Album: The Resistance
Singles: United States of Eurasia (free download), Uprising, Undisclosed Desires
The band who were recently voted "best act in the world today" fully deserve the title with an album like this. Although the band explore a new direction (in fact, several) on this album and let their creativity run wild, the results are wonderful.
Immediately we are thrown into the wonderful new world of Muse with synths and chants of "oi." A wonderful opener to the album. Catchy and upbeat, this song was a well chosen first single and shows off Muse at their best.
An ethereal synth opens this track, before a piano and drums join in to start the song, and also the build up to a great chorus, as Matt Bellamy declares "love is our resistance." It is odd that although this song is six minutes long, it doesn't seem like it, and it feels like it's all over too quickly.
Muse stray far from their usual sound in this song. It's amazing, though, that they can still make it brilliant. It is catchy and has a great chorus, and is definitely one of the highlights of this album.
United States of Eurasia (+ Collateral Damage)
When this launched as a free download back in July, I thought that this would be one of the weakest on the album. And I was right. I think it is the weakest on The Resistance. It still sounds good, but some moments you can't help but laugh at the ridiculousness of it all, especially when Matt's singing about "Eurasia! Sia! Sia! Sia!" And I know this has been said a hundred times before, but there is definitely the sound of Queen in there, particularly when the song gets going (listen to "When there can be only one!!" for an example). The second part of the song, the (+ Collateral Damage) part, for all its calmness and peacefulness it has, seems rather pointless. I won't say it's out of place, because this entire album changes its sound every single song, but it just sounds like something tagged on the end. Well, that was a long rant - shall we move on?
The plane sounds from the end of the previous song flow nicely into this song, as a powerful drumbeat starts up. This song sounds like it came from the eighties, with its synth sounds in the background. There is a rare guitar solo (at least from this album it's rare) that, unfortunately, is really short, but while it lasts, it's good. There's no moment here that gives you shivers or makes you go "Wow!" like most Muse songs, but it is a fantastic song nevertheless.
My personal favourite, this seven-minute epic reminds us of the usual Muse sound, with its magnificent guitar riff and chorus. Halfway through, it becomes slower and allows for some more great guitar, before launching into the chorus for one last time. It is one of the best songs Muse has ever written, in my opinion.
"The wavelength gently grows, coercive motions re-evolve..." Eh? What are you singing about now? That aside, this is another brilliant song from the album. The guitar at the start sounds epic, and it only takes a minute and a bit to change into a quieter part where all we hear is "they're breaking through" and "we are losing control" before the song comes back for a second verse and the final chorus. One of the shortest on the album at four minutes, and worth every second.
I Belong To You (+ Mon Coeur S'Ouvre A Ta Voix)
Another example of Muse pulling off a new sound that before now, I wouldn't have thought possible. I was gladly mistaken. It is catchy, and Matt's singing is great - though his French accent in the middle of it all is a bit off. But nit-picking aside, this is a good song as well as the rest of this inconsistent album.
Exogenesis: Symphony Part 1: Overture
The moment the first violin came in, I got goosebumps. It is that good. The strings are wonderfully arranged, and Matt is back to singing in a very high voice - one of the very few singers who can actually do that (and make it sound good). The moment the guitar came in, I got goosebumps again. This song sounds absolutely epic, but then it is the first (and the best)part of a three-part, thirteen-minute, Muse-written symphony. My only criticism is that this song ends far too early. It takes three minutes for the guitar to come in and you expect they're going to really get going on this song, but no, it's over a minute later.
Exogenesis: Symphony Part 2: Cross-Pollination
Piano opens this part with some strings backing it, then the singing comes back, before it turns to a heavier sound (a heavy sound for the symphony, that is) before returning to piano again. This part, to me, doesn't seem to be anything special.
Exogenesis: Symphony Part 3: Redemption
A peaceful and beautiful ending to a fantastic album, leaving you feeling relaxed, particularly when it fades out towards the end. Funny that five songs ago, we were listening to a massive rock anthem, and that ten songs ago, we were listening to a catchy piece of synth-led rock.
Whilst this is one of the most inconsistent albums I've ever heard, it is one of the greatest. I think it may be Muse's greatest. I know many Muse fans who loved Origin of Symmetry may not enjoy this album, and some will. Unfortunately for them, Muse may never make an album like Origin of Symmetry ever again. Just so you know, I was never too keen on their second album. (Or their first, come to that), but I loved Absolution and Black Holes & Revelations.
For the record, their previous albums: Showbiz (4/10), Origin of Symmetry (6/10), Absolution (9/10), Black Holes & Revelations (9/10)