Muse
The Resistance


2.0
poor

Review

by SowingSeason STAFF
July 16th, 2010 | 32 replies | 6,496 views


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Amidst a sea of glamour and fame, Muse implodes with this directionless, self-indulgent record.

Expectations can be a harrowing experience for any band. Like a storm cloud gathering rain, anticipation for Muse’s fifth LP The Resistance collected with all the haste and abundance of a band that had truly stolen the spotlight of the rock n’ roll genre. Showbiz whet our appetites, Origin of Symmetry and Absolution knocked us off our feet, and Black Holes and Revelations expanded/divided our appreciation for what has become one of the hottest bands of the 2000’s. The one thing that all of these albums had in common was their ability to capture the attention of listeners with a combination of technical instrumental skill, catchy choruses, and unique vocals. Each album brought something new to Muse’s sonic palette, and as the “perfect storm” analogy may suggest, expectations for The Resistance grew wildly out of control. Of course, Muse were hardly the victims as they furthered the cause by uploading “Project Eurasia” to their twitter account and slowly revealed “United States of Eurasia”, thirty seconds at a time. Also, rumors of a three part, fifteen-minute movement to close out the album caused a number of people to speculate that Muse’s most ambitious album was forthcoming. With vast expectations and high hopes abound, everything finally came crashing down in front of a worldwide audience.

The Resistance is essentially a grandiose, symphonic, full-blown attempt at creating a magnum opus. Whereas Muse’s over-the-top nature normally serves to their benefit, this time there is simply not enough quality material to back up the massive hype. Sure, there are a few catchy numbers such as “Uprising” and “Undisclosed Desires”, but even they severely pale in comparison to past hits such as “Plug in Baby” and “Time is Running Out.” In addition, Muse fails to back these songs up with anything remotely interesting from an instrumental perspective. From the extremely basic drum beats of the aforementioned “Uprising” to the near absence of anything resembling a guitar riff over the course of the entire album, it is clear that Muse has taken a tremendous step back instrumentally. Black Holes and Revelations hinted at a movement in the mainstream direction, but even the most wildly pessimistic fans could not have anticipated the sheer lack of ingenuity present on The Resistance.

Perhaps the most disappointing facet of the entire album is the unattained potential of the “Exogenesis” movement. Here Matthew Bellamy, a skilled guitarist and pianist, has just over twelve minutes to essentially do whatever he wants. Instead of providing us with the shredding guitar solos and the moving classical piano we have come to expect, he manages to drown himself out with overused synthesizers and a complete symphony. The second stage of Exogenesis, “Cross-Pollination”, comes closest to realizing the song’s uncapped potential, with a relatively interesting piano introduction and a compelling chorus: Spread, our codes to the stars, you must rescue us all. The lyrics seem to be both a warning and a plea to future generations who will inherit the troubled world that we have created for them. However, this moment is not enough to save the likes of the entire “Exogenesis”, which doesn’t transition as smoothly or function together as well as a symphony should. In fact, this triplet of songs serve as a microcosm of The Resistance, with small moments of brilliance that are heavily outweighed by the album’s overproduction and shallow feel.

In addition to the lack of memorable moments and overall instrumental ineptitude, Muse finally finds themselves without creative direction. On past works, there was always a combination of shining musical craftsmanship and an overriding concept that made the album truly feel like a journey. Almost as if to deliberately provide contrast, The Resistance seems to bounce from song to song, with no evidence of album unity or artistic ambition. In fact, they seem to borrow more than they invent, wearing their Queen and Chopin influences on their sleeve in “United States of Eurasia.” Although the gentle vocals and light piano notes initially create quite the calming effect, the second half of the song plummets laughably, with identical-to-Queen chorus shouts of Eurasia! Sia! Sia! Sia!. “Guiding Light” offers up a bland imitation of Black Holes and Revelations’ “Invincible”, while “MK Ultra” suffers from nauseatingly basic drumming and guitar work. “I Belong To You / Mon Coeur S’ouvre A Ta Voix”, marks an all-time low for the band, complete with lyrics in French and a cheesy 80’s-sounding piano sequence. The song aims to be Muse’s first epic love song, but it fails on all levels ranging from a lack of catchiness to ridiculous lyrics:

Then she attacks me like a Leo
When my heart is split like Rio
But, I assure you my debts are real
I can’t find the words to say
When I’m confused
I’ve travelled half the world to say
You are my mu

One of the few quality standout moments on The Resistance comes in the form of “Unnatural Selection”, whose blazing guitar riffs and purposeful falsetto arrive like a breath of fresh air to old-school Muse fans who were forced to suffer through the first five tracks. Without this song, many new fans would never see the Absolution side of Muse that is ever present throughout the song’s six minutes and fifty-five seconds. The rest of the album, unfortunately, can be described as catchy at best. Even when it succeeds to provide fun moments (such as “Uprising”), the technical backing to these tracks are plainly bad by Muse’s standards.

All in all, The Resistance presents us with crystal clear production and superbly polished songs, but very little substance. There are a few moments that save it from complete futility, but it is still a colossal disappointment for the older breed of fans who enjoyed the likes of Absolution and Origin of Symmetry. To be fair, even the greatest artists of all time have had a regrettable moment. Only time will tell if this is Muse’s one regret, or the start of an overall decline. But for now, The Resistance stands as an unsightly scar on Muse’s otherwise superb discography.



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user ratings (2281)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
July 16th 2010



15893 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

“The only good thing about Uprising is that I can play it on drums. And I'm not even a drummer.”
-fr33convict, 7/3/10

The Muse Discography Finished, Part 5 of 5

I may have repeated myself a few times about how bad the drumming and overall instrumentals are, but I don’t care as long as it really emphasizes just how boring this album is.

Digging: Maybeshewill - Fair Youth

Counterf3it
July 16th 2010



563 Comments


awesome review

AtavanHalen
July 16th 2010



17927 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

Dude, break up the first few paragraphs a bit.

Very detailed, well written, maybe a bit long but otherwise solid. I like your style, man.

Enotron
July 16th 2010



7695 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

album doesn't deserve as many reviews as it has

tiesthatbind
July 16th 2010



7373 Comments


Pospospos. Good work, man, congrats on finishing the discog.

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
July 16th 2010



15893 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

thanks atavan and ties. yeah, it wasn't a difficult disog to review by any means, with only 5 albums.

i'll probably take a break before doing my next discog and just review whatever i want again. maybe next time i'll do something more ambitious, i was thinking thrice or metallica, although they both have too many reviews as it is

AtavanHalen
July 16th 2010



17927 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

album doesn't deserve as many reviews as it has


123, I'd cut it down to like five or six max

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
July 16th 2010



15893 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

i also split up that second paragraph, hopefully it looks a little better now

AtavanHalen
July 16th 2010



17927 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

I'd also put a break in between "2000's." and "The"

tinkrbel
July 16th 2010



1698 Comments


so will u b movin on 2 another discog?

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
July 16th 2010



15893 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

probably, but not right away...

JizzInMyPants
July 17th 2010



2369 Comments


dude do porcupine tree's discog, 10 albums

Counterf3it
July 17th 2010



563 Comments


do bob dylans discog

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
July 17th 2010



15893 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

lol i would fail at reviewing bob dylan's discog...never been into him as much as most people

Puzzles
July 17th 2010



3065 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Seriously? We get it, the record fucking sucks. We don't need a hundred reviews telling us that in a hundred different ways. There are plenty of other bands are more deserving of praise than this record is of hate.
I'm sure they know they suck, especially after playing two nights at Wembley Stadium.

AtavanHalen
July 17th 2010



17927 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

Baww

HenchmanOfSanta
July 17th 2010



1858 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Album doesn't deserve as low a rating as it has.

Digging: Afflicted - Prodigal Sun

DBlitz
July 17th 2010



1690 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

mEWse

Jethro42
July 17th 2010



12402 Comments


''Uprising'' is a good song. It's the only one I know here. I just youtubed ''I belong to you/Mon coeur s'ouvre à ta voix'', and according to the singer's accent, it is clear that he does not speak a single word in French. Song is not bad though.
Very, very good review Sowing, buddy.

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
July 17th 2010



7326 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Excellent review. My only complaint is that you failed to mention that Unnatural Selections riff is almost identical to that of New Born. Pos'd.



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