Friday, October 16, 2009


The Resistance-
Label-Warner Brothers
Status-Out as of 2009
5th Studio Album
Rating-4 feathers

Several months ago, Muse announced that they were making an album that was going to be so orchestrated that “[they’ll] be knocking on classic FM’s door” and “it could actually be kind of classical act basically, and move away from rock all together.” Now known as “The Resistance,” Muse’s 5th effort, is backed by a desire to take America with an unfortunately more attainable sound.

The first half of the album is not as orchestral as they made it out to be. ‘Uprising’ is a solid start to the album, but it is not great. It sounds just like Goldfrapp; they even said so themselves, which is not a good thing. It is the least complex song I have heard them do. It is a very bad representation of what they have come to be known for, and it should have been three minutes shorter. When the last “hey!” in ‘Uprising’ is uttered, and the atmospheric sound comes in, you know ‘Resistance’ is going to be epic. When the bassline and drums come pounding in, you’ve already forgotten about the desecration of their talent, ‘Uprising’. With simply amazing vocals and powerful instrumentation, the song comes together beautifully to reach a powerful, epic end. However, the lyrics are atrocious. When one hears the album name, little do they know it would be because of the line “Love is our resistance.” Really Muse? Is that all you can come up with? ‘Undisclosed Desires’ is a wimpy song and I would have never guessed that they would resort to this. The only good part is the orchestra’s impressive pizzicato arrangement. As a string player, I know how hard it is to arrange and make pizzicato sound good, and this arrangement is brilliant. ‘United States of Eurasia’ starts out dramatic, with moody strings, a piano, and solo vocals. But then out of absolutely nowhere, it turns into a bombastic Queen song, which just as suddenly turns into a stylized ‘Kashmir.’ It is pretty shocking, to say the least, but I guess we now know who their inspiration is. ‘Unnatural Selection’ is the heaviest, most Absolution-esque song on the album. The guitar is nice and thick with the angry vocals crying for ‘revolution’ and ‘protest’. If that wasn’t enough to remind you of the old Muse, the breakdown is so overwhelmingly reminiscent of ‘Origin of Symmetry’ and ‘Showbiz’ that any die-hard fan will hit repeat several times. Those who appreciate that fact will adore ‘MK Ultra’, which is essentially a cleaner ‘Unnatural Selection’, but about conspiracy theories. ‘I Belong to You (+Mon Cœur S’ouvre à ta Voix)’ is more abominable than ‘Undisclosed Desires’. It is a fun song, but it is really a murder of their talents. The only good part comes when he sings in incoherent French, but that is quickly negated when they come back for round two of the appalling part. If anything redeemed the album, it is the glorious three part symphony entitled Exogensis, starting with ‘Part 1: Overture’. This movement is wonderfully dramatic, and would not be out of place on ‘Origin of Symmetry’. The instrumentation and vocals fit in brilliantly with the heavy verbose string line. ‘Part 2: Cross-Pollination’ is just as heavy on the instrumentation, but it is the song that gets you riled up chanting ‘You must rescue us all!’ It’s a shame ‘Cross-Pollination’ is so short, but ‘Part 3: Redemption’ makes up for it. Words cannot hope to describe ‘Redemption’ properly. It is second to ‘Blackout’ in the line of the most beautiful thing Muse has ever done. It builds so gracefully, with sweeping strings and perfect, melodic vocals. It ends the album leaving you completely uplifted.

As a whole, this album wasn’t so terrible. It had some really horrific songs (ie. Uprising, I Belong to You), but it also contained some of the best songs Muse have ever created (ie. Redemption). Muse are fading ever so slightly, but still have not let their fans down, and The Resistance shows both aspects. Any fan will embrace this album as a continuation of ‘Black Holes and Revelations’, but I still highly doubt this will be the one to break them in America.

"We're the biggest band America doesn't know anything about."-Dominic Howard

Video for Uprising

Recommendations: Resistance, Unnatural Selection, MK Ultra, Exogensis: Pt. 1-3
Muse's Official Website
NOTE: Sorry, this review is like a month overdue, but hey, atleast it's completely honest because I let it soak in for a good long time. I bought it the day it came out in the US, honest. I hope you enjoy! Logos by Atlas sound is due out on Tuesday, so if I can get, that'll be my next review. Thank you for your support and understanding.


Ian France said...

This review is one of your best yet. Uprising does seem pretty different from Muse's original style, and it kind of disappoints me, but I look forward to listening to the album for myself!

Double Hawk said...

Arnie: I hate to use the word to describe a largely mainstream (only in Europe) band, but it's way too mainstream for my liking. And thank you!

Richard Cole King said...

Not to be a buzz kill, but c'mon!! The Resistance might not be any Absolution, but it surely KICKS Muse's commercialised, poppy Black Holes And Revelations (other than Knights of Cydonia of course). The poorest song on the Resistance has be Undisclosed Desires, which at first sounds like the next biggest R'nB track of 2k9. Other than that, I am stoked about what they have put together.

Double Hawk said...

Richard: I agree, it's no Absolution. I think that Resistance is a definite continuation of Black Holes, but I honestly don't think it's that much less commercial. I was surprisingly happy with it, and I rated it the same I did Black Holes. The slap bass is awful in Undisclosed Desires, so I agree with that notion completely.

Walter said...

Trabadísimo con la promo de uprising de Muse, ya no aguanto para ir el 27 por mi disco a las oficinas de Warner.

Double Hawk said...

Walter: Lo siento, my spanish is a little rough. Pero, ¡gracias! Yo agradezco su comentario bondadoso. ¡Yo te espero que te gusta escuchar a su disco de Resistance!