I’ve been putting this off for a few days as this album’s so flippin’ difficult to write about. But at last, here it is, my humble opinion on Muse’s Resistance.
From the previews posted on iTunes a few weeks ago, I think may fans, me included, were a bit disillusion. Muse
seemed to have lost their almost prog-rock sound and caved in to a more mainstream ideal. Well that and the plain weird… the ‘Queen like’ United States Of Eurasia was our only full song.
However, never have 30 second previews been so misleading to the final product. You really have to listen to this album in full to truly appreciate it, and I’m sure most will take several listens to ‘get it’. But that’s the kind of band Muse are and always have been. And when you really ‘get’ The Resistance’, you’ll relise it’s some of their best work to date.
It’s apparent from the first track ‘Uprising’ that Muse have once again challenged themselves to produce something quite different. Unlike any previous Muse attempt, this track is almost ‘dancey’. It opens with a beat reminiscent of Goldfrapp, but soon moves into familiar Muse territory with ‘Doctor Who-esque’ synths and some brilliant guitar sounds. The chorus is also similar to the ‘Knights Of Cydonia’ one, something to really chant out.
The next track is ‘Resistance’ a song I severely misjudged on first opinion. I was afraid this song was a bit too ‘pop’, but the epic and very dark opening with crashing drums and paranoid piano make this song amazing. It soon breaks into a powerful chorus about love, resistance and defying those who ‘control’ us. This brings us to ‘Undisclosed Desires’, a vastly different song for Muse. Firstly, no lead guitar, next the music is mostly a drum machine. This doesn’t sound good, but it is a good listen and the lyrics are beautiful. In my opinion this is the worst on the album, but I think many people (mostly R and B fans) will love what they’ve done here.
Next is ‘United States Of Eurasia’, which I now really appreciate. Yes it’s a bit weird, yes it clearly nicks parts from Queen, but the arrangement is brilliant and the orchestral parts work in harmony with the guitar and bass. This leads straight into ‘Guiding Light’, essentially a power-ballad. Initially I thought it was too strong and very overpowering, but I’m starting to ‘get’ this song now. And I really can’t stress how important that is. You may hate this album when you first hear it, but in my opinion it gets better with every listen, these songs take tome to ‘grow’ on you.
So far the album’s been quite different for Muse, but hardcore fans will be pleased to know they haven’t left their past behind. This is embodied in ‘Unnatural Selection’ and ‘MK Ultra’. US starts with an Organ sound, similar to Megalomania and builds into one of my favourite choruses as Matt ‘wants the truth’! It really is a throwback to earlier Muse songs with ‘New Born’, ‘Small Print’ and even ‘Plug In Baby’ spring to mind. ‘MK Ultra’ starts with a very spacey sound and builds up into the sort of epic music we all know Muse can produce. This song really surprised me with it’s quality.
The last main song is ‘I Belong To You’ which again is very different, but also very similar. It starts with piano not dissimilar to Maroon 5’s ‘This Love’. But don’t stop reading yet, it gets better, with some fantastic lines and vocals from Bellamy and even a French interlude in the middle. It’s an extremely over-the-top song, but I think it’s supposed to be. I always have a smile on my face when the Clarinet solo kicks in!
But that’s not quite it for the album. Matt Bellamy has been working for several years on a Symphony and this is what ends ‘The Resistance’… ‘The Exogenesis Symphony’. It’s split into three distinct sections starting with strong but slightly sinister strings. This leads way to Matt’s very high and ghostly vocal which complements the melody very well. Part two opens with piano before moving quite heavy with Bellamy screaming ‘You Must Rescue Us All’. It’s space-rock at it’s very best. Part 3 is easily the most beautiful, but also very sombre as Bellamy asks for fogiveness and the chance to start again. It’s a very powerful and deep way to end.
Exogenesis is in my opinion amazing. Symphonies might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but this is a masterpiece and is such a truly original way of ending.
The Resisitance is a very different album for Muse, but at the same time, it’s like nothings changed. This is the bands most ambitious record to date, and I do think the risks have paid off. I couldn’t see any other band having the ambition to create what they have and that really should be commended.
In Matt Bellamy’s own words, it’s their ‘most definitive album’.