A few weeks ago, Muse released their new album “The Resistance”. I have avoided commenting on it thus far because I wanted to give it a proper listen. I find the problem with albums is that my opinion can change over the course of time, so I want to try and give it as long as possible before commenting!
This is why it’s been a while for me to mention this. But now I’ve given it a proper listen through. This album is GENIUS. It’s the best album Muse have ever put out, a seminal work which one day may be looked on in the same way that Sergeant Pepper is looked at today. Well, perhaps not quite Sergeant Pepper, but – this is good. Very, very good.
What I’m going to do is go through all the tracks and make a few comments about each one.
- Uprising. This has been getting a lot of radio play recently, deservedly so, and what an anthem it is. Quite different to anything Muse have done before, with influences of electro pop and house.
- Resistance. Love the intro to this – a little bit more classic Muse with the piano, but quite ethereal and haunting. The chorus to this song is fantastic, it makes me want to throw up my hands and get swept up in the music! I like it when Muse do slightly more positive songs, like ‘Starlight’ from Black Holes. Oh, and check out the bassline in the bridge, top stuff.
- Undisclosed Desires. This is another little diversion into RnB style territory, reminiscent of ‘Supermassive Black Hole’. Cracking tune though, I love the arrangement – I wish RnB was usually this good!
- United States of Eurasia. I think this is a tribute to Queen – if Queen did dark and moody, it would sound like this! The harmony singing, the Brian May style guitar, it’s all there! I agree with a lot of the sentiment in this song ‘These wars, they can’t be won’ – the ridiculous “war on terror” our government has been involved with? The way things are going in this country is quite worrying, and thing song picks up on that. Incidentally, I love the ending – the usage of Chopin’s Nocturne with the sound effects of bombs etc at the end is very powerful. (As a personal note, I can play that Chopin piece – I think Matt Bellamy stole the idea from me!)
- Guiding Light. Another powerful, anthemic, uplifting song. The only thing is, at one point during the guitar solo I am reminded of the intro theme to Blackadder II… I’m sure it’s coincidental 😉
- Unnatural Selection. This is rock, with a twist. I love the breakdown and then subsequent build in the middle. This is definitely the most energetic track on the album, get down in that moshpit! I really hope they play this live in November (even if we will be nowhere near the moshpit 😉
- MK Ultra. Not much to say on this song, it’s also pretty rocky and energetic so follows on well from Unnatural Selection.
- I Belong To You. I love the eclecticism apparent in this song. It’s a bit funky, a bit rocky, a bit classical – and Matt Bellamy sings in French at the end! It would be a fabulous ending for the album, it reminded me of a musical for some reason. Not any particular one, just the style.
- Exogenesis: Symphony (Overture). I really like the intro to this – the way the string arpeggios build up throughout the song, into the guitar riff in the last third or so. This is a true fusion of rock and classical, something I never thought I’d hear myself say!
- Exogenesis: Symphony (Cross-Pollination). This starts out like a Rachmaninov piano concerto. Beautiful. Then it goes into a more rocky song, and finishes pretty quietly.
- The intro to this reminded me of the first movement of Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata, crossed with a little Chopin. It is a fitting end to the album, the song leaves you wanting more but at the same time draws everything to a conclusion.
Certainly the last three tracks along – the Exogenesis Symphony – are worth the price of the CD. This album sees Muse breaking out of the mould and forming something quite special. I really hope we see more of this kind of stuff from them.
I think the album is on Spotify, so if you want to listen it’s available there – sorry for rambling on so long about it 😉