Muse
The Resistance


2.0
poor

Review

by Ross Delany USER (35 Reviews)
January 2nd, 2011 | 22 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "While Black Holes and Revelations took the pace down a couple of notches, The Resistance comes perilously close to coming to a screeching halt."

It's probably not unfair to state that Muse are now a firm part of the UK's musical furniture. From début album, Showbiz being released to a chorus of “You're just ripping off Radiohead” from the UK's music press - which now falls over itself to praise them at every turn - through the storming Origin of Symmetry and Absolution, before taking a change of pace and a slight change of direction with 2006's Black Holes and Revelations. However, while Black Holes and Revelations took the pace down a couple of notches, The Resistance comes perilously close to coming to a screeching halt.

Gone for the most part is Matt Bellamy's infectious guitar and piano work which so defined previous releases – anyone who grew up in what felt like a rather barren musical landscape in the early noughties will be able to remember the spider-like lead guitar in Origin of Symmetry's Plug in Baby, or the piano solo from Absolution's Butterflies & Hurricanes which was so very unlike anything else in “Alt Rock” circles at the time. In comparison, The Resistance, by and large, feels rather vanilla. That which in the past would have been a little flourish on the piano, has in some places been replaced with rather anaemic synth-y plucked strings. A simple but relentless riff, replaced with a riff that plods along but never really goes anywhere. For a band which always had such energy, this is somewhat disconcerting.

This is compounded by a rather uncharacteristic lull in the band's rhythm section. While in the past, the rhythm section of Dom Howard on drums and Chris Wolstenholme on bass has proven to be the solid spine to what could perhaps be described as the flailing of Bellamy's musical limbs, The Resistance suffers from a lack of that same solidity. Wolstenholme missed recording time due to personal problems, and it could be argued that there are moments where it's clear that his mind wasn't entirely on the job at hand. It's these very same moments where Howard also struggles, leaving some songs on the album to uncharacteristically meander without any real direction. A rather unfortunate side-effect of this is the fact that without the same fire to cover it, the band go from taking inspiration from different sources to ripping them off wholesale. From Ultravox to U2; Billy Idol to Queen, Blondie to the Doctor Who theme tune, all of which have had unnecessary and at times excessive amounts of pomp and bombast shoehorned in.

That's not to say that the entire thing is a mess though. While the crawling guitar work is gone for the most part, it does re-appear occasionally in fits and starts. There are points where Bellamy, Howard and Wolstenholme all click together, and when they crop up, the hyperbolic praise that surrounds Muse at times does seem almost justified. And then there's the Exogenesis symphony, which is arguably the jewel in the album's crown – albeit a roughly cut ruby instead of a brilliantly cut diamond – which showcase's Bellamy's budding orchestral composition abilities. It isn't perfect, but as a suite of music, it's certainly not bad.

In a way, the Exogenesis symphony possibly encapsulates what the problem with The Resistance is. It's by no means a terrible album, but it fails to live up to the extraordinarily high standard which Muse have set for themselves with their past work, and in truth, to say that a Muse album "isn't bad” isn't entirely complementary – in fact, it's closer to damning with faint praise.



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user ratings (2333)
Chart.
2.8
good
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
innerdark
January 2nd 2011


749 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Has it really been two years...? I just hope this is better than some of my efforts from years ago.

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
January 2nd 2011


15743 Comments


you old cad! good to see you =)

innerdark
January 2nd 2011


749 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Decided I should probably make an attempt at getting back into the swing of things considering I'm looking at starting a journalism degree in 2010 haha

Oceanus
January 2nd 2011


877 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Good to see you back.

Satellite
January 2nd 2011


20826 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

why does the sum have quotation marks around it?

North0House
January 2nd 2011


1764 Comments


Great review.

SteelErectedb4you8er
January 2nd 2011


2618 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Dude, I couldn't agree more about this album. I am a big fan of everything that they did up to this album. It just doesn't have enough balls, they seem to be losing the originality that the band once had. Combining the guitar riffs with crunchy tone with the melodic piano/vocals/harmonies

innerdark
January 2nd 2011


749 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Part of me hopes that it's because Chris was going trough rehab during the recording sessions, although if the live shows recently have been anything to go by (with the exception of their second Wembley date last year), they've lost a LOT of their urgency.

SteelErectedb4you8er
January 2nd 2011


2618 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I saw them on the Absolution tour and it blew me away that a 3 piece could have such a massive sound. I haven't actually followed them as much since this album came out. I was disgusted by this album at first really.

kangaroopoo
January 2nd 2011


3175 Comments


pos, yeah the extent of rip offs cheapens the album

most songs range from bland to cheesy, interrupted by some good moments

innerdark
January 2nd 2011


749 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I've seen them 6 times (once on the Black holes tour, twice on the Resistance arena tour, Once at T in the park and twice on the Resistance stadium tour) And I still don't think there's a better live band when they're on form. difference is that when they're not, they can be pretty lacklustre, which I've been unfortunate to see twice - T in the park last year, and glasgow in '09.

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
January 2nd 2011


24098 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

good review, and I very much agree. this is a terribly mediocre album

Digging: Mitski - bury me at makeout creek

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
January 2nd 2011


3781 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Wicked

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
January 2nd 2011


20858 Comments


Holy $hit, a Ross Delany review... It's been 2 years!!! Welcome back buddy. I hope you are back to becoming a regular?

Tyrael
January 2nd 2011


20976 Comments


Good review, bad album.

Dreamflight
January 2nd 2011


1760 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good review man, even if I don't agree with almost everything. :P

The Resistance restored my faith in this band after the atrocious BHAR, and there are some amazing moments like MK Ultra, title track and the whole Exogenesis concept.

skinthief
January 2nd 2011


14 Comments


Pos for being the first reviewer to mention that they ripped off the Doctor Who theme.



vanderb0b
January 2nd 2011


3473 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Awesome review, pretty bad album. Absolutely hate how they butchered that Chopin nocturne in Eurasia.

krig9412
January 2nd 2011


794 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Ugh, album is so bad. Good review.

Scoot
January 2nd 2011


17914 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

band sucks period

Digging: Renounced - The Melancholy We Ache



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