Album Review: Muse – The Resistance (Warner Bros.)

Will Stockdale 1 October 2009

The greatest strength of Muse’s fifth studio effort is also its’ greatest weakness.

The album is dominated by its staggering conclusion, the three-part epic “Exogenesis: Symphony”. The arrogance of even attempting such a work at the end of what is essentially a pop album is more than justified; it is astonishing.

As it concludes the album and leaves such a wonderful aftertaste, it is tempting to remember what’s come before in the same light, but the previous tracks are simply not of the same quality. The Resistance as a whole is distinctly unsatisfying.

“Uprising” is more of a glam-trudge than a stomp whilst “Guiding Light” sees a guitar solo taken straight from the Guns ‘n’ Roses guitar book for beginners. Not to mention “I Belong to You”, which is without a doubt the worst thing they’ve ever done. Still, when these ideas are taken to their conclusions there are some glorious moments. “United States of Eurasia” is a wonderfully deranged slice of Queen-inspired madness and the title track an anthem that will have stadiums in thrall.

Though it will all sound incredible live come this autumn, we should realise that this album is underdone. It feels as if the rest of The Resistance has been sacrificed to its ending, with the band hoping that this conclusion will carry the rest of the album in its wake. This is a disappointment.

Will Stockdale