Sep 30, 2009

Muse - "The Resistance" Album Review

image from Amazon

Artist/Band: Muse
Album: The Resistance
Release Date: 9/15/09
Tracks: 11
Runtime: 54:18

Track Breakdown:

1) Uprising - All the aura of being in a creepy, space-traveling cult, and with a power, anti-authoritative message. Even if you're not in a FIGHT THE POWER kind of mood, when you hear this you'll know it is an excellently produced, catchy song that will have you waiting on the edge of your seat for the chorus. 5 *'s.

2) Resistance - My favorite song on the album, because when telling a story, so many characters have to be 100% positive of what they're saying or doing, and they have to stand for something! This song dares to tell the story of a conflicted man who doesn't know if he's right or wrong. It'll be ringing in your brain days after hearing it. 5 *'s.

3) Undisclosed Desires - This one may be some listener's bread and butter of the album, and is certainly not the worst song I've heard all year, but I have to be critical of certain aspects of it. In my opinion, it's too techno, too much synthesizer, and for the vocals, it's just too pitchy. The lead singer's voice goes from high tones to low tones too frequently and I can't feel any passion for it. 2 *'s.

4) United States of Eurasia - If you like Queen, you may like... United States of Eurasia! There's a little bit of modern Bohemian Rhapsody in this one, though by no means am I calling this the next B.R. But what I mean is, this is something of a rock opera in its core. It's a ballad, it's a head banger, and it's a thinker. If it were a little more catchy and or relatable, it'd be another top mark, but I can only give this one 4 *'s.

5) Guiding Light - This one is a powerful, patriotic sounding song that could very well make it to radio play. There's nothing really definingly outstanding about it, but like a Nirvana song, it seems like they had an idea for what a song should sound like, and added words to it. Either way, this is definitely an entertaining song, and not even skippable. 4 *'s.

6) Unnatural Selection - A jazzed up song with a great energy to it, but not a lot else going for it. Still, Muse is really pulling out all the stops for this album, and it's strong enough to hold on to a 3 *. Skippable, but not MUST-SKIP. In fact, even though you may not skip to this track, I'd bet you won't skip it when it comes on. The longer it goes on the more powerful it gets!

7) MK Ultra - As pre-text, I must say I love this title for two reasons. One, it reminds me of Mortal Kombat. Two, it's actually the codename used for CIA developed Mind-Control interrogation techniques researched over thirty years. Wiki it! The people have a right to know! As for the song, it is a trip in a half. Some real Pink Floyd musing here. 4 1/2 *'s, but only because I can greatly appreciate what's going on here.

8) I Belong to You - This one was made for the clubs I guess, because it's Funky Cold Medina. Unfortunately, it's neither what I expect in a Muse album, nor what I expect in a dancey song. The keyboarding is just too loud, too simplistic, and too featured. The only points this song really gets is for the lyric "I can't find the words to say, you are my mu-", implying their own band name. And then it jumps to a song in French... but I don't speak French and am a lame, uncultured American. 1 1/2 *'s.

9) Exogenesis: Symphony, Pt. 1: Overture - Kind of a hard song to judge, because it's basically entirely instrumental (some inaudible lyrics), and as the title suggests, basically an opera, or movie score. But man, is it an awesome one. If you like Star Wars, or the opening credits to the first Spider-Man film, you'll be able to appreciate this. It's got this dark, seedy, brooding tone to it, but you're basically listening to classical music, so you're smart if you like it. 4 *'s.

10) Exogenesis: Symphony, Pt. 2: Cross-Pollination - Powerful stuff. A very classical, movie score kind of song again, though this time with lyrics, but a little lighter than the dark broodingness of the previous track. 3 3/4 *'s. Definitely good, but after impressing so greatly with the previous track, this one falls just a little short.

11) Exogenesis: Symphony, Pt. 3: Redemption - A great close to the album. After the previous two tracks, it seems like you've witnessed the end of the world. This track is all about hope and rebuilding, a bigger, better, stronger world, with all the same beauty and maybe some new. 4 *'s.

My Highlights:
Uprising and Resistance are definitely the top two tracks of the album, and everyone should go out of their way to hunt these down.

Overall Rating:
3 3/4 *s' out of 5 *'s is the average, which seems completely skewed downward to me, so I'm going to boost this to 4 *'s, for overall big picture brownie points. Every track on here is listenable to, many of them are sure to be favorites upon hearing it, and it mixes such versatility with relatability that it's practically a concept album. Go out and buy this album people. Support your Muse!

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