doesn't sound like anything I've heard before, the only song I can think of is Feeling Good, and that was a cover and doesn't sound a thing like it. The connection is Bellamy's devotion to the piano. He pounds away to a weird, unfamiliar song, and it's a good laugh. On the radio, it sounded awesome, Craig James taken aback by how out of place it was on Radio 1. It's sultry, and naughty, because it's so different from the tripe nowadays, people feel they shouldn't enjoy such a fantastic, daft tune. // 8
Overall Impression: Oh, and for all the people who complained about Matt Bellamy singing in French, one word; diverse. That's all I'm saying And talented. For crying out loud, they adapted an aria from an opera from 1877! It works for me, and it should work for you too. If this album was judged purely on skill, no one would deny that Muse are terrific. But as a band? Well, let's just see
Everyone talks about the symphony. An I've said before, it's a bit out of place on the album, perhaps a bit too big for it's boots. But I wouldn't have left it out; quite the contrary. It reminds me of the old Muse, plus ten years of working in music. It's such an arresting narrative as well; the story of a doomed earth hanging it's last chance of survival on a final expedition into space. Where else is there a better setting for a symphony? Of course, it's supped up by Chris and Dom providing a modern backing track, in true Muse style. But the thundering drumbeats don't dominate they remind me of the soundtrack to 2001: A Space Odyssey, and compliment the atmosphere of wonder and mystery. A song for the human race, I feel.
Finally, a song just for me, that makes me shiver every time I here it. I'm listening to it right now, as I write this paragraph, and I'm covered in goose bumps. That song, my friends, is United States of Eurasia.
Pitchfork Media mentioned that the song would make even the most passionate zealot roll their eyes. Well, I've got to say: bullsh*t. The song is NOT outlandish, it is NOT shameless. Completely the opposite in fact. UNE started quite a fuss on the Muse website. The love of the song spawned an epic across the globe; diehard fans travelled country to country looking for mystical USB's, containing a sixth of the song, to upload to the Project Eurasia page on the official website And that was before the album was released.
United States is truly genius. Without breaking it down, I can easily say it's a beautiful song. It has that feel good sensation you get in the cinema, when the surround makes your lungs vibrate, and for the first time in ages, you feel excited. The piano work on the song is perfect, gently etching out the feeling of curiosity, and criticism of a higher power. The Arabian Nights style riff is so uplifting, I could just hug the song, it makes me feel so much better. The bass distortion is dynamic, and keeps the song lively and regular. At the end, the song moves into the moving instrumental, arranged from Chopin's work Nocturne in E-Flat. The children playing, overdubbed by jet planes and bombs, is devious and disturbing, sharpening Bellamy's angle on war, particularly the use of the cold term collateral damage. I hope that Muse never leave us, and keep up this standard.
I just feel they're something sentimental, a reminder that not all music has to be written as two week sell-outs, and can be rediscovered again and again. Or at least I hope so. Perhaps we should look back at the Noughties and reflect Let's start over again this time we'll get it right. // 9
vagelier, on march 12, 2010 0 of 4 people found this review helpful
Sound: Muse. I am an almost hysterical Muse fan, I own all albums except HAARP, I've seen them live once and I'm going to see them again (already got tickets). Yet it is my duty to say that The Resistance has failed. Almost utterly. I'll explain why.
Muse have the tendency to radically change between every album. This is good, because they're not too consistent and won't bore their audience too fast. The negative aspect is: they might change in a direction which a percentage of their audience might dislike.
With The Resistance, I believe that Muse might've lost their flair. I hope not, but seeing it takes the Teighnmouth Trio 3 years on average to write an album, I feel disappointed. // 5
Lyrics: 01. Uprising: this dance-like heavy-bass song with simple bass riff (it's one note) kicks off the wrong way immediately. Muse might've turned into to a capitalistic catchy-song factory. Bellamy's vocal qualities are left astray, and I hope I'm not the only one getting sick of this conspiracy theory/environmental lyrics. I do have to say the live version was epic.
02. Resistance: seeing it's the title track, It must be pretty good, I assumed. I was wrong. The heavy drum-roll-rumbles in the start and the extremely simple piano riff set the mood for this spooky song. Then the queen-esque backing vocals (he could be wrong) in the pre-chorus build up the tension. Then the extremely sugary line "Love is our resistance". Yuck!
03. Undisclosed Desires: I must say, that unlike anyother Muse-fan, I actually like this song. It may be slightly R&B and non-Muse, but it does contain the vocal beauty and melody which we had on songs like Supermassive Black Hole and Map of the Problematique. The slap bass also adds a more groovy twist to this otherwise stiff song. And the lyrics finally contain some depth (I want to reconcile the violence in your heart).
04. United States of Eurasia: I, like anyone, had heared this track alreaddy before the official album release. The promising piano intro warmed me up for another great Muse album. Then again the tiring political leaders (and these wars, they can't be won) before the bridge which screams "QUEEN! QUEEN! QUEEN!" so much it isn't even funny. I must admit the East-kinda riff was a nice twist, but this song was slightly over-the-top. But it shows potention.
05. Guiding Light: is this Muse? It rather sounds like some spacy '80s hippy christian rock band who've been payed to write a song to encourage people to Catholicism (You're my Guiding Light). Obviously, I dislike the song. From the way too simple drum intro, to the again (sigh) political and love lyrics, to the very end.
06. Unnatural Selection: I actually liked this song when I first listened to it. Though the intro riff is too much like the amazing New Born riff, it is a 7-minute long alternative rock song with an interesting structure. It's just slightly too boring. Sorry. What I do like everytime is the pre-chorus before the last chorus, it's exactly like Daron Malakian from System of a Down is singing there. Check it.
07. MK Ultra: this song I like, too. The riff does become annoying, but Matthew Bellamy seems to know when to stop that. And it has balls. Besides that, I can't say much more.
08. I Belong To You/ Mon Coeur S'ouvre A Ta Voix: this song is slightly jazzy, and I think I like it. But it's not the kind of song which will stay in your head for a week or will ever be on replay.
09. The Symphony: I don't know what I can say about it. It was promising but I think that Muse have been too confident for once. I think the symphony is an overdone attempt at being alternative. I can't say much about it, because I haven't listened to it that intensively. // 5
Overall Impression: The Resistance just feels incomplete. It doesn't have the raw energy that Showbiz had, it doesn't have the spacy, overloaded with effects-sound that Origin of Symmetry had, it doesn't have the completeness that Absolution had and it doesn't have the beauty that Black Holes & Revelations had. The Resistance is a poor effort compared to other Muse records. I also hate that it was so overproduced: before it was released, I was already told (by both reliable and unreliable sources) it included the best rock song ever, the best guitar solo ever, and so on, and so on. They've raised the standard too much for me. I'm not backing off Muse completely, hell no, they're my favorite modern band but I just think The Resistance was... bad. // 5
unregistered, on may 30, 2011 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: 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. // 9
Lyrics: 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. // 8
Overall Impression: 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. // 10