Muse
The Resistance


2.0
poor

Review

by Scott M. Baldwin USER (82 Reviews)
January 9th, 2013 | 33 replies | 2,335 views


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The last line of the album sums it up perfectly: "Let's start over again..."

1 of 2 thought this review was well written

Since its release in 2009, Muse's The Resistance began to split Muse's fanbase down the middle, and has been rather touchy of a subject among fans of the band. This is really Muse's first attempt at creating something meant to seem symphonic, blending in elements of heavy metal, electronica, Britpop, classical music, and even classic Queen. And sadly, it falls flat on its face by the time the album reaches a close- a first for Muse, if anything.

Depending on who you ask, The Resistance is either one of Muse's best albums, or one of their worst. The way I see things, listening to The Resistance is almost like running for 10 KM, only to finish it by running face-first into a wall... sure, you feel as if you've managed to accomplish something, but you don't feel like you've gotten anything grand out of it but a wham to the face. There's a lot of landmarks and beautiful scenery to experience along the way, but they never really amount to a climax, or a reward, even. The way Muse blends the said elements above, it's like they haphazardly threw all those elements into a blender with no portion control or creative intent. A lot of the songs start off on the right foot, only for a bad part to come in and ruin everything. A good example is "Resistance". It starts off very atmospheric and grand, but then it's ruined by a completely lame part before the chorus.*

One big issue: will someone please teach these guys how to write lyrics? That, or to study the lyrics to some of their older stuff like "Muscle Museum", "Megalomania", "Futurism", "Stockholm Syndrome", "Thoughts of a Dying Atheist", "City of Delusion", and many others? The lyrics on this album are among the band's worst and some of the worst I've ever heard. The lyrics can be divided into two categories: cheesy, corny love song lyrics and conspiracy theory political mumbo jumbo ("It's time the fat cats had a heart attack!"). Both are nothing short of absolutely cringe worthy. Is almost as if they had a book of love song cliches at hand, and decided to mash them with their typical conspiracy theory BS ("LOVE IS OUR RESISTAAAAAANCE!!!!"). Category one can be summed up with this cringe worthy refrain from Uprising:

"They will not force us
They will stop degrading us
They will not control us
We will be victorious
"

Wow, look at that. They rhymed "us" with "us" three times, and showed their general inability to rhyme by rhyming "us" with "victorious". Oh, and who's "us", or "they"? Either way I'm not interested. Which is a shame, because the music, while quite simple and VERY derivative, is pretty cool, despite the corny "Hey" and "so come on" breaks here and there. And then there's the cheesy love song lyrics, which truly have to be heard to be believed:

"How much pain has cracked your soul?
How much love would make you whole?
You're my guiding lightning strike
I can't find the words to say
They're overdue
I've traveled half the world to say
I belong to you
"

That above stanza is from "I Belong to You", one of the worst tunes on the album. The whole song is full of cutesy love song lyrics that would make One Direction spit their coffee out in pure disbelief. And Matt's lame attempts at singing in French only make things much worse than you'd believe.

As for the music. I've gotta be honest here... what happened? I understand the shift to pop has been happening since Absolution. But where's the pyrotechnics, the acrobatics, the synth soaked bits that climax over and over again, the balance of pure beauty and sheer evil that made Muse so unique in the first place? Even the rather poppy bits that were interspersed throughout *Black Holes were much more fun to listen to. Most of the music sounds depressingly generic; there's some genuinely catchy parts in there but they last for maybe 10 seconds. There's moments that should be thrilling, but just simply fall- in example, "Unnatural Selection" begins with an organ, and it doesn't really feel natural at all. The organ in "Megalomania" feels like it's there for a reason, but here it just sounds like they're throwing music at us. songs like "Exo Politics", "City of Delusion", "Bliss", "Space Dementia", "Shine Acoustic", "Dead Star" are truly unique, and surely this orchestro-pop-metal sound just feels forced and doesn't work here.

Then there's two bits that might be the worst music I've ever heard: "United States of Eurasia", which is just plain dull and over-the-top. There was a time when being the new Queen seemed like it would be a great idea for Muse, but they seem to have taken it way too literally. The "United states of Eura... SIA! SIA!" part makes me choke every time. Note to Muse: only Queen can sound like Queen. When you try stuff like this, it's pretentious. You're trying way too hard. And then there's "Exogenesis", the three piece symphony, which is the most over the top thing I've ever heard, and not in a good way. Three tracks of Matt whining over strings with occasional few moments that sound really cool, but the rest of the piece really just falters. In fact, when by the end of part 3 strikes, where Matt sings, "Let's start ooooooooover again...", you can't help but agree.

So, are there any good songs? Well, I suppose "Unnatural Selection" is a decent tune. Despite said quibbles in the song's intro, it is a nice and heavy tune that sounds like System of a Down meets Queen. That's all I can think of *right now, because too much of the album is filled with songs that have good parts, but then go off into some wild tangent and are ruined. I love heavy metal, I love electronica, I love classical. I don't love however when things are thrown together and come off like flipping the channels on TV.*

But every artist is allowed to have a boring moment. And after ten years of a stellar output, it's best to just ignore this album and dismiss it as a boring moment from which they thankfully recovered; as the next album The 2nd Law was unexpectedly pretty sweet. It sounded like the album this one could have been if it had any sense of direction. Either way, The Resistance is by no means a classic, and while it aims big, it sadly doesn't hit the target but rather a nearby tree branch.



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user ratings (2265)
Chart.
2.8
good
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
toxin.
January 9th 2013



11984 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

You should review Linkin Park's latest next

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
January 9th 2013



15281 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

Nice review. I agree with a lot of the points you made...this is horrible.

Digging: Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds - Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus

TooLateToGoBack
January 9th 2013



1748 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

album is the epitome of average.

Conorman11
January 9th 2013



538 Comments


Is it bad that I actually kinda like "uprising"? I Love everything the guitar does in that song (although more would of been better).

Gwyn.
January 9th 2013



14854 Comments


Very nice review, I enjoyed reading it.

I haven't heard this and honestly at this point, I don't want to. I've been thinking about getting some of Muse's other work though, I've heard some songs, some I think are good, others not so much.

Digging: Buzzov-en - Sore

Irving
Staff Reviewer
January 9th 2013



7134 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Hey this album's not bad* =S

* It's mah guilty pleasure central

DarthMann
January 9th 2013



13476 Comments


its got one or two good songs

DrGonzo1937
January 9th 2013



5182 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

its got one or two good songs

I count one. This album is bloody awful. And they haven't got any better since this shit was released either.

DarthMann
January 9th 2013



13476 Comments


2nd law is better than this

FiveLeavesLeft
Staff Reviewer
January 9th 2013



9578 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Album seriously licks a shit-encrusted dried-up scrotum

Rastapunk
January 9th 2013



713 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I actually liked this one...

Rastapunk
January 9th 2013



713 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'll pos cause it's a nice review nonetheless

Gwyn.
January 9th 2013



14854 Comments


"I actually liked this one..."

Why do you always finish your sentences with an ellipsis?

Serious question

Polyethylene
January 9th 2013



3047 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Never heard the whole thing, sounded pretty poor though

DarthMann
January 9th 2013



13476 Comments


confirmable

DrGonzo1937
January 9th 2013



5182 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

2nd law is better than this

Not hard though, is it? Since Super Massive this band hit the pit of shit.

Polyethylene
January 9th 2013



3047 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Really? 'Cos 2nd Law is an easy 1.5

Polyethylene
January 9th 2013



3047 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

My 1s are reserved for Korn and Krazy Kfrog

DrGonzo1937
January 9th 2013



5182 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

I hate the last two albums equally.

Matt Bellamy needs to stop being a pretentious twerp and lay off the ballad shit. That's why I think the last two albums have been bad; poor Queen attempts. Only Queen can do Queen without it being cheesey.

Polyethylene
January 9th 2013



3047 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I fucking hate Queen to begin with, so you can imagine how much the second-rate Queenisms Bellamy keeps employing make me want to hurl.



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