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The Resistance

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Album Review

With its titanic guitar solos, symphonic suites, and multi-layered melodies, Muse's fifth album operates under the assumption that bigger is better. This is the very definition of a super-sized album, an album that takes its cues from Queen, its lyrics from science fiction novels, and its delivery from rock opera. It's also the first time that Muse has truly sounded like Muse, as few bands since Queen have so readily explored the intersection of bombast and extravagance. The Resistance is most certainly extravagant — there are snatches of classical piano entwined throughout, not to mention bilingual lyrics, concert hall percussion, coronet solos, and song titles like "Exogenesis: Symphony, Pt. 2 (Cross-Pollination)" — but it's also quite beautiful, capable of moving between prog rock choruses and excerpts from Chopin's "Nocturne in E Flat Major" within the same song. Presiding over the mix is frontman Matthew Bellamy, a man who seemingly aspires to be both Brian May and Freddie Mercury. He plays guitar, pounds the piano, and composes the album's orchestral parts, but his strongest asset is his voice, a sky-scraping tenor dripping with so much emotion that it's almost lewd. He croons, whispers, annunciates, and belts with confidence, a combination that makes him one of England's most dazzling singers in recent memory. And since a virtual mountain of voices is better than a single voice (remember: bigger is better), Bellamy also multi-tracks himself, creating towering stacks of harmonies during songs like "Resistance," "Undisclosed Desires," and the colossal "United States of Eurasia (+Collateral Damage)."

The band's tendency to pile excess upon excess doesn't always yield strong results, and there's a fine line between, say, the anthemic beauty of "Guiding Light" and the bizarre Timbaland-meets-Depeche Mode ambiance of "Undisclosed Desires." Even so, The Resistance is by and large a fantastic record, culminating in a three-song suite that finds the group jumping from classical movements to guitar fretwork to sweeping, swaggering, operatic rock. Those songs occupy the final 16 minutes of the disc, and while they'd likely make a bigger impact earlier in the track list, their mere presence indicates that Muse is finally growing comfortable with its own aspirations. Black Holes and Revelations may be a more commercial record, but The Resistance is Muse's most realized effort to date.

Customer Reviews

Better than people say

This album is way better than given credit for. Here, have a track by track
1. Uprising- Simple and amazing bass oriented rock track 10/10
2. The Resistance- Wonderful with the ambient synths, piano and just tone of this alt rock track 10/10
3. Undisclosed Desires- No. Just no. It's not that I'm a "it needs to be heavy" nerd, it's just the fact that this song is irritating. 5/10
4. United States of Eurasia- Another stinker for me. This track has four parts. The parts are good individually. However, it feels like here they were mushed together, and really poorly done. 6/10
5. Guiding Light- This song is pretty freaking good. Chilling guitar solo, catchy song, one of Muse's happier sounding songs. 10/10
6. Unnatural Selection- Despite the preachiness of this song, it's got cool lyrics and a rock hard feel that makes you want to chant and shout and do stuff. 10/10
7. MK Ultra- It's pretty good, it's taken a while though it didn't have an immediate grabbing point, nice rock track 8/10
8. I Belong To You (Some French Crap I Don't Understand)- I love this song to death. It makes me want to dance as soon as it comes on, and it has a nice little slow part in the middle. I only wish it stopped after the slow part and didn't rehash the beginning 9/10
9, 10, 11. Exogenesis Symphony- Part 1 is really good when you can understand what he's saying. Part 2 is hard to get into but once you do it's really good. Part 3 is also a really good "hope" song just wished there was more singing. Nice way to end the album, get these songs 9.5/10
Overall 9/10

Amazing

Hands down one of my favorite albums. The fusion of rock, orchestra, and electronic elements are incredible in a Globus-like fashion, and the topics covered in the lyrics are extremely important and poignant unlike so many other artists today.

Great album

Where did all the reviews go?

Biography

Formed: 1997 in Teignmouth, Devon, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Muse's fusion of progressive rock, electronica, and Radiohead-influenced experimentation have helped them sell millions of records and top charts worldwide. It's all crafted by guitarist/vocalist Matthew Bellamy, bassist Chris Wolstenholme, and drummer Dominic Howard, a trio of friends who began playing music together in their hometown of Teignmouth, Devon; they started the first incarnation of the band at the age of 13, changing the name of the group from Gothic Plague to Fixed Penalty to Rocket...
Full Bio