Album Review: The Resistance

26 Oct

the resistance

ok so it’s about a month and a half late but i just started this bloody blogging business and of course one of my first posts must be devoted to the September 15 release of my dearest band Muse’s new album, The Resistance. From the treasure hunt to unify Eurasia, and the release of their first long anticipated single “Uprising” my excitement grew more and more. Being a month past i can look back after listening to the album upwards of fifty times and say “that was well worth the year long wait”..which was might i add excrutiatingly painful. Without further ado however, here is my track by track review of The Resistance:

1.Uprising- Unlike their previous album openers such as “Apocalypse Please” and “Take a Bow”, “Uprising” does not waste a second getting into full form. There is no build up, no more teasing…the album is here. The most apparent sound at the beginning of the song is the heavy bass riff and the space age effects in the background. No sooner does the song begin than Mr. Bellamy introduces his vocals in an uncharacteristically low tone. There are no spectacular drumming effects on this track, it is dominated mostly by Wolstenholmes bass and the simple, yet powerful guitar of Bellamy. The guitar solo, accompanied by the heavy chanting to close the song once more solidifies the fact that an uprising is indeed happening, and the resistance has begun.

2.Resistance- The quiet and ominous tones to start this track are quit contradictory to where it eventually ends up. On my first listen i was very surprised to hear how many different parts to this song there were. The tribal like drumming of Howard creates a very quick pace which is slightly offset by the soft piano. This love song, based on Orwell’s 1984 quickly changes from quick and quiet tones to and explosion of sound and emotion. The chorus is the highlight of the song due to Bellamys powerful vocals and guitar which are presented at their highest points. This song is one of the highlights of the album to my because of its dynamic progression throughout, as well as Bellamys lyrics.

3. Undisclosed Desires- On the first listen i had to double and triple check to make sure it was actually Muse coming through my speakers. This song is so unlike anything they have ever attempted that it completely surprised me. Dom did a great deal of programming to develop the sound for this song, and used pop-like influences such as “Timberland”. The lyrics are sexy and provacative, but are not expressed in Bellamys usual falsetto. Instead he delivers them in a very simple way with a greater influence on delivering a clear sound. The slap bass which was so highly anticipated by all chris fans does not disappoint and adds a great element to the chorus. This song is so far from anything Muse has ever done however they still have put their stamp on it and it complements the whole album nicely. I give this song two very sexy thumbs up….and an award for song Muse most likely to have strippers dancing around Matt with hundred dollar bills showering down.

4.United States of Eurasia- This song starts off with a beautiful dreamy ballad. This dosnt last long however because just when you are least expecting it, Freddy Mercury comes in a lends a hand to the boys from Devon. After a brief Queen like explosion, the song breaks into an arabian type instrumental for some moments, and then settles into a quick piano verse with very heavy bass backing. Did i say settles? Wrong sentiment, because nope, here comes Queen again! “THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE!”…Queen? no, obviously not. Eurasia? yes. One more quick visit to Arabia and back to Queen for the grand finale and a monstrous chant of SIA!…SIA!….SIA!….SIA! as quickly as this song develops into a fast paced travel around the globe, it settles back down to a very ominous piece of Bellamy’s piano talent. Although i blatantly mock this song, i absolutely love it. It is ridiculous and at the same time wonderful, a staple of Muse’s identity I believe.

5. Guiding Light- If ever one song made me want to pump my fist in the sky and jump up and down in a crowd of strangers on my way to class, this is it! This song makes the heart swell, the lips stretch back into a big stupid grin, and perhaps even a shut of the eyes and tilt of the head to belt out how that special somone is your guiding light. This song does everything that “invincible” failed to do on the last album. There is nothing overly significant in the music of this track, the drumming consists of huge snare hits and a quick, sharp bass riff. The highlight of this song is Bellamys vocals, and how powerfully he delivers them. Not to mention his face melting guitar solo that carries the song to love ballad supremacy. This song seems to have not been received to well by many Muse fans, however it is one of the highlights of the album, and of all muse albums to me.

6. Unnatural Selection- Just when Muse fans were questioning what happened to those huge riffs that brought us the likes of  “Stockholm Syndrome” and “Dead Star”, “Unnatural Selection” appears. This song starts of with a huge church organ and a peaceful ballad which is quickly disrupted by an enormous riff and heavy drums. I found that this track sounded similar to “New Born” but was quite more dynamic and did eventually find its own identity for me. The chanting in the backround during the chorus only serves to increase the intensity and pace of this song which is briefly interrupted by a slower blue’s sounding solo of both guitar and vocals. The action quickly picks up again however, and after one more refrain the song dashes towards the finish with an enormously heavy, almost metal type riff which leaves you open mouth thinking, “Oh so that’s where Muse’s riffs have gone”. This song is definitely one of their heavier songs and comes at a point in the album which rescues it from losing its rock genre title.

7. MK Ultra- The title alone made me want to love this song. It opens with a screeching guitar and quick pace accompanied by desperate lyrics. The song begins to build up to what you believe will be a heavy chorus, but just like that it breaks down into a whirlwind of strings and bass with a creepy recitation of lyrics. This song contiuously picks up and breaks down, fast to slow. Matts lyrics are dark, and extremely intense. The strings add an exta element of feeling to the overall sound of the track, once more merging heavy modern riffs with classical elements. I would not label this song exclusively as  heavy guitar riff orientated such as “unnatural selection”, but just like “Map of the Problematique” it blended not only their three individual instruments but synths and various sounds aswell to create a dynamic composition.

8. I Belong To You- Stomp your feet, clap your hands, and do what feels right…like letting out a “WOOO” or something quirky like that. Seriously thats probably the best adjective to use for this song…”quirky” .  This was the most surprising for me on the album. I would expect “Undisclosed Desires” a thousand times before this. The upbeat piano and bass of this song are wonderfully accompanied by Matts enthusiastic and rather ridiculous lyrics. Yet what is more unexpected is the sudden excerpt of Mon Cœur S’ouvre À Ta Voix. Although Matts french leaves plenty to be desired it is a rather lovely piece. When you though that was it though the song opens back up to a clarinet solo! No seriously. It is truly the best part of the song. This song is ridiculous and quirky (theres that word again), but it is still extremly enjoyable and actually cheered my to the thought that Muse is not afraid of pushing their genre or boundaries. This song is proof that they do not label themselves and are continuing to make the music that they see fit.

9/10/11. Exogenisis: Symphony- The idea of Muse preforming a three part symphony for their upcoming album made me giddy as a school girl. Throughout all their previous albums there is strong evidence of classical inspiration and it was exciting to see a truly classical focus and devotion to a track instead of it being a small element. Part 1: Overture is a beautiful opening peice with a repeatitive yet captivating arrangement of sounds topped off by an intense guitar solo. Bellamys vocals in this one are very high and reminiscent of “Micro Cuts”. This part illustrates a meaning of desperation and dispair through its music and vocals and begins the symphony with beautiful intensity. Part 2: Cross-Pollination begins with a spectacular piano peice with symphonic compliments. Initially Bellamys vocals are slow and level, but as the music picks up he does as well. His voice is quite powerful on this part which coincides perfectly with the music. Part 3: Redemption- This final piece of the album, and symphony is absolutely stunning. The piano at the beginning is slowly partnered with orchastrative components, starting quite slowing, than picking up to one of Matthew Bellamys more memorable vocal performances. This piece generates hope and forgiveness. Like i said, this song ends the album beautifully leaving you with tears in your eyes, and your finger on the repeat setting.

The Resistance is a remarkable album which provides a very dynamic compilation of tracks. Muse have really allowed themselves freedom to roam with this release. By self producing they were able to experiment with new sounds and genres as well as perfect those which they have touched on in previous works. I was not at all disappointed after such long anticipation. Instead it exceeded all expectations and i was left with my mouth wide open and tears in my eyes. Of course i have a bias to basically all of their releases because i seem to be blinded with pure love, but i am still able to see some level of pretension and absurdity in their music. Regardless of those unfortunate little blunders which cast themselves upon their music i am more than able to overlook any slight faults in the progression of their character and sound and simply enjoy the music. Thank you Muse for an absolutely unforgetable release….and maybe lets not wait three years to get back in the studio this time, thanks.

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