Written by: Robert Latham
The Resistance, the band’s fifth studio album, is again testimony to Muse’s evolution in becoming the pioneers of 21st century British rock music. Front-man Matt Bellamy‘s trademark guitar sounds and screaming vocals are prevalent throughout as per usual and the band’s driving, engaging rock songs are as instantly enjoyable as ever in what could become their greatest masterpiece yet.
The album opens up in style with the instantly engaging, foot-tapping “Uprising,” a fast-paced rock song with a driving bass line, alarming guitar bursts and supporting Bellamy’s strangely enjoyable whining vocals. Around half-way through is a very Muse-esque drawn out guitar solo over the top of frequent shouts of “Hey” before launching back into the chorus.
Following this is the gorgeous “Resistance,” which sums up everything that makes Muse so great with a typically bouncy, singalong chorus offset by floating verses in which Bellamy’s vocals are supported by light electro waves of noise. Muse have the uncanny knack of combining a number of genres within one song, in “Resistance” alone there is light piano sounds, followed by a poppy chorus then a heavy guitar riff, which falls into a mysterious outro ditch of descending electrical sounds.
Next up is “Undisclosed Desires,” a much slower paced track which opens up with rhythmic string bursts before moving into a very electrical sounding chorus. This is a sign of how Muse are evolving as almost revolutionary band, exploring new sounds and making a huge success of it.
This theme is very much evident in the bold and striking “United States of Eurasia (+ Collateral Damage),” which features a slow build-up into a dramatic chorus thanks to a rolling piano solo, a host of strings and Bellamy’s trademark high-pitched falsetto vocals.
Possible standout track, if there is such a thing on this album, is “Unnatural Selection,” which has a driving guitar riff, before leaning into a scattered lick and launching into a heavy chord sequence then a trademark solo riff, all under Bellamy’s trademark singing style. This track is true rock but is not without the usual oddities we have come to expect of Muse, it lasts nearly seven minutes as Bellamy divulges us with some drawn out screamo lyrics and guitar chords before launching into another energetic guitar riff.
The album concludes with Bellamy’s revelation of his true inspiration for the more orchestral album with a three-track mini Symphony entitled “Exogenesis”. Part one, “Overture,” opens up with a slow string introduction, eventually moving into an ascending and descending violin solo over the top of Bellamy’s falsetto vocals. Distorted guitar joins in towards the end of the track, along with gliding guitar riffs as the track draws to a dramatic close.
Part two, “Cross-Pollination” opens up with a crescendo-ing piano solo, which gently gathers in pace before dropping into a trademark Muse ballad and then diving into an energetic rocky masterpiece. It closes in the same manner as it opened, with a slow and gentle piano solo.
The album’s final track “Redemption” again opens up slowly with a lingering piano solo, soon supported up by a slow and moody violin solo. Drums enter slowly as the track launches into life with Bellamy’s falsetto lyrics over the piano and violin before closing with the piano solo once again.
This is an album unlike anything else on the market at the moment as Muse again portray their unrivaled ability to combine a host of musical genres, instruments and sounds to create an album bordering on genius. At times it sounds a little crazy, but after several listens it grows on you and without knowing it you won’t be able to take it out of your stereo as it has become not crazy but brilliant.