This has been a long time coming for Muse. Coated in harmonious passion, “The Resistance” has proved many things: they haven’t lost their touch, for amidst their borrowing there is a sound still distinctly Muse.
They’ve learned to compromise the furthest extents of their skills for the finest melody; the album recalls elegance seemingly lost when classical vanished from pop-culture. Astutely slick, Muse is a seamless entity with one focus, a transition similar to that of a self-taught musician who started taking lessons from a seasoned veteran. Muse has released a singular piece of music as opposed to pieces of one that just barely capture a sense of coherency, crudely categorized as related because the lyrics are. “Origin of Symmetry” has much better songs than “The Resistance”, but the latter is an infinitely better album. They have adopted some very traditional songwriting techniques, beginning their album with a bold declaration of purpose, carrying along that inquisitive theme with intense rock, and concluding on a softer note that is still intensely persistent in conveying the album’s rebellious motif. The boys hinted at something of this sort with the slightly contemporary compositions throughout “Black Holes and Revelations” (some far more so than others); lead singer Matt Bellamy’s lyrics were less than insightful, the instrumentation suffered clichés as well and I figured that this would be the end of Muse’s uniqueness. Thankfully I was wrong. The most interesting thing about this record, despite its strict custom, is Muse’s freshness; they’ve laid down exacting ground rules, but once they take flight from that ground extraordinary things happen, like the raw guitar solo near the end of Unnatural Selection
or Bellamy’s orgasmic conquering of his highest pitch when the first part of the Exogenesis Symphony
climaxes. This has been a long time coming; this is Muse’s first perfect record.
Their new sound depicts such yearning, the kind felt by an unheard lover, one who terribly desires the company of someone who isn’t there; he is outcast and alone, but has tasted the delicacies of life and desperately wants her back like any good Romeo – he has dedicated this entire album to her, his loudest, happiest and saddest moments condensed into one flowing piece with no dam in sight. While it seems at times throughout Bellamy is addressing a single person, he is also speaking to virtually everyone; the vague yet relevant messages of “The Resistance” are delivered with the zealous passion of a leader, a swift and honest performance, a great warning on one hand and a proclamation of devotion on another. Muse want to be heroic in their own way, and that doesn’t mean marching on the homes of antagonistic fat-cats with flags and torches, but piercing the polluted air as a guiding light, since there are so few left in plain view. Hopeful, the ecstatic harmonies in songs like Guiding Light
, and Undisclosed Desires
can gently force your eyes shut in enchanting delight. Never before have Muse been so focused on one thing, and because of that, this may come off as plain or lesser than their deeper dives into the musical realm to some (I admit that this work is inferior to Symmetry) but I don’t think it’s possible to want to be the same kind of musician forever. With each song here being drastically different than its predecessor and successor alike yet retaining the intense lyrical and melodious craves that add sparkling animation to the music (animation that can be physically proven, because I have never blushed so powerfully in ecstasy on account of a song before hearing the Exogenesis Overture
, a previously absent radiance), I don’t think Muse want that either.
Therefore, “The Resistance” is varied, an enthralling exploration of vast interests that knows its roots as well as where it wants to go. Take the first three tracks for example, you have Uprising
, the first single, a rebel’s anthem, a radio-ready head-turner. This song managed to change a lot of minds about Muse, whether for better or worse, either way, it was effective as a good single should be, sparking controversy (to whatever length) and excitement. Afterwards the epic Resistance
showers us in romance and danger, describing a self-doubt crushed under the weight of overpowering emotion, claiming that “love is our resistance”. Finally, Undisclosed Desires
is our first encounter with her lover’s aching desire, a smooth pop song with dreams lusting for affection, declaring allegiance to someone who has misplaced her glory, determined to find it, return it, and cherish it. These themes travel far and wide across new lands, each with a different but refined musical taste, the styles of which are taught to Muse who learn them in an able manner. “The Resistance” is this band’s most productive journey, one that has Bellamy singing in French and almost replacing his trusty guitar with synthesizers, pianos, and violins, but don’t fret over such trivial changes for the things they have resulted in are crucial to Muse who will become a stirring ocean of spiritual rapture, one that washes despair to its far shores and conjures deadly storms to orgasm. The album takes much time to grow into this masterpiece I see it as, eventually it should be classic and I have a good feeling that it will be. The seasoning of aging nourishes “The Resistance” and judging by the album’s relentless power, will continue to do so, and that is because this record belongs in the future, soaring from ear to ear through a dazzling celestial city under a gleaming white sun, just born, and the album will score its beautiful yet tragic life.