By at 4:43 PM Sunday, September 13th 2009

 

Muse Fails To Resist Too Much Of Too Much

Muse, Reviews

 

Three years after the release of Black Holes & Revelations, Muse’s critically acclaimed fourth album, comes The Resistance. Anticipation has been running high for Muse fans. Black Holes expanded the band’s horizon with several strong tracks in which the trio of Matt Bellamy, Chris Wolstenhome and Dominic Howard strayed from the usual, and from the most obvious expectations. Supporting the album with increasingly solid performances during an extensive tour, the stage has been set for a breakout masterpiece of a follow-up.

Muse

The Resistance opens unlike any previous Muse album. Uprising is not the standard, thickly layered, segmented epic opera gradually evolving to a chaotic ending; it is, in fact, a straightforward pop-rock tune that doesn’t stray far from previous hits like Time Is Running Out or Supermassive Black Hole.

The title track follows, featuring some unusual keyboard and drums that recall early U2, an apparent derivation only supported by a repetitive chorus and piano work reminiscent of New Year’s Day. Fortunately, it picks up a different tone towards the end, and after the vocal part is over, there is a great little ambient outro.

While those first two tracks are promising, the album takes a disappointing turn when Undisclosed Desires kicks in. Unlike anything done by the band in the past, this song bombards the listener with pop clichés: First it’s the keytar, then cheesy lyrics accompanied by an electronic beat that sounds like it was produced by Timbaland, and fucking slap bass. By the time the chorus hits you, you’re wondering why on Earth Muse decided that the combination was a good idea for anything other than a joke track that may have escaped the studio and leaked onto the Internet. This is the track that can divide most of the listeners. Some will be able to play along with it and accept the notion that the song has some decent pop hooks, while others will immediately jump ship.

Thankfully, Muse goes back into their trademark vein of excessive, Queen-esque progressive rock with United States Of Eurasia, a gloriously overblown track that, like so many of their songs before, starts quiet, explodes, goes completely insane, and ends with a soft outro. While it is mostly piano based, it does a great job of showing just what Muse is capable of when they focus on their strengths, much like Unnatural Seleciton, which shows up later on the album. The latter track, while also explosive, is guitar focused, loaded with heavy riffage from Matt Bellamy, and a surprisingly bluesy breakdown halfway through the song that suggests he may no longer be content with just making heavy songs.

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.

These tracks, along with the first two, prove that Muse has worked hard on moving forward with their music, improving and evolving. Unfortunately, not everything on the album achieves the same mark.

It seems Muse sometimes loses the ability to discern the good, exhilarating type of excess from the bad, tiresome kind. Deep within Guiding Light, it’s easy to see there is a good melody, a cute ballad to ease out all the heavy tracks in the album. But that melody is buried under a wall of synths and loud drums that end up hiding the song’s true potential. Meanwhile, MK Ultra would be a swift kick of a heavy track, if it weren’t for a bunch of keyboards and vocal effects that intrude and seem quite out of place most of the time.

But nothing, not even Undisclosed Desires, can compare to the inappropriateness of the track I Belong to You (+Mon Cœur S’ouvre À Ta Voix). While it starts out just fine with a cheery piano, an annoying synth bass manages to make the first part of the song thoroughly irritating. Halfway through, the song breaks into a slower, yet grandiose, arguably better section, where Matt sings in French. Sure, perhaps his French isn’t top-notch, but this section is alright. In a perfect world, it would even be enough to save the song from completely sucking. Why doesn’t it? Well, as soon as the French singing is over, the worst parts of the first half make a full-blown comeback, throwing in a fucking clarinet solo. This completely kills the mood created by the section sung in French, as well as killing all hope of salvation for the song. I don’t know what the hell Muse was thinking when they decided any of this was a good idea, and the fact that they let something like this onto the album makes me worry about the band’s future.

To close the album, we have something that fans have been waiting for years: The Exogenesis Symphony. Since 2007, Matt Bellamy has been talking about a symphonic piece that was “too progressive for Black Holes & Revelations,” but could be recorded in the future. Later described as a “three-part thirteen-minute space rock epic,” it generated high expectations, trademark brazen pretentiousness notwithstanding. Finally, here is said piece, divided into three parts over thirteen minutes, with orchestral arranging written by Bellamy himself. And yes, it is a quality piece; but one that, most unfortunately, does not quite live up to the on-paper description. On one hand, Exogenesis is beautifully written and executed, and you can’t deny the care and attention to detail that went into the songs’ construction. On the other hand, no matter how perfectly played it is, it’s just not quite exciting enough to warrant such a long running time.

Exogenesis ends The Resistance with the somewhat mixed feelings that prevail throughout pretty much the entire album: Muse is a talented band, willing to constantly move forward and change their sound. When they succeed, it’s a blast, and the listener is grateful that the band didn’t settle for too long on a particular sound. However, when they fail, it feels as if Muse is trying to be different just for the sake of it. They seem to stage grand, pompous spectacles for the sake of being “that band,” a smirking tongue-in-cheek ridiculous caricature of the glam-rock space cadets that pulled it off with swagger. And on The Resistance, it’s these failures to focus that ultimately prevent the album from being the fantastic work that it could have been. While Muse knows their main strength lies within their ability to be excessive, one wishes that they would know better when enough of “too much” is enough.

 
 

Muse

The Resistance

61pzKBU7keL
Released: 15/09/2009
Label: Warner Bros.
1. Uprising
2. Resistance
3. Undisclosed Desires
4. United States Of Eurasia(+Collateral Damage)
5. Guiding Light
6. Unnatural Selection
7. MK Ultra
8. I Belong To You (+Mon Coeur S'Ouvre A Ta Voix)
9. Exogenesis: Symphony Part I (Overture)
10. Exogenesis: Symphony Part II (Cross Pollination)
11. Exogenesis Part III (Redemption)
 

Meanwhile, On The Internet...

 
161 comments
  1. Lamurias says:

    Good review. truth is that i don’t think muse ever made a really good album. i don’t think that, compared with their other albums, this one is worse. it’s just muse, like you said, being excessive, sometimes rocking, sometimes just not rocking

  2. Rory says:

    I’m on the verge of finishing a review of this record myself.

    They basically ripped off their own catalogue as well as Billy Idol and Depeche Mode on this record…not to mention Queen.

    Having been a huge fan and having believed that this band continue to improve with each release, this record was a total disappointment.

    This is their 5th record by the way.

  3. Fernando says:

    Yeah, it’s their fifth. We said Black Holes was their fourth.

  4. ellectu says:

    You all morons here, guys. This album is great. Second great after showbiz.

  5. Fernando says:

    The fact that you consider Showbiz to be their greatest…that says it all, really. I don’t even need to say anything to defend myself from your accusation of “us all morons”.

  6. zoopster says:

    Muse sucks. They are a Poor Man’s version of Radiohead. The fact that that stupid bitch who wrote Twilight likes them should tell any music fan to stay far away from this crap.

  7. Spinett says:

    They might be overhyped, but not necessarily suck.

  8. thephantom says:

    Yes, let’s compare them to Radiohead, because Radiohead would have made Uprising or Megalomania! I haven’t heard the new album yet, but I do not understand how someone could say that Muse has ever made a good album… Either you failed to listen to Origin of Symmetry and Absolution, or you fail to comprehend what a good album is.

  9. zoopster says:

    I couldn’t agree more. I also do not understand how someone could say that Muse has EVER made a good album yet. (I know, that was probably a typo, but I couldn’t help myself)
    Uprising sounds like a bad take on the Queen sound, and I am glad Radiohead never stooped so low. And as for comparison purposes, Matt Bellamy is trying to sound JUST LIKE THOM YORKE on practically every Muse song I’ve heard, so he deserves that comparison. I’ve heard enough to form an opinion that they are wholly unoriginal and completely overhyped. And you are correct, I have failed to listen to both Origin of Symmetry and Absolution.

  10. Fernando says:

    Actually, he’s trying to sound like Freddie Mercury. Muse quit the “Radiohead-clone” thing right after their first album, but I guess most Americans fail to notice that.

    And didn’t Radiohead admit they were going for a Queen thing with Paranoid Android? I can’t see how trying to imitate Queen is “stooping low”. Queen was a great band. I’m glad people try to steal their sound.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I find everyone complaining about the clarinet solo in “I Belong to You” – I found it very appropriate and a great idea. It is reminiscent of thematic elements in French films and thus completely inline with the previous section.

    Muse has been exceptional at combining different aspects of music into a relatively new genre they have created. I can’t think of many artists who can pay tribute to Chopin, Gershwin, middle-eastern elements, heavy rock, Queen, etc in one album.

    I think people need to give them a bit more credit.

  12. zoopster says:

    Don’t get me wrong, I love Queen, Queen WAS and IS a great band(though slightly diminished by the addition of Paul Rodgers, who I also think is a great singer, just not a great fit for Queen). I merely meant stooping so low as to consciously try to “imitate” Queen’s sound, or any other band’s sound for that matter, not that the sound itself or Queen were “low”.

    I’m not a big fan of ANY band trying to steal another’s sound, regardless of who it is and who they are ripping off, be it Queen or Radiohead or anyone else. And in this case, it’s just too close for comfort. If I want to hear Queen, I will listen to A Night at the Opera or News of the World.

    Also, seems like Muse was still doing the “radiohead-clone thing” on their second album as well….

    And while Paranoid Android was certainly compared to Queen by critics, I never understood that comparison myself, and I’m not sure that Radiohead ever admitted they were “going for a Queen thing” when writing it. I think that song owes more to the Beatles than Queen.

    Anonymous: what “relatively new genre” is that? Prog Rock has been around for a long time.

  13. Fernando says:

    On Paranoid Android, Radiohead said they wanted to make “Bohemian Rhapsody meets Pixies”. They successfully stole both bands’ sounds, I think.

  14. Anonymous says:

    If nobody was ever influenced or varied music originating from other sources, music would not exist today.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Also, any reviewer who wants people to take him seriously should not curse in his review: “Fucking clarinet solo”

  16. zoopster says:

    I totally agree with that statement, Anonymous, however, if a band is consciously trying to sound like another band to the point of mimicry, that shows not only laziness but a lack of imagination.

  17. zoopster says:

    And I think what Radiohead was trying to say and has since said, is that the Pixies and Queen were a “reference” when writing Paranoid Android, but not that they were trying to “sound” like either of those bands. More so they were attempting to produce the dynamic feel of those two bands’ songs.

  18. RT says:

    Im getting sick of people saying they are a poor mans Radiohead – seriously, can people start thinking of something new to say? Its been years. Get over it.Muse are an excellent band who, Im glad to say, strive to evolve their sound, Of course some ideaswont work, and dont work but many others do – but at least they dont remake the same old same old!! (Oasis springs to mind. I never have expectations of Muse albums, nor to I comapare them to previous ones, each stand alone and thats what makes this band so great.

  19. Fernando says:

    Yez, zoopster. By “steal” I don’t mean “copy” by the way. Stealing is more noble, when talking about music. Stealing is what Led Zeppelin did to Willie Dixon, for example.

    And Anonymous, yes, that’s a fucking clarinet solo. Screw that fucking clarinet solo, it’s not good to my ears. Remember the trumpet solo in City of Delusion? THAT’s how you add an unusual instrument to a prog song.

  20. zoopster says:

    True, all blues musicians are beggars and thieves. You got me there. However, what Jimmy did to Willie Dixon wasn’t mimicry of a “sound”, but rather an expounding of ideas and themes. You can’t put on Led Zeppelin and say, “wow, that sounds like Willie Dixon”, even though some lyrics and motifs are present. I suppose I am biased when it comes to Zep, though.

  21. zoopster says:

    And hey, let’s not bash the clarinet. It wasn’t its’ fault…………..It may have been out of place in that song, but clarinet is a cool instrument. :)

  22. Fernando says:

    Yes, the clarinet can be good. But in that song, it’s not a clarinet, it’s a fucking clarinet.

  23. Rory says:

    Ya I responded to this first thing in the morning…a little tired at the time.

    Anybody who says Muse is like Radiohead hasn’t listened to either band in depth.

    The only things they have in common are whiny vocalists and that they both live in the UK.

    Muse progressed with every record until Black Holes and Revelations which I believe it their best record. But Absolution was amazing too. Those are two records I can listen to front to back in any mood and still enjoy.

    And by the way Fernando, I’m curious about you opinion on this. Unnatural Selection is almost a straight rip off of New Born.

    It is essentially the same riff and guitar tone…just a little faster and a couple of notes flipped around. If there is one song on the record that pissed me off more than the rest, it was that one.

  24. Fernando says:

    I agree that the riff sounds a lot like New Born, but that’s about it. The whole structure is different, I think, and the middle-section is pure gold.

  25. zoopster says:

    I must disagree with Rory, as I have listened to Radiohead in depth. Even a casual music listener would be able to detect the similarities beyond their location and the whininess of their vocalists. And to be fair, Thom came first.

  26. echo says:

    this album is like “this is it”
    The song “i belong to you” says it all.
    To me this is very good album. It?s no Stockholm syndrome, but Muse sounds more mature and somehow calm.

  27. Skwerl says:

    by the way, if you’re going claim any of our opinions are to be discredited just because we curse, you’re a fucking pussy. take a six pack of zima over to will smith’s house if you need to have a cry about it.

  28. echo says:

    I did?n t mean Kenny Loggins this is it. I meant like this is it, the life. Fuck where youn find that. :)

  29. zerotrousers says:

    Hmm. This album was definetly a step in the wrong direction for muse, as was black holes and revelations.

    I have to say that absolution is one of my favourite albums of all time, and I prefer that side of muse, the metal influenced side. But they’re trying too hard to be epic, and that’s where they fail.

    Also, they started off trying to be radiohead, and now they’re trying to be queen. Big difference.

  30. ::Saint:: says:

    I had pretty mixed feelings about this album the first few times I listened to it, but the more I have listened to it the more I have enjoyed all of the individual tracks and appreciated the album as a whole entity.

    It is definitely not their most accessible album – I’ll say that, but I have to say it makes me truly respect this band when they are willing to do what they really want rather than what will necessarily make them millions of dollars. I’m sure it wasn’t lost on Muse that this isn’t exactly a pop album.

    Oh yeah, and Undeclared Desires — come on people, its Muse channeling Depeche Mode – what could be cooler than that?!

  31. James M says:

    Just finished listening to the album for the second time. This album may possibly become my favourite Muse album. Firstly, I’m a huge fan. However, I’m also a music fan, so I was fully prepared for it to be absolute shit. IT’s not. The work that’s gone into this! My god! I love Undisclosed Desires. I think it’s a sound they have only dabbled with before, and they nail it here. Music should be about diversity and experimentation, and there’s plenty of that here. United States of Eurasia is simply breath taking, as is the final three tracks. It seems people don’t take the time to just listen to the music. Those who say the end of this album isn’t exciting enough need to lay off the Ritalin. There’s so much going on, and it’s such a beautiful album, that I honestly couldn’t move. I can’t wait to see where they go next.

  32. Tim says:

    Yeah this album was a major disappointment for me. I am a working musician in the US, and I have to say that though it sounds like Muse is trying to play true in some sense to their roots- at the same time it seems they are trying to write in a dumbed down fashion as to appease the potential US fanbase (which Ive always considered less intelligent – gee I wonder why). This was driven home to me after I saw them on MTV last night playing the new song that sounds like they ripped off from Blondie. Every band has flops- and while this album as a whole is overshadowed for me by those colossal flops, there are some nice tracks on here if you can learn to skip the bad ones. Just wish I didnt have to. Hope the next effort is better.

  33. daneforst says:

    Let’s just agree that everyone is trying to rip off the Beatles and be done with it. There isn’t such a thing as “completely original” music anyways. Someone takes ideas from other influences then changes and mixes things in a way they can to create something new. Not necessarily original. Even if something is truly original, it’s usually un-listenable garbage created just to try and be different for different’s sake. BTW, I didn’t like this album. Agree with this review almost entirely. way to nail it on the head. But why the great score? 3.5 out of 5 seems inconsistent with your review…

  34. Fernando says:

    Well, the enjoyable moments of this album are REALLY enjoyable. If it were all strong tracks like the ones I pointed out, then it would be an even higher score. But because of the enormous faults Muse committed on some songs, the score was a 3.5/5. That’s what I call an “ok” score. Not great, not quite mediocre.

  35. Moe says:

    THIS is the worst Muse Album i’ve heard…
    Really disapointed… I like the Uprising and that’s pretty much it.
    I think that the best was The Origin of Symmetry followed by black holes and revelations.
    WTF happened to them!#>$?

  36. Rory says:

    I can’t believe after all this time we still have to argue about how much Muse and Radiohead have in common.

    “Thom came first”…who the fuck cares…

    And swearing discredits the review? What the fuck happened to rock and roll…go roll the sheets up tight, turn on your simple plan record, and sing yourself to sleep with tears in your eyes.

  37. Anonymous says:

    The reviewer is absolutely entitled to his opinion. However I feel that when you write a review for the public it doesn’t need to have curse words. Think of all the reviews in the papers, online news organizations, etc – one doesn’t need to curse to get your point across.

    And sure you can curse all you want in music, in movies, etc. But writing a review is not the forum for it. It is entirely sufficient to say “I didn’t like the clarinet solo” or “The clarinet solo was very much out of place.”

    Why are people so quick to re-tally with some insult when they disagree with something?

  38. Possibly because you’re stepping into our house, telling us how to run shit. You’re clearly not too familiar with our mode of operation, but there’s a pretty solid hint sitting right there in our name. Turn that nose up somewhere else, ’cause while nobody has to curse to get their point across, you’ve reached a neck of the woods where nobody gives a fuck if a bad word offends you. Antiquiet reflects the personalities of those who run it, and the day we water our shit down so as to avoid offending your delicate language sensibilities is the day we shut out the lights for good. Motherfucker.

  39. Skwerl says:

    haha… damn dude.

  40. stu says:

    is this record absurdly overcompressed like the last one?

  41. Fernando says:

    Oh, Johnny. Poor anonymous guy. So maybe he “didn’t like the word ‘fucking’” or thought “the word ‘fucking’ was very much out of place”. But yeah, it’s just a word, it was used twice to get the point across that I REALLY HATED the slap bass and the clarinet solo. Plus, “fucking” is really commonplace these days, isn’t it? I could’ve done much worse. Now you know: Antiquiet may occasionally use the word FUCK.

  42. Fernando says:

    stu: I didn’t find Black Holes THAT compressed, but IMO this one sounds a bit better. Apparently there’s a horrible transcode leak that spread like wildfire, so stay away from that.

  43. Alex says:

    Anyone who thinks Muse sucks clearly has no ear for music, not even a soul for music. On the other hand, anyone who thinks Radiohead is so great must sit in their room smoking crack. They are as unexciting as Pink Floyd. Some great enchanting songs, but mostly sleepy tunes. Muse’s songs are enchanting and alive with strong lyrics referring to what narrow-minded half-brainers don’t want to listen to: conspiracies that are regarded as theories by the closed-minded. He’s too smart for many of his original fans who only like to rock and jump to music, but not actually take it in as a true masterpiece of art.

  44. zoopster says:

    ha….yes, there is nothing I like better than to sit back and smoke a fat crack rock while listening to kenny loggins. Or Muse. They actually do sound grrrrrreat on crack.

  45. zoopster says:

    Johnny, you nailed that shit. Inspired use of the word fuck or fucking or fucked, or even motherfucker gets the point across with emphasis. It is not just cursing for cursing’s sake. And there are a lot of mainstream music, art, and culture magazines who publish articles containing the word. It is not uncommon in literature or periodicals today. Fucking a.

  46. Ryan says:

    Very disappointing. Exogenesis was brilliant but other than that…. I didn’t think that it was a bad album, but in the future, when we look back at Muse, we aren’t going to remember them for this The Resistance. I still love Muse and consider them one of the best bands ever. I’m hoping that this was just an experimental album that didn’t go as planned.

    p.s. Fuck all the people who think that Muse sounds like Radiohead. Matt has golden pipes, while Thom Yorke whispers to himself. Fucking ridiculous.

  47. Big B says:

    In my own opinion, Muse wont ever do an Origin of Symmetry again. Ive learned to accept that with this album and just enjoy what i hear. Now looking back, its good that each album is differnt to the next. Keeps things fresh. Im not gonna listen to the album and criticise averything about it and comparwe Muse to Fucking Radiohead. See what I did there? While i’m on that subject if you are slagging Muse for not having a good album in years then look at the gash Thom Torke and Co have produced for the last…say…10 years?

  48. E Money says:

    Cry cry cry. I am so sick of people over analyzing music. Muse is a great band. Not to mention one of the best live bands EVER. (I dont have to prove this, their awards speak for them) If you started a band your music would be influenced by the bands you like. MUSE rocks and I have not heard the new album (I will be buying it today) but I am sure it will ROCK like all their other work.

  49. Osmodiwald says:

    I actually like this album. Sure, it has some weak songs (undisclosed desires? I don’t know yet if it’s good or just plain horrible) but I think Muse are great because they do whatever they want. Instead of doing the same as on Black Holes and Revelations, they change their sound in most of the songs… And the ‘fucking’ clarinet solo? I don’t fucking like it that much as a fucking instrument, but on I belong to you, I don’t find it that fucking inappropriate. And exogenesis is pure gold. And Platinum. And anything else they fucking want!

  50. Seth says:

    Fernando, I disagree with your thought on Undisclosed Desires, as you said some might. I feel as if it’s Muse’s nod to Depeche Mode whether intentional or not. It kicks the crap out of any song Chris Cornell did with Timbalind in capturing the essence of the dance/pop feel. The song is already getting some airplay in NYC, although I’m not sure what the target fanbase for this song will be to be honest. However, I think it’s a light-years better song than Starlight, hands down.

  51. Osmodiwald says:

    Yeah… Starlight. I’m trying to ban that one from my memories. (Shiver)

  52. tng/dharma69 says:

    I made the mistake of listening to this album in my car while northbound on Interstate 5 and almost fell asleep in heavy traffic. I like Muse and probably always will, don’t consider them a poor man’s anything and no one’s opinion here has any sway on mine. I liked Undisclosed Desires due to it’s attempted funkiness but found Bellamy’s chorus and bridge vocals often clumsy. Not an opinion that I thought I’d ever have regarding anything Muse-related.

    The Resistance kind of collapses under the weight of itself and it’s own attempt at granduer and magnitude. Not something I’ve ever had a problem with from Muse before, but hey, there’s a first time for everything.

  53. Robinson says:

    I don’t really agree with some of the above. It all depends on expectation you see. If you didn’t like Muse before then this album will do nothing for you. It contains such a mixture of different musical styles and influences I don’t think it really hangs together the same way Origin, Black Holes or Absolution did. Having said that, I love every single track.

    On the whole I think some reviewers tend towards the absurd with their over analysis. Muse made some music, that’s all. They aren’t trying to manipulate you or pull the wool over your eyes. They aren’t trying to rewrite Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. They aren’t trying to sell you a bridge in San Francisco. They’re just a bunch of guys being creative with their sound. I like the end result, others may not. Either way, this album will sell a million copies no problem and it’ll be playing on my iPod for months before I get bored with it.

  54. David says:

    I agree with you, great review. This is an album I wont remember for too long even though my expectations were realy high. Let’s just hope the next album will be different, new, or back to the great old MUSE. Too much synth in this one obviously…

  55. Anthony says:

    Wow…do we really have to have that conversation over an album? I think it’s kind of sad (especially because i’m part of it) that we take so much of our time criticizing the work of 3 guys playing instruments…
    I didn’t like it, most of the people here didn’t like it…it should be the end of the story no?

  56. Fernando says:

    People like talking about musical taste. It’s human nature. What can you do about it? This website wouldn’t even exist if no one wanted to “criticize the work of some guys playing instruments”.

  57. tng/dharma69 says:

    @Anthony…no.

    It should never be the “end of the story” until there’s nothing left to say and/or no new way to say it. That being said, I believe that this is a website that’s in the business of discussing the end results of such things as 3 guys, gals, circus trained monkeys, cariboo, et al, playing instruments. Isn’t there a mission statement that says as much? If not, there should be. Somebody get on that.

    And @Zoopster…I think Kenny Loggins is awesome. Not kidding.

  58. tng/dharma69 says:

    Gee Fernando, next time you want to get in my head at least ask permission first. How rude!

  59. seeking balance says:

    i understand much of the criticism of this album. but i disagree. first, though, the poor mans radiohead is no longer a warranted remark. origins had some comparable moments, but diverged quite a bit. absolution was a great album, far underrated in my opinion. and the remote traces of radiohead all but disappeared on black holes. there is that falsetto/vibrato thing, but is that really enough to ignore all the stark contrasts, namely the heavier and more spacey ambience muse continually draws towards? this album, like every muse album to date, has its dull moments, which make its peaks that much more inspired-like life, really. and there is a quote you may have heard once about art imitating life and all. this album has strong moments, like the midsection of exo 2, the crescendo of exo 3, mk ultra as a whole, the climax of resistance, the guitar solo in guiding light, the reemergence of the heavier parts in unnatural selection, and the french piece in i belong to you. even the lofty ambitions of the two bands they have been compared-radiohead and queen-have been drown in heavy-handed experimentation. this is why, while i can appreciate the unifying elements of a well-executed single album, i still prefer to pick the best pieces for a playlist-even the great composers of the neo-classical era cannot escape this fate-and i would put muse best 16 against anyone else’s best any day.

  60. seeking balance says:

    by the way, where is that 17 minute space rock guitar solo bellamy was talking about?

    Im surprised noone has questioned the serj tankian guest appearance at 5:51 in unnatural selection, since we’re deconstructing this thing so far.

  61. Fernando says:

    @seeking balance: yes, that is totally System of a Down. Even moreso than Stockholm Syndrome, I think.

    @dharmaSIXTY-NINE: sorry, didn’t mean to be rude. I’ll ask nicely next time ;-)

  62. Tex Shelters says:

    I can see the points you have made but I think you are comparing it to you expectations and not the album itself.

    It’s a bit excessive to call on “the inappropriateness of the track” I belong to You. How is it inappropriate? It is out of bounds? Is it excessive. It certainly is risky, and I don’t think it’s a bad song. Excessive? You do know it’s a Muse album, right? No one else does excess like this. And yes, at times it works, at times it is overwritten. I would rather hear an imperfect album that is different than hear the same old song like REM and U2 have done for years.

    Your review leaves out many things. You fail to discuss the title track, “Resistance”. It is the best song on the album and almost make the whole album worth it.

    My critique if I finish and post it would add that Guiding Light is the weakest song and does not need to be on the album. Also, the guitar dominated songs with great licks like “Plug in Baby”, “Citizen Erase” “Assassin” among others, weakens this album. I love some of the piano on the album, but Bellamy needed to pick up the guitar more on this one and put down the synth.

    I give it a 7 songs out of 10.

    Peace,
    Tex Shelters

  63. Tex Shelters says:

    I meant to say the lack of great guitar licks on Resistance makes this album weaker in some ways than their other albums.

    Peace,
    Tx Shelters

  64. Fernando says:

    I did discuss the track “The Resistance”. I refer to it as “title track”. As for the “inappropriateness” of I Belong To You, it’s like the chorus on the album version of Stockholm Syndrome: it’s way overproduced, especially the way Matt sings “AAAAAAAAAbandon you!”, and you sometimes wish they’d make things a little darker.

  65. shane says:

    what a retarded review,
    very opinionated for a college student who doesn’t seem to understand music properly!!
    you probably like bands who churn out the same crap time and time again, at least someone is willing to professionally break that mould- and it works in a wayt only MUSE can!

  66. I see nothing retarded about it. Fernando’s got his own approach to critiquing an album, and as you can see it’s sparked some very interesting debates spanning the entirety of it. I personally believe that this record is an overblown mess, and I disagree with a few of his points but I’m not about to personally attack someone who feels otherwise. Fuck off fanboy.

  67. Fernando says:

    @shane: What the fuck? I LOVE Muse, it would be easy for me to just praise the great songs on this album and give it a 4.4/5 – as most of the press seems to be doing right now. It’s sad to see all the blind fanboyism that surrounds this album – including yours. Yes, I’m a college student. What does that have to do with understanding music properly? Indeed, fuck off.

  68. Jaso says:

    It seems strange to me that a whole legion of people who dont like the band in question would take the time to make a comment about said band and then come back to defend themselves regarding that comment. If you dont like Muse, than dont seek out Muse related items, yeah? Yeah…

    I love Muse. I thing Absolution is one of the most dynamic and exciting albums to have graced my ear parts in quite some time. What came before that album and what has come after it has never impressed me as a whole the way Absolution did. The Resistance is no exception. Its bloody amazes me in some parts. It is head scratchingly pretentious and bombastic in some parts. Its downright tepid and uninteresting in some parts. It is a album by a band that doesnt seem to know what kind of band they want to be and you know what? Thats fine. At least they are trying. At least they are throwing it out there. At least they arent making the same album over and over like some other overdramatic Brits we know.

    I actually like Undisclosed Desires a lot. Ive already judged myself. I dont need your help.

  69. Big B says:

    Undisclosed desires, like a lot on the album is very different. It’s not like the old albums/songs/great riffs. If Bellamy churned out clones of their previous albums, you would be saying “this is getting old now”.
    Enjoy the catalogue for what it is. Diverse, exciting with some classics that should stay classics and not rehashed every album.

  70. Pete says:

    Personally I think this is their best work since Origin of Symmetry. I wasn’t a fan of Black Holes and Revelations, but in the few listens of this one Ive had so far I’m liking it.

    Except for Guiding Light, that’s already irritating me.

    And anyone that says Muse copied Radiohead need to shut the fuck up already. Yes, Showbiz was like Radiohead. Anyone who feels the same about their later stuff needs to give it another listen.

  71. Julie Fern says:

    What? “I Belong To You” is my favourite at the moment. You do need a pop song here and there. I also love how Matt plays more piano in The Resistance. By the way, the “synth beat” is the three of them sitting round a mic in a studio clapping their hands and stamping their feet. It’s on the dvd.

  72. Julie Fern says:

    Oh and I LOVE the whole blues element.

  73. Luke says:

    Fernando you may be the worst album reviewer I’ve ever had the displeasure to read. To say the album isn’t great at some parts is understandable because its true.
    Just try to stay away from using the word fuck in your review though tends to make it look really unprofessional. And, personally think you’re a jackass for saying most AMERICANS fail to notice that Muse quit the Radiohead thing and Thom Yorke wanted a Queen-ish sound at a point. You’re just a generalizing moron on that aspect. Do everyone a favor, don’t review another record actually, anything for that matter and keep your day job.

  74. Fernando says:

    @Luke: Well, most Americans do fail to notice Muse’s true qualities. They are much more popular in the UK. Fact: they toured the US opening for My Chemical Romance, while in the UK it was MCR who opened for Muse. Muse filled Wembley stadium twice in the UK – they would never pull shit like that in the US. And the stupid Radiohead argument is commonplace amongst Americans, while I have yet to see British folks discussing it. And again: the word FUCK is used in this website. If you didn’t know that already, I must assume it’s your first visit. And if you have a problem with that word, please, kindly fuck off.

  75. FuckZoopsterFernandoNEveryone says:

    What the fuck are you guys discussed here!Muse is such incredibly band.They build their reputation by superb musics and onstage performances.But sometimes they were overhype but at least they did what they like..what about you guys?Have u done something to the music?world?Critics is ok but fuck is too much!

  76. Big B says:

    some nice english there

  77. Anthony says:

    I disagree with most of this review. On my first few listens I would have agreed with alot of what is said here, as it was originally the more prominent rock element of Muse that attracted my interest in the band.

    However, as I continued to digest the album I had to put aside my expectations and realise that these are all great songs. I’ve always admired that Muse can go from relatively simple (but extremely well done) radio friendly tunes to over the top epics, and this is evident in this album as well. Resultantly, I am ultimately confused as to why some critics, fans and fanboys alike criticise that a song with the understated simplicity of Undisclosed Desires should dare be on an album with the Exogenesis Syphony – that unique dichotomy between simplicity and complexity has been evident in every single Muse album!

    Perhaps surprisingly my least favourite song on the album is Unnatural Selection. At first I was relieved to hear a more prominent rock song, but I feel like the song lacks the hooks and uniqueness of the tracks leading up to that point. The middle section is slightly overwrought and a little uninteristing in my opinion. I noticed this is a clear point where me and the reviewer differ, which leads me to my next point.

    In my opinion, this is a fairly atrocious review. The intensely subjective nature of music means that to write a review with such an objective voice as has been done here will only polarize your audience rather than provoke interesting discussion. The reviewer’s discussion of each song seems focused squarely around telling you why the song sucks, to the point where elements are described as ‘the fucking (blank)’. I appreciate that this is ‘par for the course’ on this website, but it doesn’t clarify what the reviewer is expressing at all and just seems juvenile.

    I would recommend anyone who reads this review and is having second thoughts about trying the album to give it a few listens, let it digest and listen to it with Muse’s other albums – I think you’ll be surprised at how well it fits the progression of Muse’s discography and how good a collection of songs it actually is.

  78. Martin says:

    As a fan of both Muse and Radiohead, then beyond both bands’ initial albums (probably Showbiz and The Bends were their closest matches) both bands have gone off on very different tangents. Anyone seeing a connection between The Resistence and In Rainbows is hearing something I can’t hear. What I do like about both bands is that they are not afraid to push boundaries in music. When a band steps out of their comfort zone like that you’re going to get a few things that either don’t work, or need a passage of time to come into context. This is what bands like The Beatles did. They didn’t sit content on making the Help! album over and over again. They made Revolver and Sgt Pepper instead. Yes, some people won’t like the change, because what they wanted from Muse was Black Holes and Revelations Part Two, and some people will think that fuckingclarinetsolos suck. :) But to me it’s what makes bands like this captivating and why I suspect they will never bore me. Not everything about The Resistence has got me hooked yet, but every time I listen to it again, I discover something new about it that I like.

  79. Sam says:

    The thing with Muse, is that they do tend to change their sound in every album, and clearly the fans who are fans of a genre they used to occupy are going to be critical of any change away from their own tastes… I think it probably runs at 2-3 muse albums generally before people go “oh man Muse have changed”

    This album will pick up new fans, and ditch some old fans its how Muse works.

  80. zoopster says:

    Sorry, but it has nothing to do with being American.

  81. Osmodiwald says:

    Sam’s right, and that’s why on every album there are some good and some less good songs: Muse keep reinventing themselves, instead of settling with one easy formula. First it was metal, then it was electronica, now it’s classical music. Muse is like a rollercoaster. Even better, Muse is like life.

  82. Amy says:

    I’ve been casually hearing Muse for the past 2-3 years, became addicted while I was awaiting for the new album (in the past few months). I can see why someone who became a fan of Muse because of the riff and the more metal sound feel dissapointed. That said, IMO, this album just shows how great musicians they are, they blended so many musical styles, and they did it so well, it’s really incredible. In fact, this album shows how much they’ve matured. Sure, it’s also a way to open themselves to a bigger market, but they did it while still making really good music. I actually prefer evolving rather than sticking to their old sound, cause at least I can see that they are very talented and creative. The fucking clarinet is the best part of I belong to you, btw, it reminds me Gershwin, which is something very positive.
    And no, with the exception of some of their early material, I just don’t see the Radiohead comparisson, the closest is in Bellamy’s falsetto (which is amazing), but I don’t see why he can’t pull it every now and then, it’s not like it’s just something that Thom Yorke can do.

  83. Mark says:

    A review that serves no purpose other than to compare an album to previous works by others is nothing more than a pointless cliche itself.
    pointless drivel.

  84. zoopster says:

    I don’t think the original review can be fairly accused of serving “no purpose than to compare an album to previous works by others”.

    Any review, anywhere, anytime, by any reviewer, is, at some point, apt to make a comparison of some kind, whether it be to another artist’s works or previous work by the same artist. It is inevitable. It is part of the critiquing process and gives context.

    I think Fernando was pretty fair in his review, critiquing the material on it’s own merits.

    It was comments by crack smoking American music snobs such as myself that used the pointless Radiohead/Queen comparison.

  85. Scott says:

    people just don’t understand music anymore.

    they expect an album with rock song after rock song.

    ok, muse may not be for everyone, but for people who enjoy music, you should atleast respect the fact that they do not give a flying fuck what you think and will experiment with any type of music possible which no other band has done before.

    and saying that muse are just a band that copy other bands is, to say the least, rediculous. thats why radiohead or queen or anyone else muse have been compared to have had a 3- part symphony in an album.

    matt bellamy is rediculously under rated just beacuse he didn’t play 20 years ago. the guy is by far the most talented musician of this centuary and is competing for the greatest of all time.

    not only does the resistance provide various genres of music (another reason why matt bellamy is so talented) it also provides a message which is very rare in albums these days. music is usually written poorly with lyrics that rhyme yet make no sence.

    so to come on here and attempt to slotter an album that is attempting to bring back decent music shows how much you really know about music.

  86. Skwerl says:

    if we don’t like muse, we don’t understand music? where do you people get off? in my opinion, fernando gave it a star and a half too many. it’s a derivative pile of try-hard butt dirt. you fans should appreciate the promotion- noone else here gives a rat’s ass about muse, and they would have simply been ignored otherwise.
    they’ve got a few good songs. whoop-dedo. it’s completely unfair to compare them to any bands with consistently strong bodies of work such as radiohead or queen, but i wouldn’t complain if i was on their jock- to even be mentioned in the same sentence is an honor they’re lucky to get.

  87. big duff says:

    sounds alright to me……..

    and i dont really like muse all that much……

    seen them when they were a support band many years ago, and i thought they were utter shite…..so they have come a long way since then.

    think this album will grow on me though….. cant say that its shit ,,, as its clearly not.

  88. zoopster says:

    Matt Bellamy in contention for greatest musician of all time???? That, my friends, is the height of hyperbole, and one very fucking funny comment. Best one yet. All I have to say to that is get in fucking line, Matt. You got a lot of people in front of you.

  89. RyanT says:

    I have read many reviews of this album, and I think people have kind of forgotten what MUSE is. They are a band, that loves to play and write music they love to write and play. Naturally they want to push the envelope and set new standards, but overall they just want to please the listener and themselves. There is an overwhelming amount of feedback in the negative color about this album, mostly stating that its not “pompous”, “ballsy”, or “ground breaking” enough. Then there is the it’s waaaaay TOOO “pompous, ballsy, ground breaking”. I think it’s every person who reviews this album that is disgustingly pompous.Its as if MUSE are the god’s of music and expecting something beyond the realm of human understanding in amazement. This is a great record. Everyone needs to get their heads out of their asses as to what they were expecting and just listen. Shut the hell up and listen. It’s a great album.

  90. Fernando says:

    “matt bellamy is rediculously under rated just beacuse he didn’t play 20 years ago. the guy is by far the most talented musician of this centuary and is competing for the greatest of all time.” And some people here accused Radiohead fans of smoking crack! Ha! Also, @Mark, notice that I didn’t mention Radiohead ONCE in the review? I did mention Queen and U2, but still, just one time. Did you assume I was going to write a bunch of Radiohead comparisons just by looking at the score?

  91. zoopster says:

    Trust me, no one, with the exception of a few fanboys, was ever accusing Muse of being the “gods of music”, and all anyone was expecting was some decent music. Nothing “beyond the realm of human understanding”, just good music.
    Also, I think it’s just funny how Muse supporters are so quick to call people names and suggest any Muse dissenters are all crack smokers and have our collective heads up our asses, as a way of making their argument.

  92. zoopster says:

    Yeah I know I was pretty quick to call Stephenie Meyer a stupid bitch, and perhaps that was a bit harsh, but……for God’s sake, just try reading one of her books……..she had it coming.

  93. GOJ says:

    I think those who have the time to input into such negative comments about this albubm should really go and take a hearing + musical school.

    This album is yet another genius piece of music from Muse. From ‘Uprising’ to ‘Exogensis’ 1, 2, & 3 the album is a masterpiece.

    If you don’t appreciate this alum in one way or another you should quit now, Teletubbies on a station near you. This opinion is from a 40 year old male, married with 2 children, loves music from the Beatles to Kraftwerk then onto Duran Duran to Kasabien and ofcoursr, Muse!! (Iplay keyboards abit too!!)

    WISE UP!

    Muse, see you soon,
    GOJ.

  94. GOJ says:

    Follow up again after listening once more to the whole alubm. It’s FANTASTIC! My adice, listen again, if you don’t like it…grrr…watch the videos on youtube then fuck it off, In my opinion, likemy friends, Sad…

  95. J-Bizzle says:

    I just want to know Zoopster… have you ever spent time listening to a Muse album? Origin of Symmetry is one of the most original, intense, and startlingly musically talented albums in the recent past. Absolution, IMO, comes close. (As well as Black Holes and Revelations)

    I even liked Showbiz, even though there was some obvious Radiohead-like sound. (Although who can blame them for starting by emulating one of the greatest Alt-rock bands ever?)

    All this comes from a musician and music lover. I love the scope of Radiohead’s work, from OK Computer to Kid A to Hail to the Thief to In Rainbows (just to name some favorites). I love other bands too… Tool, Porcupine Tree, Hendrix (again, just to name some favorites).

    Maybe it’s just me, but I fail to see how you can blow off Muse as “poor man’s Radiohead”, when they’ve taken such a drastic departure from their sound that I hardly find them comparable anymore.

    Listen to the songs “Citizen Erased” and “New Born”. Maybe take a venture into “Butterflies and Hurricanes” or “Stockholm Syndrome”. If you still fail to enjoy this band, I’d just chalk it down to that reason only… You just don’t like them. It’s not their fault that YOU aren’t one of their fans.

    Oh, and BTW, Matthew Bellamy truly is a musical genius, in a literal sense of the word. Do a little more research (musical and factual) and then get back to me. ;)

  96. Big B says:

    GOod stuff J Bizzle. People seem to forget they wrote New Born, Stockholm, Hyper Music etc. There is no point in regurgitating the same music cos you will end up just hating the oldies cos in a way you have heard it so many times before and you will end up hating the band as a whole. When first listening to this album, I was fully aware of how different it sounded from previous. But I said to myself that if i were hearing this on a radio I would like the song even before I found out Muse did it. The old muse were a celebration of pure raw rock music, and I will always thank them. But they are now a celebration of music in general. no matter the genre they have nailed it to a tea. I cant wait to hear a lot of these songs live in November. By the way Im not wanting to pick a fight, but @Zoopster you said Matt Bellamy would have to get in a queue to be classed as a great musician. Can you name some for me? Cheers bud ta

  97. Fernando says:

    Muse are reworking “I Belong To You” for the Twilight 2 (whatever the fuck it’s called) soundtrack. On one hand, I’m kinda happy because the reworking might not suck; but on the other, it’s shiny vampires.

  98. Big B says:

    none of muse should be on that guff.

    although i’ve heard that Take A Bow was used in Watchmen? Would love to see that just for those 5 mins.

  99. zoopster says:

    wellll, the list is pretty long, with way too many to consider, but if I had to name one or two off the top of my head…..Tom Waits, Lou Reed, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Aretha Franklin, Jimmy Page, Prince, B.B. King, Carlos Santana, Madonna, (yes, Madonna) Chuck Berry and David Bowie all instantly spring to mind, and that’s just skimming the tip of the iceberg. If we’re including dead people, the list is even bigger. Elvis, Michael Jackson, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, Muddy Fucking Waters…….I could go on forever.

    I think it’s a bit pretentious, at least at this point, to put Bellamy in the same category with the likes of these. Even someone as recent as Jack White, Trent Reznor and Beck are, imo, higher upon the “greatest musician of all time” list.

  100. J-Bizzle says:

    I never put Bellamy up on the “greatest musician of all time” list. I think in a couple of years, with more musical development, he could get there. I’m not one to doubt a musicians capabilities, especially one as talented (because he truly is) as Matthew Bellamy.

    At the same time, why does that list even need to exist? I’m much more interested in listening to Muse’s music develop than arguing whether they are a truly original, ground-breaking, or awe-inspiring band. When I listen to Muse, especially certain songs, I get shivers down my spine. The same thing happens when I listen to most of the artists you and I have already mentioned.

    ’nuff said? I think so.

  101. J-Bizzle says:

    And no, Take a Bow was not actually used in watchmen, just in a trailer. :(

    I was personally disappointed in that movie. I understand that Watchmen was and is an original and genius piece of artwork/literature, but honestly, I just wanted to see a ridiculous, over-the-top movie. They tried too hard to make the movie true to the book, and it ended up less than satisfactory.

  102. Big B says:

    hmm – probably wait until watchmen is on channel 5 4 times in a year before watching it then cheers J.

    As for the list malarky, I think it’s really personal opinion on who one thinks is a great musician ie a few in zoopsters list i wouldnt have but i’d have others. just depends.

  103. zoopster says:

    There is no fucking list. The whole thing was started by someone saying that matt bellamy was “competing for the greatest musician of all time.” I used the word “list” to illustrate the fact that there are many many people in front of Matt Bellamy to be considered “greatest”. Then someone asked who? I was reticent to even begin the argument of who is the greatest ever blah blah….. it’s pointless. The list is hypothetical. All I was saying is that if you are going to make pretentious statements like “greatest of all time”, be aware that there are plenty of other musicians who have paid the dues and have consistently produced a body of work over time that would make Muse’s pale in comparison, artists who have literally changed the face of music, and can rightfully be considered “great”.

  104. Big B says:

    Just because they changed the face of music doesnt mean they were good. elvis wasnt a great musician, just a strange dancer and apparently handsome. the beatles were good at what they did, but anyone could right that stuff. And Kurt Cobain? Hmmmm, emmmm right ok then. This is all opinion, if someone says bellamy is the greatest then let them think that its not up to you what they think.

  105. Spawnholio says:

    Johnny Firecloud, get your head out of Fernando’s ass. Seriously, everytime someone starts to have a go at him you leap to his ‘rescue’.

    Are you his sidekick or his lover?

    The Resistance is a great album, I agree and disagree with this review and can’t be bothered arguing over why I have a different opinion.

    Thanks Fernando for taking the time to write an honest review, I disagree with a lot of it, but you’re entitled to your opinion and at least you backed it up with intelligent explanations.

    :D

  106. Zuik says:

    zoopster this is an album review not a band review. I go through phases of listening to different bands from the obvious Muse and Radiohead, to the games composer Nobuo Uematsu and even bands i’ve randomly discovered by typing in random names on youtube such as L’arc en ciel. Honestly i enjoyed listening to Radiohead and really respected there individuality .. however, i also listened to Muse and enjoyed there music to a ridiculous extent. This wasn’t because they’re MUSE!! No, it was because the majority of their songs were unique and beautifully presented like no other band i have heard before. In my opinion Showbiz was a well executed album and with my aural perception skills achieved throughout many years of studying music in higher education i can fairly the most similar thing to Radiohead in that album is Matt’s voice, which he cannot help. And from your sources i can guess they were trying to copy radiohead, which if so it was pretty discrete or just a bad attempt. You should listen to music because you enjoy it, not because you adore the band which composes it. In my opinion The Resistance is a disappointment but that doesn’t matter to me because apart from the new album i haven’t listened to Muse for about 7 months and don’t plan on doing so again, because i unlike you zoopster don’t have idols. Hypocrite.

  107. Big B says:

    EH? You just said you really like Muse “to a ridculous extent” – then went on to say you don’t plan on listening to them again? You will be hunted down for such contradiction!

  108. SP says:

    Whether you appreciate it or not, this album is a masterpiece. I understand why that is not obvious to everyone, but please spare the rest of us for your ignorant, subjective attempt to be judgmental.

    Besides from the slightly pathetic lyrics, this is an act of genius; from the hypnotic opening bass riff of Uprising all the way to the hauntingly beautiful ending of Matt’s solo piano.

  109. zoopster says:

    @Zuik: Not sure how I am a hypocrite, but ok.

    Also, Big B had it right. Zuik, if you want an example of hypocrisy, read your own post.

    One tip: Figure out the correct usage of “their” and “there”. Maybe people would take you seriously then. And there is nothing wrong with having idols. It just depends on how far you take it. Maybe you are just idolizing the wrong people, idk.

    SP– another muse fan who resorts to calling names to get his point across. Ok smart guy, how can an album have “slightly pathetic lyrics” and still be an “act of genius”, and a “masterpiece”? That was a pretty stupid statement. You muse fans crack me up. Do your homework and listen to some real music, for God’s sake.

  110. zoopster says:

    Zuik, one more thing: “with my aural perception skills achieved throughout many years of studying music in higher education”….. how fucking pretentious can you get? You are not impressing anyone with your “higher education”. What a fucking joke. Wanna know how I acheived my “aural perception skills”? From listening closely to, appreciating, playing and loving music, in all its forms, for the last 36 fucking years. You don’t have to go to college to know that, as I’ve said before, Muse Sucks.

  111. J-Bizzle says:

    “Do your homework and listen to some real music, for God’s sake.”

    Once again, your ignorance surprises me. Just because you don’t like music doesn’t mean its not “real”. Also, did you ever listen to those songs I recommended? For that matter, have you ever listened to any of Muse’s albums all the way through? It’s just that its hard to take your critiques of this band seriously when you seemingly have no knowledge of their music.

    “be aware that there are plenty of other musicians who have paid the dues and have consistently produced a body of work over time that would make Muse’s pale in comparison, artists who have literally changed the face of music, and can rightfully be considered “great”.”

    I’m just going to make a guess that most of these artists have been around for more than 10 years. (Muse’s first studio album was released in 1999). Its hard to compare, say, most of the other artists I’ve heard you say anything about. From a lover of most of those other artists, and from a lover of “real” ( :/ ) music, I can say that through deliberation and time spent, I’ve decided that Muse is indeed a good band.

    P.S.: You claim you aren’t a hypocrite, but I find this series of quotes to be in direct conflict with that statement.

    “how fucking pretentious can you get? You are not impressing anyone with your “higher education”. What a fucking joke.”

    “You don’t have to go to college to know that, as I’ve said before, Muse Sucks.”

    Sorry that we aren’t all as enlightened as you, Mr. Be-all-end-all music critic. ;)

  112. huxley pig says:

    Oh God – my favourite band just turned gay!
    BHAR was pretty good was was pointing to where the band were going, I just hoped it wasn’t true. But this album is pretty dreadful isn’t it? In there we’ve got pop synth, a stab at what seems like a Christmas No 1 candidate (these always suck balls) and a mish mash of pretentiousness and plaguerism.

    It took until track 8 to get a guitar riff!! Sh*t Muse, rocking is what you’re best at, why disappear up your own backsides and put out this bobbins? NewBorn, Stockholm Syndrome etc – brilliant classic tracks. I hope the next offering isn’t any more ‘progressive’!

  113. Big B says:

    I say re-release Stockholm for xmas number 1.

    THe video is santa’s sleigh exploding in the sky as the meaty riff at the end explodes.

  114. Zuik says:

    zoopster were you that desperate that you had to quote someone else to try and destroy my point? By the way, there is everything wrong with giving an opinion whilst involving an idol. In fact i’d say you’re deluded and wouldn’t even class it as an opinion. Instead, i’d say it’s just passed down quotes from other Radiohead fans. Oh and without checking the internet, please define a time signature. It’s pretty easy, even for the arrogant “critics” who have the highest opinions and know everything naturally just like you.

  115. Big B says:

    What the hell are you chantin man?

  116. Alex says:

    you are a fucking dumbass if you compare radiohead and muse. they sound NOTHING like eachother. i LOVE both of them, but they can’t even be classified in the same genre (other than the fact that they are both alternative). Now i can’t say that i liked this album that much, it lacked a lot and wasn’t what i expected, but still to say that they’ve never released a good album is a bunch of bullshit. go listen to Origin of Symmetry and Absolution (two of the greatest albums ever released) other than those two muse has disappointed me for the most part. Either way the Resistance was MUCH better than their 4th album (Black Holes and Revelations) which i thought was crap.

  117. fredbar says:

    I have never really understood the Muse/Radiohead comparison thing, some of Bellamy’s vocals are quite similar in about 5% of their songs and once they used a radiohead style effects pedal on Showbiz. To me the Resistance has shades of Queen, Abba, Chopin, Depeche Mode, Indiana Jones, Ultravox and and it’s all harnessed together into songs that work really well. How many albums can you say that about? Certainly not a Radiohead album, and Radiohead are one of my favourite bands. Muse are ambitious and massive on the live scene like no other band in recent years. Personally I cannot yet place The Resistance as better or worse than any of their previous albums. I loved Muscle Museum, New Born, Hysteria and Knights of Cydonia as much as I am currenly gobsmacked by the epic beauty of Exogenesis. We have heard the band grow up in the past decade, their music has matured and evolved with each album. The Resistance shows the greatest ambition yet, and for me it delivers greatness on 9/11 tracks.

  118. Samson says:

    I’m wondering why so many Muse haters are bothering to comment on this review at all…

    Get a life.

  119. Random Guy says:

    well, The Resistance, is definetly not their best album (I know no one has actually stated that , but what the hell), it has songs that are good, like the resistance, unatural selection,Utd states of eurasia, and the exogeneis parts (different to the expectations but still good) other that are in the limbo like MK ultra, Uprising I belong to you (yes belive it or not), and the terrible songs (in my opinion) undisclosed desires, guiding light, wich is not even a song its just a beat, their best album was origin of symetry, now this is a fact THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO LOVE TO SAY THAT THEY WERE FANS OF MUSE SINCE THE BEGINING AND LIKE TO SAY THAT EVERYTHING THEY DO, THAT IS NOW CONSIDERED POP “SUCKS” BUT THAT ITS JUST TO MANTAIN THIS “ALTERNATIVE” LOOK THEY WANT TO PUT OUT, NOW YES I EVENTUALLY IT WOLUD GET ALL THE TWILIGHT FANS TO SAY “omg IM A MUSE FAN I LOVE STARLIGHT, UNDISCLOSED DESIRES AND SUPERMASSIVE, AND i BELONG TO YOU,BLA BLA BLA. THE POINT IS THAT NOT JUST BECAUSE ITS MORE POPULAR IT AUTOMATICALLY “SUCKS” YES, BUT I HEARD THE SAME OLD-BS WHEN BLAKC HOLES CAME OUT SO… that being said raiodhead is an awesome group, also is muse, they are similar, though not trying to copy each other, “thoms was first” yes so was chuck berry, but who cares it is called a music genre radiohead and muse are as alike as metallica and motorhead, they are both alike not THE SAME, overall its a decent CD worth buying for exogenesis (it’s not the space rock odyssey matt promised but it is a decent smphony) that’s all folks note: any word mispelled is a typo

  120. Davide says:

    Best album of the year. Their greatest album!!! One of the legendary bands of the world!!!!

  121. No says:

    Orgin of Symmetry was their best album. The Resistance had a few good tracks, but was a bit short and i miss old muse Showbiz-Absolution era. Overall didn’t quite live up to the hype. Also i think it’s funny that people still insist that Muse sounds like radiohead.

  122. JP says:

    After a couple of listening, I found myself really liking this album. At first, I was somehow doubtful but once I get rid of all my old-Muse expectation, I found it pretty correct. It’s not Origin or Absolution but it’s still good. I can’t believe some poster who seems to want identical albums each times. Muse is a ****** great band and I’m very happy to see them try new things, like I belong to you. At least they are trying something diffrently than normally. Who else would have put this clarinet solo? No one. That’s why this album is good. Despite being far behind Absolution in my mind.

    It remember the Splinter bashing. The offspring had a lot of creativy in this one and people bashed it because it was different. It’s weird that those same fans love the last album, who was their most pop and cheesy ever… but still a good album. Maybe I like more music that I like single bands…

  123. Tella says:

    This review is unprofessional and utter rubbish! This album is great! Exogenesis has lived up to all it’s expectations and more! How dare you criticize someone for being different for the sake of it? I am literally disgusted by how you can manage to miss the point so much! And damn right Showbiz was a great album, they ALL were! I am not the type of person who would like a song just because my favorite band sang it! I won’t deny that there are a few songs that I don’t particularly enjoy (Undisclosed Desires) but I can see where they are coming from and the idea is genius!
    It makes me sick that you got into university when it is so obvious that you lack any sort of intellect. And good luck with the Twihards who are going to kill whoever insulted it (myself included).

  124. Ruben says:

    It´s an interesting album, they´ve made it far more diverse than they have any previous album, which will get fans to either stick with the band, or move on to the next big alternative rock formation. I´d like to post a note that there´s no such thing as `stealing` someone´s sound. I doubt Muse is trying to accomplish a complete transformation into queen. Their queenlike sound is just a nod to a dead band who happen to be extremely well known, and great at what they did. Muse deserves an applause for finally daring to do what they want to do, and not what seems right in the alternative scene.

  125. liamo s says:

    i dont think thi album is nessecary the worst.
    i think matt just went overboard on backing vocals and synthing the bejaysus out of some of the songs.
    also the fact that your not a muse fan kida has its advantages and disadvantages in this review and your impressions toward this band. – good review though!

  126. birdy says:

    actually, uprising is a combo of billy idol’s white wedding, blondie’s call me, and the dr. who theme song (all english.. hehe). i think it sounds awesome.. especially the lyrics.

    most bands aren’t allowed to grow and change without someone complaining. it’s been that way forever.

  127. birdy says:

    i belong to you doesn’t sound like anything id ever heard and i love it. im actually editing it to take out hte french part.

  128. birdy says:

    the music snobs always abound.

    reminds me of early grunge when anything was considered a knockoff of pearl jam. stone temple pilots ripoff of pearl jam? i dont think so. they had by far more zeppelin influences.

    and radiohead back in the early 90′s? they were dubbed “nirvana lite”.

  129. a. says:

    why don’t we just calm down with some nice yoga poses?

  130. Colin says:

    What’s your problem with showbiz??? Fukingawesome album .. So please don’t try insult an obviously true muse fan based on his opinion

  131. concrete.daisies says:

    This album makes me very confused. It makes my (whole teaspoon worth of) brains hurt. I love Freddie, and I love Muse, but… i dunno. Muse and pop just shouldn’t mix that much. It’s immoral. I think I’ll have to go hide in the corner with Black Holes for a while before I’m ready to face the world again.

    And lol. I am a long time clarinetist, and I did not even realised they’d used one, until I saw people ranting about it. So I went back and listened, and I can tell you THAT is not a clarinet. I officially disown it.

  132. Big B says:

    I too am a clarinet player and if i’m going to be pernickity here, I think its actually the alto clarinet. the register is too low at points for a normal Bflat clarinet. sorry for being anal but fook you all

  133. jimDean says:

    Just gotta throw this in there: didn’t like “The Resistance” much when I first heard it-but now that I’ve been hearing it for a wee bit, it’s really growing on me-kind of like a fungus. But, a damn good fungus. And, man, clarinet or not, after repeated listens, “I Belong To You” is a great tune. However, “Undisclosed Desires” is still pretty bad. Oh…ummm…I can’t believe this thread is still alive.

  134. pussy says:

    fuck off

  135. penis says:

    suck it

  136. sinead says:

    The piano piece at the end of United State of Eurasia is Chopin’s Nocturne in E Flat. (I only know this because it is my absolute favorite piece of classical music). Love Muse, like the album, agree with jimDean, it totally grows on you…can’t wait to see them live again.

  137. Alyssa says:

    I’m seriously such a huge Muse fan, that all of this harsh criticism makes my stomach turn, specially to those that say they never had a good album. However I did search to see reviews of this new album based on my own confusion with this cd. I’m at a loss for words. I enjoyed about two of their songs on this cd, only two that even sounded like the muse that I had grown to love. Their Symphonic pieces were beautiful and I do enjoy a range of music, even classical composers, but I guess when searching for reviews of them I came upon just what I had anticipated, everybody else was a little disappointed too.

  138. Seahorse says:

    I was introduced to MUSE via SPACE DEMENTIA and have collected/sought almost ALL their material ever since&I apprec8 their contrbtion to the world of music saying they are one of the BEST BANDS formed since QUEEN who have had the guts and initiative to experiment and put their necks on the block to have produced such intrinsic and such esotericalternative rock blending classic with ultra modern composition. I cannot understand how people can slate what they have done, but can only say WELL DONE MUSE WELL DONE

  139. Josiah says:

    I have to agree with a lot of things in the review. Uprising and The Resistance start off the album great; Uprising is an especially good track. Then the next three are so-so until you have two more good tracks in Unnatural Selection and MK Ultra. I also was not enthused at all with the way they ended the album. The Exogenesis Symphony was weak. A little bit of a let down after two kick ass albums in Absolution and Black Holes & Revelations. Although it was still a pretty good album, I have to say it was probably my least favorite of their five albums. Just mixed feelings all around.

  140. muse fan says:

    guys its a bass clarinet first of all. and secondly, has anyone here seen the wembley gig from 2007? people will talk about this gig in 20 years time, same as when queen played wembley stadium. just watch it and tell me that is not one of the best and MOST ORIGINAL bands around at the minute. respect due so give some

  141. Rita says:

    @Skwerl:

    You call this review on your puny little website “promotion” for the band? Fine, don’t bother reviewing any Muse albums in the future ever again! You’re not Rolling Stone, and even if you were, Muse sure as hell won’t suffer for it! And how is it an “honor” for Muse to be in the same sentence as Radiohead? An honor to be compared to Queen yes, but what has Radiohead got that Muse hasn’t? A bunch of critics kissing their asses night and day? You guys are nothing more than a bunch of music snobs, not because you dislike Muse, but because you discredit their talent. They don’t make monotonous indie music, they make big, bold epic noise that can be hard to swallow at first, so according to you they suck. When Queen first burst onto the scene, critics gave them the same grief. I’m just saying, don’t go knocking Muse when 20-30 years from now YOU will look like the biggest fool for talking shit about them. Laugh now, but seriously, wait ’til a couple decades later…

    @Fernando: The album sounds better with each time you listen, trust me.

  142. Rita says:

    Oh yeah, and Brian May himself gave the album VERY high marks and said he appreciated the tribute to his own band on USoE. He said the song was “brilliantly done”.

  143. Bradley says:

    I have read probably close to 20 reviews of this album, and most have been very a’muse’ing, but very lame. Does this sentence not make sense? Your right, it is totally contradicting yet these reviewers can’t seem to make up their mind about this awesome album. I liked Black Holes and Absolution, but was never a huge Muse found until now, with my new favorite album. By the way, Uprising got me hooked, USoE and Unnatural Selection ripped my guts out, and that clarinet solo on I Belong to you may be the surprisingly satisfied moment on the entire album. Idiots.

  144. SteveB says:

    muse fan, Wembley was awsome, but 2 nites ago at Birmingham NIA was even better, with the new material. The best gig I’ve ever been to (40 next birthday!), Stadium quality gig in an arena! The sound was perfect! Obviously I haven’t been to every gig ever played, but IMHO, Muse are the best live band of all time!

    The Resistance is a fantastic achievement, Resistance the best track on the album (especially if you are into George Orwell’s 1984). Can’t wait for the next time I get to see them live, but can wait for the next album – am too busy listening to The Resistance to listen to anything else…

  145. MathiasV says:

    I think that comparisons to Radiohead and Queen really need to stop. Their early work sounded a little like Radiohead and yes, at first listen to Muse, his voice does. But the more you listen, the more you realize he doesn’t sound that much like Yorke. Even IF he does, thats just his voice and I don’t think he his trying to sound like him or rip them off. And in my opinion, they only sound like Queen twice in their entire career. Knights Of Cydonia at the end, and for a brief couple seconds on Eurasia. Muse have nitched their own little genre with their grandioso-rock and I wouldn’t compare them to anyone. At times they may sound like other bands, but thats music. Sometimes musicians sound like other musicians. There is so much music out there, it’s hard not to. Whoever said that is Serj Tankian on Unnatural Selection needs a q-tip. Its clearly Bellamy. The album has some dull songs thats for sure. But some great ones at that. The breakdown in Unnatural was amazing and I thought the Exogenesis Symphony was one of the most beautifully constructed pieces of music I’ve heard.

  146. MathiasV says:

    But I did enjoy your review, and as it is not one of their best albums, a bad Muse album is still a good one. Thanks for the review!

  147. zoopster says:

    I agree. The Radiohead/Queen comparison is old.

    Alright, so Bellamy on his own merits then:

    The guy’s supposed to be a great guitarist, avant garde, tom morello-like….blah, blah….Fuck that. You can barely even hear the guitar on any of the new songs it’s so buried in the mix. Then, when some guitar surfaces, it’s just noise. And not even good noise. Shit noise for no purpose other than to be noisy.

    Yeah there are some passages on earlier albums that are moderately “avant-garde” guitarwise, but I have yet to hear anything he’s done that qualifies him as any kind of great guitarist. I don’t get it.

    And the “songs” aren’t really songs at all, based on just rehashed piano scales, practice runs and fundamentals, set over bass and drum beats that are pretty tame and cliche, to say the least. There’s no original structure or composition. It’s a joke. The more I listen to them, (and I have done some more homework since first dismissing them outright…back catalog and new album), the more I’m convinced that somehow these guys pulled the wool over a shitload of people’s eyes. In 20 years, these guys will barely be remembered as a sidenote.
    Their songs are dull and uninspiring and unimaginative and are ripped off of any number of classical musicians, let alone Yorke and co. All you Muse fans, if you want to listen to some GOOD Prog rock, check out a band you might have heard of called King Crimson. You won’t regret it.

  148. Mike T says:

    Short story for me. Uprising, The Resistance Exogenesis part 1-3 United states of Eurasia and possibly Mk Ultra are all good songs. The rest does not make sense, is misguided and doesn’t work in my view. I really like Muse, i Own all of their stuff, and usually 9 out of 10 of their songs are A class. But not this time. Its a mixed bag, they have regressed. In all honesty they were due a flop and this is it. Its not bad but its not what i have come to expect.

    I would just like to lay this [still] ongoing comparison between Muse and Radiohead To rest. I speak as a fan of both bands, and i own all the albums. And the bands are nothing at all alike. Muse never wanted to sound like Radiohead, and Radiohead dismissed such notions out of hand. Its the fans in both courts who keep this argument going. And its ridiculous.

    Muse started out [like a lot of UK bands at the time] as a loud, brash guitar orientated band, and then went down the vein of Grandiose Opera rock anthems, which they are known and famous for today. Radiohead also started out some years earlier as a similar brash guitar orientated band, and they took a more experimental path, with Electronica and Alternative as a recurring theme to their work. I love both for different reasons, and its not a case of one being bad and one being good, or one band ripping of another. Thats bullshit.

    Someone has already said how music needs to develop and grow, it only does so with ideas being passed, and different musical avenues being explored. If bands dont change sound occasionally they get stale, predictable and eventually boring. In 2007 no one was expecting an album from Radiohead that could be called Pop. [shock horror] But they did, and it worked. Muse are in a different boat. Muse are overblown, pretentious and completely fucking crazy, but in this album what they were trying for has not been achieved. Its like they have tried to change themselves in too many ways. A change needs to be gradual and in this album i feel it was too much and too soon. Its like being attacked by a 1000 different advertisements all at the same time.

  149. Mike T says:

    I would also like to quickly say this. If you are still determined to compare these 2 bands than this is the bottom line. Resistence is weak compared to most Muse albums.[ie the other 4] And in 2007 In Rainbows prooved to be pretty darn strong. [second best Radiohead album imo] That said in 2003 HTTT sucked [except for a few standout songs] and in 2006 Black holes and revelations blew me away.

  150. Christian G says:

    I think you’re all acting like a bunch of fucking children. If you don’t like a band/artist, don’t fucking listen to them, its as simple as that. I absolutely love MUSE and I still think this is a good review. I read reviews because I like to compare and contrast other people views to my own. I think its interesting seeing that someone doesn’t like an album I love. It goes to show people have different tastes in music, which is obvious. Don’t like it, don’t listen to it, don’t bitch about it. And for the people going on about the “Queen” and “Radiohead” sound, cool, they supposedly copied their sound, too bad nobody gives three-quarters of a fuck except the people that don’t like it. DONT LISTEN TO IT. Stay happy children, play nice.

  151. Lou says:

    How about I throw in another cliché quote for most of you, especially the one responsible for the review: “ignorance is bliss”….so MUSE didn’t give YOU what YOU wanted or what YOU thought they should have done on this album, or maybe you speak for all their fan base? The point is; what makes you think it matters to them what YOU or any of us want?? Do you believe that when they are in the studio they turn to each other and ask: “do you think this might sell?” or “let’s make sure we sound like (insert band name here)” or “we can’t do that because our fans will hate us”. You are a bad Joke. And before it even passes through your limited reasoning abilities; don’t spew on me your “I have the right to this opinion about this album”, you see, the right you have is to not criticize something you can’t do yourself, you don’t have their talent and ability and you don’t think the way they do. In a public forum where minds will be influenced common sense and reasoning dictates that a person give a neutral opinion so that another person can THINK FOR THEMSELVES and make their own opinion. But you can’t do that right, it’s not juicy enough to say to a public audience: “For me some parts of the album worked, some didn’t, but how about you go find out for Yourself and make up your own mind”
    You are a bad Joke.

  152. Lou says:

    …I forgot to add something, and since we are all in the spirit of blatantly giving our opinions about something we dont know here you go: You have to know whats going on here and now to understand most of the lyrics on the album, unfortunatley that requieres a different type of knowledge that most would rather not have, go back to sleep, its safer there.

  153. Nick says:

    Muse is a great band that consistantly
    turns out great albums. Their latest is
    like a CV to showcase their great tallent.
    To compare them with Radiohead is pointless
    because their albums range from genius to
    rubbish.

  154. Sophie says:

    Hi, I’ve only recently found the site, and I think it’s great. Thoughtful, interesting writing all around, and FUCK YEAH for the swearing. I’m a huge fan of Muse and while I disagree with this review on some points, I do think it’s a fair assessment of the record. Yes, this album is way over the fucking top. I still massively enjoy it for the most, but I can see where/why other people wouldn’t as much. I guess self-producing had a lot to do with it; no-one to tell them when to just bloody stop. On the other hand, they’ve made a record that sounds just like they want it to sound, and I respect them for all the work they put into it.
    What I dislike is how, with each new Muse album released, the people who are initially “disappointed” by it (or whatever) start to glorify the past. Everyone seemed to go ballistic about Supermassive Black Hole and Starlight when they came out, denouncing Black Holes and Revelations as a horrid album unworthy of Muse’s previous output. Now it’s all like, “Oh, up until now everything they did was great, but this one just BLOWS.” Yeah, right.
    That said, all the obsessive fans who are hurling abuse just because someone doesn’t find the album perfect could cool it a bit, too.

  155. Simon Bumluv says:

    Muse suck Radiohead rule… nah nah nha. Sheesh you’d think people out their can only like one and not both.

    Ironically one minute Muse are supposed to sound like Radiohead the next they sound like Queen, two more disparate groups I cannot think of.

    Me, I veer towards the Queen end, Muse’s music is epic widescreen to Radiohead’s art-house naval gazing, room for both to be sure. Bellamy’s vocals invoke more of Freddie Mercury to me than Thom Yorke.

    “Exogenesis Symphony” is simply gorgeous, its so anti- fashion, anti-convention, every minute is just gloriously enjoyable.

    Muse are Muse, they are at a stage now where you really cannot mistake for any other band, especially Radiohead.

    Get over it.

  156. Jade Yuan says:

    totally agree, checkout my muse review por favor :)!

    http://deadsoundstatus.blogspot.com/

  157. Lilly says:

    Forgive me for mentioning Radiohead, but….
    Personally, I find Radiohead a bit depressing, and at times boring. Maybe it’s an acquired taste, or maybe it’s supposed to grow on you… But even though I’ve listened to Karma Police, High and Dry, Fake Plastic Trees, Creep, 2+2=5, Knives Out, Paranoid Android, and Videotape, (yeah not much I know, don’t kill me) the only one I like is Paranoid Android. And only at the middle part.

    And I also find Thom’s voice a bit weak and trembly, which irritates me, and make the songs less enjoyable. Yeah Matt’s voice was very similar to Thom’s…but those were the early days for Matt, and now it’s less whiny and manlier. Of course, their voices fit the genres they go for, since Radiohead is all haunting and emotional, while Muse goes for arena rock and all that.

    But…whatever. All I want to know is, are there any Radiohead songs you can recommend for me, or, let me guess, I don’t have enough musical knowledge or appreciation to like anything as genius and legendary as Radiohead? :/

  158. [...] this is surprising. When Muse released the too-orchestral, too-overblown The Resistance in 2009, it was hard to see where the band could go from there. As the trailer for their new album [...]

  159. [...] released their fifth record The Resistance in 2009, much hype was made over Exogenesis, the band’s so-called “15-minute space [...]

  160. [...] Listen to The 2nd Law below, via The Guardian, and check out for yourself whether or not the band have managed to get rid of the lukewarm feeling left by their previous studio effort, The Resistance. [...]

  161. [...] years ago, when Muse released their fifth album The Resistance, it managed to better define the sound of the group, but failed to truly push the envelope for [...]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Connect with Facebook

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>