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Music Review: Muse’s The Resistance

Written by: Sherryn Daniel, Special to CC2K

Muse's new album sounds like a lot of other bands, but not Muse. What happened?

ImageMuse’s fifth album, The Resistance, is their first attempt at trying way too hard. Even though this is the band’s first album with orchestral flare, the innocuous lyrics pertaining to an unflattering government with easy to sing lyrics about fighting the powers that be doesn’t spark any originality.

Mathew Bellamy, the lead singer and writer for all 11 tracks, has previously noted that this album was created in Como, Italy. In NME, he said that this album is, “What will come out of that which is impossible to say.” Meaning, that everything he wanted to shout out to the world will bleed through over the top synthesizers, violin cries and solo piano ballads.

The album came out September 14 and it has topped the charts in 19 countries, minus the U.S. The first single, “Uprising,” was first performed at the MTV VMA’s amidst the Kanye West/Taylor Swift drama. The tune’s militia flavor may increase someone’s blood pressure over how flawed the government is, but for a teenager or someone in their 20’s, it just reminds them what an awesome book Brave New World by Aldous Huxley was to read in Poli Sci.

Lyrically, Bellamy did a fantastic job with Resistance, especially with the chorus, “they may be wrong” meshing well with his silky vocals. An introductory piano solo drew me into the song and percussions tastefully capture the aura of fear that permeates the album. The song is so romantic, in a way, that the dramatic in me is crossing her fingers that they use it for the next Twilight movie. 

Undisclosed Desires – Muse

My personal favorite was “Undisclosed Desires.” Bellamy’s low, undertone voice is pure ear candy. After listening to this song three times, I get the feeling that Bellamy understands how evil and vindictive women can be, but what drew me in as a female was that he sang exactly what a woman wanted to hear from a man.

In the end, there’s just too much outside influence here for it to sound like a proper Muse album or to represent any new creative ground. “Guiding Light”, “Unnatural Selection”, and “MK Ultra” blurred too much lyrically, imaginatively and, dare I say, orchestrally, for me to say anything positive or negative about them.

I was sort of amused that Bellamy broke out in French for “I Belong to You” but the song was manufactured Euro pop dashed in with emo instrumentals for flavoring.

It’s a great feat to have 40 musicians packed in for an album, but when use of those tools becomes repetitive and difficult to penetrate, the end result is more hype than success.

Overall the new Muse is too much Radiohead, too much Queen, but not enough of what drew me to the band in the first place. What happened?