Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Tuesday is MUSE day...

...in my country, at least. The Resistance was released in the US today. I've been listening to the album online since the band started streaming it from their website last week. My take on the album is below. Enjoy!

If you wanna check out the album for free, click here to head over to Muse's website; if you sign up as a member on their website (again, totally FREE), you can check out The Resistance for yourself in the "Media Player" section!


Each time I hear it, I feel like I'm standing on top of something big, something tall, something exceptionally formidable--something Mount Everest-like--with my eyes closed. And when I open my eyes and blink a time or two, I realize that what I'm standing on isn't so big as compared to what's surrounding me. There I am, facing supermassive amounts of space all around me, space as far as the eye can see, and I'm feeling awfully tiny in the midst of, and on the edge of, something absolutely fucking huge.

That's the sense I get every time I hear Muse's The Resistance. In a word: epic. In another word: incendiary.

The Resistance starts out with the single "Uprising," which is typical Muse stuff: gritty, growling guitar sounds a la "Time Is Running Out" with politically-tinged, anti-control lyrics and a Green Day "American Idiot" sort of vibe. But that's the only song on the album that could really be classified as typical Muse.

While Muse's usual lyrical messages are woven throughout many songs on the album, The Resistance is different from the band's other albums in terms of its sound. Its sound is...well, big. It's more evolved, richer. From rock to beats to classical, this album's sound is all-encompassing and all over the place--but yet somehow it flows together harmoniously, sounding peaceful rather than cacophonous or chaotic.

"Unnatural Selection" is a true gem of a song, with a guitar riff that rivals that of the band's international superhit "Plug In Baby" and boasts larger than life vocals from Matthew Bellamy, the band's diminutive lead guitarist/singer whose mere presence often easily dominates the stage. "MK Ultra" has the aural and lyrical intensity of "Map of the Problematique" and "Supermassive Black Hole," yet somehow manages to simultaneously sound more polished and more frenzied than either of those songs.

There's something about "Guiding Light" and "You Belong to Me" that sound unusually sweet and somehow slightly old-fashioned for Muse, lyric-wise and sound-wise. Parts of "Undisclosed Desires" are reminiscent of the sound and feel of '80s-era Depeche Mode songs. The gorgeous "United States of Eurasia" and "Resistance" both sound Queen-esque at times, but not annoyingly so; these songs possess Queen's epic kind of larger-than-life sound.

On The Resistance, it's clear that thoroughly modern Muse have been inspired by classic and classical artists from yesteryear. This band is wise enough to understand that sometimes in order to move forward and evolve, you've gotta take a step or two back and pull from the past--and they make this tactic work for 'em big-time on The Resistance.

No, no, wait--not big-time. Not even huge-time. More like monumental-time. Colossal-time...and then some.




listening to it now, as I have since the minute they released it.


I felt almost guilty even writing anything about this album...there are no words to perfectly describe it. Words like brilliant, genius, and gorgeous don't even do it justice.