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Muse - The Resistance CD (album) cover




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3.36 | 435 ratings

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3 stars Muse's orchestral presence returns with a vengeance on the Resistance, and the introduction of pop found on the previous album unnervingly begins to infuse itself into the band's sound. Much of the music found on The Resistance is also more anthemic, shifting towards a piano-based and mainstream arena rock sound. In short, The Resistance could be categorized as symphonic pop rock.

The Resistance is just some really catchy stuff. Uprising, probably the band's most popular song, is a great anthem, and completely dedicated to this idea. The synth line is memorable, the bass throbbing and groovy, the drums something you'll find yourself clapping along to, the chorus sing-along-able, and the shouts of "hey!" near the end very much inviting the listener to join in. It's still a rock song, perfectly tailored to become a major hit? except the lyrics encourage overthrowing the government.

While less of a unifying force than on BH&R, many of the album's lyrics are, in fact, based off of taking down the government. These lyrics tend to be alienating at times, but they sound smart and you can kind of feel smart if you listen to them. Muse expands on the theme of politics, incorporating ideas from George Orwell's 1984. The focus on space is not as strong, and the Resistance delivers a few cheesy love songs. These cheesy love songs tend to be the pop songs that aren't rooted in rock. Undisclosed Desires is one of these, and I'll at least give Muse credit for having a bigger vocabulary than the average pop band. It also introduces electronic elements that would become prevalent ? and controversial ? on The Second Law, The Resistance's follow up. Guiding Light is another pop song, a boring plod through an unenergetic, unchanging four minutes. I Belong to You fuses pop with opera and classical influence, and Bellamy succeeds in sounding whiny and dragging the song out for much longer than it needs to go on.

And speaking of classical influence, there's Exogenesis, the three part symphony that spans the album's last thirteen minutes. This is Muse's progressive side showing as they attempt a mini concept album, which seems a little out of place. The story tells of the death of Earth, and a group of astronauts who have been selected to colonize another planet to keep the human race going. Apparently the band was sued for stealing the idea, but they won the lawsuit. Either way, it's a great ending to the album. Part One has a hypnotic, undulating symphonic line, and when the guitar kicks in, it's one of the album's best moments. Part Two is theatrical and dramatic; Part Three is emotionally charged and beautiful, and all of the portions function together much better than the rest of the album does.

Rock songs do exist on this album also ? many are influenced by pop, but a song like Unnatural Selection is the heaviest, fastest song the album has to offer. It's a great song, introduced by organ and exploding into angry, assaulting riffing and lyrics. But there are still complaints about this piece. The main riff sounds suspiciously like the one from New Born (from the band's second album). As much as I love that riff, it sounds like they've run out of ideas for good heavy songs. Additionally, the breakdown is just a huge waste of time. United States of Eurasia is another song that sounds like they've run out ideas, the outro taken from Chopin and the main portion ripping off Queen. It's still a good piano-based song, the lyrics are interesting, and Muse throws in a Middle-Eastern twist partway through.

The Resistance might have been better off split into two EPs, one with Exogenesis, the other containing the album's best songs: Uprising, the Resistance, United States of Eurasia, and a version of Unnatural Selection without the boring breakdown. Many of the songs are weaker, and the pop, rock, and classical influences don't always come together well on some tracks, while working in agreement on other songs. The Resistance is a step down from Black Holes and Revelations, though as a whole interesting and rather unique despite a sense of disjointedness in quality, and to a lesser extent, stylistically. Still, this disjointedness is nothing compared to what is found on the album's follow up, The Second Law?

Insin | 3/5 |


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