Muse – The Resistance (2009) Warner Music, by Ferg

Posted: October 12, 2009 by Ferg in Album Reviews, Ferg's Blue Air

muse-the-resistance

I anticipate every Muse album with a sense of “wow, THIS is the band that can make a life-changing record for me, like Dark Side of the Moon, Tommy or Never Mind The Bollocks.” Then they release a sneak preview and I panic because it’s nowhere near as good as I want it to be. United States of Eurasia made me worry because I thought we were getting a Queen tribute album.

How wrong I was. The album isn’t going to be as commercially popular as Absolution or BH&R, but for the fans it’s a success. It showcases the band’s commitment to challenging their own boundaries and expanding the catalogue of music they’ve tried and succeeded at. Bellamy’s lyrics aren’t as good as they have been, but this should not detract from the brilliance of the music. It’s varied, exciting and bold: Uprising is a great first single, USoE is one of the better Queen influenced songs in recent years (The Darkness don’t count, alright? They just don’t).

There are concerns though. The lyrics are, in places, basic, and not as inspirational as Bellamy would like. I’m not insinuating that he actually believed that his lyrics would inspire an uprising. My concern is, where does he see such injustice that he’s dedicated this album to? Bush has gone. Released last year it would have been a triumph. Also, his random forays into Maroon 5-ish piano parts and nonsensical French in ‘I Belong To You’ – easily the weakest track on the album – baffles the bejesus out of me. However, this attempt to make the piano a rock instrument again is very welcome.

The piece de resistance though (I wonder how many critics have usedthat pun…) is undoubtedly the Exogenesis symphony. It’s soaring, varied and, simply, epic melodies are a joy to listen to, and I eagerly anticipate some sort of reprise of this when I go to see Muse on November 4th. If you listen to any three tracks of this album, make it the last 3, because it’s a masterpiece. The album is good, but an album of Exogenesis would have been a life-changing album.

An album for the fans, but not for someone looking to get into the band. Having said that, if this was a first album, you’d still be wanting more. And I suppose that’s Muse’s great appeal…you always want so much more, because you always expect to be impressed.

3.5/5

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