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Muse - The Resistance CD (album) cover

THE RESISTANCE

Muse

 

Prog Related

3.26 | 374 ratings

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Kempokid
3 stars After hearing many horror stories about the quality of this album and all those following it, I put listening to this one on hold for quite some time, sticking to the 3 previous albums for whenever I wanted to listen to Muse. After a while, once I got around to listening to it, my main thoughts about it were "This is supposed to be their bad material?". While this album admittedly isn't anything much when comparing it to some of their peak material, I do still find quite a bit of it enjoyable. That said, the larger flaws of the album are not lost on me, with the sound becoming more generic, with there being a much bigger pop focus similar to that of U2, and a prog element that for the most part does nothing all that special, leading to an album that doesn't have very much character. I also find that the influences in the album can be quite overbearing at many points, with some songs sounding more or less like parodies of their respective influence.

I believe that another possible reason why this album gets panned by so many is due to how most of the album doesn't live up to the incredible first two tracks, with Uprising having a bouncy, groovy beat and powerful synth work, sometimes sounding like a string orchestra. The title track on the other hand is a much slower, more emotional track with some great atmosphere with the more subtle use of the backing instrumentation, making for an incredibly catchy song that has enough compositional talent to back it up convincingly, especially with the piano work in it. The unfortunate thing is that after these track, the album significantly drops off, with the influences creeping in quite a lot. Undisclosed Desires immediately sounds extremely different, with the veritable wall of sound instead being replaced with an extremely empty sound, with a simple beat and much cleaner sound. There is an extremely strong U2 feel that the song produces, and there is much more focus on the pleasant hooks of the song, as there isn't too much progression to be found. The next two songs are without a doubt the weakest part of the album, not even sounding merely Queen influenced, but instead sounding like embarrassing parodies of them, with United States of Eurasia having an awful build up to the chorus and an even more terrible chorus in itself, while Guiding Light is just unmemorable and dull. The album manages to pick itself up with the great Unnatural Selection, showing off the slightly more prog oriented side of the band, with numerous sections, each with their own great melodies, along with the heavier guitar tone that I really love, MK Ultra sounds more like a less impressive Unnatural Selection than its own song on the other hand. While I really enjoyed the melody and beat in I Belong To You, the thing that stood out most to me was the unexpected, yet great clarinet solo near the end, leading up to the best part of the album, the Exogenesis Symphony suite, which take the symphonic elements present in the album, and then dials it up considerably to create a majestic 3 part song that surpasses everything else Muse did in terms of sheer scope. This song displays Muse at its most powerful, with epic, grandiose hooks and verses everywhere, with the majority of the instrumentation being symphonic, along with containing some of Matt Bellamy's most impressive singing, being able to hit some incredibly high notes. Each movement captures a different feeling so well, yet all work together perfectly as a whole, bringing the album to an extremely satisfying close.

Overall, while the album is really patchy, with some truly bad tracks and a much more commercial sound, I still do believe that this album isn't anywhere close to as bad as most Muse fans tend to say, as there are a fair few tracks which are highly enjoyable, including a couple of highlights from the band's career. I wouldn't really recommend this album to people who aren't fans of Muse or U2, as that's what this album predominantly is, if you're new to the band, listen to their previous albums instead of this.

Best songs: Uprising, I Belong To You, Exogenesis Symphony

Weakest songs: United States of Eurasia, Guiding Light, MK Ultra

Verdict: This album continues on the trajectory from Black Holes and Revelations, with their music becoming more commercial than before, but The Resistance also explores other territory nicely as well, even if it can sometimes have the tendency to sound far too much like other bands. I'd recommend that this album should be listened to after their 3 previous albums, as it's good, but doesn't give a very clear picture of the band as a whole.

Kempokid | 3/5 |

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