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Muse - The Resistance Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 7.5
Musicianship 7.75
Lyrics 7
Production 6.5
Creativity 7.25
Lasting Value 5
Reviewer Tilt 5
Final Verdict: 66%
Member Ratings
Vocals 8.43
Musicianship 8.39
Lyrics 7.44
Production 8.32
Creativity 7.67
Lasting Value 6.96
Reviewer Tilt 7.22
Average: 78%
Inside AP.net

Muse - The Resistance

Reviewed by: Jeremy Aaron (09/16/09)
Muse - The Resistance
Record Label: Warner Brothers Records
Release Date: September 15, 2009

Polarity is pretty much a given in the realm of music. Even within a community of largely like-minded fans, like that of AP.net, most bands have staunch supporters as well as detractors who are equally steadfast in their viewpoints, and it's something that's not likely to change any time soon. It's less common for music critics to be polarized to such a degree, but when it comes to a band like Muse, it seems that arguments regarding their artistic merits are formed equally easily by either side of the debate. How one feels about the band's work ultimately boils down to how much ostentation it takes to leave a bad taste in his or her mouth. Personally, I don't find Muse's grandiose affectations to be egregiously offensive, but for me, a Muse album is all spectacle, but with a relative few moments sprinkled throughout that are truly spectacular, which I guess leaves me somewhere in the middle. Regardless of your own opinion of Muse, The Resistance is not likely to change your mind.

The first single "Uprising" kicks off the festivities, and with its driving beat and Matt Bellamy's unmistakable vocals taking center stage, it's a classic Muse single, though its successor "Resistance" is perhaps more infectious and sounds like it could be an even bigger hit. "Undisclosed Desires" is a rare and refreshing stripped-down moment on an album characterized primarily by huge walls of sound or sweeping orchestration. These songs are the embodiment of the qualities that have led to Muse's popularity, and their inclusion here will likely cause their star to rise even higher. It's unfortunate, though, that the album as a whole can't sustain this level of quality.

While it may sound like a "mainstream fan" thing to say, Muse's "single" type songs are far and away their best. When the songs lack an immediate hook ("Guiding Light," or hell, mostly everything else), Bellamy's drawn-out vocal histrionics can be nauseatingly overwrought. Likewise, when the band abandon their typical rock arrangements in favor of classically-themed segues, it's enough to make you wish they were still content making slightly overcooked Britrock. It's all symptomatic of the band taking themselves too seriously, which is ironic, because their attempt at art is so subverted by artifice that it's nearly impossible for the listener to take it seriously.

The band hit an all-time low on the album's final three tracks, the titles of which, "Exogenesis: Symphony, Parts I, II and III" sound damn near self-congratulatory ("Yeah bitches! We wrote some epic shit! Now we have to come up with equally pretentious titles!"). The problem is that "epic" would imply that it inspires awe or is perhaps intellectually challenging, but that's not the case here. Muse's "Symphony" only inspires snores and the real challenge is simply trying to stay awake. They are a band that seem to have given in to their every whim, and in the process, they seem to have forgotten that they are at their best when they're being a rock band.

Make no mistake, The Resistance is sure to be a big album for Muse, and with the presence of a few tracks that sound likely to top the charts, their popularity will probably grow because of it. As far as the album as a whole goes, if you welcomed the over-the-top grandiloquence of Black Holes and Revelations, you probably won't have too much of a problem with The Resistance. However, if there's only so much bloated theatricality you can take before it becomes tedious, this record is likely to test your patience.

Recommended If You LikeMuse's Black Holes and Revelations
Ours' Mercy
People in Planes' Beyond the Horizon
Radiohead's Pablo Honey
Wax On Radio's Exposition


Track Listing1. Uprising (5:04)
2. Resistance (5:46)
3. Undisclosed Desires (3:56)
4. United States of Eurasia (+ Collateral Damage) (5:47)
5. Guiding Light (4:13)
6. Unnatural Selection (6:55)
7. MK Ultra (4:06)
8. I Belong to You (+ Mon Coeur S'Ouvre a Ta Voix) (5:38)
9. Exogenesis: Symphony Part I (Overture) (4:18)
10. Exogenesis: Symphony Part II (Cross-Pollination) (3:56)
11. Exogenesis: Symphony Part III (Redemption) (4:37)
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 189
11:31 AM on 09/16/09
#2
Dymytry Vance
Fuck Relient K!
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Shitty album is shitty
11:35 AM on 09/16/09
#3
aradiantsunrise
i get what i want
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Does anyone else think Uprising sounds like a Britney Spears song?
11:44 AM on 09/16/09
#4
xapplexpiex
&.&
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Muse is one of my favorite bands. Your review made me a little disappointed to buy this later, but I'm still going to buy it and hear for myself...
12:46 PM on 09/16/09
#5
tommy's ghost
.
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7.5 for Matt Bellamy? Subjectivity be damned, I cannot comprehend that score.
01:03 PM on 09/16/09
#6
S9Dallasoz
Knows the words to 'Bye Bye Bye'
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I've seen almost nothing but ridiculous praise for this release...I dig, especially the title track.
01:10 PM on 09/16/09
#7
11:11
Soft sound
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I don't really agree with this review. I loved the album, especially the last 3 tracks. Different strokes for different folks though I suppose
01:13 PM on 09/16/09
#8
Jeremy Aaron
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7.5 for Matt Bellamy? Subjectivity be damned, I cannot comprehend that score.
Without question, the guy has tremendous vocal ability. The problem I have is that he goes so out of his way to sound exaggeratedly operatic, it borders on comedic at times. It's like, just sing dude.
02:28 PM on 09/16/09
#9
doppelganger
katy song
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cd is a let down. il stick with showbiz and origin of symmetry
02:30 PM on 09/16/09
zac21
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Resistance is an album. It is not meant to be cut up and listened to in different order. It flows from cover to cover. People will bash this album saying it sucks because it isn't littered with singles like Black Holes (which in my mind, was a shitty album). Resistance is much more on the same line as Absolution in that matter.

I'm sick of people hating on albums because they don't have song after song of singles.
02:50 PM on 09/16/09
Jeremy Aaron
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Resistance is an album. It is not meant to be cut up and listened to in different order. It flows from cover to cover. People will bash this album saying it sucks because it isn't littered with singles like Black Holes (which in my mind, was a shitty album). Resistance is much more on the same line as Absolution in that matter.

I'm sick of people hating on albums because they don't have song after song of singles.

On many occasions, my least favorite songs on an album are the singles. With this album, though, the songs that don't fit the single mold are transparently pompous faux-artsy garbage. To me, this album does work when you "cut it up" and pick and choose what you listen to. Forcing myself to listen to this in its entirety multiple times was an arduous task.
02:59 PM on 09/16/09
nescover
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Absolutely fantastic album. Can't stop listening to it.
03:56 PM on 09/16/09
Chris Fallon
Boom.
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I do like it, just not as much as I thought I would. Either way, you argue your points well and speak in an intelligent and articulate manner. Great job, Jeremy!
04:38 PM on 09/16/09
mcalphabet
So it goes.
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I definitely feel like this is an album for the established Muse fan. Matt makes it clear that he goes for cheesy and over the top, and this is the music of sorts that Muse fans expect to hear. I do applaud them for taking more variety in the album which gives you more of a chance to like at least one song, unlike their earlier albums which tended to be a "love it or hate it" kind of deal. If I have one huge complaint, it's that Matt's head is now inflated to the size of France (thus his singing in "I Belong to You") and the focus is placed mainly on Matt where as earlier albums spread the love to all the guys. Still, I liked the album but nowhere as much as "Absolution" or "Origin of Symmetry." Good review.
05:16 PM on 09/16/09
Salamandrax
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i didn't like it all the first time i heard it, but it's growing on me.
it'll never stack up against OoS, Absolution & BHaR though...
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